Martin Schwartz Funeral Homes

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Current Services

Thomas D. Matchett

Thomas D. Matchett, age 61, of Cassville, passed away on Wednesday, September 24, 2014, at his home.  Services are pending at Martin Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Cassville. 

Carl R. Lippstock

Carl R. Lippstock, age 77, of Lancaster, passed away on Sunday, October 5, 2014, at the Lancaster Care Center.  Services are pending at Schwartz Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Lancaster. 

Virgil L. Kelly

Virgil L. Kelly, age 90, of Potosi, passed away on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 surrounded by his family at Orchard Manor Nursing Home, Lancaster.

Virgil was born on March 31, 1924, in Potosi, and is the son of Leo and Esther (Richardson) Kelly. He attended a one room school house in his youth and when he was 18 joined the military services and served in WWII in the Marines. He served overseas until his honorable discharge. He was very proud to be a United States Veteran. Upon completion of his tour of duty, Virgil returned home and began work on the family farm and as a mechanic. He married Irene Burns on July 26, 1947. Shortly after marriage Virgil began a career with John Deere Tractor Works. Virgil worked for John Deere for 35 years and retired in 1982 as the Dubuque Operations Grounds Keeper Supervisor.

As a young man Virgil enjoyed stock car racing and spending time behind the wheel on the racetrack as well as helping out the pit crew for his team. Shortly after marriage Virgil and Irene purchased a farm in Potosi and this is where they raised their family. Virgil enjoyed being outside and all the activities the farm provided. Virgil was an extremely talented man when it came to fixing things, especially when it came to any farm machinery or vehicles. Virgil was a man with a great work ethic and was passionate about instilling the value of work in his family. Virgil and Irene worked hard to provide for their family throughout their lives.

Surviving are six children: Bill Kelly, Linda Worthington, Mike (Cindy) Kelly, Ronnie (Stephanie) Kelly all of Potosi, Wisconsin; Tim (Sue) Kelly of Dubuque, Iowa, and Kathy Shemak of Dodgeville, Wisconsin. He is also survived by his sister, Marge Maahs of Lancaster, Wisconsin, and his brother, Vernon Kelly of Potosi, Wisconsin.  In addition, he is survived by brothers-in-law, Richard (Nola) Burns and Delbert Schuster all of Lancaster, Wisconsin.  Also surviving are 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild as well as nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. 

Virgil was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Esther; his wife, Irene and his siblings: Marie Pickel, Dave Kelly, Robert Kelly and Marcella Pickel. He was also preceded in death by a daughter-in-law, Carol Kelly and son-in-law, Pete Shemak.

A Service of Remembrance with military honors will be held on Friday, November 14, 2014, at 4:00 p.m. at Martin Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Potosi.  Private family burial will be at a later date.  Family and friends may call on Friday, November 14, 2014, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Alta M. Vesperman

Alta M. Vesperman, age 99, of Lancaster, passed away surrounded by her family on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at Orchard Manor Nursing Home, Lancaster.  She was born on October 8, 1915, in Ellenboro Township, the daughter of Carl and Naomi (Atkinson) Senftlaben.  Alta married Doris R. Vesperman on June 29, 1938. Together they operated the Texaco station in Platteville.  Doris and Alta later moved to the Vesperman family farm in Ellenboro Township.  She took pride in her large vegetable and flower gardens and enjoyed sharing the produce with family and friends.  Alta was a lifetime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, where her parents, Carl and Naomi, served as Deacons to the parish.  She dearly loved spending time with family and keeping up with their activities. 

Survivors include one son, David (Linda) Vesperman; a daughter-in-law, Jewel (Don) Hedges; seven grandchildren: Jannan (Jerry) Steffes, John (fiancé Jennifer Morey), Jeremy (Mindy Raetz), Joseph (Denise), Daniel (Sheri), Michael (Nikki), Brenda (Kyle Rafac) Vesperman; eight great-grandchildren; three great-great grandchildren; and a niece, Susan (Leslie) Pierce.

Alta was preceded in death by her loving husband, Doris, of sixty-three years, a son, James, a great-granddaughter, JoAnna Vesperman, and a sister, Ruth (Carson) Baker.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at Schwartz Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Lancaster at 11:00 a.m., with Reverend Mary Ann Floerke officiating.  Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery, Lancaster.  Family and friends may call on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until time of services at the funeral home.  In lieu of plants and flowers, an Alta M. Vesperman Memorial Fund has been established.

Frederick W. Koeller

Frederick W. “Fred” Koeller, age 89, of Potosi, entered eternal rest on Thursday, November 13, 2014, at his lifelong family home.  He was born on November 29, 1924, in Potosi, the son of Fred E. and Louise (Fritz) Koeller.  Fred graduated from Potosi High School in 1942.  Upon graduation, he returned to the family farm.  On September 24, 1946, Fred was united in marriage to Dorothy Dresen in Platteville.  After their marriage the couple continued to farm the family farm and raised a family.  Fred enjoyed bowling, playing cards, playing marbles, and was an avid Badgers and Packers fan.  He dearly loved his family and family gatherings at his lifetime home.  Fred was a member of the Potosi School Board for seventeen years and was a member of St. Andrew Catholic Church.

Survivors include his loving wife of sixty-eight years, Dorothy; their children:  Dianne (Don) Jaworski; Ruth (Dan) Bailey; Janice (Larry) Ploessl; Richard (Cindy) Koeller; a son-in-law, Bill Schmitz; fourteen grandchildren:  Brian (Corrine) Jaworski; Jill (Mike) Anderson; Jason (Jacqueline) Jaworski; Gina (David) Reinhard; Andrew Jaworski; Todd (Anita) Schmitz; Lisa (Brian) Abing; Jessica (Chris) Cauthen; Nicole (Brian) Stafeil; Travis (Trisha) Downs; Thomas (Casey) Downs; Andrea (Jeremy) White; Dan Koeller; Alex Koeller; twenty-two great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; three sisters-in-law; other relatives and many friends.

In addition to his parents, Fred was preceded in death by a daughter, Marie Schmitz and eleven siblings.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, November 17, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Tennyson with Father Richard Leffler officiating.  Burial will be in St. Thomas Cemetery, Potosi.  Family and friends may call on Sunday, November 16, 2014, from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at St. Andrew Catholic Church and on Monday from 10:00 a.m. until time of services at the church.  Martin Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Potosi is assisting the family.

Jerry G. Potter

Jerry George Potter, age 72, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, November 16, 2014 at Mercy Medical Center with his loving family by his side.  He was born in Lancaster, Wisconsin on June 9, 1942, the son of the late Cletus and Vivian Potter (Irish).  Jerry married Beth Sedbrook on May 6, 1967 and owned and operated his own carpet company in Madison, Wisconsin for many years.  Jerry and Beth lived in Madison for over 40 years, where they raised their two daughters, Jenny and Tammy.

Jerry is survived by his wife Beth of 47 years; his daughters, Jenny Noll (Joshua) of Oshkosh, Wisconsin and their children Logan and Lexi, Tammy Larson (Garth) of Oshkosh, Wisconsin and their children Jackson and Madie, sisters Jean Dobson (Curt),  Carrie Bell (Rob), and several nephews, nieces and other loving relatives. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Cletus and Vivian Potter.

In 2009, Jerry and Beth left Madison after living there for over 40 years to be closer to their grandchildren. Over the last five years living in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Jerry developed an amazing bond with all of his grandchildren as being a grandpa was one of his greatest joys in life. He was the epitome of what any grandpa should be.

One of Jerry’s greatest passions was his work with the Masonic Lodge, both in Potosi, Wisconsin and surrounding areas, as well as the Fox Valley. He was devoted to helping others and he made an impact through this work on thousands of lives. Jerry loved recreational fishing, playing solitaire on his computer and watching his favorite team, the Green Bay Packers.  Jerry will be remembered as a kind and caring man, with a passion for helping those in greatest need. Most importantly, Jerry is remembered for his unique sense of humor as he could liven up a crown in any situation. He will be incredibly missed by his family and friends.

A memorial visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. on Friday, November 21, 2014, at Martin Funeral Home, 111 South Tyler Street in Lancaster, Wisconsin. A Masonic service will follow and burial will take place at Boice Creek Cemetery in Potosi, Wisconsin.

Marcella Wiedenbeck

Marcella Wiedenbeck, age 92, entered Heaven on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, with her family by her side at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse.  She was born on January 4, 1922, to Harley and Aurelia Storms in Muscoda.  Her father died when she was five years old, so her mother, brother, and she lived a difficult life while farming during the Depression.  Marcella attended school and graduated from Muscoda High School in 1940.  On April 11, 1959, she was united in marriage to Harry Wiedenbeck and two families became one.  Together they farmed just outside of Lancaster until their retirement.  Despite the difficulties that often came along with farming, Marcella loved being outside, watching crops grow, raising animals, and working hard.  Farming was truly her passion.  When retirement came, the couple moved to La Crosse to be closer to their youngest daughter, Joy, and her family.  Their days were filled with helping raise their three youngest grandchildren, Amanda, Allyson, and Erin.  Marcella enjoyed crafting and especially enjoyed making homemade Christmas ornaments that to this day decorate the families’ Christmas trees.

When Harry passed in 2007, Marcella moved back to Lancaster and continued to live independently.  Again Marcella found that she needed something to occupy her days, so she began focusing on her quilting.  Each day, she would work on a quilt, and during the last seven years, she completed well over one hundred quilts.  In fact, she was working on a quilt just a few days prior to her death.

Survivors include her daughters:  Judi Bembenek, Lancaster; Peggy (John) Sieger, Trempealeau; Colleen (Steve) Graney, Lancaster; Jeannie (Karl) Blumer, Albany; Joy (Kevin) Hennessy, La Crosse; a son, Dick (Rhonda) Wiedenbeck, Lancaster.  She was proud to say she had eleven grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren and three nephews, Dennis, David, and Donnie Storms.

Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Harry; sons, Theron Chitwood and Alan “Pete” Wiedenbeck; brother, Donald Storms; and a sister-in-law, Norma Storms.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, November 22, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at the Bethlehem E&R Church in Lancaster with Reverend Mark Dieter officiating.  Private family burial will be in Basswood Cemetery, Eagle Township.  Family and friends may call on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until time of services at the church.  Schwartz Funeral Home & Cremation Services is assisting the family.

The family would like to thank the staff at Grant Regional Health Center, Lancaster Rescue Squad, Paramount EMS, and Gundersen Health Center in La Crosse, especially the staff in critical care, 6th floor medical and palliative care.  Thank you for caring for our Mom, Grandmother, and great-grandmother with dignity and respect during her final days. During her final hours, Marcella told her family she “wanted to go home.”  We are happy you are home now and at peace.  We are blessed to have had you in our lives as long as you were.  You will remain in our hearts forever.  We love you.


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