MADISON-Mary “Winkie” Winifred Tenuta passed away on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at Artisan Assisted Living.

She was born Mary Winifred Meadows on August 1, 1922, in Atlanta, Ga., the daughter of Noah and Mary (White) Meadows. Mary grew up in Vidalia, Ga., the fourth of seven children, all of whom preceded her in death. She met her husband, Joseph A. Tenuta of Kenosha in 1945 while he was serving in the Army during WWII, and stationed in Georgia for training. They were married on May 5, 1946, in Vidalia. From there they moved to Kenosha where they lived until moving to Madison in 1953. Sadly, her husband Joseph died at the early age of 44; a tragedy from which she never fully recovered.

Mary was a sweet, kind, generous, southern lady, who never lost her accent. She loved her home and family. Known as “Grandma Wink” to all her grandchildren, you could count on her to buy that one special birthday gift that each child wanted. Mary enjoyed being outdoors and was an avid flower gardener. She didn’t learn to drive a car until her forties and then often took off on her own to enjoy the scenery of the beautiful state of Wisconsin she had grown to love. She has been deeply missed since the dementia from which she suffered took her to another place.

Mary is survived by her four children, Sally (Frederick) Underhill, Joseph, Steven and Marti Sachtjen; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. The family wishes to thank the kind people of The South Madison Coalition of the Elderly, especially Laura LaFleur, Artisan Assisted Living and Agrace HospiceCare for all of their kindness, support and comfort.

A private Gathering of Remembrance will be held with the immediate family at a later date.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive