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Delores Fandrich

The matriarch of the Larson sisters, Delores (Larson) Fandrich, has joined her beloved husband of 63 years, Charles “Bud” Fandrich, and her loved ones who have passed on before her.

Delores Fandrich was born July 28, 1929, in Rio, to Alfred and Norma (Benzine) Larson. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband; parents; sisters, Donna (Eldred) Ketchum, Betty (Wally) Leisemann, Shirley (Jerry) Skogen and Lillian (William) Blackley; and brother, Gerald (Barbara) Larson.

She passed away peacefully at Divine Savior Tivoli Nursing Home in Portage on Dec. 27, 2017. She is survived by her daughters, Ruth (John) Gysbers and Sherry (Robert) Mueller; sons, David (Jessica) Fandrich and John (Day) Fandrich; sister, Joann (Erling) Landsverk; and brother, Richard (Nancy) Larson.

A true pillar of dedication to all who knew her, and with a dash of compassion, Delores was a woman of strength for many friends, families and animals.

Delores enjoyed her 11 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Her love of family and friends was always at the center of her life along with her many pets which included dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, flying squirrels, skunks and, of course, her husband, Bud. Always the prankster, she would enjoy many hours of laughter, letting her pets roam the city and countryside while always acting surprised when they escaped.

Raised on the family farm in Rio, Delores worked hard from the beginning. Dreams of what the world held for her would lead her to graduate from Nursing School and a degree in cosmetology.

This beautiful woman then fell in love with her to-be husband “Bud,” deciding family life was her path to follow and shared a full life until his passing in 2011.

Delores was a major influence and partner in the 50-plus year career of Fandrich Auction Service. Auction customers would call her by name and look for a familiar smile and twinkle in her eyes. The auctions Bud and Delores held were more of a production for their clients and friends in a three-state area. The laughter erupted as they would interact and challenge the crew and customers to be a part of a magical day at the auctions!

The “Minnow in the Water Jug” or the “White Lightning in the Water Jug” would set the tone for a fun and memorable day for all. The auction crews were like her family then and now, and she will be happy to join them to continue the celebration.

The reunions and the family Sunday get-togethers were also a special time for Delores and her sisters and brothers. Laughter and teasing each other until you cried was the theme of the sisters, along with the great food they prepared.

Delores and her sister Joann couldn’t just sit around, so they decided to go into real estate and what a pair they were. Negotiations, conventions and getting into mischief kept these two sisters inseparable for a long time. We still reminisce about their antics and success in business, making them a special duo not to be ignored.

Her love of family and her mother, Norma, and sisters was also a focal point of her life. She spent many hours over lunch in the kitchen discussing what the children were doing or the next auction that was coming up.

She also loved her church, St. John’s Lutheran, and sent six children through its elementary school. It was her dedication to make sure the children were given a Christian education that stood out among her many accomplishments. She was also a licensed real estate broker, block captain for the American Heart Association and licensed beautician. Always a person in constant motion, she enjoyed relaxing by watching her beloved Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers, and going on annual fishing trips to Canada.

Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2018, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Portage, with funeral service to follow. Interment will be at Bonnet Prairie Cemetery in Rio.

The family would like to thank Dr. Brenda Blohm, MD, Dean Anderson, RN, and Jennifer Ackerman, CNA, for their outstanding dedication and care of Delores in her final months. They are a testament to the outstanding professionals at Divine Savior Tivoli Nursing Home.

Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage (pmmfh.com) is assisting the family.