Irene Merkowitz, 91

Irene Merkowitz, 91, of Cedar Bay West, died Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011.

She was born on Dec. 3, 1919, in Milwaukee, to the late Selma Schaper Mixdorf and Frank Mixdorf. She graduated from Washington High School and attended business college. Her early work years were spent at Archer, Daniels, Midland Company.

Irene met Kasper Merkowitz on a blind date on New Years Eve, 1940. They were married near the close of World War II on Feb. 6, 1945, and resided on the North Side of Milwaukee. Irene became a full-time mom to Jim, Mary and Jean. Irene and Kasper retired to West Bend in 1975 after selling the family business, Johnnies Tavern. Their youngest daughter, Jean, became a part of the team at The Threshold.

Many organizations were the recipients of Irene’s dedication to service. Her work efforts extended to the family parish, Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts, St. Colletta’s Day School, St. Francis Children’s Center at Cardinal Stritch College, The Threshold Auxiliary in West Bend and the Washington County Arc.

Survivors include her children, James (Beth) of West Bend and Mary Kay (Bill) Stoehr of Boulder, Colo.; and three grandchildren, Shannon and Brandon Merkowitz and Gregory Stoehr. She is further survived by nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

Irene is preceded in death by her husband, Kasper; her daughter, Jean; and her parents, Frank and Selma Mixdorf.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church in West Bend with the Rev. Jeffrey Haines presiding. Burial will follow in Washington County Memorial Park. Visitation will be Wednesday, at the church only from 9:30 a.m. until 10:15 a.m.

In lieu of flowers memorials to The Threshold or Cedar Community are appreciated.

The Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences are available at