Florence Blau Krejchik, 98, of Caledonia, passed away Thursday, March 14, 2019.
On July 8, 1920, Florence Blau was born in Plain, to Frank and Rose (Ruhland) Blau. She was the oldest of 12 children and a second mother to many of her siblings. Florence was baptized and later attended school at St. Luke’s in Plain. At the age of 16, she and her family moved to a farm near Merrimac. She, like the rest of her siblings, was expected to help with the farm work and raising of the family. This instilled in her a strong work ethic which she carried with her throughout her life. On Feb. 5, 1941, she married Charles Krejchik, a man who brought much to her life. They successfully farmed for a number of years on Charles’ home farm in Caledonia. They brought three sons and a daughter into this world.
Florence was a person to whom her Catholic faith was a core value and which she passed on to her children and extended family. She had a very giving heart. In the early years, it was from the bounty of her garden and the flock of chickens. Later, it became the jobs she chose, first as a cook for many years at Caledonia Grade School where the students looked forward to her homemade bread. She then became the housekeeper for St. Mary’s Rectory in Portage where she not only kept the rectory clean but she lovingly attempted to keep the priests in line. After the loss of her husband, Charles, in 1982, her life changed into another chapter of giving. Each week she helped the residents of Divine Savior Hospital and Tivoli Nursing Home to the chapel for Mass or for praying the rosary.
Playing euchre and sheepshead, a Blau tradition, expanded to a number of card groups; one neighborhood group she played in for more than 60 years. “Quit talking and let’s play cards” was her motto. To keep her hands busy, she quilted. Her handmade quilts found their way to homes all over America as well as overseas. This quilting career found her making “Linus Comfort Quilts” for children suffering from disasters in their lives. From there she graduated into making hundreds of lap quilts for disabled veterans around Wisconsin. Coming from the era of World War II she especially appreciated the service that veterans gave for all of us and felt we should not forget them. Her son Daniel is a yearly volunteer to Haiti where he helps Sister Maria in her many development projects and Florence, though unable to participate in Haiti, decided to provide dresses and shorts for the children in his work area. She made hundreds of dresses and shorts over the years and it was decided by her niece to continue this tradition by family members in the years to come.
In the country tradition, no matter when company came, there was always a place at the table for them. When holidays came, the neighboring bachelor farmers could always look forward to a box of baked goods. Florence often had strong opinions and she let you know of those opinions as she held fast to them. To her credit, she did accept and adapt to the changes that came over her 98 years. She had a deep love and pride in her family, especially her grandchildren. She had gratitude for the help given by Mardell which allowed her to continue her independent living in her own home.
Florence is survived by her children, Roger (Maxine), Daniel (Shirley), John (Mardell), all of Caledonia Township, and Rosemary (James) Wilson of Ames, Iowa; 16 grandchildren; 45 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and many godchildren; her siblings, Alvin (Karen), John (Lorelle), Leonard (Janice), Luke (Christine); and sister-in-law, Donna.
Florence was preceded in death by her husband, Charles; her siblings, Edwin (Clara), Leo (Charlotte), Charles (Helen/Gerry), Mary (Gerald) Lange, Joe, Rose Ann, Ladi (Irene) Kout; her daughter-in-law, Monica (Dan); and her loving grandchildren, Charity and Anthony.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 19, 2019, at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 305 W. Cook St., Portage, with the Rev. Gary Krahenbuhl presiding. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery. A gathering of family and friends will be held from 5-8:30 p.m. Monday, March 18, 2019, at Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage, pmmfh.com, where the rosary will be prayed at 5 p.m. Family and friends may also gather from 10-11 a.m. Tuesday at the church. A luncheon will be served following the Mass at St. Mary’s School in Portage.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mary’s School Fund or a charity of your choice.
The family would especially like to thank Dr. David Gregory, the staff at Divine Savior Hospital and Tivoli as well as the Rev. Gary Krahenbuhl.