Caroline J. Risse, 88
April 17, 1927 — Feb. 2, 2016
Caroline J. Risse, 88, of Elkhart Lake, entered eternal peace Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, at Cedar Lake Health Care Center, West Bend. Caroline was born April 17, 1927, in the town of Farmington, near Fillmore, Washington County, to the late Edwin and Milda (nee Groeschel) Gerner. She married Norton Risse on July 17, 1948, at Waubeka Community Church in Waubeka. The couple moved to Slinger in April of 1962 to open Risse’s Meat Market, which they operated together until their retirement.
Caroline was a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, teacher and businesswoman. She was extremely talented at arts and crafts, but her life revolved around church and family.
She was a skilled seamstress and cook and she made each day a celebration of family with shared meals, chores and lessons in life. Weekends were devoted to church and family activities, visiting friends and relatives and celebrating holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. She was dedicated to her “boys” and made activities with her family a priority throughout her life. When her sons married, she delighted in the “daughters” she never had and was blessed with an expanding family, including the eight grandchildren and two great-grandsons who were the joy of her retirement years.
Caroline graduated from Dodge County Normal School and taught grade school in Boltonville. She was active in church, singing in the choir, teaching Sunday school, and serving with the Women’s Guild on numerous committees.
She loved music and dancing. Along with her sisters, Winnie and Beulah, she sang for many church and social functions as part of the Gerner Trio. Throughout her life, and especially in retirement, she enjoyed dancing with Nort to polka, waltz and big band music. She and Norton also traveled in retirement, enjoying trips to the East Coast and Europe, but most of their travel focused on family, especially on numerous trips to visit and work with the Risse and Cary families in Alaska. Flowers and gardening also brightened her life and the meat market, home and yard were always adorned with flowers and plants. Her family enjoyed homecooked meals with fresh and preserved fruits and vegetables from her garden.
Survivors include her three dear sons, Terry (Rachel) Risse of Elkhart Lake, Scott (Sue) Risse of Slinger and Keith (Mary) Risse of Sheboygan; her cherished grandchildren, Troy (fiance Ali), Ryan (Abby), Jill (Tim), Shana, Megan (Justin), Jess, Charlie, and Jake; great-grandsons, Jack and Braxton; and a sister, Beulah Leissring of West Bend. She is further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Norton; brothers, Willard and Leslie Gerner; sisters, Harriet Steele and Winifred Gerner; and six brothers-in-law and five sisters-in-law.
A funeral service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, at St. John’s United Church of Christ (520 W. Washington St., Slinger, WI 53086) with the Rev. Kathryn Kuhn and Dale Miller (lay minister) presiding. Visitation will be at the church from 1 p.m. until the time of service. Interment will be at St. Paul’s Cemetery, Silver Creek at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 8.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to either St. John’s United Church of Christ (see address above), Salem United Church of Christ (217 Salem Drive, Plymouth, WI 53073) or Cedar Landing at Elkhart Lake (101 Cedar Lane, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020) The Risse family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the staff of Cedar Community of Elkhart Lake and West Bend for the gracious care, support, and assistance that was offered to Caroline.
The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family: 262-338-2050 or www.phillipfuneralhome.com.