Alice Ann Steiner, 86, of New Holstein died peacefully with loved ones surrounding her on Feb. 2, 2020 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
She was born March 22, 1933 in Hilbert, daughter of the late Matthias and Jeanette (Schmidt) Thiel. Alice married John Steffes on June 4, 1954 in Hilbert, but soon an illness took his life and John passed away in 1956. Alice then met the love of her life Ralph E. Steiner at a wedding dance at The Elite in New Holstein in September 1957. They were married May 10, 1958 at St. Mary Church in Hilbert by her brother, the Rev. Lloyd Thiel.
Alice was a 1951 graduate of Hilbert High School. In her high school years she worked at Manz drugstore in Hilbert where she loved serving the needs of customers and making new connections. This friendliness and kind spirit to everyone was a constant throughout her life. After high school she worked at Brillion Iron Works, followed by Calumet Cheese. After the children left home, Alice spread her wings, always wanting to learn new things and make a difference, and she proudly worked as a bank teller in New Holstein and Kiel, and upon retirement, enjoyed time in the elementary classroom helping students with reading.
Her life was about service, happy to have others lead, while providing that steady and reliable behind the scenes support necessary for any family or organization to thrive. She was a loving wife, hard-working, fun and tolerant mother, dutiful worker and committed volunteer for many local organizations. She excelled at typing and was famous for late night finishes of papers for her children. More than that, she enjoyed writing and creating the best story, prayer, press release, or whatever she was asked to write. Many local organizations gained an exemplary volunteer when Alice served them, including her years as publicity chair for the Calumet County Farm Bureau and the Charlesburg Picnic. In 1973 she was honored to earn the Mrs. Farm Bureau of Calumet County award.
While the six children were young and growing and she and Ralph were working on their family farm, Alice always kept the family together and led us in many family traditions, including teaching us how to cook, freeze and can vegetables, do laundry, and always do these things with a smile. She was often the implementer of Ralph’s “crazy ideas” that typically started as handwritten notes on the back of a used envelope and after her input and sometimes gentle persuasion, turned into something unique, meaningful, and memorable. Alice was a lifelong learner and was the first among her peers to use a computer and was determined to not let Microsoft Word get the best of her.
Alice was a member of Charlesburg Church beginning in 1958 and later Good Shepherd Church in Chilton. Along with Ralph they directed the CCD program at St. Charles Church, Charlesburg, and also taught CCD and Confirmation. She was active in Cursillo, a lector and member of the choir at St. Charles and Good Shepherd Church. Some of our last fond memories of her included singing happily in the Good Shepherd Church Choir. Alice spent many hours in prayer at Perpetual Adoration. She was also a longtime leader for the D of I Christian Women’s group. Ralph and Alice proudly and sweetly aligned themselves with the TV show “The Honeymooners” and for 20 years were called upon to inspire engaged couples in marriage preparation ministry for the Green Bay Diocese.
Alice enjoyed music, plays, traveling, and especially the Farm Bureau trips and visits to family in Florida, California, and Washington. She was a cancer survivor and was proud to walk the survivor’s lap at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. At home on the farm, Alice loved her flower gardens and spent many hours weeding and enjoyed being outdoors. She was also a proficient seamstress and salvaged many shirts, pants, and other items. As the children left the farm, Alice took on new responsibilities including tractor driving, chopping corn, milking cows, picking stones, and more, with only minor objections.
Alice loved time with her friends and family, especially times spent playing sheepshead. She enjoyed and valued her girl time with her best friends from high school. She will be remembered for her kindness, understanding, patience, and acceptance of everyone.
Survivors include her husband Ralph; her children Roger (Susan) Steiner, Jerry (Denise Bertrand) Steiner, Bob (Julie) Steiner, Jim (Mary) Steiner, Barb (Dave) Mickelson, and Janet (fiancé John Cheney) Brown; 11 grandchildren, Corissa Steiner, Carmen Steiner, Brian Steiner, Ian Steiner, Jacob Steiner, Brandon Steiner, Rachel Steiner, Zachary Mickelson, Megan Mickelson, Kurtis Brown, and Matthew Brown; one brother, Leon (Carol) Thiel; and sisters-in-law Martha Thiel and Fran Steiner.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Eugene Thiel, Cyril (Margaret) Thiel, Fr. Lloyd Thiel, Melvin Thiel, and Harold (Dolores) Thiel; and brothers-in-law Melvin (Caroline) Steiner and Alphonse Steiner.
We want to say thanks to the wonderful and loving staff at Willowpark Place and Willowdale. We remember the Alice before Alzheimer’s Disease took away her ability to make small talk, make others feel at ease, and laugh; however, it did not rob her of her smile or myriad of facial expressions, for which we are thankful. Throughout it all, her spirit of sweetness and kindness remained. The family is appreciative of the many friends and family that were faithful visitors in the past eight years.
A Liturgy Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 1724 Madison St., New Holstein. The Rev. Dick Fleischman will officiate with Deacon Dennis Bennin assisting. Burial will take place at St. Charles Catholic Cemetery in Charlesburg.
Family and friends may visit with Alice’s family at Sippel Funeral Home, 2618 Altona Ave. in New Holstein on Thursday, Feb. 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. and at the Holy Rosary Church on Friday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
A memorial fund will be established in Alice’s name.
For further details, please contact Sippel Funeral Home in New Holstein at 898-4300 or visit www.sippelfuneralhome.net.