Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Beverly Jane "Bev" Higgins

Beverly Jane “Bev” Higgins, 64, of Baraboo, moved on to her eternal home on Friday, June 23, 2017 surrounded by her loving family after a lengthy battle with an early onset form of dementia, frontotemporal degeneration (FTD). While she took her beautiful smile with her, Bev left behind wonderful memories of the intelligent, committed, and kind person she was. Bev was born on March 11, 1953 in Baraboo, to Lester and Betty (Decker) Wendt. She grew up with her seven siblings on a dairy farm near Merrimac. Bev attended Sauk Prairie High School, and later went on to graduate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison 1987 class with a degree in Education. On April 6, 1974 she married the love of her life, Gene David Higgins at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Baraboo, and they had one child, Hillarie Jean Higgins. Passionate about community issues, Bev was actively involved with the Baraboo Literacy Council, American Association of University Women, St. Clare Hospital Auxiliary, St. Johns Ladies Aid and Flower Committee, and other volunteer groups. She served as an interim elementary educator in the Madison, Baraboo, and Wisconsin Dells school systems. In addition, Bev held her small plane pilot’s license until the time of her daughter’s birth, and later served as a Ski-Wee downhill ski instructor at Devil’s Head Resort. Bev loved music and the arts, and was quite proud of attending the first three years of the Madison Blues Festival, and introducing her daughter to Julian Lennon through attending an intimate performance. Her love for flowers and nature was evident in the elaborate gardens she nurtured throughout her life, and her passion for cooking was appreciated by her family and close friends. Her imaginative mind, compassionate heart, and strong spirit brightened the world around her. She will be deeply missed, and not a day will go by without warm thoughts of her. Her family and friends look forward to seeing her again. Bev is survived by her loving daughter and son-in-law, Hillarie Higgins and David Mueller; three brothers, Lon and Mike Wendt, and Richard (Jan) Decker; two sisters, Barb (Ron) Dobrinska and Becky (Gary) Jenkins; brother-in-law, James Higgins; two sister-in-laws, Nancy Higgins and Rosemary Wendt; aunt, Evelyn (Gene) Thompson; and many dear nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She now goes to meet her beloved husband of 40 years, Gene Higgins; her father and mother, Lester (Betty) Wendt; her eldest brother, Larry Wendt and brother, Joe Duvall; two nephews, Cameron and Nick Wendt; father-in-law and mother-in-law, John (Dahlia) Higgins: brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Richard (Shirley) Kaestner; and her uncle-in-law, Peter Higgins. Funeral services will be held at 12 p.m. noon on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Baraboo, with Pastor Nick Maglietto officiating. Visitation will be at the church on Saturday from 10 a.m. until time of service. Memorial contributions if desired may be made to the family. The Family would like to thank the staff at Agrace Hospice for the care given to Beverly. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Freda Leona (Denman) Neesam

Portage - Freda Leona (Denman) Neesam, 86, of Portage, passed away on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at American Way Memory Care in Portage. Freda was born on April 28, 1931 in rural Richland Center, the daughter of Elmer and Edna (Shaw) Denman. Survivors include her four children, Stanley Tucker and Susan Sumaya of California, Earl Tucker and Sally Tucker of Wisconsin; two grandchildren; a brother, Fredrick Denman of Wisconsin; and a sister, Agnes Burns of Iowa. In addition to her parents, Freda was preceded in death by a son, Gary Tucker; 15 brothers and seven sisters. A Memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at Pleasant Ridge Church, 28450 County Road D, Richland Center. Burial will take place in the church cemetery following the service. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St., Baraboo, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sharon Lee (Linde) Hillmer

Sharon Lee (Linde) Hillmer, 80, of Baraboo, began her eternal life on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Sharon was born Oct. 22, 1936 in Madison to Dorothy Susan Harris and Carl Gjermund Linde. She graduated from Central High School in Madison and later attended the University of Wisconsin Baraboo extension. Sharon married Roger “Bud” Martin Hillmer on March 3, 1956. After Bud’s college graduation they moved back to his hometown of Baraboo. They raised their four children as well as numerous foster children and welcomed anyone as family into their home. Sharon spent her career as a medical transcriptionist working at the University Hospital in Madison after winning a typing competition for speed and accuracy. She continued to work for the hospitals in Baraboo and local private physicians until a car accident crippled her. Sharon could often be found answering the phone at the family business, perusing her catalogs and engaging in long conversations with whomever walked in the door. She enjoyed couples club at church and the church choir, the Jaycettes, Baraboo Theater Guild, and the Lyle Greenwood and Fairfield Fiddlers earlier in her life. Sharon had been a part of the First Methodist Church and Walnut Hill Bible Church during her life in Baraboo. Many do not know because of her humility, but Sharon was a gifted artist, a talented violinist and had a lovely warm voice (but it was drowned out by Bud’s booming to the heavens). Sharon worked at Renewal Unlimited helping community members rebuild lives and homes. She volunteered for two decades with Bud at Self Help Ministries where they assisted Wisconsin inmates to rehabilitate back into the community. She always looked for and believed there was good in everyone. After her accident, Sharon ran away with the circus, luckily it was just a few blocks away and it ran away with her heart. For over 25 years she volunteered at Circus World Museum, attended circus activities and donating to circus events. She embraced the nickname “Grandma Circus” and looked forward to seeing repeat families visiting year after year. For almost five years Sharon has resided at St. Clare Meadows where she was president of the resident council. She loved her resident neighbors and staff and will be truly missed by all who knew her. Survivors include her son, Jon, wife Debbie; daughters, Pam Marquie, husband Tom, Susan Hillmer, Carol Keepers, husband Daniel; grandchildren, Elise Payne, husband Frank, Merrick Marquie, wife Ashton, Maureen Marquie, Linde VanSlyke and Kenny Bell; great grandchildren, Guthrie, Ivy, Violet, Vlad and Gavrila; a brother, Ken Linde, wife Denise; a sister, Jean Flansburgh, husband Roy; loving nieces and nephew as well as numerous foster children and countless friends. She was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, Bud; and her parents Dorothy and Carl. A Memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 at Walnut Hill Bible Church, 1900 East St., Baraboo. Visitation will be at the church from 10 a.m. until time of service with a luncheon immediately following. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St., Baraboo, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Dean G. Gray

Dean G. Gray, 80, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, May 12, 2017, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. Dean was born in Sparta, WI, on March 25, 1937, the son of Louis and Lorna (Kuehl) Gray. He grew up in Tomah and graduated from Tomah High School in 1955. Dean continued his education at the University of Wisconsin-Stout where he met his future wife Lois. They were united in marriage on Sept. 28, 1957, in Dubuque, Iowa. They made their home in Baraboo raising their young family while Dean worked for the next 18 years as a salesman of drafting and computer equipment for AM Bruning. In 1990 he opened Baraboo Sign Co, working with his youngest son in computer-aided design and graphics until retiring in 2005. In his spare time, he enjoyed many years of teaching his sons moto-cross racing. His family meant so much to him and was the highlight of his life; in his later years he especially enjoyed making weekly phone calls to his kids and grandchildren. Dean will be truly missed by his family and friends. Survivors include his wife, Lois of 59 ½ years; four children, Renae (Joe) Huinker, Todd (RaeAnn) Gray, Kara (Brad) Gunderson, and Morgan Gray; five grandchildren, Markee (fiance’ Troy), Austin, Connor, Ryan and Anna; a sister, Donna Roeske; and other relatives and friends. Dean was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother-in-law and good friend, Lon Roeske. A family celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Memorials in memory of Dean may be given to the family. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St., Baraboo, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sandra L. Mortensen

Sandra L. Mortensen, 69, of Baraboo passed away on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at St. Clare Hospital. Sandra was born on July 28, 1947 in Stevens Point, the daughter of Clarence and Inez (Turner) Kelly. She was a graduate of Baraboo High School and in December of 1965, married Donald Mortensen. In her free time, Sandra enjoyed arts and crafts, being a Cub Scout den mother and camping. Survivors include her husband, Donald; son, Todd (Julie McCulley) Mortensen; three grandchildren, Jacob Mortensen, Austin Eccles, Allysa Siebert; and good friend, Susan Maybee. Sandra was preceded in death by her parents; son, Jeffery; sister, Susan O’Donnel; and mother and father-in-law, Charles (Evelyn) Mortensen. A Memorial visitation will take place on Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. noon at the Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St., Baraboo.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Alice Inga (Leege) Schroeder

Alice Inga (Leege) Schroeder, 88, of Reedsburg, passed away on Sunday, April 16, 2017 at Sauk County Health Care Center in Reedsburg. Alice was born on August 18, 1928 in Newport Township in Columbia County, the daughter of Christian and Inga (Anderson) Leege. On June 18, 1949 Alice was united in marriage to Charles Schroeder at Newport Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Dells. He preceded her in death on March 29, 2011. After their marriage, they farmed in the Wisconsin Dells area for many years. Graduating as a teacher from County Normal School in Columbus, she taught in several area schools. Survivors include her three sons, James (Karen) Schroeder of Reedsburg, Robert (Susan) Schroeder of Arizona, Kenneth (Teresa) Schroeder of Brookfield; sister, Janice Martin of Illinois; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren; and a sister-in-law, Shirley Leege of Wisconsin Dells. In addition to her parents and husband, Alice was preceded in death by two brothers, Walter and Carl Leege; and a sister, Arlene Homeier. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 624 East St., Baraboo, with Pastor Nicholas Maglietto officiating. Visitation will be at the church on Thursday from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Interment will take place in Silver Lake Cemetery in Portage at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to a charity of one’s choice. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St, Baraboo, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Mildred E. "Millie" Canepa

Midred E. “Millie” Canepa, 85, of Baraboo passed away at her residence on Thursday, March 30, 2017 surrounded by her loving family. Millie was born on April 30, 1931 in rural Douglas County, the daughter of Harold and Sarah “Esther” (Gemmill) Swanson. She graduated valedictorian of Superior East High School in 1949 and continued her education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. She moved to Reedsburg where she was editor-in-chief of the Reedsburg Times Press and a stringer for the Milwaukee Journal. Millie met her future husband John Michael Canepa through the Baraboo Theatre Guild. They were united in marriage on Nov. 10, 1956 at St. Joseph Catholic Church. He preceded her in death on Aug. 18, 1977. Millie and her husband John were founders of the Sauk County Artist Association and the Art Fair on the Square. In her later years, she formed the Sauk County Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and started the first ever Project Self Help and Peer Support Program. In her spare time, Millie enjoyed gardening, making jewelry, traveling with her children and caring for her grandchildren. Millie was a music and arts lover which was reflected in her attitude toward life. Survivors include her five children, Sarah (Steven) Bang of Camas, Washington, Lucy (Brian) Peters of Stevens Point, Mary Rose Canepa of Baraboo, Joseph Canepa of Baraboo and John (Meg) Canepa of Grafton; three grandchildren, Angela (Brad) Shirley of Stuttgart, Germany, Ian Peters of Eagan, Minnesota and Katlyn Canepa of Eau Claire; a brother, John “Jody” (Doreen) Swanson and their daughter, Andrea of Brule; two sisters-in-law, Anna Swanson and her children Elizabeth and Walter of Brule and Kathleen Canepa of Westlake, Ohio; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. In additions to her parents and husband, Mille was preceded in death by her brothers, Harold “Emmett” Swanson and James Swanson, both of Brule. A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 304 East St., Baraboo, with Fr. Jay Poster officiating. Visitation will be at the church from 9:30 a.m. until time of mass. Interment will take place in St. Joseph Cemetery. A rosary will be recited at 9 a.m. on Tuesday in memory of Millie. Memorials may be given to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI South Central Wisconsin Inc.) P.O. Box 371 Baraboo, WI. 53913. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St., Baraboo, is assisting the family with arrangements.