Kathryn Maria (Birkel) Schommer died peacefully at Preferred Senior Living in Ellsworth, WI on Wednesday, November 18, 2020. Alzheimer’s disease descended upon Kathryn in her later years and she was ultimately stricken with Covid-19. Kathryn was blessed with exemplary care, services, love and attention by the compassionate staff at Preferred Senior Living.
Kathryn was born to Ernest E. and Kathryn I. (Zeillinger) Birkel, June 28, 1933 at home in Ellsworth, WI. She was the youngest of 5 children. Kathryn graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1951. She married Ralph F. Schommer at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ellsworth on June 9, 1959 and was married for 58 years until Ralph’s death in 2018. For many years Kathryn was a secretary at Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery. For 25 years, Kathryn was a bank officer at The Bank of Ellsworth. Following her banking position, Kathryn became an assistant administrator at Ellsworth Manor Nursing Home, a position she held in high esteem until her retirement in 1999. Kathryn’s kind, gentle approach, combined with an efficient and professional attitude, deemed her an asset in business and public relations.
A common thread in Kathryn’s interactions both in the business field and in her personal relationships with family and friends, was her genuine concern for others. Kathryn lived a courageous life and was a role model to her many nieces and nephews. It was without a doubt that Kathryn was a loved aunt. She was the first responder to requests by the many nieces and nephews who loved her so. She played the drums in high school, loved music, baking, and was a hunting enthusiast. Kathryn loved animals and held a deep respect for the environment. She was passionate about the beauty of the outdoors and nature. As a little girl and all through her life, Kathryn practiced a strong Catholic faith. She was a longtime member of St. Francis Catholic Church and active volunteer in the community.
Kathryn was preceded in death by her parents Ernest E. and Kathryn I. Birkel, brothers Randall J. (LaVerle) Birkel, Joseph F. (Kaye) Birkel, Dale J. (Lila) Birkel, brother-in-law Dr. Frederick B. Klaas, and husband Ralph F. Schommer. Kathryn is survived by her sister JuDea A. Klaas, brothers-in-law Gene (Jane) Schommer, Lee Schommer, sister-in-law Carol (John) Mercord, many nieces/nephews and great nieces/nephews.
Due to Covid-19 safety restrictions, a private burial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to St. Francis Catholic School, 244 W Woodworth St., Ellsworth, WI 54011.
Funeral services are entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home of Ellsworth (715) 273-4421. www.oconnellfuneralservices.com