Cotter Funeral Home and Crematory
860 North Webster Avenue
De Pere, WI 54115
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Joan Pfotenhauer

1939 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Joan Pfotenhauer Obituary
Pfotenhauer, Joan

Joan C. (Bushmaker) Pfotenhauer, 73, passed away on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, at Angel's Touch Assisted Living, due to numerous medical issues. Joan Carol Bushmaker was born on April 18, 1939 in Green Bay, WI. She was the oldest of the 7 children of the late Joseph Harold and Ione Isabel (Steinfeldt) Bushmaker. She graduated from St. Matthew's Catholic Grade School, Allouez in 1953, and St. Joseph Academy, Green Bay in 1957. She also attended Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Joan married Gerald A. Pfotenhauer on June 23, 1962 at St. Matthew Catholic Church, Allouez. Gerald preceded her in death on May 23, 1998.

For years she was active in numerous organizations, both religious and social. She was a member of St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church and also the Altar Society. She was also a member of the Women of the Moose, Green Bay Chapter 451. Also, Joan was a member of the National Catholic Society of Foresters-St. Claire Court #1102, and served as the court president for 33 years until the court became inactive in 2003. She was a delegate to many NCSF state and national conventions. For 13 years, Joan chaired the St. Mary of the Angels Arts and Crafts Fair. With the matching funds program from the N.C.S.F., chairs, tables, television, silverware and other items were purchased for the church hall. For 2 years she was a Brownie (Girl Scout) leader. Then, for 20 years Joan was an active 4-H project leader teaching members the skills of sewing, knitting, crocheting, cake decorating, etc. Joan's Grandmother Steinfeldt taught her to knit before she went to kindergarten. Her hobbies also included tatting, quilt making, baking, cake decorating, card making and a good game of cards. Knitted (headband/ear warmers) were her specialty. Joan enjoyed card-making and had been active with Sister Helen's Haiti group at St. Philip's. She was a member of the Red Hat Society and proudly wore her red hat and purple attire. Also, Joan, Gerald and their children were all Red Cross blood donors thru the years.

Any Secret Pal friend that was on the receiving end of her gift-giving usually guessed wrong. She was great at mis-directing and making it appear that it was someone else. Many times, she herself delivered the gifts to her secret pal.

Those attending the annual St. Mary of the Angels Mother/Daughter breakfast on May 5, 1991, will fondly remember the surprise "Vinney's Boutique Style Show: presented by Joan and her merry band of pranksters. Each hand crafted outfit was more outrageous than the next, ending with the "Spring Bride" (wedding dress covered with springs). The models had as much fun fashioning their outfits as did those attending the breakfast.

Joan was most proud of the "Janssen Family Tree/Cookbook" which she and her sister, Susan, assembled and self-published for the Janssen Family Reunion in July 1998. It was a thrill of a lifetime. All 500 copies are cherished by family members and friends. All of this done with an advertising budget of 1 roll of stamps (100).

Joan is survived by her children, Cera J. Szaroletta, Luxemburg, WI; Diane M. and James J. Arrowood, Kearney, NE; Denis G. and Melissa M. Pfotenhauer, Appleton, WI; her grandchildren, Jason M. and Krystal Szaroletta; Ryan J. Szaroletta; Sydney M. Pfotenhauer; Nicole A. Pfotenhauer; Christina A. Arrowood; great-granddaughter, Jessica G. Szaroletta; step grandchildren and their families, Jamie and Gary LeGates and family; Benjamin Arrowood. Also other family members, Jan; Ruth A. and William T. Hollister; Margaret C. and Vernon V. Vesely; Steve; Susan J. Bushmaker and William G. Melaas; special nieces and nephews, Jodi and Timothy M. Ledvina; Erica A. and Michael G. Kotajarvi; special great nieces and nephew, Sarah F. Kotajarvi; Ella I. Ledvina; Joel M. Ledvina; special cousins, Claire, Carol, Roger, Mark and Glen. Joan's in-laws, Elaine M. Cotter and family, De Pere; Donald R. and Nancy Pfotenhauer and family, West Bend, WI; also, many other relatives and friends and her Red Hat Sisters.

Preceding her in death were her husband, Gerald; parents, Joseph H. (1985) and Ione I. (2000) Bushmaker; sister, Joyce E.( Bushmaker) Jacobs(1980); in-laws, Reinhart F. (1967) and Josephine (DeGroot) Pfotenhauer(1983); Gladys V. Pfotenhauer(1930); Edward A. Lieg(1999); Ronald G. Cuzner(2003); James W. Cotter, Sr.(2003); grandparents, John P. and Augusta M. (Janssen) Bushmaker; Arnold and Odelia (Bellin) Steinfeldt.

Family and friends may call at Cotter Funeral Home, 860 N. Webster Ave., De Pere, on Sunday, February 10, 2013 from 4-8p.m. Rosary service at 7:30p.m. Visitation will continue on Monday, February 11, 2013 at St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, 312 Victoria St., Green Bay, from 9 to 10:30a.m. Celebration of Joan's life will be held at 10:30a.m. Monday at the church with Rev. Larry Canavara officiating.

Interment in Allouez Catholic Cemetery in the Pfotenhauer family plot. Online condolences may be expressed to Joan's family at

Joan will be remembered as a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend.

Special thanks to all of her numerous relatives, friends and neighbors for their concern, care and prayers.

Joan requested that there be no black attire, and Red Hat Sisters please come in required attire.

"Life's Journey is NOT to arrive at the grave with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sidewise, champagne in one hand -strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, shouting, WOO HOO - What a Ride!"


Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Feb. 7 to Feb. 9, 2013
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