Obit: Wilhelm, Stella Jean (1917 - 2015)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Wilhelm, Witkowski, Kramas, Franklin, Heasley, Zillmann, Kulig

----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI) 1/14/2015

Wilhelm, Stella Jean (13 May 1917 - 7 January 2015)

Stella Jean (nee Kramas) Wilhelm, 97, peacefully passed onto her eternal rest on Wednesday, January 7, 2015. She was born on May 13, 1917, in the Town of Withee, Thorp, WI, to Andrew and Elizabeth (Witkowski) Kramas. She attended Yaeger School, Thorp High School, and South Division High School in Milwaukee. On Tuesday, November 16, 1937, Stella married the love of her life, Eugene Joseph Wilhelm, at St. Hedwig’s Country Church with the Rev. Francis Kulig presiding. After farming her whole life, in 1972, she moved into a house at 304 West Maple Street that Gene built for her, in the city of Thorp. She moved to Morgan Plaza in October 2007. She spent the last two and one-half years of her life in Parker, CO, living with her daughter, Ann.

Stella was a lifelong member of St. Bernard-St. Hedwig Catholic Church in Thorp. While a teenage, she worked for George and Mary Zillmann as domestic help, traveled to Milwaukee to help out her brother and sister-in-law, Joe and Alice Kramas, taking care of their children while they ran their gas station at 2807 S. 13th Street, and returned to Thorp to help her parents on their farm in 1931. She was very active in the Friendly Neighbors Homemakers Club, the Thorp 4-H Club as a sewing and cooking leader and volunteered at Oakbrook Health and Rehab.

She was a charter member of the Parish Council of Catholic Women (the old Christian Mothers organization), the Catholic Order of Foresters, Thorp Lioness Club and Thorp Senior Citizens Club. Family and her deep belief in religion were both very important to Stella. She passed along a strong work ethic to her children.

Stella loved playing cards, especially Sheepshead and Canasta, love gardening, picking mushrooms, canning, baking crocheting, knitting, arts and crafts of all kinds. She made a Christmas ornament for each of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren for over 20 years. In her younger days, she square danced with Thorp’s Square Dance Club. She enjoyed music and always had her foot tapping to the beat, especially polkas, schottisches and waltzes.

She was interested in family history and genealogy and organized the first Kramas Family Reunion, which was held in 1975 in Thorp, and had her hand in several more after that. She designed and hand-wrote the first family tree book.

She loved to camp and fish with her husband and they traveled across North America and Canada in their mini-homes. They also visited Hawaii, Mexico and Jamaica. She was a true Green Bay Packer fan. Those who knew her have stories about her generosity, kind heart, helping hands and cooking expertise. She will be greatly missed by friends and family.

Stella is survived by her son and two daughters, one step-daughter, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Her children include: Eugene Paul (Karen) Wilhelm of Sheboygan, WI, Ann Kathleen Wilhelm (Tom Franklin) of Parker, CO, Elizabeth Mary Wilhelm of Bradenton, FL, Kathleen Mary Heasley of Bradenton, FL. Stella is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Stella was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene, in 2002; her step-son, Frank Andrew Heasley in 2012; her parents; seven sisters and four brothers.

Funeral services were held Wednesday, January 14, 2015, at St. Bernard-St. Hedwig Catholic Church at 11 a.m. with visitation prior to services. During her lifetime, Stella always said that she wanted no flowers at her funeral, saying to give them to her when she was alive so she could enjoy them. In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to Thorp Catholic School, 411 E. School St. in Thorp, WI 54771.

Online condolences may be expressed at  Thorp Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.



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