Millie A. (nee Skare) Koehler

PORTAGE  --  Millie A. (nee Skare) Koehler, age 91, of Portage, completed her earthly journey on Monday, March 9, 2009 in the care of her extended home at Divine Savior Heathcare Extended Care in Portage, now enabling her to join her heavenly family.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 12, 2009 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Portage, with Fr. Jim Murphy presiding.  Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Thursday at the church. 

Millie was born on September 23, 1917 at the farm home of her parents, the late Elmer and Tine (Utter)  Skare, in the township of Lowville.  She was baptized at Inch United Methodist Church.  Millie attended a one-room “Rocky Run” Grade School taught by the late Cecilia Traut (Bremner).  Miss Traut allowed her student to advance a class automatically, as Millie was the only student for that grade level.  She met the challenge and was a classmate of her 18 month older brother, Marvin.  She graduated from Poynette High School;  advancing to graduate from Madison College School of Business in 1935 with an accounting secretarial course diploma.  Her schooling was a good reference for her position at Portage Wholesale Company on Brady Street in Portage, owned by Mr. Marachowsky.  She met her future (now deceased, 2002) husband, Edward W. Koehler, while walking to her job from her boarding room on DeWitt Street to Brady Street.  He would methodically sweep the sidewalk every morning in front of Wright Ford Motor on DeWitt Street and thus started a lifetime romance of 64+ years.  They were united in marriage at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, Portage on May 23, 1938 by Rev. John Piette.

Four children flourished from their union:  Patricia (Loran) Wood of Wausau, Michael of Janesville, Thomas (Carol Turinski) of Moscow, Idaho, and Robert of Tukwila, Washington.  She is also survived by three granddaughters, Lora Davis of Portage, Paula (James) Wood-Koehler of Wausau, and Elizabeth (Jeff) Willauer of Fitchburg;  five grandsons, Brian (Sara) of California, Aaron of Minnesota, Michael of Poynette, Christopher of Oregon, and Nicolas Turinski of Oregon;  six great-grandchildren, Lindsy and Lizette Davis, Brady, Marley, Ella and Ryan Koehler;  a niece and nephews and other extended family and friends.  Millie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her brother, Marvin and his wife, Claudine and ex-wife, Irma Gerstenkorn, her brother, Ronald and his wife, Elinor, a niece, Doris (Ken) Price, and a grand-nephew, Nathan Price.  All residents and staff of Divine Savior Extended Care will miss Millie.

Millie was a loyal and dedicated wife, mother and grandmother.  She took pride in helping “Ed” with a garden and canned or froze the produce.  She enjoyed, later in life, her position in the dry-goods department of J.C. Penney.   Her past-time of sewing for her family enabled her to be of value to the Penney customers.  She also enjoyed helping the “Bake Sale” committee of St. Mary Church and School.  She had also been a Cub Scout Mother Leader and a member of the Railroad Women’s Club.

The family would like to thank the “entire staff” of Divine Savior Extended Care for the skilled and compassionate care you gave Millie during her years of docile dementia.  Also, Dr. Elizabeth Strabel needs our thanks for her understanding and watchful care.  Her extended family at the Care Center also deserve our appreciative thanks.

Please, in lieu of flowers, the family requests that expressions of sympathy, if you wish, take the form of memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association, South Central Wisconsin Chapter, 517 S. Segoe Rd., Suite 301, Madison, WI  53705, or St. Mary School Endowment Fund.

“Now is the Only Time”
The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At a late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own.
Give, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in tomorrow
For the clock may then be still.
(Author Unknown)

The Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family.


For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)