Laura M. Wilson (nee Mariani)

Sept. 8, 1921 – May 16, 2010

Laura M. Wilson (nee Mariani), a longtime resident of Waukesha, passed away Sunday, May 16, 2010, at the age of 88. She was born Sept. 8, 1921, daughter of Pasquale and Maria (nee DeStefanis) Mariani.

Laura attended local schools and was a proud 1939 graduate of Waukesha High School. She continued her education at the Vocational School, was married and lived for a brief time in California and Tennessee. Laura returned to Waukesha, volunteered and worked at various jobs, including the American Cancer Society and was a longtime bookkeeper for South Side Pharmacy and later Waukesha Wholesale Electric. She was a lifetime member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and had been involved with many church activities. She was active in the park and recreation field trips and participated with dear friends in swim and card clubs. She was an expert seamstress and cook, and was admired for her skills. In addition, Laura enjoyed gardening in her yard, tending her grape vines and crocheting. Her greatest joy was attending family events, special occasions and school activities. She was devoted to and cherished by her family and will be sadly missed by her girls, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends.

She was an adored and loving mother to her three girls – her "Merry Maids" and caregivers – Christine, Linda and Mary Ann. Laura is survived by her daughters, Linda (Eric) Peterson of Waukesha and Arizona and Mary Ann (Edward) Pleva, also of Waukesha. Laura will be lovingly remembered by her grandchildren, Cindy (Gerard) Schwichtenberg, Jeff (Kris) Schmidt, Valerie (Chris Mann) Schmidt, Tony Pleva (fiancée Belle), Kimberly (Ryan) Berka and Andrew Pleva (fiancée Krista); and her great-grandchildren, Kaitlin, Alissa and Natalie Schwichtenberg, Amanda and Paige Schmidt and Soleil Pleva. She also leaves behind her brother, Carmel (Carol) Mariani of Sun City, Ariz.; her sisters, Frances Bucci of Waukesha, Alice (Dollie) Pfeffer and Ann (Art) Tennessen, both of Sun City; as well as other relatives, neighbors and friends.

Laura was preceded in death by her parents; her dear daughter, Christine Schmidt; and her son-in-law, Wayne Nielson.

The family would like to give special thanks to the kind and compassionate care given by Dora Rodriguez, the Virginia Health and Rehabilitation Center and Waukesha Memorial Hospital 2 SW staff.

Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. until the 11 a.m. Mass of Christian burial Saturday, May 22, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 822 N. East Ave., Waukesha. Entombment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in Waukesha.

Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, Cremation and Pre-Planning Services is serving the family. For further information, please call 542-6609, or for directions, an online obituary or to leave a condolence, please visit www.waukeshasfuneralhome.com.