Wilma Pauline Birkrem
Wilma Pauline Birkrem, age 93, of Waterloo, formerly of Deerfield, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, at UW Hospital and Clinics. She was born on May 20, 1927, in Jefferson, Wis., the daughter of Fredrick and Clara (Mason) Frey.
Wilma graduated from Cambridge High School in 1945. She married Robert Birkrem on Dec. 14, 1945. Wilma along with her husband Robert, raised ten children while working together on the family farm in the Deerfield area. She also worked in various other roles over the years at the Deerfield nursing home, Hamlin, and later for the state of Wisconsin. She was a member of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary, a Deerfield School District school board member from 1973-1982, and a 4H Leader in the Deerfield community. She was very active in the Women of the Church and a leader of the Luther League at St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran Church.
Wilma loved her retirement to the Manitowish Waters area in northern Wisconsin. She was a fantastic mother, grandmother, great and great-great grandmother, enjoying visits from one and all to her home in the northwoods and more lately, at her home at Highland House. She enjoyed square dancing, sewing, baking, flower gardening, fishing and reading the newspaper every day. Wilma was an avid Badgers, Packers and Brewers fan.
Wilma’s ten children were the joys of her life. She is survived by Warren (Connie) Birkrem, Janis (DuWayne) Schumacher, Beverly (Daniel) Schulz, Sharon (Ron) Holzapfel, David (Valerie) Birkrem, Douglas Birkrem, Carrie Ann (Mark) Besch, Gail (Gary) Duckert and Todd (Lisa) Birkrem; son-in-law, Lee Fassbender; 37 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Rachel Frey; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Robert; daughter, Barbara Fassbender; daughter-in- law, Constance Birkrem; five brothers, Harold (Mitt) Frey, Roger (Ruth) Frey, Kenneth (Vera) Frey, Harley (Ginny) Frey and Dean Frey; and sister, Margaret (Edward) Latsch.
A funeral service will be held outdoors at ST. PAUL’S LIBERTY LUTHERAN CHURCH, 3494 Oak Park Road, Deerfield, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, with the Rev. Holly Slater presiding. Burial will be held at Highland Memory Gardens. For the safety and comfort of all, a drive through public visitation will be held near the church educational center from 4 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, and from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Paul’s Liberty Lutheran Church.