Obituary | Irene M. Butzlaff (nee Wilke), 98, of West Bend

November 23, 2020 – West Bend, WI – Irene M. Butzlaff (nee Wilke), 98, of West Bend, WI was called home to be with the Lord on November 21, 2020 at Kathy’s Hospice West Bend, WI.


Irene was born in West Bend, WI to the late Paul and Lydia Wilke (nee Klukas).  She graduated West Bend School and then worked at Enger-Kress. Our city girl then moved to the country when she married Howard Butzlaff on June 30, 1945.

The couple began their married life farming in the town of Kewaskum for 40 years until Howard’s death in 1985.  During that time, she also worked at Fairmont Foods and First National Bank (BMO).

In 1986 she moved into her little house in West Bend.  Irene was long time member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in West Bend. She then had several part-time jobs:  Schmidt Funeral Home and Jerry’s Restaurant until her retirement in 1994.

Those left to cherish Irene’s memory are her four children:  Sue (Allen) Bales of West Bend, Jane (Jerry) Beck of Campbellsport, John (Kris) Butzlaff of Campbellsport, and Jim Butzlaff (special friend Sheila Kircher) of Campbellsport.

Her Grandchildren:  Bill (Kelley) Beck, Bob (Deb) Beck, Barb (Kevin) Koelbl, Brenda Genz, Adam Butzlaff, Jacob Butzlaff, Greg Bales, Brian Beck, Sarah Galligan, Brianna (Brad) Krebs, Brandon Beck and Brady Butzlaff.

Her Great Grandchildren:  Ryan Beck, Ashley Bales, Matt Koelbl, Gracie Genz, Dominic Bales, Reanna Beck, Zack Genz, Adilynn Butzlaff, Alyssa Koelbl, Phoebe Genz, Levi Galligan, Nora “Irene” Krebs.

The children of her partner of 19 years Harold Klug, Sr.:  Harold (Erlene) Klug Jr., Janice (Roger) Kurth, Diane (Gary) Mayer, and their children and grandchildren.

Nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Special friends Micky Lang, Lorraine Shalla, Clara Deutsch and her last remaining cousin Edna Sepersky.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her siblings:  Ethel (Richard) Bilstein, Myrtle (Alvin) Ruhnke, Paul (JoHanna) Wilke.

She is further preceded in death by her partner of 19 years Harold Klug, Sr.

Mom was a proud soft-spoken, caring woman of great faith.  No matter the situation, she always said, “Don’t worry, God will take care of it.”

Mom loved her family deeply.  Mom spoiled the entire family with her chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  We all knew where to find the cookie jar.  Each Christmas, every family received a container of her famous cookies.  BEST PRESENT EVER.

Mom enjoyed polka dancing with friends on Sundays for many years.  She cherished spending time with family, watching her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids as they grew up.

Irene’s family extends their heartfelt appreciation to the doctors and staff at Froedtert West Bend Health Center and Hospital, especially Zoran Gjaic and staff, Horizon Homecare and Kathy Hospice for their wonderful care.  A sincere thank you to the pastors at Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church for their prayers and visits at home, hospital and hospice.  You brought her comfort and peace.

5 Corners Isuzu

Visitation will be Sunday, November 29 from 1 until 3 p.m. at the Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend.  Private family services will be held with burial in Washington County Memorial Park.  The funeral services will be livestreamed Monday at 11 a.m. at the funeral home’s Facebook page.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Good Shepherd Building Connections or the charity of choice appreciated.

On-line guestbook and condolences available at

Mom was the rock of her family and will be forever missed.  Until we meet again, we love you Mom.

Interfaith Caregivers

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