Jeanne Roxanne Houseman, 93


Jeanne Roxanne Houseman (nee McMahan) was born to eternal life May 24, 2010, surrounded by her loving family.

Jeanne was born to this life on Nov. 18, 1916, in Belfast, Maine. She was the youngest of three daughters of Mary and James McMahan. Jeanne was proud of her Maine roots and family ties to Mayflower descendants.

When Jeanne was 10 years old, she came to live with relatives in Milwaukee. She excelled in school and was encouraged by teachers; who became her role models. Jeanne attended Wind Lake Avenue School and Bay View High School. She majored in speech at Marquette University, participated in drama and debate, and graduated with honors in 1937. She completed post graduate work at Northwestern University and Wisconsin State Teachers College in preparation for her teaching career. She taught nine years at Woodrow Wilson School in West Allis. Jeanne married the man of her dreams on June 26, 1948. Together, they raised three children and made their home in Thiensville.

Jeanne was a lifelong teacher and learner. She had a passion for children and dedicated her life to nurturing and educating them. She resumed her teaching career on a volunteer basis. Jeanne was a substitute teacher at St. Cecilia’s Catholic School (now Lumen Christi) from 1957 to 1971. In 1971, she became Learning Center Coordinator; teaching reading to generations of children for 35 years until her “retirement” at age 89.

For 50 years, Jeanne’s ministry to her church and school included serving on the parish council, governance board, school board and religious education committee. She was a Girl Scout leader, teacher of religious education classes and participant in the St. Gall’s meal program. In 1978, Jeanne was awarded an Outstanding Educator Citation by the League of Catholic Home and School Associations, Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

In 1991, Jeanne was nominated for the JC Penney Golden Rule award for her volunteer service. Serving others gave meaning to Jeanne’s life. She led by example, inspiring those whose lives she touched by her patient, gentle demeanor and gracious, giving nature. Jeanne had a deeply spiritual and peaceful presence, an abiding faith and an appreciation for the dignity of all human life.

Jeanne leaves behind her beloved and devoted husband, Ralph; her cherished children, Mary (partner Janis Shogren), Ralph and Kathy Houseman-Rostad (husband Richard); her treasured granddaughter, Alana Day; special loving family, Mary Eichman and Lee Adrian; special loving friends, Gerry Schmit, Sue Heinzelman and Barb Sheridan; as well as the Lumen Christi Church and School community. She is survived by a half brother, James McMahan, and half sister, Eileen Estes.

She was predeceased by her adoring sisters, Doris Blood and Olive Robbins; half sister, Edna Loberg; and surrogate parents, Richard and Hilda Houseman.

For the last year of her life, Jeanne was surrounded by an ever-widening circle of concern. The wise, compassionate and dignified care provided by the staff at Newcastle Place, Mequon, is gratefully appreciated. Celebrations of Jeanne’s life will take place at Lumen Christi Catholic Church, 138 W. Buntrock Ave., Thiensville. A visitation will be at the church from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, May 29. Mass will follow at noon. A private interment will be at Resurrection Cemetery, Mequon.

Contributions to the Lumen Christi School Endowment Fund in Jeanne’s memory are greatly appreciated. She is now in the loving care of her Creator.
Schramka Densow Funeral Home in Thiensville is serving the family.