Friday, February 29, 2008

Obituary: Jean (Edie) Topp - Class of 1943

MADISON - Jean Topp, age 82, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008, thus ending her journey through Alzheimer's disease. She was born on Sept. 17, 1925, in Chicago, Ill., to James and Ethel (Morris) Edie. Jean graduated from Madison Central High School in 1943. She dearly loved her classmates and attended as many of their wonderful reunions as she could. After graduation, she was proud of her first job at the Neckerman Agency, as a secretary. Jean was united in marriage to Robert W. Topp on May 29, 1948, at Blessed Sacrament Church in Madison. They started their family in Middleton, then moved back to Madison on Segoe Road. They shared 40 years together until the time of Bob's death in 1988. She was employed for 20 years by Hill Electric and truly enjoyed decorating the large front windows that faced Park Street. She received many nice letters from people who would drive by and enjoy the holiday decorations, and the tributes to the Hill and Topp family celebrations. Jean loved the University of Wisconsin Marching Band. The music would touch her heart and she was as proud of the band members as if they were her own children. She loved to spend time in her flower gardens. Jean was a very active woman who had many interests and hobbies. She was and avid golfer, and early member of Nakoma Golf Club and through the years, she would join her friends at Hill Farms and the Madison Municipal Ladies League. She also was involved in the Elks Lodge, Ladies Auxiliary, and the Queen of Peace Ladies Auxiliary. She very much enjoyed playing bridge, SkipBo, and putting together puzzles. She also enjoyed the bowling leagues at Schwoegler's and Badger Bowl. Jean and Bob traveled the world with their many friends and she continued to travel with her friends after Bob's death. Jean loved to entertain people at her home and to plan parties for others. She had the best "Life begins at 60" party ever when she retired from Hill Electric. Jean had the gift of laughter and the gift of empathy. She did much to help others. Jean volunteered at the Red Cross and through the years for her children's school functions. She participated in Alzheimer's disease research studies, knowing that even if a cure was not found for her, maybe her participation will help find the cure for others. Jean was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She unselfishly dedicated her life to others, and always welcomed family, guests and visitors into her home. Her door was always open, even while Alzheimer's disease was slowly forcing it closed. Jean is survived by her children, Keith (Kathy) Topp of Oregon, Wis. and Sharon Topp of Madison; her sister, Ruth (Keith) Hawks of Wausau; cousins, June Hammersley of Madison and Gordon (Joyce) Morris of Edgerton; and sister-in-law, Marge Libby of Madison. Jean had the greatest grandchildren, Tom Topp and Kevin (Jenny) Topp of Oregon, Lori (Jesse) Ewoldt of Dane, and Jen Clukas of Madison. Jean also had the most beautiful great-grandchildren, Carson and Emma Topp, and Stella Jean Ewoldt. Jean was blessed with many nieces and nephews, whom she loved dearly and it was clear that they loved her; Gery (Bonnie) Hammersley, Wendy Miller, Kim Bray (Brittney and Tiffany), Linda Bridwell (Jeffrey, Joey, Steven), Mark (Shelly) Hawks, David (Patty) Morris, and Bruce (Vicki) Morris. She is also survived by many, many truly wonderful friends who continued to keep her in their thoughts and prayers throughout her journey. Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, 2008, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 3, 2008, at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 401 South Owen Drive, Madison, with visitation from 10 a.m. until the time of the service at church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Alzheimer's Association, South Central Wisconsin Chapter, 517 N. Segoe Road, Suite 301, Madison, WI 53705, the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute, 7818 Big Sky Drive, Suite 215, Madison, WI 53719, or the Wisconsin Comprehensive Memory Program, care of Dr. Sanjay Asthana, 2870 University Ave., Suite 106, Madison, WI 53705. The family would like to that the staff at Willow Point in Verona, Four Winds Manor in Verona, and HospiceCare for the care and tenderness provided to Jean.
"I am Home in Heaven, dear ones, Oh! So happy and so bright! There is perfect joy and beauty In this Everlasting Light. All the pain and grief are over, Every restless yearning past; I am now at peace forever, Safely Home in Heaven at last." Cress Funeral and Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on March 1, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Obituary: Laura Love Linden - Class of 1924

MADISON - Miss Laura Love Linden, age 100, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008, at Attic Angels in Middleton. She was born in 1908, in Oregon City, Ore. to the Rev. John and Florence Linden. In 1912, the family moved to Madison, where Laura attended Randall School, Central High School, and the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she graduated in 1928. In 1929, at the age of 21, she received her Master's Degree in Italian and French. She then taught at Ripon College, and Jamestown College in North Dakota. She taught the longest from 1945 to 1974 at Muncie Central High School in Muncie, Ind. She then retired to Madison, where for 24 years, as a student senior guest, she audited many courses at the UW - Madison. Much of Laura's time was spent as a volunteer. For 10 years, even into the 90's, she chose big print books for retirement homes at the Schwab Library in downtown Madison. One of her chief hobbies was the love of travel. During summers, she attended many universities and foreign countries: The Sorbonne in Paris; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; The Royal University in Perugia, Italy; Columbia in New York; Stanford in California; South America; Australia; and with Purdue University, behind the Iron Curtain. Laura was also a UW sports fan, and will be remembered for her generous contributions to the UW and other charitable organizations. Laura was preceded in death by her sister, Kay Johnson in 1989; her brother, Doctor John Linden in 1993; and her brother, Robert Linden and his wife, Ruth, in 2007 and 2008. She is survived by Silas "Hap" and Marie Johnson of Madison; Nancy and Albert Nicholas of Beaver Lake; Virginia and William Barnett of Neenah; David and Mel Johnson of Elm Grove; Christine and Skip Bennett of Punta gorda, Fla.; and Richard and Patricia Linden of Bethesda, Md. All of these were her nieces and nephews, but there are many, many more nieces and nephews, both great and great-great, as well. Per Laura's request, there will be no funeral other than a graveside service for immediate family members. Also, Laura requested that no flowers be sent. Memorials may be made to The First Baptist Church, 518 N. Franklin Ave, Madison, WI 53705; The University of Wisconsin Foundation, U.S. Bank Lockbox, P.O. Box 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807; or to the Schwab City Library, Madison Public Library Foundation, 201 W. Mifflin Street, Madison, WI 53703. Cress Funeral and Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on February 20, 2008

Note: Laura Love Linden's class year is based on information in the 1924 Tychoberahn, where her photograph is included among those of the graduating seniors.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Obituary: Helen Jessie (Becker) Thomas - Class of 1931

MIDDLETON - Helen Jessie Thomas, age 94, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008. She was born on Dec. 17, 1913, the daughter of Fred K. And Susan V. (Fry) Becker. Helen graduated from Central High School in Madison. She was employed as a salesperson at Triggs Bakery in Madison. Helen enjoyed gardening and had a passion for reading that she passed on to her children and grandchildren. She also enjoyed rosemaling, quilting and crocheting for her grandchildren. Helen was a member of St. Bernard's Catholic Church, Women's Police Auxiliary, and the Christian Mothers at St. Bernard's. She is survived by her children, Helen "Bonnie" (Duane) Van Haren of Middleton, Marietta (Robert Tucker) Kust of Waunakee, Valarie (Ted) Cole of Decatur, Ga., Vicki (Jerry) McGuire of Oregon, Emil Thomas of Middleton, Tomas (Jeanne) Thomas of Madison, Newel (Carol) Thomas of Eagle, Kim (Ron) Loresch of Madison; many grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, and one great great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; two sisters, Lyllyan Emden and Izola Roller; three brothers, Fredolin Becker, James Becker and LaVergne Becker; and a grandson, Scott Van Haren. A memorial service will be held at ST. BERNARD'S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 7450 University Avenue, Middleton, at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008, with Monsignor Douglas Dushack presiding. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until time of service at the church on Wednesday. Gunderson West Funeral and Cremation Centers 7435 University Ave. (608) 831-6761

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on February 17, 2008

Note: Helen J. Becker's Class year is based on a list of Madison Central High School graduates published in the Wisconsin State Journal on June 5, 1931.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Obituary: Delmar V. Strassman - Class of 1946

MONONA - Delmar V. Strassman, age 79, of Monona, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008, at Oak Park Care Center. He was born on May 24, 1928, in Madison, the son of August and Rosie (Ramisch) Strassman. Delmar graduated from Madison Central High School. He married Jeanette Hauge on Oct. 11, 1966, in Madison. Delmar worked for more than 37 years at Oscar Mayer. He was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church and East Side Business Men's Association. Delmar is survived by his wife, Jeanette; seven children, Selma (Dennis) Davis of Madison, Nancy (Mike) Johnson of Madison, Butch Hauge of McFarland, Duane (Cynde) Hauge of Madison, Kenneth Hauge of Monona, Richard (Joyce) Hauge of Menomonie, and Vickie (Bob) Peterson of Madison; 20 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandchild; brothers, August (Grace) Strassman and Jerry Strassman, both of Madison; and a sister, Delores Strassman of Madison. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Ray. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY CATHOLIC CHURCH, 5101 Schofield St., Monona, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008, with Father John Meinholz presiding. Burial will be at Highland Memory Gardens. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, 2008. Gunderson East Funeral and Cremation Centers 5203 Monona Drive (608) 221-5420

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on February 14, 2008

Note: Delmar Strassman's class year is based on information in the 1946 CHS yearbook, The Mirror, where his photograph is included among those of the graduating seniors.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Obituary: Robert E. Schaefer - Class of 1948

MONONA - Robert E. Schaefer, age 77, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008, at Angelus Assisted Living of Cottage Grove. He was born on Dec. 22, 1930, in Madison, the son of Joseph and Edna (Rauner) Schaefer. He graduated from Madison Central High School in 1948. Robert served his country in the United States Army, serving as a M.P., stationed in Germany with the 1st Armored Division, during the Korean War. He was united in marriage to Elizabeth A. Oren, who preceded him in death in August 2006. Robert was a partner at Hagen Advertising. He was a great asset to his community. Robert was involved and very active with numerous organizations and served on several boards and committees in the Monona area: serving as a coach and taking two teams to the state tournament for Monona Little League; a founder and past president of Monona Youth Hockey Association; a founder and member of Monona Grove Football Athletic Boosters; served on the Streets and Transportation Commission for six years; served on the committee responsible for the design, approval and partial funding of Monona High School Athletic Communications Center at the football field; an active member of Monona Grove Business Men's Association; a founder, member of the board of directors and president of the association from 1982-1997, he was instrumental in the planning, design, approval and partial funding for the two diamond softball complexes and the Schaefer Shelter in Winnequah Park, with all costs covered by the Softball Association; served as chairman and co-chair of the MGBMA Chili Cook-Off; served on the committee for many years at the Monona Community Festival Committee; and many others too numerous to mention. He also received many awards: the Distinguished Service Award in 1983, for his exemplary service to the community; the Mayoral Award in 1997, for his many years of dedicated service to the City of Monona; and he received the Keys to the City of Monona in 1997, for his outstanding service to the City of Monona. Robert is survived by a son, Scott Schaefer of Monona and his four children, Jamie, Dana, Paulina and Bobby; daughter-in-law, DeAnn Schaefer of McFarland and her two children, Garrett and Madeline; two sisters-in-law, Lucy Schaefer of Madison and Shirley Bessel of Monona. Bob also leaves behind many relatives and special friends including the "Dirty Eight Club." In addition to his wife, Elizabeth he was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Steven R. Schaefer; and a brother, Donald Joseph Schaefer. A Memorial visitation will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008, followed by a remembrance service. A celebration of life will continue at the Bourbon Street Grille, 6312 Metropolitan Lane, Monona, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Schaefer Education Scholarship Fund, for a Monona Grove High School graduate, c/o Bruce Iverson, 7854 West Oakbrook Circle, Madison, WI 53717.
Gunderson East Funeral and Cremation Centers 5203 Monona Drive (608) 221-5420

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on February 12, 2008

Leader Leaves His Mark On Monona
Wisconsin State Journal :: Daybreak :: 2G
Sunday, March 23, 1997
Phil McDade Wisconsin State Journal

Many volunteers leave their mark in almost intangibleways, serving as the behind-the-scenes backbones of civic groups and activities.

Not Monona's Bob Schaefer. His civic contributions can be seen virtually every day.

There's the Schaefer Shelter in Winnequah Park in Monona, which sits in the middle of the softball complex that Schaefer helped design and build.

There's the Winnequah Park Gazebo, which overlooks a lagoon and several willow trees in the park. Proceeds from the city's annual summer community festival, which Schaefer has helped run since its inception in 1985, built the gazebo two years ago.

And that's not to mention the city's annual charity chili cookoff, the Monona Grove football field, or the city's Fourth of July fireworks display. Schaefer has had his hand in all of those, as well.

Lately, the 66-year-old Schaefer has slowed down a bit. But his legacy of civic activism lives on. And it's a legacy of someone who produced visible results.

"I'm not a great one to go out and ask for donations, but we got some things done," he said.

Schaefer is an old Madison hand, old enough to have graduated in 1948 from the city's now-defunct Central High School. He was a big athlete, lettering in football and serving as co-captain of the basketball team.

After a stint in the Army, he held jobs in advertising at Madison Newspapers Inc., Sears Roebuck & Co., and CUNA Mutual Insurance Group. He then landed a job in 1964 at Hagen Marketing & Advertising, an advertising agency in Fitchburg. A two-person agency when he started, it's now grown to nearly 20 employees. He's semi-retired now, although he still keeps up with some clients and stops in the office frequently.

Much of Schaefer's civic work has focused on his adopted hometown of Monona. He's served as a Little League coach, helped found the Monona Youth Hockey Association, and was active in the Monona Grove Football Athletic Boosters. The last group helped build the press box at the school's football field in the mid-1970s, which was considered the best in the area at the time.

"I'm a big sports enthusiast," he said. Perhaps his biggest contribution toward sporting life in Monona grew out of his involvement in starting the city's softball leagues. Schaefer and some friends founded the Monona Softball Association in 1982 as an alternative to Madison's softball program. Now some 40 teams compete in Monona's softball leagues in Winnequah Park, where the Schaefer Shelter provides a place for fans to cheer.

"It's really turned out to be quite a program," he said. Schaefer has even dabbled in public policy, serving on the city's industrial development committee that helped bring commercial properties into Monona. He also served for several years on the city's streets and transportation committee, which dealt with the controversial construction of the South Beltline -- the stretch from Fish Hatchery Road to Interstate 90, which opened in 1989 and diverted traffic from West Broadway in Monona.

Schaefer's volunteer work in Monona won him the city's distinguished service award in 1983. He remarked how he felt nervous about accepting the award.

"I said, `Geez, that's a bad sign,' " he said. "They usually do that for people who croak."

It's been 14 years since Schaefer won that award, but his work in the community has never really stopped. Just ask the people who attend the city's summer festival around the Fourth of July, or the kids who ooh and aah over the holiday fireworks, or the couples who take their wedding photos at the city's new gazebo.

"At first you think, no, I don't want to get involved," he said. "It's a lot of work and sometimes frustrating. But I think through the years, it's been more fun than work."

Profile: Bob Schaefer Position: Secretary-treasurer and account executive at Hagen Marketing and Communications, an advertising agency.

Education: Graduate of Madison Central High School in 1948. Family: Wife, Elizabeth, sons Steve (deceased) and Scott, grandson Garrett, and granddaughters Madeline, Jamie, and Dana.

Hobbies: Taking his grandson Garrett on trips to youth hockey games.

Quote: "It's been a lot of work at times, but it's been a lot of fun."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Obituary: Veronica C. (Esser) Tisserand

MADISON - Veronica C. (Esser) Tisserand, age 87, died on Friday, Feb. 8, 2008, at St. Mary's Hospital. She was born on April 5, 1920, in Madison, the daughter of Jacob and Anna (Koch) Esser. She graduated from Central High School. Veronica was married to Joseph Tisserand on Nov. 3, 1938, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. She worked at Manchester's Department Store for over 20 years until the store closed. She was a member of the Catholic Women's Club, Elks Woman's Association and volunteered at St. Mary's Hospital. Veronica enjoyed playing euchre and bingo with her many friends at All Saints Community. She especially enjoyed going to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren's activities. Grandma was the best noodle baker in the world. Survivors include four children, Joe (Kay) of Madison, Pat (Paul) Swalve of Sun Prairie, Mary (Tom) Kohr of Cottage Grove and JoAnn (Tom) Vetter of Cottage Grove; 11 grandchildren, Vicki ( Scott), Traci (Brad), and Dan, Jeff (Tara) and Jenn, Casey and Jay, Jake (Kelly), Joey, Jessie and Jonnie; great-grandchildren, Melissa, Ashley, Olivia, Cassidi, and Noah, Hunter, Cade and Taylor. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Joe in 1982; and a sister, Helen Scoon in 1994. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Bernard's Catholic Church, 2015 Parmenter St., Middleton, WI. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008, at noon. Msgr. Douglas Dushack will officiate with burial in St. Mary's Cemetery, Oregon, WI. Friends and relatives may call at the JOYCE-RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 5701 Odana Road, Madison, WI on Monday, Feb. 11, 2008, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a rosary service at 7 p.m. A visitation will be held at the Church on Tuesday, after 11 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Catholic Charities (All Saints Assisted Living Center). Mom loved the holidays and lived to shop for her family. She will be missed by her family, and many friends as she touched so many lives. "We love you Mom, Grandma, and Great-Granny T. You will be in our hearts forever." Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home and Cremation Services 5701 Odana Road (608)

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on February 10, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Obituary: Graham "Gray" Perrett - Class of 1955

MADISON - Graham "Gray" Perrett was freed on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008, from the pain and suffering he's struggled with since having a stroke in November 2006. Gray was born on Oct. 12, 1937, in Devizes, Wiltshire, England. He came with his family to the Madison area after his oldest sister married a GI. Gray graduated from Central High School in 1955. He was a founding member of the Madison 56er Soccer Club and he retained a lifelong love of soccer. When health issues no longer allowed him to play the game he loved, Gray held many "jobs," such as games commissioner, referee commissioner, state board member, coach, etc. His last big soccer related event was watching nearly every televised match of the 2006 World Cup. Gray initially worked in the building trades but due to a back problem, he joined the automotive field, first as a salesman and finally, for the past 20 years, as the fleet manager for American Family Insurance. Gray loved nearly all sports, politics, world events and was a champion story teller, often embellishing the facts just enough to make it a really great tale! Gray is survived by his wife of nearly 25 years, Anita; children, Todd, Tammy (John) Koremenos and Tracy; stepchildren, Colleen (Kent) Humphrey, Valerie (Matt) Savarie and Betsy (Carl) Pyper; 10 grandchildren; sisters, Beryl McDermott, Eileen Gibbs, and "daddy's little girl," Patches. He was preceded in death by a son, Jeff; and a sister, June. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, on Friday, Feb. 8, 2008, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gray's charity of choice, the Boy Scouts, or to Attic Angel Place or HospiceCare. The family wishes to give a special thank you to the kind and loving staffs of both HospiceCare and Attic Angel Place, who made Gray's last months so much more comfortable! Gray had a big and loving heart, and will be deeply missed. "One final "ta ta" to my loveable Limey. We love you always. God bless!" Gunderson East Funeral and Cremation Centers 5203 Monona Drive (608) 221-5420

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on February 6, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Obituary: Elizabeth "Betty" Binger O'Keefe

MADISON - Elizabeth "Betty" O'Keefe, age 72, died on Monday, Feb. 4, 2008, at her home. She was born on Nov. 14, 1935, in Madison, the daughter of Leon F. and Isabelle (Schillinger) Binger. Betty graduated from Central High School. She had worked at Great Lakes Higher Education, Forest Products and Oakwood Lutheran Home. Survivors include a son, Damian O'Keefe, of Burlington, Kan.; a daughter, Dawn Murphy of Oshkosh; sisters, Donna (JP) Vaughn and Mary O'Keefe of Madison; a brother, Leon (Madeline) Binger of Madison; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; and her brothers, James, Robert and Edward Binger. A Memorial contribution may be made to the American Lung Association. A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. JAMES CATHOLIC CHURCH, 1134 St. James Court, Madison, on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2008, at 10:30 a.m. Monsignor Thomas Baxter will officiate with inurnment in Resurrection Cemetery. Friends may call after 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, at the church until the time of service. Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home and Cremation Services 5701 Odana Road (608) 274-1000

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on February 6, 2008