Dec. 26, 2016 – West Bend, WI – Gwendolyn I. (nee Birkholz) Puestow, 93, of West Bend, became a heavenly angel on Saturday, December 24, 2016.
She was born on February 13, 1923, to the late Rev Edward and Hertha (nee Kussow) Birkholz in Marshal, Minnesota. She was baptized and confirmed by her father. Gwen grew up in Redwood Falls, MN where she attended public grade school. She continued on at Martin Luther High School and College in New Ulm, MN. She graduated from Marion College in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. For 37 years she taught fourth grade at St John’s Lutheran School, West Bend. She also spent a few years teaching at Mt. Lebanon Lutheran School in Milwaukee, WI., as well as St John’s West Bend prior to getting married.
She met her husband, Arnold (Tony) through St John’s Walther League. They were married by her father at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls, MN on June 24, 1951. Together they raised three children.
Teaching children was her passion. After retirement she would still substitute and would be known as the “Book Lady” because of her library of pop-up books she would share with students. Gwen loved singing in the church choir, baking, as well as following her beloved Brewers and Packers. She will forever be known for having her hair done every week and wearing red lipstick. Her Birkholz family members called her “Toody.” She enjoyed spending time with family and friends. She will be missed by all who knew her.
She lived in West Bend most of her adult life and later moved to Luther Manor, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Those Gwendolyn leaves behind to cherish her memory include her three children, Beth, Arnold and Brian; four grandchildren, Jeff, Derek, Amy, and Jenny; two great-grandchildren, Lena and Clarissa; her grand-dog Harley; as well as other friends and relatives.
In addition to her parents, Gwen was preceded in death by her dear husband, Arnold (Tony); five siblings, Dorothea (Holger) Juul, Howard (Ruth) Birkholz, Naomi (Henry) Engelhardt, Gerhard (Gerane) Birkholz, and Thelma (Milan) Schaefer.
A funeral service in remembrance of Gwen will be held on Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, 809 S. 6th Ave., West Bend. Private burial will be held at Washington County Memorial Park.
The family will greet relatives and friends on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Myrhum-Patten Miller & Kietzer funeral Home, 1315 W. Washington St., West Bend. On Thursday, December 29, 2016, visitation will be at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, West Bend from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at 11:00 a.m.
In her memory, the family would appreciate memorials made to the St John’s School Library, St John’s St. Stephen Ministry, and Luther Manor Hospice Care.
A special thank you to Karen and Pastor Cal Seban from the family for all their visits and the spiritual nourishment they provided Gwen while she lived at Luther Manor.