Donna Mae Mahler
Donna Mae Mahler, a longtime resident of Waukesha, passed away on April 25, 2016, age 84 at the home of her daughter Jacqueline in The Woodlands, Texas.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Eugene Mahler.
Survivors include daughters Jacqueline Goldman (Ron) of The Woodlands, Texas, and Susan Siegfried (Richard) of Muskego, and her grandchildren April Goldman-Sims (Cody) of Bishop, Calif., Rachael Siegfried of Dublin, Calif., and Tristan Siegfried of Muskego. She also leaves sister Clarice Watkins of Manitowish Waters; twin brother Donald Schultz of Vienna, Va.; and brothers Gerald Schultz (Julia) of Nellysford, Va., and Lewis Schultz of Manitowish Waters; as well as sister-inlaw Dona Chapman (Kelley) of Woodstock, Ga. She was also close to nieces Barbara Slingerland of Rochelle, Ill., and Leah Hwilka (Tony) of Waukesha, as well as many other nieces and nephews.
Her love was her family, especially her grandchildren. Her kind and gentle nature drew people to her, and she always had time to speak to a friend in need. Kids flocked to her because she made things fun. She was a popular Girl Scout leader and enjoyed the camping trips to Camp Chinook.
She was an excellent cook, and during the 1960s owned Topís Grill diner in downtown Waukesha. She was later manager of the cafeteria at Carroll College and the coffee shop at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, and also worked for Karterís Diner in Brookfield. At home, her family loved her boiled dinner, fried chicken, potato salad and baked custard, among other goodies.
She was born in 1932 during the Great Depression, in Mound Prairie Township, Houston County, Minnesota. Her parents were Clarence and Mildred (Tingle) Schultz, both descendants of the earliest pioneer settlers in Wisconsin. Her paternal grandparents were Otto and Elsie (Guntly) Schultz, with maternal grandparents being George Tingle and Maud Orr.
Shortly after her birth, the family farm was lost due to flooding and low crop prices, and they moved to northern Illinois, where her father worked at a paint factory. She remembered that he had to take lettuce sandwiches to work. Eventually things improved, and after a sojourn in Northern Michigan, where they lived on the farm of a great-aunt and great-uncle who still lived as though in the 19th century, they returned to Illinois, where her father became a farm manager for the Lehmann family and later the Crown family in Wauconda. She attended college at Bloomington/ Normal, and in 1952 married a young man just out of the Navy, Gene Mahler. After the birth of their two daughters, they moved to Waukesha County, where they lived until the passing of Gene in 2013. Since that time she has lived with her daughter Jacqueline in Texas.
For the last 30 years, she patiently struggled with the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, and only for the past few years found relief with new medications. But she always enjoyed going for coffee with friends, playing bingo, and, most of all, being with her grandchildren.
Visitation will be held on Friday, May 6, from 4:00 p.m. until the time of the 6:00 p.m. memorial service at the Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, 1110 S. Grand Ave., Waukesha. Teh Rev. Kathy Boadwine will preside. Private interment will be at Prairie Home Cemetery.
Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, Crematory and Preplanning Services is honored to serve the family. For further information, please call the funeral home at 262-5474035 or visit our website at www.randledable.com for directions or to leave the family an online tribute message.