Shirlee Hamele Reynolds, 95, Portage

Shirlee Hamele Reynolds, 95, Portage

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Shirlee Hamele Reynolds passed away peacefully at her home after a lengthy illness.

Shirlee was born in Portage, Wis. to Albert and Rose Hamele in 1924. She graduated from St. Mary’s grade school in 1938 and Portage High School in 1942.

In late 1942, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy Women’s Reserve as a Navy Wave. She received her training in New York at Hunter College. She was then transferred to Washington, D.C. She was honorably discharged in 1946.

In September 1947, she was united in marriage to Clayton Reynolds, who preceded her in death in 1999. One son, Randy Michael, was their only child.

Shirlee worked in the downtown area for many years. She was a Credit Manager for Sears Roebuck for eight years and worked at the Credit Bureau for two years. In 1969, she started working for Mattke’s Shoe Store and remained there until the store closed. She worked there for over 35 years and still remains in close contact with the family. After Mattke’s closed, she worked at Barbra’s Shoes. She always commented she had two super bosses, Barb Kaiser and Larry Mattke.

She was a lifetime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. She volunteered her service in many ways. She was a former member of the Catholic Women’s Club, a charter member of the Elks Club Elkettes and holds membership in the American Legion and VFW Women’s Auxiliary. In the past several years, she has served on the Board of Directors for ABC Connections.

She is survived by her son, Randy (Mike) Reynolds of Portage; a super grandson, Patrick Reynolds also of Portage; three granddaughters, Amy Aquino of Simi Valley, Calif. and Trisha and Tamara of Sioux Falls, S.D.; two sisters, Bette Maass Hewitt, who she wanted to thank for always being there for her, and Faye Wielgus, both of Portage; eight great-grandchildren; special nieces and nephews; other relatives, many special friends and special adopted daughter Nancy Kopfhamer.

Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by two sisters, Jean Ptaschinski and Marge Ashley; only brother, Jack Hamele; three sisters-in-law, Opal Hamele, Irene Anderson and Doris Hamele; seven brothers-in-law, Russell Maass, Don “Red” Hewitt, Glen Reynolds, Wallace Anderson, Lenus Ashley, Jack Wielgus, Don Ptaschinski; and her in-laws, George and Stella Reynolds.

The family would like to give special thanks to Sister Mary Rita Thompson for her friendship and spiritual guidance given to Shirlee over the past few years. Special thanks also to Jordan, Alisa, Chris and all the staff from Agrace Hospice Care for their kind and professional care of Shirlee. Special thanks also to Katherine Phillips who without her round the clock care for Shirlee, hospice care would have been virtually impossible.

Funeral Mass will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019 at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Portage. Father Gary Krahenbuhl will be officiating. Visitation will be from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 1, 2019 at the KRATZ FUNERAL HOME in Portage ( and also one hour prior to the service at church. Burial will follow services at the Silver Lake Cemetery in Portage. Military rites by the Portage Veterans Honor Guard.

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