Eileen Alice (Voss) Pfaff, 92, died Monday, Aug. 26, 2013 at Fairview Nursing Home, following a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Her son and daughter-in-law were with her at the time of her passing from this life to her eternal home with her Savior Jesus Christ.
Eileen was born at home in Marion Township, rural Mauston, on Jan. 23, 1921, to Albert and Elsie (Schultz) Voss. She grew up on the family farm on Highway G with sister, Doris Voss and brother, Wilbur Voss. Eileen was a lifelong member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mauston, where she was baptized and also confessed her faith in the Christian Rite of Confirmation.
Eileen received her grade school education at Spindlerville, a one room country school just adjacent to the family farm in Marion Township. She graduated from Mauston High School with the Class of 1938. While attending high school she boarded in a house on Division Street for $1 per week. Following high school graduation, Eileen attended Juneau County Normal School in New Lisbon and received certification in 1940 in Teacher Education. She then began a three year teaching position at the Hoile School, a one room country school located on Highway 12 & 16 in Lemonweir Township, southeast of Mauston. She used an old pickup truck to get to the school and as other teachers did in those days, she built the fire, shoveled the snow, and did whatever it took to get school up and running each day. To begin her teaching career she again boarded for $1 per week with Stella and Cecil Hoile on a farm close to the Hoile School, which later became the Francis Larson Farm. In 1941 while teaching at Hoile School, Eileen’s dad bought and moved his family to a farm on Highway 12 & 16 in Lemonweir Township, where they had a dairy, swine and crops farming operation.
On June 12, 1943, Eileen married Francis Pfaff at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Mauston. They were married for 60 years, before Francis passed away in April 2004. They began married life living upstairs in a farm house on County Trunk I in Summit Township, south of Mauston, where Francis was in a farming partnership with his dad. In 1948, Francis and Eileen bought and moved to a farm in Lemonweir Township on Highway 12 & 16, with their 2 year old son, Ron. For the want of a daughter, Eileen and Francis adopted Jackie as a baby in 1952.
While on the farm, Eileen enjoyed gardening and raising chickens and ducks to help provide food for the family. She also became very active as a Sunday School Teacher at St. Paul’s and looked forward to assisting the church as a member of the Ladies’ Aid. Francis served as secretary of the Juneau County Fair Board for many years and Eileen worked diligently behind the scenes all those years with paperwork and preparations for the fair. During the fair she basically ran the secretary’s office. She also served for many years as a 4-H Club Leader for the Blackhawk 4-H Club. When the bowling alley was built on Highway 82, Eileen enjoyed bowling on a team with her neighborhood ladies.
Eileen enjoyed cooking, especially for family gatherings. He grandchildren miss “Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies”. Nobody has been able to duplicate them. One of her passions was the love of children and helping others. Even in her later years she was drawn to babies and young ones and always had time to talk with them or hold them. She loved her grandchildren and supported them in many ways.
A new phase of Eileen’s life began when she worked as a waitress at Carpenter’s Supper Club on Highway 12 & 16, southeast of Mauston for 21 and one half years from 1964 through 1986. After that she worked for a short time as a waitress at both the Wright Place outside of Lyndon Station and at the Alaskan in Mauston. From there Eileen began working for the Kwik Trip Store in downtown Mauston where she was the kitchen leader from the time the store was built until she decided to retire at the young age of 83.
Another passion for Eileen was her love of music and singing. She always spoke of how her family would sing together and she loved to play the piano. In her years at Fairview Nursing Home she could always be heard singing hymns during music time and she enjoyed the harmonica playing of neighbor Syd Mead.
Eileen is survived by son, Ron (Cindy) Pfaff of Mauston; daughter, Jackie Pfaff of Mauston; grandchildren, Rick (Dawn) Pfaff of Tomah, Rhonda Bender of Mauston, Rusty (Sarah) Pfaff of Jessup, Md., Rita (Dan) Von Haden of Holmen and Robb and Ryan Pfaff both of Mauston; great-grandchildren, Matthew and Michael Von Haden of Holmen; sister-in-law, Betty Voss of Mauston; nephew, Al (Lisa) Voss of Mauston; nieces, Darlene (Ron) Daugs and Sharie Knuth all of Mauston and Kristie (Gary) Hansen of New Lisbon; cousins, Ken Schultz of Wisconsin Dells and Bob Nemec of Arizona; other relatives; and friends that she worked with and cared about. She was preceded in death by her parents: husband, Francis; sister, Doris Voss; and brother-in-law, Wilbur Voss.
Relatives and friends are invited to call at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Grayside Avenue, Mauston, on Friday, Aug. 30, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. A memorial service will also be held at the church at 1 p.m. on Friday. Burial will be at the Evergreen Cemetery in Lindina Township, south of Mauston.