Obituary for Violet Theresa Wenzel

Violet Theresa Wenzel, 96, died peacefully Monday at her home, leaving the world a little warmer through the many friendships she created over her lifetime.

Violet was born July 8, 1922, to John and Elizabeth (Merkel) Felhofer in Stratford and moved to Marshfield with her family as a young child. She was a 1940 graduate of Marshfield Senior High School and a lifelong member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Marshfield. She married Harry J. Wenzel in 1947, and they had three children, Russell, Judy and Nancy.

Following high school graduation, she worked as a teller and cashier at Citizens National Bank of Marshfield until 1948. Later, her banking background served her well as she played an active role in the family business, Harry C. Wenzel & Sons, Inc., commonly known as Wenzel’s Farm Sausage. For years, she worked part time as a bookkeeper in the office, served as a sounding board when her husband and son debated business decisions over Sunday dinner, and was a member of the company board of directors.

She also served on the board of directors with her daughters, following her son’s death in 2010, until the company was sold in 2014. Violet served into her early 90s, offering sage advice and pointed questions that helped guide the company and successfully transition it to new ownership.

Over the past year, Violet enjoyed “supervising” construction progress at Wenzel Family Plaza on Chestnut Avenue in downtown Marshfield. She was thrilled to cut the ribbon at the grand opening in July 2018 and delighted in watching children splash in the water feature.

She was devoted to her family, instilling lasting values and an appreciation for hard work and persistence. She led scouting groups and was a local and regional leader of Catholic Daughters of America. She enjoyed music, bowling, playing bridge and boating on northern Wisconsin lakes.

She was proud that the World’s Largest Round Barn, built by her father and his brothers more than 100 years ago, continues to be a landmark of the Central Wisconsin State Fairgrounds.

She formed lasting friendships through bowling leagues and her bridge clubs, which spanned more than 50 years. As close friends passed on in the last decade, Violet continued her friendships with their daughters.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Harry; son, Russell; sisters Irene, Doris and Betty Jane; and brothers Norbert and Eugene. She is survived by daughters, Judy Wenzel (Tom Ristow) of Waukesha and Nancy Wenzel (Robert J. Bartlett) of Madison; granddaughters, Emily Ristow and Elizabeth Ristow (Josh Massicot); nieces; nephews; and other relatives and friends.

The family is thankful for the loving care provided by the staff of Aster Assisted Living and Heartland Hospice Care and by Sue Bredemann of Marshfield Senior Services. They are grateful for Violet’s dear friends, Arlan and Priscilla Ferch and Grant and Cathy Tarpinian, who made her smile and enhanced her quality of life.

Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at Rembs Funeral Home, 300 S. Oak Ave. There will also be visitation at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 201 W. Blodgett St., at 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 8, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m., with Rev. Samuel Martin officiating. Burial will take place in Hillside Cemetery, Marshfield.

The family suggests memorials be made to the Wenzel Family Plaza Fund at the Marshfield Area Community Foundation or to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Marshfield. Condolences may be sent online to www.rembsfh.com