STOUGHTON-Arnold Otto Wake, 95, passed away peacefully at his home in Stoughton on Saturday, October 20, 2012. Born in Necedah, Wisconsin on January 9, 1917, to James H. and Hannah Bredeson Wake, he was the youngest of four children. His beloved brothers, Homer and Donovan, and his sister, Eva Fosdahl Paulson, all of Stoughton, predeceased him.
Mr. Wake was graduated from Stoughton High School in 1935, where he had the lead role in Our Town, won several medals as a wrestler, and sang in the glee club. In 1937 he purchased a 1915 Model T Ford and still owned it at his death. He married his high school sweetheart, Elaine Dahl, on June 19, 1938. The couple moved to Monona and built a home on the lake, where they raised their three daughters, Sharon, Susan, and Patricia; hosted countless family gatherings; and remained for 32 years before returning to Stoughton.
Mr. Wake owned Wake Realty Company; was active with the Madison Board of Realtors and proudly served on the Dane County Condemnation Board. He curled with the Madison Curling Club, was a commodore of the Four Lakes Yacht Club, was a life member of the Elks Club, and sang with the Greig Male Chorus. He was a member of Covenant Lutheran Church in Stoughton.
Mr. Wake suffered a stroke which took away some of his spunk and made it harder for him to tell his Norwegian jokes, but losing his wife really took its toll. After seventeen years as a breast cancer survivor, Elaine died in 2011, shortly before the couple’s 73rd wedding anniversary. Arnold remained at home, where he was looked after by loving caregivers. Arnold was comforted by the visits of his many nieces and nephews, by pastoral visits, by visits from friends, and by frequent phone calls and visits from Elaine’s devoted nieces and nephew. He missed his children and grandchildren, and every visit ended with the question, “When are you coming?” Most of all, he missed Elaine.
Mr. Wake is survived by two daughters and seven grandchildren: his daughter Susan, her husband, Robert Shenkin, and their son, Matthew, and daughter, Emily, all of Philadelphia; his daughter Patricia, her husband Geno Pauline, their youngest daughter, Jenna, all of whom live in Denver, their eldest daughter, Theresa (in India), and their daughters Andrea and Leah, who are in Uganda, where they manage Musana Community Development Organization); and Sharon’s daughter, Dee Ann Cooper, of Minnesota.
Interment will be at Roselawn Memorial Park on Tuesday, October 30, at 10:00 A.M., where the body will be laid to rest next to wife Elaine and beloved first child, Sharon, who died of leukemia in 1967. His immediate family will hold a graveside service in the spring. Memorials in his honor may be made to Musana Community Development Organization.
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