Johanna Wilke, 83
Jan. 22, 1932 -- May 26, 2015
Johanna “Jo” Wilke, nee Holford, 83, of West Bend, found eternal peace with the Lord on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa.
Jo was born on Jan. 22, 1932, in Clinton to the late Elmer and Marie (nee Gibbons) Holford. She married Wilfred Erickson in 1955 and he passed away on Sept. 29, 1958. She then married Paul Wilke on Oct. 14, 1961. Paul passed away on July 10, 2003.
Jo attended University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and graduated with her teaching degree. She loved teaching and made a difference in many lives during her 40-year career. She was a teacher at schools in Sharon, Monona Grove, Darien and West Bend. In West Bend she taught at McLane Elementary, Fair Park Elementary, Decorah Elementary and Silverbrook Middle School. Jo was especially proud of her work at Silverbrook School where she was a teacher for 28 years, retiring in 1998. She was awarded the Rolfs Teacher of the Year Award in 1994.
Jo was devoted to her family. She was always in the stands cheering on her children and grandchildren. Her faith was very important to her and she was a long-time member of Holy Angels Catholic Church in West Bend. She enjoyed reading, swimming and shopping.
She is survived by five children, Joan Wilke (special friend Bob Ziehr) of Newburg, Jean (Ken) Strupp of Slinger, Pam Eisen (fiancÚ Mark May) of West Bend, Paul (Barb) Wilke of West Bend and Patti Jo (Tim) Heinen of West Bend; 12 grandchildren, Julie Mesa (special friend Tom Risse), William (Sara) Schmidt, Jennifer (Erich) Olson, John Eisen, Erin Eisen, Katelyn Eisen (special friend Michael Petersen), Alyssa Wilke, Bret Wilke, Matthew Wilke, Delanie Jo Heinen and Jaylee Heinen; a granddaughter-in-law, Sherry Oleniczak; nine great-grandchildren , Brittany Mesa, Tylar Mesa, Tyler Lueders, Mason Schweizer, Jacquelyn Olson, Elisabeth Olson, Samuel Olson, Chelsea Schmidt and Noah Peterson; a sister, Veronica Hanauer of Shawano; two brothers, John (Carol) Holford of Whitewater and James (Teresa) Holford of Lake Geneva; a sister-in-law, Irene Butzlaff of West Bend; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Elmer and Marie Holford; her husbands, Wilfred Erickson and Paul Wilke; a grandson, Brian Schweizer; a son-in-law, William Schmidt Jr.; brothers-inlaw, Dan Hanauer, Alvin Ruhnke, Howard Butzlaff and Dick Bilstein; and sisters-in-law, Ethel Bilstein and Myrtle Ruhnke.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, June 1, at 6 p.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Church, 138 N. Eighth Ave., West Bend. Visitation will be at the church on Monday, June 1, from 3 p.m. until the time of service. Burial will be in Washington County Memorial Park, West Bend, on Tuesday, June 2 at 10 a.m.
Memorials to Holy Angels Parish are appreciated.
Myrhum-Patten Funeral and Cremation Service in West Bend is assisting the family. Online condolence may be expressed at www.myrhum-patten.com.