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Shirley Ann Winegarden

1928 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Shirley Ann Winegarden Obituary
Shirley Ann Winegarden

Wisconsin Rapids - Shirley Ann Winegarden, 89, was received into the waiting arms of her Savior Jesus Christ on March 11, 2018 in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Shirley was born June 6, 1928 in Embarrass, Wisconsin, to Walter and Mabel (Singer) Gruetzmacher. She became a child of God on September 21, 1928, through Holy Baptism at Saint Peter Lutheran Church, Embarrass, Wisconsin. She was confirmed in the Christian Faith in 1942 near Arpin, Wisconsin.

Visitation will be at Ritchay Funeral Home from 4 to 7 pm on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 and from 10 to 11 am before the service on Thursday. Funeral services will be at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, March 15, 2018, at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids. Burial will take place at Restlawn Memorial park after the service.

Growing up she loved to read and write poems as well as draw, receiving an honorable mention in a drawing contest for cartoonists and a 100% in a Jumbled History test in 1941. In 1942 she also won a "Hidden Words in My Name" contest by finding 1,710 words in her name. She also was an articulate speller and won the local Spelling Bee during those same years.

Shirley graduated from Arpin Elementary School and attended Marshfield High School for three years before moving to Wisconsin Rapids and graduating from Lincoln High School in 1946.

She married Warren F. Winegarden on November 2, 1946, and over 42 years they raised 5 children: Cary, Leslie, Alan, Debra, and Babbi Jo. She lived in Wisconsin Rapids most of her adult life except for the year they operated the Little Ritz Café in Pittsville, Wisconsin which they opened in December 1951.

Shirley worked at several restaurants including the Grand Grill, The Rocket Club, The Hungri Lion as well as Ocean Spray Cranberries, and then in 1977 she attended the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point on an AAUW scholarship, earning a Bachelor's degree in Sociology in 1980. Shirley later earned her Real Estate License and worked as a realtor and broker for Century 21 and Wisconsin Valley Real Estate for more than 20 years.

Family was central to Shirley, and she loved to socialize with family and friends. She stayed connected with extended family over the years and the miles.

She was an active member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids since 1953 and was a member of the local American Legion Auxiliary. She loved to cook and sew, sewing many of her children's and her own clothes over the years. She danced and sang from her heart and loved the Green Bay Packers. Her heart had a soft spot for animals, too. In later years she used crossword puzzles to challenge her mind. Always on the lookout for bargains, she loved garage sales and, well, any kind of shopping with her daughters. She loved traveling with her parents and dining at Wilbern's with her father and mother.

Shirley is survived by her children: Cary (sf Kim) Winegarden, Richardson, TX, Leslie Winegarden, Castle Rock, CO, Alan (Sandy) Winegarden, Roseville, MN, Debra (Michael, fiancé) Schilleman, Layton, UT, and Babbi Jo, San Diego, CA; grandchildren Spencer (Elise) Winegarden, Collier (Jaime) Winegarden, Adam Winegarden, Andrew (Elizabeth) Winegarden, Matt (Summer) Schilleman, Hollie Schilleman, Chad (Brooke) Schilleman, Ben Schilleman, Bryant Williams, Chelsea Winegarden, and Brandon Winegarden; and 21 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her brothers Carmen Gruetzmacher and Dennis Gruetzmacher and her sisters-in-law Lavon Gruetzmacher and Lorraine Follen.

She was preceded in death by her parents, former husband, brother Llewelyn (Jim) Gruetzmacher, daughter-in-law Carol Winegarden (wife of Leslie), great granddaughter Isabelle Janette Schilleman, and sister-in-law Audrey Winegarden-Bencke.

A special thank you to our wonderful friends, both those who supported us with their presence as well as those who supported us with their thoughts, expressions of love, and prayers via social media.

Thank you to the caregivers at Arborview Court, and, especially, the Heartland Hospice staff for the loving attention given to Shirley and her family during the past several weeks. Thank you also to Pastor Timothy Wenger and Mr. Richard Casper for the spiritual support and prayers.
Published in Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune on Mar. 13, 2018
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