Thursday, April 05, 2007

Obituary: Steve F. Varese

MADISON - Steve F. Varese, age 87, died on Tuesday, April 3, 2007, at HospiceCare. Steve was born on June 11, 1919, in Madison, the son of Italian immigrants, Joseph and Sara (Caravello) Veresi. He grew up in Madison's Greenbush neighborhood, graduating from Central High School. On June 6, 1942, Steve married his lifelong partner, Alice Karls of Dane. They had two sons, Joseph and Scott. Steve was employed for 25 years as a trainman and conductor with the Milwaukee Road. In 1956, he and his wife opened Steve's Liquor Store at 3618 University Ave. by converting the family living room into a storefront. The business grew and he later opened a second store on Mineral Point Road. Both stores continue to thrive today as a family business, much to his satisfaction. Throughout his career in business, he was known for his friendly, welcoming smile, his warm regard for customers and the Tootsie Rolls he handed out to their children. Inside the family, we knew a more quiet man who loved and cared about his family. For many years after his retirement, he could be found chatting with his buddies at Hilldale Mall. He also enjoyed his cigars, fishing and solitary moments at his cabin north of Madison, where Jim Beam was no stranger. Among his most treasured memories was his trip to Sicily where he visited relatives from the old country. He was a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Church and the Knights of Columbus. Steve is survived by his loving and caring wife of 65 years, Alice; his sons, Joseph (Mary) of Madison, and Scott (Kathy Atkins) of Cross Plains; his grandchildren, Katie (Wayne) Crokus, James, Emily, Dane, Leilani, Cody and Sean; and his sisters, Frances Bordson and Conchera "Bea" Troia, both of Madison. He was preceded in death by his parents; his twin brothers, Jerry and Jim who died in infancy; brothers, Sam and Joseph; sister, Mary Di Piazza; and a brother and sister, Russel and Martha, who also died in infancy. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10, 2007, at ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 602 Everglade Drive, Madison with Monsignor Donald J. Heiar officiating. A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, April 9, 2007, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, and also from 9:30 a.m. until time of services at the church on Tuesday. In later years, Steve was forced into a five-year battle with Alzheimer's, requiring extensive care and hospitalization. We, the family, are keenly aware and deeply appreciate the special attention and many acts of kindness he received from dedicated staff while a resident at Oakwood Village, the Stoughton Hospital Geriatric Unit, Oak Park Place and HospiceCare. In lieu of flowers, a contribution to HospiceCare or the Alzheimer's Association would be appreciated. Cress Funeral and Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on April 5, 2007

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