Sunday, June 28, 2009

Obituary: Charles D. "Chuck" Conners

JANESVILLE - Charles D."Chuck" Conners , age 62, of Janesville, passed away on Thursday, June 25, 2009, due to a tragic fall. He was born on July 23, 1946, in Madison, the son of Lester and Ann (Sklencar) Conners. Chuck worked as a painter for many years for his longtime friends Bill and Leila Wells and their children, and Jason and Carla Yancy and their children. He was also a talented handyman. Chuck always left a project unfinished so he had something to come back to. Chuck enjoyed fishing the Yahara river and listening to country music. He also enjoyed taking his dog "Buck" on long walks on the shore of Lake Michigan. Chuck loved to get up every morning and get a cup of coffee and some scratch off lottery tickets. He is survived by his wife, JoAnn Conners; children, Troy (Renee) Sater, April (Eric Schwoegler) Conners, and Charles (Katie Shaw) Conners Jr.; grandchildren, Matthew Huss, Megan (Justin Smith) Sater, Troy James Sater, Courtney Sater, Christopher Fields, Cody Sater, Braxton Conners, and Deven Conners-Shaw; his faithful and trusted friend and companion, his dog Buck; a brother, Bob (Betty) Conners; his two best friends, Steve (Trish) Gile and Jerry Bly; a special nephew, Michael Rohner, who he loved like a son. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Chuck was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Richard, Thomas, John, Michael, Jimmy and Donnie; and sisters, Margaret, Franny and Pat. Funeral services will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 30, 2009. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Monday, June 29, 2009, and from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday. A special thank you to all the friends and family for all the special times throughout Chuck's life. Gunderson East Funeral and Cremation Centers 5203 Monona Drive (608) 221-5420

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on June 28, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Obituary: Robert Grilley - Class of 1938

MADISON - Robert Grilley, age 88, died in Madison on Monday, June 15, 2009. He was born in Beloit on November 14, 1920, to Robert Earl Grilley and Ella Louise (Cruger) Grilley, but spent most of his childhood in Lancaster and Madison. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1942 with high senior honors in Art and English. Following his lifelong love of airplanes, he received his pilot's license through the Civilian Pilot Training Program in 1940 and remained a pilot until age 80. After graduation, he enrolled as an aviation cadet and became a B-17 navigator during World War II (8th Air Force), flying 30 missions over Germany. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Presidential Unit Citation and ETO with two Bronze Battle Stars. Upon returning to Madison after World War II, he earned a Master's degree and joined the UW Art Department faculty in 1945, where he taught life drawing and painting for 42 years. He was selected by a prominent group of individuals representing Art in America as one of the country's rising new talents as a painter in 1957. He was chair of the Graduate Art Program from 1960-65, of the Art Department from 1962-65 and conferred Professor Emeritus status upon retirement in 1987. Professor Grilley was an inspiring teacher, respected figure painter, and later in his career chose to focus much of his work on family and friends. He completed several commissioned portraits of prominent Wisconsin leaders and is represented in permanent collections of the Butler Institute of American Art, De Beers Collection, Wichita Art Museum, Nelson Rockefeller Collection, Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Krannet Art Museum, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, UW Memorial Union and Wisconsin Historical Society. In 1985, he won Best-in-Show at the Butler Museum of American Art. He had a large retrospective show in the Wichita Museum of Art in 1987, and another at the UW Memorial Union in 2005. In a creative departure from visual arts, he wrote about the juxtaposition of war and art in his memoir, Return From Berlin: The Eye of a Navigator published by the UW Press in 2003 and later internationally by the Pen and Sword Press in England (2005). He is survived by his loving wife, Ei; daughters, Rinelda and Juneko (Andy); sons, Rob and Dorian (Margie); grandson, Davis; granddaughter, Clare; and many other family and friends. Happy Father's Day! Plans for a Memorial Service are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the University of Wisconsin Foundation "Great people.Great place." initiative."

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on June 21, 2009.

Note: Robert Grilley's class year is based on information in the 1938 Orange & Black yearbook. The photograph accompanying this post is a scan of his senior photo.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Obituary: Caroline Mack

MADISON - Caroline Mack, passed away on Thursday June 11, 2009, at Oak Park Nursing Home. She was always surrounded by loved ones. Caroline was born on Sept. 26, 1908, in Madison, where she lived her entire life. She married John W. Mack on Aug. 2, 1929. After two years of Madison Central High School, Caroline attended Madison Vocational School, learning typing and bookkeeping. She worked in those professions at Quality Service Laundry, and later at UW Heating Plant, from which she retired. Besides being devoted to her family, Caroline enjoyed crocheting and made hundreds of mittens for donation. She also usually wrote poems for her loved ones on their birthdays. Caroline is survived by her children, John (Joyce) Mack of Traverse City, Mich, James (Ruth) Mack of Beaver Dam and Carol Neuhauser of Madison; sister, Marion Trachte of McFarland; 10 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; 12 great-great-grandchildren; and sisters-in-law, LaVonna Brandt of Grafton, Mass., and Lila Mack of Lodi. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, John, in 1988; two brothers; two sisters; son-in-law, Charles Neuhauser; and many other loved in-laws. Funeral services will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 15, 2009. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park. A visitation will be held at the funeral home from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m., on Sunday, June 14, 2009, and on Monday from 9 a.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg, or to a charity of your choice. Gunderson East Funeral and Cremation Centers 5203 Monona Drive (608) 221-5420

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on June 12, 2009

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Obituary: Annabelle "Ann" (Simpa) Gallagher - Class of 1930

MADISON - Annabelle "Ann" Gallagher, age 97, died on Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at HospiceCare Inc. in Madison, surrounded by her family. She was born on April 4, 1912, in Madison, the daughter of Jacob and Anna Marie (Johnson) Simpa. In 1930, Ann graduated Summa Cum Laude from Central High School in Madison and in 1934, she graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a B.A. in Latin and a teaching certificate. After her graduation, although she was offered a teaching position at Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, she declined it to care for her ailing mother. In 1936, Ann was hired as an analyst by the then-pilot program of the State of Wisconsin, Workers Compensation Commission, which at that time relied upon voluntary contributions from covered employers to fund employee benefits. On March 31, 1940, Ann married John F. Gallagher who, until his death in 1989, owned and operated the John Gallagher Company (established by his grandfather in 1880) with his brother, Jim. Ann left State employment in 1949 to care for her husband and growing family. Ann is survived by her sister, Mrs. Florence Doty of Bettendorf, Iowa; and her three daughters, Katharine Hilmer of Wilmington, Del., Sharon Gallagher of Oshkosh, and Pamela Gallagher of Madison; as well as her six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Ann was a member of Holy Redeemer Church and Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church. She volunteered at UW Hospitals and the Madison Public Library. Ann was a lifelong learner who participated in the UW-Madison's guest student program for more than 20 years. Ann instilled her love of learning in her daughters and her grandchildren. Her wit, intelligence, generosity and strength will be greatly missed by her family and friends. The family is deeply grateful to the doctors and staff of St. Mary's Hospital and to HospiceCare Inc., for making Ann's last days so much easier. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2009, at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to HospiceCare Inc., 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711. Cress Funeral and Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on June 7, 2009

Obituary: Lawrence G. "Larry" Kelliher - Class of 1949

MADISON - Lawrence G. "Larry" Kelliher, age 78, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 2, 2009. He was a lifelong resident of Madison. Larry was a 1949 graduate of Central High School, and received his bachelor of arts, and master's degrees on organ performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1954. While attending UW-Madison, he was a TA for organ majors and an accompanist for many choral groups and eight voice studios. Larry served in the United States Army in Korea from 1953-1954. He was the organist and director of music at Trinity Lutheran Church from 1957-1960 and at Bethel Lutheran Church from 1960-1992. From 1994-1996, Larry was the organist and choir/handbell director at St. Luke's Church in Middleton. Larry served as the organist for the First Unitarian Society, Luther Memorial, Holy Cross, Grace Episcopal, First Congregational, St. John's, and Central Lutheran churches in Madison. Before retiring, he was the choir director/organist at Monona Lutheran Church. He also served as an organist for the Madison Symphony. Larry was a past president of the Breakfast Optimist Club, and was the dean of the Madison Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. Lawrence was preceded in death by his father, Raymond in 1972; and his mother, Margaret in 2005. He is survived by his three brothers, Wayne (Mary), Ray (Patti Wheeler) and David (Rita); and his six children, Sally (Brian Huegel), Thomas (Gina), Mary, Nancy, Susan (Keith Kinion) and Robert (Teri). He is also survived by four grandchildren, Allison (Mary), Grant and Ryan (Robert), and Erin (Thomas). A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2009, at BETHEL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 312 Wisconsin Ave., with visitation from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to the Pet Therapy Program at St. Mary's Hospital. The family would like to thank the staff of St. Mary's Care Center for their loving and compassionate care. Cress Funeral and Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on June 7, 2009

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Obituary: Clarence Joseph Esser - Class of 1943

ORLANDO, FLA.- Clarence Joseph Esser, age 84, passed away on Monday, June 1, 2009. He was born in Madison, May 13, 1925, to Lawrence and Paulina (Michels) Esser. After graduating from Central High School in Madison in 1943, he attended the University of Wisconsin where he excelled as an outstanding tackle on the football field. He was the most valuable player in 1944 and 1945, and captain in 1946. He played professional football for the 1947 Chicago Cardinals. They won the NFL Championship that year beating the Philadelphia Eagles (28 - 21). Andrea Adelson wrote an article in the Orlando Sentinel, prior to the 2009 Super Bowl, about Clarence and his football history. After football he was a salesman and manager, primarily in the field of insurance. He moved his family from Wisconsin to Jacksonville, Fla., in 1948. He lived in the Orlando area since 1975. He is survived by his daughter, Susan Esser Neet (Fred) of Minneapolis, Minn.; his stepdaughters, Ruth Becker (Ed), Cindi Post (George), Kay Franklin, Ronna Clayton and their mother Anita Esser all of Tampa, Fla.; brothers, Arnold Esser (Sally) of Kenosha, Norbert Esser (Sue) of Greenville, S.C., and Vincent Esser (Lillian) of Danville, Calif.; sister, Laverna Schittone of Oak Creek; sister-in-law, Joyce Anderson of Madison; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brothers, Raymond and Lawrence. The family wishes to thank his favorite neighbors, the Smith Family: Darla, Bob, Derek and Summer, who were always there for him. Roxie and Ernie will miss him too. The family respectfully requests that donations be made to Hospice of the Comforter in his honor, 480 W. Central Parkway, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, (407) 682-0808.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on June 4, 2009