COLUMBUS—Sylvester J. “Syl” Ballweg age 91, passed away at his home after a long battle with cancer on Friday, July 3, 2020 with his loving family by his side.
He was born to Anton and Florentina (Breunig) Ballweg in Roxbury on December 31, 1928. Sylvester attended St. Norbert Catholic School in Roxbury through the 8th grade and Sauk City High School. He completed high school when his family moved to Columbus, graduating from Columbus High School in 1947. During high school and after graduation, Sylvester was employed at Columbus Milk & Ice Cream for 10 years and was also a pin-setter at Centennial Lanes in Columbus. He served in the Wisconsin National Guard for seven years as a member of the 32nd Red Arrow Division. He met Lydia Miller-the love of his life-at his sister’s wedding dance at the Columbus Pavilion. They were blissfully married on June 17, 1952 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in East Bristol and had five children. Together in 1954, they opened Ballweg’s Drapery and Upholstery Shop in Columbus, later known as Ballweg’s Home Decorating Center when they expanded to include flooring, wallpaper and paint.
Sylvester was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Columbus Council 1609 and joined the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus on October 1, 1960 in Madison. He was appointed Grand Knight in 1971-72, gaining 28 new members and earning the Star Council Award and served as District Deputy from 1972 until 1976. He founded the Knights of Columbus Council at St. Olaf’s in DeForest in 1973 and was a delegate to the Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention in New Orleans in 1978 receiving the Dr. C. W. Henney Medallion Award, Madison Diocese. He was Faithful Navigator of the Christopher Columbus Assembly #2275 in 1998-99.
Sylvester and his son’s were part of the Ballweg Home Decorating Center bowling team which won the Knights of Columbus Bowling Tournament in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1999. He was the Neighborhood Commissioner for the Boy Scouts, Little League coach, St. Vincent de Paul board member, former long-time member of Columbus Kiwanis and taught upholstery classes through Madison Area Technical College. As A.F.S. presidents, Syl and Lydia sponsored two students through the years. Throughout their 68 years of marriage, the couple enjoyed traveling, visiting eighteen countries and presented slide shows of countries they visited to various groups. Syl was an avid bowler, Sheepshead card player, enjoyed going to auctions and attending his grandchildren’s events.
Survivors include his wife, Lydia of Columbus; four children Dennis (Cathy) of Columbus, Mary (Gerry) Schuster of Columbus, Suzanne (Gary) Neuman of Beaver Dam and Tony (Jodie) of Columbus; eleven grandchildren Andrea (Mark) Wojcinski, Nicholas (Vicki) Neuman, Christopher Neuman, Chrissy (Jesse) Long, Jessica (Eric) Sharon, Michael Schuster, Alie (Dan) Hayes, Hilary (Tyler) Henriksen, Jacob Ballweg (Sara Khan), Ben (Connie) Ballweg and Luke (Jamie) Ballweg; fifteen great grandchildren Matthew, David, Katelyn, Kaydence, Samuel, Talyn, Charlie, Leo, Sophie, Violet, Collins, Laikyn, Scarlett, Lawson and Wyatt; four sisters Marie Drolshagen of Columbus, Rita Schlimgen of Indiana, Barbara Cooper of Columbus, Bernadine (Richard) Mueller of Watertown; AFS sons, Walter of Argentina and Bill of Guatemala; many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son Ronald in 1978; three infant great grandchildren; two brothers Henry and Leonard and a brother in infancy; two brothers-in-law, Herb Cooper and Bernie Schlimgen.
Due to the Covid-19 virus, a private family Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. JEROME CATHOLIC CHURCH in Columbus. Rev. Garrett Kau will officiate. Interment will be in St. Jerome Cemetery.
A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Jerome Parish, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or American Cancer Society.
A special thank you to Dr. Sam Poser, Dr. Rolf Poser and Agrace Hospice for their care and concern.
Online condolences may be made at www.jensenfuneralandcremation.com