Virginia Woelfel

Virginia Lee Woelfel, 95, formerly of Winneconne, died on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021, at her residence in Oshkosh.

She was born July 18, 1925, in Winfield, Kansas, to the late Guy and Emma (Metcalf) Wilson.

On March 11, 1966, she married James Woelfel in Mexico.

Virginia is survived by three children and their families: John (Debbie) Woelfel of Winneconne and their daughters, Emma and Paige; Charlotte (Dave) Wallace of McAllen, Texas; Tom (Faye) Zeroth of Dousman and their children, Dan (Nicole) Zeroth and Kristiana (Robert) Williams. She is also survived by four great-grandchildren and other relatives and friends.

Along with her parents, Virginia was also preceded in death by her husband, James Woelfel, in 2005; son, Daniel Zeroth, in 1966; five sisters, Treva Sanne, Marjorie Conner, Doris Travers, Mary Nelson, and Nancyetta Wilson; and a brother, James Wilson.

Cremation has taken place and a graveside service will be held at a later date. Mueller Funeral Home–Winneconne is assisting the family with arrangements.

Donations in Virginia’s name may be made to the Winneconne Public Library or the Winneconne Area Assistance Center if desired. Anyone who wishes can please submit online condolences to muellerfh.net.

The following is a memorial written by her daughter-in-law, Deb Woelfel:

Yesterday we said goodbye to my mother-in-law, Virginia. How do you summarize a life so long and full in a few short paragraphs? I’m not sure, but I do wish to let the world know that yesterday we lost someone with an indomitable will and a giant heart.

Who knew when we got married 20 years ago how much of a part of our lives she would eventually be? After Jim died, she moved to live by us and became part of our daily lives. Virginia and I spent many hours together, and as she aged our relationship changed. She liked to tell people that we had many great adventures together. We would drive around Wisconsin and she would show us different places that she and Jim had visited.

She had a great love of gardening. Nothing was done on a small scale. We moved flowers from up north, to our house, and then to our next house. At one point the kids told us to stop putting flowers in the van! She taught me how to can foods but always worried I would hurt myself. She loved to cook. If I was not going to be home, she made sure that Jack and the girls were fed. Apparently this was something that Jack, with his meager cooking skills, would fail at!

Much time was spent on puzzles, cribbage, hearts (though she can count cards, so we stopped that!), and lots of Yahtzee. While we played these games, we shared stories. I learned about her family of six siblings, the Dust Bowl, the Depression, World War II, raising her first family of three, losing a child at age 13 and how she had to learn to forgive and move on, how her children never bickered like mine do, running two hotels and restaurants, raising Jack, living at the lake house, travels with her siblings, and all the joy she had with Jim.

These last few years were not easy for her. Losing her eyesight was a real blow. For a very independent woman to have to depend on people was not easy. I would like to say she took it with grace. But for those of you who knew her well, you know that is not how it went down. Thankfully, we had great people to help us during COVID-19. Without Ann and Deb from hospice, we never would have made it.

Looking back at the pictures, I realize how well Jack and I combined our families. In the end our parents were friends, with my mom and dad talking daily to Virginia to check on her. Our children were lucky to have so much time with her. The girls gave Virginia great joy, and she loved the time she was able to spend with them.

So today we say goodbye to a wonderful person. She was Jack’s mom, my mother-in-law, the kid’s grandma. But most of all, she was my friend, and I will miss the fun we had together! We were blessed to have her become a part of our daily lives and glad she is finally at peace.

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