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“To the Degeneffe family, My deepest sympathy. Your mother was such a great lady! My thoughts and prayers for you at this time of need. God bless. ”
1 of 29 | Posted by: Debra Daul Roewer - FL

“To John Lynn James and Stewart, our thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. Please remember a mother is always there, we have all gained...Read More »
2 of 29 | Posted by: Chuck Maurer Family - Chilton, WI

“John and Lynn and Degeneffe Family......Yours was also a pretty close knit and loving family... with the best of great memories to share and remember...Read More »
3 of 29 | Posted by: Jeanne & Kerry Klotz - Chilton, WI

“Dear Degeneffe Family: Your Mom was such a sweetheart, when she lived at Chilton Care Center across from our Dad, Herman Woelfel, those two were fun...Read More »
4 of 29 | Posted by: Doris Bennin - Chilton, WI

“Bonnie and the entire Degeneffe Family, So sad to hear of your mom's passing. Been a lot of years since I was at the Degeneffe home in Chilton...Read More »
5 of 29 | Posted by: Diane Younger (Gram) - Oconto, WI

“Fondly remembering your mom and your entire family, especially my weekend babysitting at your home in Stiles. What a handful you kids were for me...Read More »
6 of 29 | Posted by: Priscilla (Bitters) Bober - IL

“The family of Alice Peterson sends sympathy and prayer at this sad time of the death of your good mother. Our mother, Alice, enjoyed the friendship...Read More »
7 of 29 | Posted by: Sister Sandra Peterson - Freedom, WI

Me and my Grandma. “I have many memories with my grandma, but my favorite would be dancing in the living room with her to Polka Joe. I will always love you and miss you,...Read More »
8 of 29 | Posted by: Amber Degeneffe - New Holstein, WI

“To The Degeneffe Family, We would like to extend our deepest symathies. Jerry was very fond of both your parents. The Jerry Propson Family ”
9 of 29 | Posted by: Jerry Propson Family - Chilton, WI

This is a picture of my grandma, her first great grandson and I.We love you grandma “If Grandma had a meaningI'll tell you what it'd beif you were close to yourslike mine was close to meGrandmas are always thereto lend a shoulder and...Read More »
10 of 29 | Posted by: Katrina Berndt - New Holstein, WI

“My thoughts and prayers are with your family. It was approx 52 or 53 years ago on St Patricks Day that our families were brought together when our...Read More »
11 of 29 | Posted by: Susie Bins-Ingebretsen - WI

“I am so sorry to hear that you lost your mother. She was a great lady and I will always remember the story about your dad (hair) at your wedding....Read More »
12 of 29 | Posted by: Jane Panosh - Manitowoc, WI

“We want to express our Sorrow and Deepest Sympathy to your families at the loss of your mother. Patsy was truly a sincere, knowledgeable and...Read More »
13 of 29 | Posted by: Vernon & Dorothy Christopherson - WI

“I really only knew of your mother through HomeMakers and I recall a woman with a wonderful talent for the written word. I remember losing to her in...Read More »
14 of 29 | Posted by: Jayne Young - Hilbert, WI

“Ed, my deepest sympathy to you and your family. Your mother sounded like a wonderful person. You will be in my prayers. Leanne ”
15 of 29 | Posted by: Leanne Beno - Green Bay, WI

“God Bless you and your family Bonnie," The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her" Love MaryAnn ”
16 of 29 | Posted by: MaryAnn Unger - Green Bay, WI

“I first met Pat through Margo Anderson. At that Margo was married to Glen Schlorf. I joined a ceramic class in Hilbert and picked up Pat for ceraic...Read More »
17 of 29 | Posted by: Suzanne Dhein - Chilton, WY

“What a wonderful obituary. Now I understand more of why Bonnie is such a wonderful person, the role model of her mother. Take care. ”
18 of 29 | Posted by: Colleen O'Brien - Denmark, WI

“You all have our deepest Sympathy. I guess there is more than one writer in the family!. That was the most interesting obit I ever read. Thanks...Read More »
19 of 29 | Posted by: Bonnie Schneider - Chilton, WI

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Degeneffe family. I am so grateful to your mom for her tireless work on our family history. I possess both...Read More »
20 of 29 | Posted by: Linda Behm - Wheaton, IL

“Our condolences to the Degeneffe family at the loss of your mother. She was a very special lady and her love and knowledge of family history was...Read More »
21 of 29 | Posted by: A friend

“Bonnie, Your Mom kept in touch with my dad(Jack Kowalczyk) for many years. He was on the state basketball team that she was so proud of. My...Read More »
22 of 29 | Posted by: A friend

“To Bill & CJ and the Degeneffe Family,With our sincere Heartfelt Sympathy on the death of your loving Mother.Thinking of you.Allan & Connie Meiselwitz ”
23 of 29 | Posted by: Allan & Connie Meiselwitz - WI

“To Pat & Judy and the entire Degeneffe family, Our deepest sympathy to you all in your loss. Tom & Wendy Popp ”
24 of 29 | Posted by: Tom & Wendy Popp - Chilton, WI

“My sympathy to the Degeneffe Family. Your mom was one of a kind, I will miss her Christmas letters. Enjoy your memories, as I know you will have...Read More »
25 of 29 | Posted by: Alice Connors - Chilton, WI

“To the Degeneffe family, So sorry to here of your moms passing. We had some good times together when we all lived in the country. May the Lord be...Read More »
26 of 29 | Posted by: Mike & Nancy Moschel

“Sorry to hear about Pat's passing.She was a lovely lady to visit with.I will misss her.Bonnie ”
27 of 29 | Posted by: Bonnie Ott - Chilton, WI

“My Deepest Sympathy to the entire Degeneffe family Aunt Patsy was a wonderful women. I remember the great visits we had over the years, she will be...Read More »
28 of 29 | Posted by: Lisa Cochran - New Waterford, OH

“My deepest sympathies to Pat, Lisa and the rest of the family. May she rest in peace. I know my Mom will be thrilled to see her again. She was a...Read More »
29 of 29 | Posted by: Barbara Bittner - WI - Friend


Patranella C. Degeneffe, ("Mom"), age 83, passed away peacefully with family members beside her at Century Ridge in Chilton, WI on Sunday, March 11, 2012. Mom was a creative, compassionate, and spiritual woman who endured life's trials and tribulations with dignity and grace. Mom was born on June 17, 1928 to the late Chester and Nellie Leigh and was given the name Patranella Cathryn Leigh. She grew up on a family farm outside of Lena, WI and graduated from Lena High School in 1946 as Salutatorian of her class. She was quite proud of her high school basketball team coached by Bruce Kimball that won second place in the state basketball tournament in Madison in 1945 (Lena lost to Madison West). Mom married Thomas Degeneffe ("Dad") of Oconto, WI on July 22, 1950. They had nine children and farmed in the Oconto Lena area until 1967 when they moved to Chilton and purchased a farm in 1968. They joined St. Mary's Catholic Church in 1967 (now Good Shepherd Parish), and remained active members until their deaths. They were married for almost 56 years when Dad passed away on June 14, 2006. Mom was a member of the Calumet County Homemakers Club for over 30 years and gained many friends through Homemakers. She wrote many essays for entry into Homemakers' statewide writing contests and received various awards. Besides Dad, Mom was preceded in death by her 10 year old son: James (1951-1960), an infant daughter, Mary Ann, and all of her siblings – Arlene Pries, Eleanor Konop, Wesley Leigh, Dorothy Dembroski (surviving husband Richard "Dick" Dembroski, Oconto, WI), Chester Leigh Jr. (surviving wife Betty, Lena, WI), and John Leigh (surviving wife Carol, near Lena - her late husband John was Chairman of the Town of Oconto for over 25 years). Mom is survived by seven children: Bonita (Degeneffe) Parrott, Green Bay; Patrick (Judy) Degeneffe, Chilton; William (CJ) Degeneffe, Neenah; Edward (Terry) Degeneffe, Green Bay; Thomas Jr. (Regina) Degeneffe, New Holstein; Jeffry Degeneffe, Chilton; and John (Lynn) Degeneffe, Chilton; 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Above all, Mom was a "people person". She enjoyed the company of family, friends, neighbors, and others including door-to-door salesmen (insurance and vacuum-cleaner salesmen loved Mom); she enjoyed visiting with people, attending community and church events, and planning family and class reunions. Mom was also a faith-filled person. When resources were scarce, she would say, "God will provide." She was a lifelong member of the Roman Catholic Church but was proud that her family was "ecumenical". An article Mom wrote years ago entitled, "My Father's Heritage" included the following: "My Dad's family became one of mixed religion. At the present time we have five Protestant ministers, and two Catholic Priests. My Dad was Protestant Irish and my Mother Catholic Irish. The reason I point this out is because we never had any conflicts because of these differences. I can truthfully say our families were "ecumenical" before we ever knew the word existed." Mom was also a literary person, and enjoyed reading, thinking, pondering, writing and rewriting. Much of her writing was historical and nostalgic (i.e. her essays "The One Room Schoolhouse" and "Who Am I") or patriotic and spiritual. She wrote an annual Christmas letter to Santa for about 30 consecutive years. We, her family members, thank the publisher of the Chilton Times Journal for printing these Christmas letters. Mom was proud of her unusual first name, Patranella, and of her Irish heritage. With help from many of her siblings and cousins and two friends from Chilton who were printers, Mr. & Mrs. Wally Widmar, Mom published a Leigh-family photo-booklet in 1974 entitled, "I Remember" and began it as follows: "A nation is made great by its people; by people who not only cultivated great land, but who also cultivated high morals and values; people who sacrificed much and displayed great courage for the unknown that lay ahead of them; people who looked to God to sustain them in times of uncertainties. We are proud to be part of these people, proud that we can trace our heritage easily to the early pioneering of our nation." About 25 years later, Mom, with the help of many family members, particularly Rev. James Hoffman and his wife, Monica of Oshkosh, WI, created and published a 223-page photo journal entitled, "The History of the Joseph Leigh Family 1851-1997". Mom dedicated the journal as follows: "I believe it is fitting and proper to dedicate this book to our ancestors. It is because of their vision and struggle that we were born in a democracy. They raised their families with pride and dignity. They instilled in us a healthy philosophy of life. They taught us good work habits, independence, and self-reliance. They engrained in us to love and serve God." The journal actually traced the Leigh family's roots from 1838 when John Leigh, father of Joseph Leigh, emigrated to America from Kildare, Ireland. John Leigh first came to Washington county, Maine, then moved to Berlin, Wisconsin in 1850 and then to Stiles, WI in 1852 where he was instrumental in forming Stiles Township and served as its Chairman for 15 years. He also helped form the local school district and, in 1875, was elected to the state legislature. John Leigh invested in timberland but much of his 3,500 acres was destroyed by the Peshtigo Fire of 1871. Mom's beloved sister, Dorothy, a schoolteacher in Oconto, WI for 37 years, wrote a wonderful poem for the photo journal entitled, "Recollections". Mom never fully came to terms with Dorothy's passing in 2006 of a sudden heart attack. Mom would want us to thank two family members for their extraordinary help over the years – sister Bonnie and brother Jeff. Their loving care of Mom and Dad over many years added immeasurably to Mom and Dad's quality of life. The rest of us in the family will always remember and appreciate what Bonnie and Jeff did for Mom and Dad. All

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