Mercedes Volkmann

Volkmann, Mercedes Dolores

Mercedes Dolores Volkmann age 95, former Wausau resident, died April 4, 2013 at St Francis Home in Fond du Lac under the care of Hospice Hope.

Mercy was born October 31, 1917 in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, the daughter of the late Frederick and Amalia Louisa (Schmitt) Gericke. She excelled in school, completing high school in only three years. She was valedictorian of her graduating class at Lake Mills High School in 1934 and she composed and presented a speech titled "Women in Politics", which was a controversial subject at the time. Upon her graduation, Mercy and her family moved to Gary, Indiana.

While working at the A & P Grocery Store in Gary she met her future husband, Thomas Edward Volkmann. The start of World War II delayed their wedding plans but Tom and Mercy were married on October 9, 1941 in Columbus, Georgia while Tom was on leave from the Army. At the end of the war they resumed their life in Gary and began a family. In 1958 they moved to the Town of Maine and in 1980 moved to Wausau.

Putting aside early ambitions of becoming an attorney, Mercy raised seven children. She instilled in her family a love of home and family, a desire to help others and the passion for learning about the past. Mercy took great pride in her ancestors and enjoyed passing down stories of their emigration to this country, the towns they helped to build and the lives they led. An avid genealogist, she and her daughter Kathy spent many hours researching and recording her family tree so future generations would know from whom they descended.

Service to others was an important part of Mercy's life. She often said "You should help others whenever you can because you never know when you'll need help yourself." A devout Catholic, she was a trustee at St Michael Church in Wausau and volunteered in the St Michael school library for almost twenty years. Her love of history led her to the Marathon County Historical Society where she cataloged photographs for over twenty years.

Survivors include her children, Mary Lou (Bruce) Lambrecht, Wausau, Margaret (Jack Kisslinger) Volkmann, Madison, Patrick (Deborah) Volkmann, Fredonia, Elizabeth (George) Cleveland, Shorewood, Pauline (Polly) Newhouse, Fond du Lac and Kathleen (Wayne) Jansen, Wausau; 15 grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; and several great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband on April 25, 1992; her son, Thomas E Volkmann Jr.; and a grandson, Michael T Cleveland. The youngest of ten children, Mercy was also preceded in death by all of her siblings; Frederick, Mildred, Raymond, Julius, Dorothy, Margaret, Edward, Robert and Philip.

Funeral Mass will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, 2013 at St. Michael Catholic Church, 611 Stark St., Wausau. Rev. William Grevatch will officiate. Interment will take place at Restlawn Mausoleum. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until the time of service at the church.

Brainard Funeral Home, Wausau, is assisting the family with arrangements.

If desired, the family suggests donations made in Mercy's name to the Congregation of Sisters of Saint Agnes in Fond du Lac or St Michael Catholic Church.

Condolences may be given at

Our family expresses gratitude and love to Mercy's daughter and caregiver, Polly Newhouse, for her ongoing advocacy, enriching companionship and loving support to Mercy throughout this journey. We also thank the staff of Hospice Hope and the St. Francis Home along with the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Agnes who provided loving care and support to Mercy and her family.

A wonderful mother is a dear and precious blessing. She is an angel to her children and an absolute treasure to her family.

Published in Fond du Lac Reporter from Apr. 6 to Apr. 8, 2013