Gertrude Kannenberg, 94
Oct. 12, 1921 — Oct. 5, 2016
Gertrude “Becky” Kannenberg died Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016, at Harbor Chase in Shorewood, just one week shy of her 95th birthday. Becky was born Oct. 12, 1921, the daughter of George and Gertrude (nee Beck) Beck. She graduated from West Bend High School in 1939 and went to work at Pick Manufacturing Co. during World War II. During the war, Becky also developed her natural athleticism on bowling and softball teams; she was all-star shortstop in her women’s softball league.
In 1946, Becky married Eldor “Katzie” Kannenberg, moving with him to Milwaukee until their return to West Bend in 1952, where they lived for the rest of their lives.
Although she was the mother of six fine children, Becky still found time for numerous contributions to her community. She raised funds for the United Fund (later, United Way); drove for Meals on Wheels for many years; and planted a lot of flowers in West Bend as an early member of the West Bend Beautification Committee (now Roots & Branches). As an active member of Holy Angels parish, Becky was a longtime member of the Christian Mothers’ Society. When her children were young, she served as a Cub Scout “den mother” and headed up Brownie and Girl Scout troops for years.
Though she gave up softball, Becky loved bowling and especially golf. She was a longtime member of West Bend Country Club’s competitive women’s team, traveling throughout the state playing in the Northeast Wisconsin Golf Association’s tournaments. Becky was also an avid card player, especially bridge, which she tried (and sadly, failed) to teach to her kids so that she could play all the time. Another big disappointment: she never got that T-Bird convertible she coveted, or the dalmatian for the passenger seat. She did, though, have a smokin’, candy-apple red, ‘69 Mustang Mach 1 that made her one of the “coolest Moms” for years! She loved her garden on North Eighth and Linden streets and was very proud to be one of the first winners of the Mayor’s Beautification Award, in 1991. She lived for the holidays, especially Christmas, and she made them truly wonderful for her family and friends.
She is survived by her sister, Rita Mary Harrison of Merida, Mexico; sons, Mark (Virginia) Kannenberg and John (Dave Jacob) Kannenberg; daughters, Lisa (Lori Tiberio) Kannenberg, Mary Elliott, and Betsy Day and Amy (Scott) Kissinger; grandchildren, Chad Day, Karie (fiance Shane Anderson) Elliott, Lizz (Michael) Pietrus, Katie Elliott, Katherine (Aaron) Gregory, Andrew (fiancé Courtney Kooistra) Kissinger, Evan (Nathan Casper) Kissinger and Eric Kissinger; great-grandchildren, Kyle Day, Jennifer Elliott, Jacob Jeanes, William Gregory, James Gregory and Henry Pietrus; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Becky was predeceased by her parents; her beloved husband of 67 years, Eldor; brothers, John Beck and James Beck; and sisters, Rose Sheehan and Marie Muth.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Harbor Chase for their thoughtful and sensitive care of our mother and our family.
Visitation will be at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, at Holy Angels Church, West Bend, followed by Mass at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Meals on Wheels, Roots & Branches, or a charity of choice.
The Schmidt Funeral Home of West Bend is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences are available at www.schmidtfuneralhome.com.