McFarland--Celestine "Sally" Hein, age 95, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at Agrace HospiceCare Center in Fitchburg.
Mom was born in Greenville, WI, on July 17, 1917, to Rudolph and Wilhelmina (Bauer) Trauba.
Mom grew up in a small town under the stern, watchful eye of a patriarchal German father. Being the oldest, she often looked after her brother and her two sisters. Her family was among the first to have a car and she often rode shotgun with her Dad while watching her siblings as he promulgated his various schemes throughout Outagamie County.
She attended a small parochial school in Greenville WI, graduated Valedictorian from Appleton High School and was thrilled, at 18, coming to Madison, to attend the UW, in 1935, intending to become a nutritionist. In her freshman year she was a member of a sorority and a typical date was ball room dancing in one of the hotels on the Capitol Square or a movie or even a vaudeville show at the Capitol or Orpheum theaters. Her life had become free and happy.
She met her future husband, the blacksmith's son, in a chemistry class, sharing the same lab station. He had been an on again, off again, somewhat lackadaisical student who seemed to need direction. How did they actually meet? "Well, as you know, your Father was never too swift, but he did piece together that Christmas break was coming up and if he didn't ask me out before then we'd likely never see one another again, so he asked me to a movie." They were married the following year, 1937, her husband 'got religion' both literally and in his career, and by 1957 they had 6 children.
The dream of becoming a nutritionist was displaced by caring for head wounds, broken arms, broken noses, stolen bicycles, boyfriends, girlfriends, proms, church bake sales, volunteering a morning or two every week at the school's Hot Lunch program, card club charitable doll giveaways, PTA, teacher or principal conferences for one of her wayward children, providing meals and moral support ... a surrogate mother really ... for her children's wayward friends, packing for vacation, unpacking from vacation, washing, ironing sheets, ironing shirts and pants, ironing underclothing, darning socks in the evening when the kitchen was back in order, mending clothes, making clothes, birthday parties, putting up garden produce, watching her kids shine ... or not ... the face of the family always working behind the success of her husband, or of her children, but so often picking up the pieces of broken hearts and shattered dreams.
Where did Mom have any time for herself? Everybody had a good time at every holiday, but somebody, Mom, was up at 4am to get the turkey in the oven, making sure the house was clean, getting all those kids up and ready to go, that the gravy and the meat and the potatoes would all be hot at the same time, the unsung hero behind every gathering, and the last to bed after all was cleaned up. She raised her children with the philosophy that a parent's duty is to teach their kids independence as early as possible, and that meant showing up for school no matter what, that meant caring for yourself, that meant getting a job ... delivering newspapers, babysitting, bagging groceries, selling berries, fur trapping ... as a means to financial independence and eventual responsible adulthood. Sometimes kicking, screaming, pouting, and crying we all did get in line, paying huge dividends for us her children, and her legacy has continued through her many grandchildren.
She cared for us all and for each of us, keeping her husband, our Dad, going for many fruitful years as he dealt with health issues and blindness into his 100th year. When he passed last April, perhaps she felt her work was finally done, so much having been given for so long a time; she made us biologically, and she also made us into the persons that we have each become. Thanks, Mom. We Love You. Rest in Peace...
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, February 25, 2013 at Christ the King Catholic Church, 5306 Main Street, McFarland with Father D. Stephen Smith Presiding. Family will greet friends from 9 a.m. until the time of service. A luncheon will be served in the Parish Hall followed by entombment in Roselawn Memorial Park Chapel, Monona.
A special thank you to Sally's neighbors for all of their comfort and care, and the staff of Meriter Home Health and Just Checking In.