Helen M. Niesen, age 97 of Madison, died peacefully on Saturday, June 7, 2014, at her home.
She was born on August 11, 1916, in Dane, the daughter of the late Tom and Katherine (Barbian) Werla. She was united in marriage to Ray Niesen on May 5, 1936, and they were happily married for 60 years.
During her long life as a homemaker, she enjoyed raising her 7 children, working at church functions, gardening, cooking and baking, playing cards, watching sports on TV especially the Badgers, Packers, and Brewers. Helen was an avid quilter and took great pride in being able to supply 100's of quilts for charitable organizations through her church. She worked on them daily and had a stack ready for the Holly to pick up on her next visit.
Helen is survived by her children, Ken (Joyce), of Middleton, Beatrice Pongratz of Scottsdale, Ariz., Arlene (Bob) Reisdorf of Middleton, Art (Sandi) of El Cajon, Calif., Dick (Sue) of Middleton, Sandy (Vito) Cerniglia of Madison, and Tom (Donna) of Waunakee; 20 grandchildren; 22 great- grandchildren; a brother, Urban (Margaret) Werla; sister-in-law, Donna Werla; several nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and many friends. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Olive Adler, Sister Antoninous, and Catherine Werla; brothers, Tom and Herb; son-in-law, Ray Pongratz; grandchildren, Bob Pongratz, Wendy and Dave Workman; and grandson-in-law, Tom Drog.
A Mass of Resurrection will be held at ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 602 Everglade Dr., Madison at 11 A.M. on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, with Father Bart Timmerman presiding. Friends may call from 9 A.M. until 10:45 A.M. on Wednesday at the church. Burial will follow at Sunset Memory Gardens.
The family would like to thank Mom's relatives, neighbors, friends and the St. Thomas staff for enriching her life all of these years.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church or to the Middleton Senior Center.
Mom, You are and have always been our Guiding Light and have shown us the way for many years. Our lives have been shaped by the influence of your experiences. Our memories are many and will carry us thru until we are all welcomed again by you and dad into your everlasting family. We love you will all our hearts and will miss going home, but your work is done. Sleep well.
Gunderson West Funeral and Cremation Care
7435 University Ave.