Mary Lou Dietz

Mary Lou Dietz

Mary Lou Dietz, age 96, of Madison, passed away on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, at Oak Park Place. She was born on May 19, 1920, the daughter of Frank and Nora (Beasley) Ashbrook in Haskell, Okla. Mary Lou attended high school in Tulsa and Hulbert, Okla. She loved school and was Valedictorian of her high school class. Mary Lou married Max Walter Dietz on Sept. 17, 1938. Soon after they were married, they went to Germany in order for her to meet Max’s family. World War II began and they were stranded there until the war ended. When Mary Lou and Max returned to the U.S, they worked and saved to realize their dream of buying a farm near Richland Center. Mary Lou milked cows, raised a garden, canned fruits and vegetables, sewed, baked bread and attended Richland County Normal.

She went on to earn her bachelor degree in education at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Mary Lou taught in Muscoda for many years and dearly loved her 3rd and 4th graders. After retirement, she devoted herself to being a grandmother, a role she absolutely relished. Mary Lou was an avid reader and especially enjoyed memorizing and reciting poetry. She had a lifelong interest in German history and culture. In spite of the hardships of the war Mary Lou made a number of lasting friendships and corresponded with several people in Germany for many years. In 1994, she traveled to Germany and visited her nephews and the friends she had written to all those years.

Mary Lou is survived by her daughters, Rosemarie Slavenas, Marjorie (Larry) Kaukl; step-daughter, Joy Taylor; grandchildren, Eric and Marcus Slavenas, Dustin and Derek Dietz, Steven Kaukl, and Karen Witt; seven great-grandchildren; her sister, Betty Karr; her brother, Daniel (Valerie Mundt) Ashbrook; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brothers, Robert and David Ashbrook; sister, Rebecca Lewis; son Eric Dietz; and grandson, Brian Slavenas.

Funeral services will be held at MONONA UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 606 Nichols Rd., Monona, at 11:00 a.m., on Tuesday March 7, 2017. Burial will follow at Dayton Corners Cemetery, Richland Center. Visitation will be held at the church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday. The family would like to offer a special expression of gratitude to the amazing staff at Chamomile Assisted Living, Heartland Hospice, and Oak Park Place for all their loving and compassionate care over the years.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson East
Funeral & Cremation
5203 Monona Dr.
(608) 221-5420