January 18, 2021 – West Bend, WI – Rose Ann Johnson (nee Isselman), 89, of West Bend, WI passed away on Friday, January 15, 2021 at Healthpark Medical Center in Ft Myers, FL after a brief illness.
Rose was born October 25, 1931, the third of four children to Florent and Mayme (Nejedlo) Isselman. On May 8, 1954 she married Charles H. Johnson, who preceded her in death in August 2019.
Rose was raised in Newburg, graduating from West Bend High School in 1949. She first worked in the family business at The Newburg State Bank, and next had the best job ever as an Executive Secretary at Grob Inc, in Grafton, that is, until she became Chief Operating Officer of the Johnson Family.
Having celebrated 65 years of marriage with Chuck in 2019, Rose was also a dedicated mom to her brood of 8 children – all born in a 10-year span. The house was always abuzz with activity, shenanigans and neighborhood kids.
Her love of birds, blooms and nature was a constant and she never passed on an opportunity to learn or do something new – stargazing on the Shawano Lake pier, whitewater rafting the Snake River with Cathy, musky fishing in Canada with Dan, Elderhostel trips and hunting the elusive morel mushroom with all the kids.
In West Bend Builder’s Supply early days Rose was the power behind the throne–working from the kitchen table while truck drivers came and went delivering their loads of aggregate, while supporting and encouraging Chuck through the trials and tribulations of the gravel pit and school bus businesses. She cheered her kids on every step of the way, managing to keep them all grounded, committed to family and community, and felony-free. The subsequent gaggle of grandkids and great grandkids were a great joy to her.
In later years she was always up for a game of Spite and Malice, cribbage, dominoes or a Keshena trip for blackjack, and while generous to a fault she was also a stickler about paying up – win or lose. When not in West Bend, her best days found her sitting on a porch and enjoying the view – either wintering at on Ft Myers Beach or at the Shawano Lake cottage in spring, summer or fall.
Rose is survived by her children; Rita (Chuck) Kandel, Steve (Terry), Cathy Spies, Dan (Shelly), Judy (Bob) Holzmann, Paul (Barb), Nancy (Ted) Sanders and Dave (Kris). She is further survived by 22 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren: all her siblings – brother John (JoAnn) Isselman, sisters Marge Grotelueschen and L. Polly Schmidt, along with many nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Special thanks to “downstairs” Steve and Kathy for their kindness and watchful eyes on our parents at the beach house these last few years, and especially for Kathy’s medical advocacy for Mom before her passing.
A private funeral service for the immediate family will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church. Private interment will follow at Washington County Memorial Parke
As much as Rose loved flowers, in lieu of a funeral bouquet she’d be tickled pink if you enjoyed a martini and supported these West Bend causes; Roots and Branches (1115 S Main St), St. Frances Cabrini Catholic School (529 Hawthorn Dr) or the West Bend Library (630 Poplar St).
The Phillip Funeral Home of West Bend is assisting the family. (262) 338-2050 / www.phillipfuneralhome.com