Shirley E. Berntzen, 92, passed away on Wednesday at her daughter’s residence. Our mom, Shirley was born on August 8, 1926 in Waterford, Wisconsin. Her parents were the late Leroy and Hilda (Nee: Boldt) Peterson. She was born in the house on the family farm. Two months premature, her mother wrapped her up and put her in a cigar box and set her on the door of her wood burning oven to keep her warm. Somehow she thrived and that difficult start set the tone for the rest of her life. Always small but feisty and strong.
Mom was always strong in her convictions. Her sense of right and wrong and most of all her faith in God. She was fearless yet humble. She was baptized at home due to her premature birth and was confirmed at St. Peters Lutheran Church in Waterford. She graduated from Ag School in Rochester, Wisconsin, and on September 23, 1950 she married Einer Berntzen at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Racine. They were married almost fifty years until his passing on August 12, 2000.
Mom worked hard in her younger years at Webster Electric, Voorlis Mfg. and Master Appliance while keeping house tending a large garden and raising two daughters.
Mom loved to bake and was always the first to volunteer to make the cookies, cake, pie or homemade brownies for any function.
Mom and Dad spent many happy summers and autumns at their place on Razor Back Lake in Saynor, Wisconsin, and later at Natures Villa in Palmyra, Wisconsin.
Mom also was a great reader, animal lover and loved watching NASCAR! Our parents were very proud of our Norwegian heritage and Mom remained a member of the Sons of Norway until the end. Mom remained a member of Epiphany Lutheran Church from the time of her marriage until the end of her life. She was a member of the Home Guild for many years and loved her church family so much.
In addition to her parents and husband she was preceded in death by her infant brother, Harold; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Oscar and Ragna Berntzen; and brother-in-law, Henry Trepczyk.
She leaves behind her two daughters, Susan (David) Berlin, Nancy (David) Wiese; her grandson, Michael Berlin; sister, Geraldine Trepczyk of TN; niece, Geralyn (George) Neau; and nephew, Hank (Mary) Trepczyk; many dear sweet friends; and two grand dogs, Ivy and Jin who adored her and stayed near her until the end.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 10:30 a.m. at Epiphany Lutheran Church, with Reverend Michael Zarling officiating. Interment will follow at West Lawn Memorial Park. Relatives and friends may meet with the family on Monday at the funeral home from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and Tuesday at the church from 10 a.m. until time of service at 10:30 a.m. Memorials to Epiphany Lutheran Church have been suggested.
We would like to thank the many, many friends and family who sent their love and prayers during these last few weeks. Special thanks to Pastor Zarling for his visits and encouragement that helped Mom and us through this and Trudy Mendez for her visits. And to all of Moms doctors and nurses who were so kind and helpful when we really needed them. Also, Hospice Alliance, Mom’s wonderful aid, Jackie, who was with us at the end and nurse, Julie. It’s impossible to express our appreciation to all of you.