Obit: Rausch-Esselmann, Bette Mae (1919 - 2012)

Transcriber: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Bergs, Brockman, Cook, Diesburg, Franck, Gauerke, Hannan, Hiebl, Milka, Murkowski, Rausch, Rausch-Esselmann, Scidmore, Stahel, Stange,

----Source: The Record - Review (Abbotsford, WI) 3/05/2012

Rausch-Esselmann, Bette Mae (Stange) (2 MAY 1919 - 3 MAR 2012)

Bette Mae Rausch-Esselmann, 85, formerly of Athens, died Saturday March 3, 2012 at Marywood Convalescent Center, Wausau, under the care of Ministry Home Hospice.

The funeral mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Weds. March 7, 2012 at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Athens. Rev. Charles Hiebl will preside. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Athens. Friends may call on Tuesday from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. at the Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home, Athens and again on Weds. from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church. There will be a parish rosary service at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday evening at the Athens funeral home. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established.

She was born March 23, 1926, in Loyal, daughter of the late Alois and Eleanore (Hannan) Stange. On August 17, 1946, she married Lawrence Rausch at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Athens. He preceded her in death January 31, 1967. On November 29, 2003, she married James Esselmann at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Athens. He preceded her in death January 28, 2010.

Bette graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point with a Ph.D. in Elementary Education and went on to teach in the Athens area, retiring from the Athens Elementary School. During her years in Athens School District, she initiated the Gifted and Talented Program. Bette taught summer school, sold encyclopedias and after retirement, was a substitute teacher.

Bette was a member of the Red Hat Ladies group, was a member of the National Catholic Society of Foresters, belonged to the Homemakers Club and was named and published in the Who's Who in America.

Bette had a special love of music and enjoyed playing the piano. Among her favorite things to do were gardening, playing cards, especially sheepshead, reading, traveling as well as an occasional trip to the casino.

Survivors include ten children, Ambrose (Patricia) Rausch, Athens, Thomas L. (Vernell) Rausch, Athens, Kenneth J. Rausch, Alaska, Norbert A. Rausch, Wausau, Marabeth (Jerry) Stahel, Marathon, Suzanne Franck, Weston, Therese Murkowski, Athens, Mark G. (Sandra) Rausch, Colby, Peter J. (fiancé, Stacy) Rausch, Wausau, Jayne Rausch, Wausau, 29 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, ten step-children, Dr. James Esselmann, Nekoosa, William (Judith) Esselmann, Plover, Patty (Larry) Diesburg, Wisconsin Rapids, Paula (Gary) Cook, Wisconsin Rapids, Mark (Mary) Esselmann, Nekoosa, Pamela (Michael) Brockman, Green Bay, Jeffrey (Lisa) Esselmann, Houltan, Thomas (Lori) Esselmann, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., Timothy (Vicki) Esselmann, Wisconsin Rapids, Bernard (Jennifer) Esselmann, Wisconsin Rapids, 24 step-grandchildren, seven step-great grandchildren, one sister, Kathleen Scidmore, Marshfield, five sisters-in-law, Marcella Stange, Athens, Judy Stange, Wisconsin Rapids, Marcella Bergs, Marshfield, Adeline Gauerke, Athens and Mary Ann Milka, Calif.

Besides her parents and husbands, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Donald and Richard Stange and one sister, Bonnie Stange.

Online condolences may be expressed at

We are deeply saddened by her passing, but she would not want us to stop living life. She will be dearly missed and will never be forgotten.



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