Sunday, April 03, 2011

Obituary: LaRhee (Wrend) Esse - Class of 1962

MADIOSN -LaRhee (Wrend) Esse died peacefully at home on Monday, March 28, 2011.
She was born in Madison on March 3, 1944. LaRhee is survived by her husband of 41 years, Gary Esse of Madison; sons, Paul (Tami) and his children, Sydney and Garrett Esse of Deforest, Erick Esse of Madison, and David Esse of Burlington; brothers, George Wrend of Florida, John (Donna) Wrend of Monona and Ben (Joyce) Wrend of Adams, Mass. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ben and Bernadette Wrend.

LaRhee graduated from Central High School in Madison in 1962. After high school, she went to M.A.T.C. and became a Licensed Practical Nurse, practicing at Madison General Hospital. After her career in nursing, LaRhee became a dedicated mother to her three boys and provided support to her husband's business. Being from Sicilian descent, she always said "once you are a friend, you are a friend for life." This statement was evident from the many friendships she had that lasted over 50 years with friends from elementary school. She was always there to support friends or provide a quick laugh when needed. Many people often joked about LaRhee's relationship with friend, Charlene. After years of having to explain to people their relationship, they finally gave in and declared themselves as "sisters."

LaRhee had a strong passion for traveling and visited many places throughout Europe and the U.S. with friends and family. Some of her favorite places to reminisce about were Italy, France, Ireland and Sicily. She also enjoyed spending time at the family cabin in northern Wisconsin watching loons swim and the hummingbirds fly.

With support of Dr. Huie and Nurse Sandy at UW Hospital, numerous friends and close family, LaRhee remained positive during her fight with cancer and was truly a role model for those that knew her. She was always known for her generosity and willingness to give rather than receive.

Funeral services will be held at BETHEL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 312 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, 2011, with the Rev. William White presiding. Visitation will be at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2011. LaRhee was a wife, mother, friend and mentor to many. She will be dearly missed.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on April 3, 2011 (submitted by Michael Vahldieck, Class of 1968)

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