MADISON, Wis. - Virginia M Schmelzer, age 87, died on January 20th at home surrounded by her family. She was born in Madison on April 7, 1925, to the late Louis and Anna (Ponti) Lumina. Virginia married Thomas H. Schmelzer on June 12, 1948 and enjoyed 42 years of marriage until his death in 1990. She attended St. James Grade School and graduated from West High School. She went on to work at Cuna Mutual until her marriage, and returned to work there later in her life, putting in 25 years of service.
Virginia and Tom raised seven children, who were the focus of their life. They also opened their home to special needs children, who resided with them during the school year. Virginia was a caring, gentle, empathetic woman whose greatest joy was family. She was amazingly skilled at uncovering the life story of anyone she met and expert at recalling long-time Madison families and local history. As a second generation Italian-American from a large extended family, genealogy became her life-long pursuit, highlighted by a 1987 trip to meet her Italian relatives in Valtellina Italy. In her retirement years she loved to garden and read. She spent her last years at All Saints Retirement Community.
Virginia is lovingly survived by her children Sue Schmelzer of Wichita, KS; Tom (Carly) Schmelzer of McFarland, WI; Jim Schmelzer of Austin, TX; Kathy (Bobby) Lipke of Northbrook, IL; Jean Schukei of Janesville, WI; Mary Schmelzer (Bill Grout) of Madison, WI; and Julie (Bob) Dunn of Madison, WI; grandchildren Wade (Julia) Schmelzer; Angie (Scott Heiman); Cale Schmelzer; Haley (Dan Sobczak); Rachel Lipke; Megan (Mike Kenney); Levi Cranmer; Matt Schukei; Nick, Kate and Olivia Grout; Bobby, Jack, Anna, and Molly Dunn; and 8 great-grandchildren; one sister Gloria Accardo; sisters-in-law Virginia (Meitner), Mary Jane Schmelzer, Johanna Schmelzer and Nancy Schmelzer; brother-in-law Warren Bull and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband Tom, her parents, her in laws Fred and Anna Schmelzer, brothers Lawrence and Jim Lumina, sisters-in-law Mary Lumina, Vivian Dupuis, Rosemary Dosher, Mary Schmelzer, Beatrice Bull, and brothers-in-law Pete Accardo and Dave, Don, Duane and Bill Schmelzer, and Homer Dupuis.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 am on Thursday, January 24, 2013, at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 401 S. Owen Drive, Madison, with Msgr. Kenneth Fiedler officiating. Visitation will be at the church on Thursday from 10:00 am until the time of Mass. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her honor to Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish or the Williams Syndrome Association. Entombment will follow the service at Resurrection Cemetery.
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com