In November of her senior year, after taking two required classes, Mernie was hired to work in the office of Roloff Manufacturing Corp. in Kaukauna. The foundry was started by Walter and Florence Roloff three years earlier. After graduation, her job became full time. She learned all phases and terminology of the operations, retiring on October 15, 2004 as the executive secretary.
It was at Roloff’s where she met her future husband, Walter and Florence’s eldest son, Harold. They were married on June 3, 1950, a union that lasted almost 60 years until his passing December 13, 2008.
The couple was blessed with two dear children; Nancie Keenan, DePere and David (Pam)Roloff, Kaukauna; granddaughters, Elizabeth (Don) Emmer, Appleton and Katherine (Dominic) Rinaldi, Boston, MA; four great-grandchildren, Madelyn and Isabella Van Zeeland, Appleton and Lily and Dom Rinaldi, Boston who were the love of her life. Also surviving are two sister-in-laws, Roberta Roloff, Green Bay and Barbara Roloff, Kaukauna and very special nieces and nephews and many close friends.
The family enjoyed the cottage at Shawano Lake for many years which became a year-round getaway with lots of good memories. Mernie had a variety of interests and hobbies including jigsaw puzzles, sudoko and wordles. She loved to dance and sing. For many years, Mernie was a member of the Celebrators and the Queen of Peace choir at Holy Cross Catholic Church. She knitted over 100 prayer shawls for the church and hand stitched many beautiful pictures to give away or hung them in her home.
Harold and Mernie were among the original members of the Fox Valley Golf Club when they first started on the south-side of Kaukauna as a 9 hole course and then moved to North Kaukauna to build the 18 hole course which is still there today. She loved the theatre and enjoyed many plays and musicals. After her high school class met for their 50th reunion, she started a lunch club with the ladies and they met(as many as 26 a month) for over 20 years. The group disbanded as members aged out of the club. Mernie loved her backyard with various plants, flowers and birds. She loved chatting with her neighbors. Mernie always had 1-2 books going at all times. Through the years she always loved a good card game with family and friends and many board games. She relished her time on the phone with her great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, mother and father in-law, 3 sisters: Dolores (David) Andrews, Bunny (Harold) Wenzel and Shirley (Jim) Leonard, also Brothers-in-law: Robert and Kenneth Roloff and Sister-in-law Mitzi (Doug) Hansen, one Nephew , Don Andrews.
Please see visitation and mass information on this page.
In lieu of flowers, a portion of memorials gifted to the family will be donated by them to some of Mernie's favorite charities.
A limb has fallen from the family tree, I hear a voice saying “grieve not for me”, continue my heritage, I’m counting on you. Keep smiling and surely the sun will shine through. My mind is at ease, my soul is at rest; remember the good times, I truly was blessed, continue traditions I miss you all dearly, so keep up your chin, until the day comes we’re together again. Big Hugs, kisses and so much love, Mom-Nana Mernie