Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thomas E. "Torchy" Torseth

Thomas E. Torseth, 91, of Baraboo, formally of Minnesota, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, at SSM Health-St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo.
Tom was born on Aug. 5, 1926, to John and Alvilda (Rognerud) Torseth in International Falls, Minnesota. After meeting the love of his life on a blind date, Tom shared 67 years of wedded bliss with his bride, Beverly. Affectionately known as “Torchy” by friends and family alike, Tom was an innovator and an artist. After serving briefly with the US Navy, he returned home to attend the Minneapolis School of Art and Design. He then continued to work in the family business with Jack, his dad, until Berg-Torseth, Inc. was sold. As a businessman, Tom was involved with the Lake Elmo Lions Club, St. Paul 49er’s, and St. Paul Rotary Club. After 43 years of running the family business, he retired in Lakeland Shores, Minnesota and Rio Verde, Arizona before moving to Baraboo in late 2015.
With a flair for storytelling and a knack for playful elaboration, Tom always had a tale to tell. Among his most entertaining accounts were memories of perfect spring days working at the farmhouse in Lake Elmo, summer nights spent being with family at the North Shore, autumn mornings hunting in Montana, and escaping the winter blues by golfing in Arizona. Across all of his stories were themes of friendship, family, and a deep, understated admiration for those around him. 
Torchy was an avid reader, though his meticulously organized collection of volumes consisted solely of grilling cookbooks, appliance manuals, and hardware catalogues. He spent hours in his workshop “making sawdust.” His workshop was crammed with a striking mix of power tools and paintbrushes. The process of bringing ideas to life was perhaps what meant most to Torchy, whether that was in art, business, or family.
In many ways, Tom refused to give in to the idea of growing old. He had a ceaseless desire to learn; he faced the transition from floppy disk to the cloud with stubborn enthusiasm and was determined to stay ahead of the “old man curve.” He loved as fiercely as he studied, and played as hard as he worked. Torchy had a big personality, a big heart, and led a big and beautiful life.
Thomas is survived by his wife, Beverly; children, Kim (Bill Conroy) Torseth of St. Paul and Amy (Tim) Teelin of Baraboo; as well as his many grandchildren and great grandchildren, including Thomas N. Torseth Jr. and his daughter Tianna, Stephanie (Timo Gee) Torseth and their children Alex, Aren, and Amari, Andi (Tony) and Jason Krunnfusz, Joe and Erin Conroy; and extended family, Antoinette (Donald) Brady and their daughter Isabella, and Jordan Jensen. He is also survived by his siblings, John (Julie) Torseth, Delores Hodgson, Arthur (Joanne) Torseth, and James (Cara) Torseth. Thomas was preceded in death by his parents, John and Alvilda; his son, Thomas N. Torseth Sr.; and mother-and father-in-law, Leslie and Margaret Larson.
A Memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 at the First Presbyterian Church, 416 Ash St., in Baraboo, with Pastor Lisa Newberry officiating. Visitation will be at the church on Thursday from 10 a.m. until time of service. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Torchy’s honor to Habitat for Humanity: The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St., Baraboo, is assisting the family with arrangements.



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Steven Edwin Schwartz

Steven Edwin Schwartz, age 56, of Baraboo, passed away unexpectedly on Monday July 17, 2017 at University Hospital in Madison with his loving family by his side. Steve was born in Prairie du Sac on Sept. 30, 1960 to the late Walter and Kathryn (Pletzer) Schwartz. He was an honest hardworking family man and a dedicated machinist for 38 years at Servo Instruments. Steve adored his grandchildren and always had a joke to tell with a big smile on his face. He will be truly missed by everyone who knew him. Survivors include his loving wife of 33 years, Laurie; their daughters, Heather (JR) Koeller, Melanie (Carl) Schwartz, and Brandi Schwartz; granddaughters, Randi, Riley, Stevey, and Emma-Lynn Schwartz; grandson, Peyton Schwartz; sibling, Jeff (Sharon) Schwartz; many nieces and nephews other relatives and friends. In addition to his parents, Steve was preceded in death by a son, Steven Joseph Schwartz; and a sister, Nancy Enerson. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at the Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home in Baraboo with Deacon Tom Hale officiating. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until time of service. Burial will take place in Otter Creek Cemetery in the Township of Sumpter. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St., Baraboo, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Charles Fredrick Barnes

Charles Fredrick Barnes, 92, of Baraboo, succumbed to his struggle with heart disease on Thursday, July 6, 2017 at St. Clare Meadows Care Center surrounded by his loving family. Charles was born the son of Ora Joshua and Winifred Irene (Burgess) Barnes on June 1, 1925 in Ironton. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force serving his country during world war two as a pilot and gunner. Charles enjoyed carpentry and worked as a general contractor for over 30 years and was a great mechanic until he was forced to retire due to his illness. In his spare time he enjoyed flying, reading Louie L’Amour and watching western movies. Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Joan; nine children, Diane Anderson of Waupun, David (Wanda) Barnes of Weogufka, Alabama, Donald (Tammy) Barnes of Spring Green, Doug (Denise) Barnes of Beecher, Illinois, Duane (Shari) Barnes of Sauk City, Deb (Lenny) Zeman of Baraboo, Dennis (Deb) Barnes of Beecher, Illinois, Dale (Pam) Barnes of Mount Horeb and Donna (Dan) Meise of Baraboo; 45 grandchildren, 77 great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren; a sister, Mildred Uphoff of Reedsburg; and other relatives and friends. In addition to his parents, Charles was preceded in death by a son, Daniel Barnes; and daughter-in-law, Erma Jean. Funeral services will be held at 12 p.m. noon on Friday, July 14, 2017 at the Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, Baraboo, with Pastor Randy Zeman officiating. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until time of service. Charles will be laid to rest at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Excelsior Township, with military rites provided by the VFW Greenwood Memorial Post #987. In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to the family. A luncheon will be served at Corson Square, 920 10th St., Baraboo, following the burial. The family would like to thank the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital and St. Clare Meadows Care Center for the loving care and support. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St., Baraboo, is assisting the family with arrangements.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Susan Ann Jernander-Bochler

Susan Ann Jernander-Bochler, 56, of Baraboo, passed away on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 following a short illness at St Mary's Hospital in Madison. Susan was born on July 7, 1960 at the Great Lakes Naval Base in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, and was the daughter of Burton and Inge (Kellert) Jernander. With Susan’s father being in the military, the family relocated to army bases in Alaska, Missouri, and Colorado before finally settling in Baraboo in 1972. Susan was a 1978 graduate of Baraboo Senior High School. She graduated from MATC Reedsburg with a degree in Stenography in 1982, and later returned to school graduating from Edgewood College in Madison with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 1996. After meeting in junior high school in 1974, she married her best friend Dayl Bochler on June 6, 1984. Since Dayl was in the Navy, the two moved around the country, living on Mare Island in Vallejo California, San Diego California, Glenview Illinois, before returning to Baraboo. The two loved traveling together. While Susan worked many jobs throughout her lifetime, her most recent was as an auditor for Ho-Chunk Casino in Baraboo. Susan is survived by her best friend, Dayl Bochler; her siblings, Joachim “Joe” (Tina) Jernander of Dublin, Georgia, Betty (Randy) Van Diver of Janesville, and Bernard (Lisa) Jernander of Reedsburg; nieces and nephews, Christopher and Nicole Jernander, Miranda Coplien, David and Brian Kyster, Kelsey Draves and Alex Jernander; and great nieces and nephews, Ryan, Hunter and Sydney Coplien, August and Samson Draves. Susan is further survived by a very special lifelong friend; Louann Franke-Jones; aunts and uncles in Germany; along with many other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents. A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at Walnut Hill Bible Church in Baraboo, with Pastor David Hutchens officiating. Visitation will be at the church from 1 p.m. until time of service with fellowship to follow the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Sauk County Humane Society or to the family for donations in Susan’s honor. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St., Baraboo, is assisting the family with arrangements.

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, 520 East St., Baraboo, 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.