Louise Ann ‘Dewey’ Guequierre Roll

Nov. 12, 1913 – Dec. 7, 2010

Louise Ann "Dewey" Guequierre Roll passed away Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010. She was born Nov. 12, 1913, to John and Ella (nee Schimmelfennig) Fenske in Milwaukee.

Her father, a fireman, was killed in the great Goodyear Tire Factory fire two weeks before her birth. She was known to everyone throughout her life as "Dewey," so named by her older sister Meta, who, as a 2-year-old, could not pronounce "Louise." She graduated from Milwaukee’s North Division High School and attended Brown’s Business College. Starting work, she saved until she could afford to attend nursing school, graduating from St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing. She did postgraduate work in obstetrics and gynecology at New York Lying Inn. Although her real dream was to attend medical school, a financial obstacle too great for a struggling single-parent household, she was a dedicated, caring nurse until her retirement at the age of 70. She worked at St. Mary’s until 1946, periodically at Waukesha Memorial Hospital in the 1950s and 1960s, then at the Woodland Health Centers’ Virginia Nursing Home in Waukesha until 1984.

While at St. Mary’s, a young patient, Gerald H. "Jerry" Guequierre, found her entrancing, courted her and then married her Nov. 17, 1941, just before he left with the 32nd Division of the U.S. Army for 3 1/2 years of combat duty in the South Pacific. During World War II, when many doctors were called to the armed services, Dewey was asked to step up and administer the St. Mary’s obstetrics department, for which service she received a commendation from President Roosevelt. Jerry returned to Milwaukee after VE Day in 1945 with a Bronze Star and Purple Heart to resume his career as a funeral director. In September 1946, they bought a funeral home in Mukwonago. To help the business, Dewey also studied and obtained her license as a funeral director. They operated the Guequierre Funeral Home and an associated private ambulance service until 1970, when Jerry’s health problems necessitated a sale of the business. Afterward, they lived at two different locations on Lake Nagawika.

In Mukwonago, Dewey and Jerry raised three children who survive – John (Polly) of Goshen, Ind., James of Maui, Hawaii, and Thomas (Sherry) of Davenport, Fla. A daughter, Laura Lee, died shortly after her premature birth in 1960.

The family was active in numerous community activities, including the First Congregational United Church of Christ, Eastern Star, American Legion, VFW, PTA and many others. Dewey and Jerry founded the Mukwonago Community Foundation, a charitable organization assisting those with financial difficulties. They were always available to help those with emergencies and health problems.

Jerry died May 15, 1978. In 1982, friends introduced Dewey to a widowed and retired Marquette University Medical School professor, Paul Roll. They married in 1984 and moved to Paul’s native California, where they resided on a lovely home on a bluff overlooking Monterey Bay. To be closer to family and children, they returned to Wisconsin in 1990. Paul was a wonderful companion and a wonderful grandfather to Dewey’s grandchildren. They resided in Pewaukee until Dewey, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, moved to the Fairhaven complex in Whitewater in 2002, where she resided until her death. Paul died in an automobile accident in 2004.

Dewey is remembered for her caring spirit, leadership qualities, sense of humor (especially practical jokes) and nurturing love for her children and grandchildren. In addition to her three children, she is survived by five grandchildren, one great-grandchild and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. memorial service Wednesday, Dec. 29, at Schmidt & Bartelt-Van Valin Funeral Home, 315 Main St. (Highway ES), Mukwonago, followed by internment at Oak Knoll Cemetery in Mukwonago.

Memorials may be made to the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.

Schmidt & Bartelt-Van Valin Funeral and Cremation Services in Mukwonago is serving the family. For more information, call 363-7126 or visit online at www.schmidtandbartelt.com.