MADISON – Hazel Learned, age 91, of Madison, passed away on Sunday, July 6, 2014.
She was born on June 5, 1923, the daughter of Reno and Pauline Gehrke, in Ellenboro Township in Grant County, Wis. Hazel married Sam Learned Sr. on March 10, 1942, at the McFarland Lutheran Church in McFarland, Wis. Together they raised six children. Hazel spent her early married life doing whatever it took to care for her family, working in childcare, as a short order cook, a waitress, a baker, and a meat wrapper at Kroger Stores from 1953 – 1971, then C&P and then Kohl’s food stores.
In her later years, she cared for her ailing husband and her parents, and then for her two brothers-in-law prior to their deaths. She also worked in the mail room at Swiss Colony and for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue until the age of 85, jobs she particularly loved, making friends with several of her co-workers. Hazel was a member of Hope Lutheran Church and its WELCA organization, and USCW – meat cutters union.
She is survived by her children, Sam Jr. (Bette), Jerry (Mary), Betty Trush, Barbara Peterson and Mary Ann Kalepp; 28 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; 16 great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Hilda Learned, Anna May Rowen, Phyllis Rodefeld, Carol Gabriel and Polly Stout; and brothers, LeRoy, Lowell, Raymond, Frank, Kenneth, Reno and Doulas Gehrke. She is further survived by many nieces, nephews and friends. Hazel was preceded in death by her husband, Sam; his siblings and their spouses; her son, Terry; a granddaughter, Holly Kalepp; her sons-in-law, Tom Kalepp, Gene Peterson, and Marc Trush; her parents, Reno and Pauline Gehrke; her brothers, Phillip, Jimmy, Paul and Herman Gehrke; and a sister, Ella Marie Powell.
Funeral services will be held at HOPE LUTHERAN CHURCH, 3702 County Rd. AB, McFarland, at 11 a.m., on Friday, July 11, 2014, with the Rev. Chris Lee-Thompson presiding. Burial will be at Hope Cottage Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., on Thursday, July 10, 2014, and also at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Friday.
A special thank you to St. Mary’s Care Center and staff, especially PA Gail, the staff of the Monona Neighborhood, and Home Health United HospiceCare, especially Sister Georgeann, CNA Ashlie and RN Dawn.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Dr.
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