Marie A. Strachota, nee Weiss, passed away peacefully with her family at her side on July 2, 2013. Born on June 28, 1918, Marie was the 5th of 9 children born to Matthew and Anna (Peters) Weiss in Slinger, WI. She is remembered as an optimistic woman who carried a smile on her face and a song in her heart.
Marie enjoyed a happy childhood and had many memories of adventures with her brothers and sisters. She was fond of remembering the long walks to Big Cedar Lake to swim on a hot summer day. Marie was in high school when the family moved to West Bend. After graduating from high school, Marie initially worked gratis for a West Bend attorney and then became an executive secretary for Bernie Ziegler at the West Bend Company.
Marie had a beautiful singing voice and sang at many weddings in West Bend. She auditioned for the Milwaukee Opera but she had just met a party-crasher named Orville Strachota, who became the love of her life. They were joined in marriage on October 21, 1944 at Holy Angels Church in West Bend and moved to St. Killian. Their love and devotion to each other lasted over 68 years.
Marie’s love for her husband and family was obvious the moment you met her. Marie made every birthday special and every day filled with love. The house in St. Killian was always alive with music and singing. Her kindness and generosity made everyone who knew her a better person. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were a great source of joy, love and laughter.
Besides Marie’s full time job of raising 6 children, she was an integral part of the success of the family business. Marie was an executive secretary for Orville and her organizational skills allowed Dairyland Seed to grow and flourish. Beyond using her home as the headquarters from 1955 until 1967, Marie was the heart and soul of Dairyland for many additional years. At various times she served as Accountant and Bookkeeper, Office Manager, Corporate Secretary, as well as a member of Dairyland’s Board of Directors until her retirement.
Marie had a deep and abiding Catholic faith. While she did not have the opportunity to attend college, she believed in Catholic schools, sacrificing personally to provide a total of 96 years of Catholic education for her six children.
Marie, with Orville, enjoyed the North Woods and looked forward to spending every summer at the lake. During the winter, they spent time in Maui and traveling.
Orville predeceased Marie by 2 months. Marie is survived by their 6 children, Suzanne, Jane (Fred) Wade, Steve (Sharon), Mary Kay, Tom (Patty), and John. She is also survived by her 8 grandchildren, Matthew (Alyssa), Mandi, Elizabeth (Peter) Benz, TJ (Katie), Maggie, Kathleen (Fiancé Andy Kohl), Tommy Wade and Michael Wade and by 4 great-grandchildren, Kilian Strachota, Sophia and James Benz, and Lauren Strachota. She is further survived by her brother Joe (Maybelle) Weiss and sister-in-laws Suzie Weiss and Clara Weiss.
Pre-deceasing her are her brothers, sisters and in-laws, Ray (Cornelia) Weiss, Mella (Bob) Burt, Arnie (Connie) Weiss, Lorraine (Frank) Heindel, Mark (Jim) Baumgartner, Candy (Tom) Merriam, and Bob Weiss. Also pre-deceasing her are her sister-in-laws, Elvira (Ray) Groose, Leyola (Al) Weitor, Agnella, Myrtle (Al) Krejci, and Paula (Paul) Hron.
Memorials may be made to the Holy Angels School Trust Fund or to a charity of the donors choosing. Funeral services will be held at Holy Angels Church (138 N. 8th Ave., West Bend) with visitation from 4 to 6:30 PM with a mass of Christian burial at 6:30PM on Monday, July 8. Interment will be held at Holy Angels Cemetery on Tuesday, July 9 at 10 AM.
Special thanks to the staff of Cedar Bay East for their caring help and outstanding assistance.