Lillian Rogge, 89, of Lyndon Station, passed away peacefully Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 at her residence surrounded by her loving family.
Lillian Eileen (Noe) Rogge born to Charles R. and Lillian (Larson) Noe, Sept. 19, 1929; the sixth child in a family of seven. She married Joseph F. Rogge Jan. 29, 1950. They welcomed 10 children to their marriage: Joseph Alan, Lynn Marie, Lillian Kathleen, Michael Charles, Janet Lee, Debra Jeanne, Laurie Anne, Wendy Susanne, Betty Louise, and Mary Katherine.
Lillian was the last surviving member of her family and was predeceased by her parents; her children, Joseph Jr., Lillian (Kathy), Lynn, and Michael; brothers, Charles Jr. and Bernard, and two infant brothers, Conrad and Laurence; sister, Marjorie and infant daughter, Shirley Eleanor; grandsons, Daniel Marvin Chambers and Michael Wallace Rogge.
Lillian is survived by Joseph, her husband of 68 years; children, Janet (Jeff) Wojcik, Debbie (Charles) Sivley, Laurie (Tony) Oldigs, Wendy (Jay) Rhyner, Betty (Todd Bloyd) Chambers, Mary (Lee) Feldman; 31 grandchildren; 73 great grandchildren with three more on the way; Gold Dust Twin Adoree Senzig, who was more like a sister than a cousin; sister-in-law Gloria Noe; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Lillian grew up on a farm outside of Mauston with her sister and brothers. Her role as a caretaker and nurturer started very early in her life. When her mother became very sick Lillian dropped out of school so she could care for her mother, until her mother’s death when Lillian was just 15. After Lillian and Joe were married they moved to a farm in Southern Wisconsin where Joe worked as a hired hand. Lillian took care of the children, her home, and her garden, while Joe had to work the farm and a side job or two.
Lillian had a deep faith in God which she passed to all of her children. The Rogge children were taught to pray as soon as they could fold their hands. Lillian and Joe moved their family to Fontana in 1962, and the family was completed when the tenth child was added to the family.
Lillian had a fabulous vegetable garden which she tended with the same love she put into everything she did. She absolutely loved her garden but especially the beautiful flowers she planted and grew. No one had a green thumb like hers. She could make anything grow indoors and out. She tended her indoor plants like children. Lillian had plants that had come from plants that her mother grew, and those plants have been split and parts given to her own children.
Evenings in the Rogge house were never dull. Sometimes Lillian played her Hawaiian guitar and sang, while Joe accompanied her on the harmonica. Those were wonderful evenings and when they were done entertaining there were 10 kids begging them not to stop, to “please sing one more.” Monday nights the furniture got shoved back to the walls and the rugs were rolled up and everyone would dance. Lillian had to teach Joe to dance, but once he learned they sure could cut a rug. They made sure all of their children could dance too. People used to comment about how those Rogge girls sure could dance a polka. Most people will claim no one could cook like their mother, but in this case, it is true. If Lillian only had a piece of leather to feed you, she could have made it taste wonderful.
In 1974 Lillian and Joe bought the Rogge Family Farm and they moved to Lyndon Station and became “farmers” again. Lillian took care of the livestock and field work during the week while Joe continued to work in Fontana and commute home on Friday nights. Lillian absolutely loved the spring on the farm when the new calves were born. She named every one of them and always knew which was which. She would spend hours in the barn hunting for the newborn kittens and naming them. She couldn’t wait to get out and dig in the dirt to start looking for her little flowers that weren’t quite poking through the ground yet so they could get the warm sun on them. She would go out every evening and cover them back up so they wouldn’t freeze.
Lillian looked forward to harvesting her garden crops and the canning with daughters and granddaughters, passing her knowledge on to the next generation. Canning wasn’t just canning, it was learning and hearing stories from Lillian’s childhood, and stories about her mother. Once Joe retired you could find both of them side by side tending the garden. If one or the other wasn’t well they took a chair to the garden so they could still keep the other one company.
In Lillian’s later years she loved the annual cookie baking with her daughters and granddaughters, frosting the cookies with the little ones or coloring eggs with them at Easter. Lillian treasured her time with all of the little ones, and loved being able to announce a new addition on the way and getting to meet them once they arrived. Lillian was never happier than when she was holding a baby, and the babies just loved her. She had a gift for being able to calm a fussing baby. Once it was held to her heart that was it. They would just snuggle in and baby would be sleeping in no time.
Lillian suffered a stroke in 2016. She could no longer garden but she turned her energy to other things. She enjoyed reading and watching TV with Joe. She especially looked forward to their Saturday date night watching the country music and polka shows. Sometimes they lost track of time and forgot to go to bed at all. Lillian’s faith and determination were never more evident than when she fell in 2017 and fractured her pelvis. The doctors said she would likely never walk again, but walk she did and she was back home in just a matter of weeks. Though she needed a walker, she was still walking right up to her death.
Lillian was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. She always had time for family and loved visitors. She listened, gave advice, hugs, and kisses. Everyone who entered her home left with a little bit of her. She shared her stories and wisdom and made each member of her huge family feel uniquely loved. She loved fiercely and unconditionally, never expecting anything in return. Lillian was the jewel in our family treasure chest. She is deeply loved by her husband Joe and her family, and will be missed forever.
Lillian and Joe shared a love that is a shining example of what a marriage should be. They were still holding hands and sharing kisses until Lillian took her last breath on this earth. Their love story will go on through their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, all 122 of them and beyond.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. November 5, 2018, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 117 Juneau St., Lyndon Station, with Father Clayton Elmhorst celebrating. Burial will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 3-6 p.m. Nov. 4, 2018, at the Conway Picha Funeral Home, 120 E. Adams St., Lake Delton, and from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Nov. 5 before heading to the church for Mass. The Conway-Picha Funeral Home and Crematory of Lyndon Station assisted the family with arrangements. For online condolences and information, visit pichafuneralhome.com.