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