Kathleen A. Steil, 94 years old, a longtime resident of Beaver Dam, died peacefully on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at Charleston House Memory Care in Beaver Dam.
Visitation will be at St. Katharine Drexel Church, 511 S. Spring Street in Beaver Dam on Monday, August 25, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 11:20 AM. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at church on Monday beginning at 11:30 AM. Interment will be at St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery in the Town of Beaver Dam, Dodge County, Wisconsin.
Kathleen A. Sponholz was born on October 3, 1919 in Baraboo, WI to Ervin J. and Cathryn A. (Nenning) Sponholz. Her family moved to Milwaukee where she attended St. Ann’s Catholic School and then to Beaver Dam in 1933 where she graduated from St. Peter’s Catholic School in 1935.
She was a 1938 graduate of Beaver Dam High School. After graduation, she worked at the Merchandise Mart Building in Chicago for the United States Treasury Department and volunteered selling War Bonds during World War II. She always enjoyed living in Chicago and returned many times over the years with her husband, children and grandchildren.
On May 29, 1948, Kathleen married George H. Steil, Jr. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Beaver Dam. During the next 30 years, she was a stay-at-home mom raising their 3 children. She also spent many years volunteering for various organizations in the Beaver Dam area. She was a member and past president of the St. Peter’s Catholic Women’s Society, Chairperson of the Dodge County Chapter of the American Red Cross Blood Bank for 9 years and Executive Secretary of the Dodge County Red Cross for 4 years. She was also a member of the Beaver Dam Woman’s Club and served as president for 3 years and the St. Joseph’s Hospital and later Beaver Dam Community Hospital Auxiliary where she served as president for 2 years. She was a member of St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church (St. Peter’s).
After her children were grown, she re-entered the workforce first as a secretary for the Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce and then as a receptionist at Marine Bank/Bank One in Beaver Dam for 12 years until her retirement.
In retirement Kathleen and George traveled throughout the United States and Canada. She also loved spending a lot of time with her five grandchildren as well as watching them play sports and participate in other school activities. She was a fan of the Packers, Brewers and Marquette University Basketball and enjoyed spending time learning to use her computer which she said “brought the world to me!” Kathleen was very skilled in gardening and loved spending time in her yard with her flower gardens.
She is survived by her children; Janine (Curt) Jorgensen of Beaver Dam, Maureen Steil of Sparks, NV and Greg (Julie) Steil of Beaver Dam. She is further survived by her grandchildren; Tracy (Jason) Ryan of Pewaukee, Christopher (Jenny) Rhode of Milwaukee, Bradley (Tiffany) Rhode of Beaver Dam, Natalie (Dr. Kyle) Ross of Grafton and Katie (Eric) Waite of Madison; her great-grandchildren; Avery & Peyton Ryan, Cruz & Lily Rhode, and Ella Rhode. She is also survived by nieces, her cousins and other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by George, her husband of 66 years on July 22, 2014, her parents, her in-laws; George H. and Esther M. Steil, her brother and his wife; Norman (Marge) Sponholz and her two sister in-laws and their husbands; Fern (Arthur) Schlaff and Pearl (Richard) Hilling.
Memorials to St. Katharine Drexel Parish School or the Dodge County Chapter of the American Red Cross would be appreciated.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Charleston House, Charleston House Memory Care – especially Charlie, Gail and Jill – and Generations Hospice for the compassionate, loving care you gave to our mom over the past five years. We are very grateful to all of you and will never forget your kindness towards her. In addition, we would like to thank Fr. Mike Erwin and the volunteers of the Human Concerns Committee at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church for bringing communion to mom and visiting with her. As mom would say, “there’s a special place in heaven for all of you!”