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

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