Marcella Verna Gartzke, age 104 1/2 of Menasha, Wisconsin, passed away of COVID complications at home on March 1. She was surrounded by her loving family. Marcella was born on August 5, 1917 in Menasha, Wisconsin the daughter of the late Martha (Arndt) and Antone Trader and was a life-long resident of this city. She was married to Peter Gartzke on August 31, 1940 in Reedsville, Wisconsin. She was preceded in death by Peter on September 6, 1999 and sons, Joe and John who died shortly after birth. Marce was also preceded in death by her parents, siblings and in-laws, Frank and Francy, Bernard and Lamoine, Dorothy and Joe, Lorraine and Erv, Paul and Ione, and Mary Ann and Jack.
Marcella loved to knit and crochet and was an avid reader of books. A large collection of her past reading was recently found under her bed. Marcella also loved to do cross word puzzles and jig saw puzzles. Marce would never turn down a good game of Sheepshead and often went home with the most coins in her pocket. Many an evening would find Marce sitting on her front porch or out under the shade tree in the back yard visiting and watching her grandchildren at play.
Marcella’s cooking and baking were legendary with family and friends especially her apple kuchen, poppy seed cake, pierogi’s, peach dumplings, creamed rabbit and many more foods too numerous to mention.
Marce spent many hours with grandchildren on her lap reading them books which were enjoyed by all. Marce loved getting together with family during the holidays which often included enjoying an old fashioned or two together. Marce had a great sense of humor, loved to laugh, and always had a big smile for anyone coming to visit, and she always hated to see guests depart. Marce loved family parties and other gatherings; the more the merrier! Noise and mess were never things to be fussed over with regards to those gatherings. She liked meeting new people and a friend of ours was a friend of hers. She touched many lives in her lifetime.
Survivors include sons Tom (Charlotte) Gartzke, Valmeyer, IL, Jerry (Bev) Gartzke, Menasha, and daughters Betty (Bill) Luebke, Menasha, and Nancy (Ed) Eggleston, Plover, WI. Marce had 12 grandchildren – Tom (Tracy) Gartzke, Julie (Mike) Nappier, Carrie (Bo) Brewer, Shawn (Amy) Gartzke, Jenny (Jayce) Commo, Chad (Chris) Gartzke, Jeff Gartzke, Joe (Amy) Luebke, Amy (Jon Schwingle) Luebke, Adam (Lindsey Koehn) Eggleston, Zach (Tressa) Eggleston, Sam (Sarah) Eggleston. She is also survived by 22 great-grandchildren – Gabe, Caitlin, Grace, Mark, Hunter, Ellie, Aidan, Daniel, Elliot, Abby, Will, Rowan, Ben, Emily, Rachel, Katie, Jenna, Carly, Everett, Kaydence, Sawyer and Levi and one great-great-grandson, Jameson.
Marce was member of St. Mary Catholic church in Menasha.
Funeral services for Marce will be held on Sunday, March 6, with visitation from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at Wichmann Funeral Home-Laemmrich Chapel, 312 Milwaukee Street, Menasha, Wisconsin. A celebration service will follow at 3:00 PM at the funeral home with Deacon Don Schultz officiating. A luncheon will follow at the funeral home. Burial services will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery, 1200 Racine Rd, Menasha on Monday, March 7 at 10:00 AM.
We lost our mother to Covid and we care about our guests. In that light all who attend the visitation and service for Marce are respectfully requested to wear masks.
A memorial has been established in memory of Marce.
The family would like to thank caregivers, Beth, and Gina, for going above and beyond to make her final days more enjoyable. In addition, thanks to Heartland Hospice for their exceptional compassion and care for all of us in the final difficult days.