It’s with a heavy heart to report the passing of Isabelle Muckerheide, formerly of Kewaskum.
Muckerheide, 98, was part of the fabric of the community in Kewaskum. She’d been a staple with her card table and $1 loaves of homemade banana bread at the VFW Farmers’ Market.
In May 2015 Mike Paul from Paul Auction Co. in Kewaskum officially retired Isabelle’s bid card No. 1 after she sold her home and moved in with her kid sister, 94.
How Isabelle became the official holder of card No. 1, is best told by Paul.
“One time, for reasons no one remembers, Isabelle and her husband were late to the sale and No. 1 was issued to somebody else. It was not well received,” he said. “A hasty discussion between mom and dad established that the Muckerheides would permanently be No. 1 and they have been, for the last 46 years.”
Paul said “Al and Izzy” were regulars back in 1969. “Izzy has been a fixture for so long we always just assume she’ll be there,” he said. “If she can’t make it she calls ahead to let us know.”
Every year Muckerheide can be found sitting in a wood rocker in the entryway of the old log cabin, knitting during Kewaskum’s Early Farm Days. Under her frock is her trademark brooch, it’s something she’s worn since she was 6 years old.
Born in 1918 when Woodrow Wilson was president, Muckerheide remained sharp telling stories of seeing Liberace in concert in Appleton. “He played after dinner and had dancing water with colored lights,” she recalled.
She also cooked for Hollywood actor Spencer Tracy in 1941. “He was receiving an honorary degree from Ripon College and the dinner was held at a private home. My boss brought him back into the kitchen and Spencer Tracy shook my hand. I didn’t wash it for a week,” grinned Muckerheide.
A walking history book and sharp until the end Muckerheide would share her experiences and insight on common things. She went to school in Neshkoro and said, “I had a pencil and a tablet of paper for five cents. We practiced our cursive and we also had to memorize poems.”
Muckerheide enjoyed circle word books, watching Mass on TV, and contributing homemade goods for funerals. She was an avid bingo player and gambler. When she won she quietly shared her joy and when she lost she said, “The Indians can go buy some new shoelaces.”
Muckerheide had been living in West Allis with her sister. She would often say, “We haven’t had to call the cops on each other yet.”
The Washington County Insider will lend an update on funeral arrangements. Check back soon.