Obituaries – Larson Funeral Homes, Fennimore WI and Montfort WI

Hazel A. Straka

Montfort, WI-Hazel A. Straka, age 85, died on Friday evening Feb. 16, 2018 surrounded by her loving family at Upland Hills Nursing and Rehab in Dodgeville. Hazel was born on Aug. 25, 1932 in rural Fennimore, WI the daughter of John and Velma (Hayes) Vesperman. She was united in marriage to Joseph Straka on Jan. 26, 1952 in Fennimore and together they had 11 children.

Following graduation from Fennimore High School, Hazel and Joseph began farming in rural Montfort. Being a dedicated wife, Hazel milked the cows and was always willing to lend a helping hand. As the family got older, Hazel waitressed at the Dutchman’s Inn in Livingston, cashiered at the IOCO in Montfort, and was a cook at the Iowa-Grant School District for numerous years. Hazel was an awesome cook; making homemade cinnamon rolls and buns, pies, soups, and her one of a kind, potato salad. Hazel also loved being around home for her family and friends. She enjoyed embroidery, snowmobiling, bowling, gambling, bingo, motorcycle rides, and was willing to help out with daycare and making baby quilts for St. Thomas Catholic Church Parish. Hazel was an active member of St. Thomas Catholic Church and the Altar Sodality, an officer for Catholic Order of Foresters and a member of Montfort VFW Auxiliary. Hazel was a matriarch of the Friday night fish fries at St. Thomas Catholic Church and her dedication to her Lord and family will be deeply cherished forever.

Hazel is survived by her ten children; Thomas (Kerith) Straka, Debra (Peter) Hoffman, David Straka, Melissia Straka, Donita (Ryan) Pilling all of Montfort, Margaret Straka Kuschel of Madison, William (Donna) Straka of Livingston, Karen (Ronald) Rundhaug, Angela (Scot) Johnsrud both of Dodgeville, Suzanne (Scott) Rueckheim of Muscoda, 31 grandchildren, 50 great grandchildren; three siblings, Stella Blair of Fremont, WI, Archie Vesperman of Lancaster and Lyle Vesperman of Boscobel; brother-in-law Cletus Sisley of Lancaster and many other special brother and sister-in-laws.

Hazel was preceded in death by her parents, husband Joseph on April 26, 2014, son Timothy Straka, grandson Steven Hoffman, great-granddaughter Priscilla Hoffman, and siblings, Clarion Vesperman, Marian Welsh, Percy Vesperman, Elsie Bryhan, Ruth Sisley and Bernice Moran.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday morning Feb. 20, 2018 at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Montfort with burial to follow in the church cemetery. Friends may call from 3-8:00 P.M. on Monday afternoon Feb. 19, 2018 at the Soman-Larson Funeral Home in Montfort where a prayer service will be held at 2:30 P.M. on Monday afternoon.

John M. Lenz

John Michael Lenz, age 63, of Mossyrock, Washington, went home to God in peace on February 8, 2018. John was born in Stitzer, Wisconsin on October 25, 1954 to Lloyd and Barbara (Kasper) Lenz.

John proudly and honorably served in the United States Army after graduating high school, and was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington until 1977. He had a love of Washington and made Mossyrock his home in 1979, where he remained until his death. On October 25, 1980 he married Joanne (DiBella) Lenz and had three daughters Teresa, Melissa, and Micheal.

John was a talented carpenter and project manager. He had a brilliant mind for business and served on the Mossyrock City Council at the time of his passing. He loved music, instilling a love of classic rock into his girls, joking around and laughing, the Packers, and anything that caught his interests, including baking, wine and beer making, camping and hunting. John loved a challenge and solving problems. John was a fun and caring friend, always willing to lend a hand to anyone who asked.

John is survived by his three daughters Teresa (Isaac) VanMeter, of Fort Hood, TX, Melissa (Andrew) Hann of Colville, WA, and Micheal (Thad) Parker of Chehalis, WA; seven grandchildren, Abigail, 19, Michael, 17, Lenz, 11, Margaret, 9, Aylan, 8, Ryker, 4, and Walker, 2, former wife of 35 years, Joanne (DiBella) Lenz of Chehalis, WA, mother Barbara (Kasper) Lenz of Fennimore, WI; five siblings, Carol (Harry) Kreul of Fennimore, WI, David Lenz (Theresa Ley) of Dodgeville, WI, Linda (Graham) Terry of Mankato, MN, Sue Frey of Deforest, WI and Jerry (Robin) Lenz of Fennimore, WI, good friend Kenda Pagel of Fennimore, WI and many special nieces and nephews.

John was preceded in death by his father Lloyd Wagner Lenz, grandson Gavin Allan VanMeter, nephew Anthony John Lenz, and grandparents (maternal) Milo and Florence Kasper and (paternal) Adolf and Selma Lenz.

A service and celebration to honor and remember John will be held at a later date in Wisconsin.

Romans 8:38-39(NTL)

Damien J. Lord

Damien J. Lord, age 33, of Fennimore, died unexpectedly on Sunday evening Jan. 28, 2018, at Meriter Hospital in Madison after a brief illness. Damien was born on Nov. 15, 1984 in Lancaster, WI the son of Joseph Lord and Julie Fuerstenberg.

Damien worked at Wild Side Sporting Goods in Boscobel and loved spending time in the outdoors, camping, hunting and fishing. He was an avid bow fisherman and captain of his beloved bow fishing team, Nocturnal Penetration. Damien enjoyed the simple pleasures in life like taking a drive by the river, cooking a great meal, and spending time with family and friends. He was a loving and caring person who was always willing to lend a helping hand. Damien continued his giving ways by being an organ donor. Raising his son Treyten together with Brianne Lindeman was Damien’s greatest joy. His love and dedication to family will forever be remembered.

Damien is survived by his two children Treyten and Kayden Lord, mother Julie Fuerstenberg (Justin DeBoer) of Fennimore, brother Zachary Biddle (Heather Jones) of Baraboo, girlfriend Miranda Schwoob of Fennimore, maternal grandparents Francis and Maxine Fuerstenberg of Fennimore, aunts and uncles Terry Fuerstenberg of Fennimore, Tammy Fiedler of Fennimore, Ed (Amy) Fuerstenberg of Winneconne, WI and Shawn Brinkman-Peterson of Cassville, nephew Nolan Biddle, many special cousins and special friends Samantha Stelpflug of Lancaster and Jake Reiter of Rewey.

Damien was preceded in death by his father, paternal grandparents Glenn Lord and Bonnie Brinkman and uncle Mike Fiedler.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 -7:00 P.M. on Friday evening, Feb. 2, 2018, at the Larson Family Funeral Home in Fennimore. At request of the family no formal funeral service will be held. In lieu of plants and flowers, memorials would be greatly appreciated. Online condolences may be made at

Imelda B. Northouse

Imelda B. Northouse, age 91, of Fennimore, died on Saturday evening, Jan. 20, 2018, at the Fennimore Good Samaritan Society. Imelda was born on Dec. 18, 1926 in Dickeyville, WI the daughter of Clement and Elizabeth (Pickel) Riemenapp. She married John Sr. “Jack” Northouse on Feb. 19, 1946, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fennimore.

Imelda and Jack farmed in Hickory Grove Township north of Fennimore for more than fifty years until moving into Fennimore in 2005. Imelda enjoyed spending time in the outdoors snowmobiling, gardening, picking berries and hunting mushrooms in the spring. She was an excellent cook and canner and took pride in providing home cooked meals for her family. When time allowed, Imelda enjoyed quilting, crocheting, putting puzzles together, playing Euchre and traveling, but her greatest joy was spending time with family and neighbors. Imelda was a true matriarch and her love and generosity will forever be cherished.

Imelda is survived by her beloved husband of 71 years, Jack of Fennimore; eight children, John Jr. (JoEllen) Northouse of Bagley, Bob (Jan) Northouse of Dubuque, IA, Karen (Bill) Gebhard of Blue Mounds, Mary (Kenny) Schaefer of Muscoda, Mike (Jeannine) Northouse of Cottage Grove, Gary (Vicki) Northouse of Fennimore, Alan (Mary) Northouse of Rewey and Dave (Dee) Northouse of Fennimore, 22 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren, brother Ambrose “Pete” Riemenapp of Lynnxville and several nieces nephews and cousins.

Imelda was preceded in death by two brothers, Bernard and Vernon Riemenapp and a sister Elizabeth Hoffman.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 24, 2018, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fennimore with burial to follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held from 9:00 A.M – 1:00 P.M. on Wednesday morning at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Hall. In lieu of plants and flowers, a memorial fund is being established in loving memory of Imelda B. Northouse. The Larson Family Funeral Home of Fennimore is assisting the family.

Arlene Schmahlenberger

Arlene Schmahlenberger, age 97, of Fennimore, died on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, at the Good Samaritan Society in Fennimore. Arlene was born on Nov. 19, 1920 in Walters North Dakota. She married Henry “Cal” Schmahlenberger on Dec. 22, 1940 in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Arlene enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and was always willing to go on a moments notice. In her later years, she worked at the Good Samaritan Society in Fennimore as a housekeeper. Arlene was a loving and caring person who accepted and appreciated people for who they were. Her kind heart will forever be remembered.

Arlene is survived by four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and a brother Bob (Francis) Gile of Madison.

Arlene was preceded in death by her husband Cal, daughter Jacqueline Helgeson and a grandson.

In keeping with Arlene’s wishes, no funeral services will be held. Burial of her cremains will be held at a later date in the Prairie Cemetery in Fennimore. The Larson Family Funeral Home of Fennimore is assisting the family.