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 post-graduate 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 today, 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.