Celebrating the life of Kathryn C. Sladek
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Kathryn was born on October 10, 1932, to Joseph and Helen (Fleischmann) Schrauth. She was the eleventh of the thirteen children of Joseph and Helen in the township of Little Black, Wisconsin. Kathryn was raised on a farm, where she had to milk cows before walking four miles uphill to Holy Rosary Catholic School in Medford.
At eighteen she started working in Merrill for a family living on Lake Pesobic for approximately one year. At that time, she saw the love of her life, John, at the Merrill fair. He asked her if he could give her a ride home, Kathryn’s reply, ‘You can if you take me on all the rides’ And John hates fair rides, but that night he went on all the rides with her. And yes, he did give Kathryn a ride home.
She then went to work at Weinbrenner shoe Company and shared an apartment with her older sister, John was also working at Weinbrenner. They became engaged before John was drafted into the Korean War. Where they faithfully wrote love letters back and forth until his safe return in October 1952. They received the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Medford, Wisconsin on January 10, 1953. They lived their entire married life in Merrill. Raising 4 children while working side by side at Weinbrenner, until a later year, she went to Merrill Manufacturing until her retirement. After retiring at 65 years old she continued to work seasonally at Latzig Tree Farm.
Kathryn’s faith and family were very important to her. John and Kathryn enjoyed over 50 years of camping in Northern Wisconsin, which always involved fishing or hunting. She enjoyed bike riding, cross country skiing, walking, swimming at the pool with the ladies, and of course rummage sale shopping. She was a member of the Red Hatter’s, also a volunteer at St. Francis and St. Vincent De Paul. She was able to travel to numerous places, her favorite trips were to Alaska to visir her oldest son Jack and his family, and the trip to Rome where she saw Pope John Paul.
Kathryn is survived by her husband of 69 years, John Sladek of Merrill; 2 daughters and 2 sons, Sandy (Brian) Nienow of Merrill, John ‘Jack’ (Janie) Sladek of Anchorage, Alaska, Brian (Tammie) Sladek of Merrill, and Diana (Wayne) Zimmerman of Merrill; 9 grandchildren, Holly (Donnie Duncan) Nienow of Florida, Christopher (Jennifer) Nienow of Merrill, John (Anna Marie) Sladek of Alaska, Patrick (Talia) Sladek of Alaska, James Sladek of Merrill, Renee Sladek of Milwaukee, Hanna (Chris) St. Clair of Wausau, Sam (Emily) Zimmerman of Rothschild, and Olivia (Wade) Borchardt of Hamburg; 17 great-grandchildren; and sister, Josephine Waite of Jefferson. Kathryn was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Helen Schrauth; siblings, Marcella, Alvin, Aloysius, Bernard, Leona, Margaret, Mary, Joey, Lucille, Sister Helen, and Danny; and daughter-in-law, Roxanne (Akey) Sladek.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Merrill. Father Maria will preside. Burial will take place at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the church. Taylor-Stine Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Merrill, is assisting the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to: St. Francis Catholic Church in Merrill, Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Medford, or Alzheimer’s Disease Research 22512 Gateway Center Drive P.O. Box 1950 Clarksburg, MD 20871-1950.
Kathryn’s family would like to thank the staff at Pine Crest Nursing Home and Aspirus Hospice for the wonderful care they provided Kathryn with.
Online condolences may be made at www.taylorstinefuneralhome.com
Merrill, WI 54452
Merrill, WI 54452