Robert “Bob” Millard Markham of Pharr, TX passed away on Sunday, July 19, 2020 at the age of 91

Robert Millard Markham

October 7, 1928 – July 19, 2020
Robert “Bob” Millard Markham of Pharr, TX passed away on Sunday, July 19, 2020 at the age of 91. Bob died peacefully with his beloved wife Shirley by his side. Bob was born in Eagle,WI on October 7, 1928, to Millard Brown Jr. and Mary Anna (Braun) Markham. The oldest of 14 children, he graduated from Whitewater High School in three years. He was drafted by the Army at age 22 and stationed in Germany from 1950 -1952. He married Shirley Mae Kau on October 2, 1954. In 1957, he started Markham Trucking Service. He continued operating this business until he retired in 1991. After retiring, Bob and Shirley traveled across the country in their custom RV for over 20 years, finally settling in Pharr, TX where they enjoyed square dancing.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; and his brothers: Kenneth, Donald, and Gordon; as well as his sisters, Rose Jones and Elizabeth Fetting. He is survived by his wife Shirley Mae Markham; children: Carol Tiffany, Jeff (Kathleen) Markham, Holly Hoff, Brad (Diane) Markham and Russell Markham; grandchildren: Tiffany (Brad) Gretschmann, Alicia Markham, Emily Markham, Andi Markham, Josephine (Wyatt) Bennett and Jeremiah (Jess) Markham; great-grandchildren, Eli and MacKenzie Gretschmann; and siblings: Duane (Lorraine) Markham, Gerald Markham, JoAnne Flahive, Glen (Rose) Markham, Roger (Carol) Markham, David (Mary Ellen) Markham, Phillip (Barbara) Markham, and Kathleen (Richard) Brinkhaus.

A celebration of life service will be held in the coming year.

Sally Link Christopher entered eternal life on August 5, 2020

Sally Link Christopher entered eternal life on August 5, 2020. Mourned by children Mark (Sue) Spring Valley, WI; David (Kim) Maiden Rock, WI; Ann (Andrew) Chattanooga TN; Eric (Maggie) St. Paul, MN; and grandchildren Paul, Ben (LaChelle) Minneapolis, MN; Rachel, Daniel, Chattanooga, TN. Preceded in death by husband Dale, who served First United Methodist Church of Whitewater as pastor from 1978 until 1992. 

Born March 16, 1933, in rural Menomonie, WI, graduated Menomonie High School in 1950 and St. Olaf College in 1954. Married Pastor Dale Christopher June 1955. Worked as a high school teacher in IL and WI, and for 11 years as an Admission Counselor for St. Olaf College, retiring in 1994. Enjoyed 10 years living in Charlottesville, VA before returning to Midwest to reside in Boutwells Landing in Oak Park Heights, MN.

Memorials preferred for Parkinson’s research at Michael J Fox Foundation or Church World Service c/o First United Methodist Church of Stillwater, MN. The family appreciates the loving care she received from Boutwells Landing/The Gables and HealthEast Hospice.

Wallace “Wally” Edward Green, 90, of Whitewater (formerly of Fort Atkinson) entered eternal life on Monday, August 3, 2020 at Fairhaven just one day shy of his 91st birthday

Wallace “Wally” Edward Green, 90, of Whitewater (formerly of Fort Atkinson) entered eternal life on Monday, August 3, 2020 at Fairhaven Retirement Center just one day shy of his 91st birthday. Wally was born in Carroll, Iowa on August 4, 1929, son of James and Henrietta (Krause) Green.

Wally grew up in Whitewater, Wisconsin and often claimed he “ruled the streets.” Truth be told, he readily admitted he wasn’t the best student so it’s possible he did rule the streets in the rough and tumble days of the post-depression years. He had quite a sense of humor and didn’t take himself too seriously, joking the only good thing coming out of Whitewater was Highway 12.

Wally’s lifelong passion for ice fishing was matched only by his flair for telling fish(y) tales. One tale that was actually verified by eye witnesses involved falling through the ice which, according to him, was the mark of a true ice fisherman.

Before ice fishing there was baseball. Wally turned down a professional tryout with the Chicago Cubs minor league team to stay home with his ailing father. Or possibly the Cubs thing didn’t work out because he was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan. No one really knows for sure except maybe his wife, Ethel, who spent her honeymoon in St. Louis watching the Cardinals play ball.

Wally proudly served in Korea as a member of the US Coast Guard during the Korean War and returned to Whitewater and his job at General Motors in Janesville. During his career at General Motors, he was ultimately promoted to safety inspector and, apparently, could “shut the plant down if something didn’t pass [his] inspection.”

On May 3, 1958, Wally married Ethel Britzman at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Helenville. That was a pivotal moment in his life and actually quite a stroke of luck for Wally since initially Ethel hid in the bathroom at the Edgewater Supper Club just to avoid him. They were married nearly 56 years until Ethel passed away on March 17, 2015.

Wally had many jobs in his life from pin setting in a bowling alley, to a job at a dry cleaning business, to cleaning at the Dwight Foster Public Library, to servicing funerals for Kutz Livery Service. He often referred to himself as “Wally Work,” although Ethel was known to question that nickname. His longest working stint was at General Motors from which he retired in 1979 at the age of 49. He collected a pension longer than he collected a paycheck and was well aware of his good fortune, fondly referring to his past employer as “Generous Motors.”

After giving up his baseball aspirations, Wally played softball for many years, managing a team in the “over 30 league” in Fort Atkinson. He loved all sports, including bowling, boxing, and…gambling. He twice won an appearance on TV for his lottery efforts. His quip of “I’d rather be lucky than good” will forever be remembered.

Wally was a member of Bethany Ev. Lutheran Church for many years. He served for a time on the church council and was a faithful attendee and usher until he moved to Fairhaven Retirement Center.

Wally spent his last five years checking out every aspect of the services at Fairhaven. He moved into an apartment, transitioned to assisted living, was cared for at Hearthstone beginning in January, and spent his final days on the skilled nursing floor. He was grateful for the kindness of staff and the family wishes to thank Fairhaven for the special care they gave him every step of the way throughout his final chapter.

Wally is survived by daughters, Julie (Dale) Schmeling, Connie Meyer (Jim Jorgenson), and Shari (Pete) DeWind; grandchildren, Taylor (Bobby) Siebert and Jennifer Schmeling (fiancé William Meerbott), David (Lauren) Meyer and Meredith Meyer, and Claire and Alyssa DeWind. He was blessed with three great-grandchildren, Finn Siebert, Zion and Ruby Meyer. Also surviving are nephews, Keith (Sandy) Hoffman and Brian (Angela) Hoffman of Jefferson; niece-in-law, Christine (Ron) Wahlquist of Connecticut; brother-in-law, Bill Fuchs of Jefferson; cousin Donna (Jack) Taylor of Idaho; and longtime friend Karen Mepham of Fort Atkinson. Wally was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; his step-brother, John Perry; a grandson, Zachary Jensen; a nephew, Alan Hoffman; sister-in-law, Loretta Fuchs; and Don Mepham, best friend and partner in crime.

Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a memorial gift to Fairhaven Retirement Community (Whitewater), Rainbow Hospice Care (Jefferson), or Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church (Fort Atkinson).

The Dunlap Memorial Home is assisting the family. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, private graveside services at Evergreen Cemetery will be held for immediate family only.

Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

Benjamin Haoxiang Liang, always called Benny, beloved son, brother, and grandson unexpectedly passed away on July 20

Benjamin Haoxiang Liang, always called Benny, beloved son, brother, and grandson unexpectedly passed away on July 20.

Benny, a member of Delta Tau Delta, graduated from Wabash College with a Biology major and Philosophy minor in May of 2020. Benny was set to pursue a master’s degree in Human Performance at the University of Indiana. During his High School years, Benny won a Wisconsin State title twice. However, he had to give up swimming at Wabash because of a developing heart condition. Benny never stopped his love for swimming; he moved on to coach swimmers and inspired people around him. He had been a head coach at the Woodland Country Club, and an assistant coach at Carmel Swim Club. He had previously coached at the Sugar Creek Swim Club, Indiana University, and Wabash College.

Benny loved his family and enjoyed reading, writing, singing, playing guitar, and hanging out with friends. He liked sports, running, cross-country, soccer, and snowboarding. He enjoyed nature, and loved animals and plants. He never stopped enjoying life, smiling, laughing, listening, talking, and always kept on thinking. He had been a college writer for Swimming World Magazine.

He was always thinking forward, set high standards for himself, and never stopped pursuing his dreams.

Benny will be missed by his family, friends, swimmers, classmates, teammates, and more.

A gofundme page has been established. All proceeds will be donated to the American Heart Association in his name.

LaVonne “Bonnie” Eileen Coleman, 81, of Whitewater passed away on Monday, August 3, 2020 at Rainbow Hospice Inpatient Center

LaVonne “Bonnie” Eileen Coleman, 81, of Whitewater passed away on Monday, August 3, 2020 at Rainbow Hospice Inpatient Center in Johnson Creek.

Bonnie was born on January 31, 1939 in LaCrosse to Arthur and Evelyn (Olson) Mehren. She received her education at Antigo High School in Antigo, Wisconsin, and then attended college in LaCrosse and graduated with a bachelor’s degree. She put that degree to use when she became a medical technologist for Fort Atkinson Memorial Hospital where she was also head of the blood bank.

Bonnie absolutely loved spending time with her children and grandchildren. She never missed a ball game, concert, fair, graduation, or birthday. Pizza night was always a favorite for her and her entire family. Gardening, canning, making maple syrup, and baking were a few of her many skills. She also enjoyed knitting and made Christmas stockings for many people during the holidays. She and her sister loved to travel and sightsee around the world; during their journeys Bonnie walked the Great Wall of China, explored the fjords in Norway, and brought back sand from the Nile River for her grandchildren. She had a great sense of humor which was inherited by her descendants and her lust for life will forever be remembered by all who knew her.

She is survived by her sister, Geraldine Mehren; her five children: Michael P. Coleman (Kris) of Marshfield, WI, Nora C. Kyle (Howard), Martha J. Beecroft (Brandon), and Arthur M. Coleman (Sarah) of Whitewater, WI, James A. Coleman; and her eight grandchildren: Abigail Coleman, Rachel Kyle, Joshua Kyle, Haydon (Samantha) Beecroft, Jocelin Beecroft, Noah Coleman, Grace Coleman, and Anna Coleman.

Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Evelyn Mehren.

A private service will be held for immediate family with a celebration of life to follow at a later date.

The family would like to extend special thanks to the nursing staff and social workers at Rainbow Hospice for the exceptional care and kindness they showed to Bonnie.

The Nitardy Funeral Home of Whitewater is assisting the family.

Online condolences may be given to the family at

Route, Jerry S, Age 87, of Whitewater, died on Monday, August 3, 2020, his 87th birthday, at Fairhaven in Whitewater.

Route, Jerry S, Age 87, of Whitewater, died on Monday, August 3, 2020, his 87th birthday, at Fairhaven in Whitewater. He was born on August 3, 1933, in Amery, Wisconsin, the youngest of 11 children of Fred and Inga Route. He married Audrey Ausen on September, 5, 1953, in Star Prairie, Wisconsin. He graduated from UW-River Falls in 1954 with a B.S. Degree in teaching and lettering in football and baseball 4 years, followed by a Master’s Degree from UW-Madison and taught for many years in Whitewater, Wisconsin. He was a member of the First English Lutheran Church in Whitewater, delivered Meals on Wheels and was a member of the Whitewater Jaycees and Kiwanis Club. He was an avid golfer and softball player and a member and past-President of the UW-Warhawk’s W Club. Jerry and Audrey enjoyed traveling the country, annually taking their family to Gulf Shores, AL, to the cabin “up north,” watching sports events and playing daily matches of cribbage and other games. He is survived by his children, Cindy Route, Thomas (Jane) Route of Hubertus and Jill (Bill) Gruetzmacher of Grafton; grandchildren, Marc Peterson, Scot Peterson and Christopher Route; great – grandchildren, KC, Noah, Mia, Monroe and Caleb; other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and one grandson, Michael Route and several siblings. On behalf of Jerry, his children would like to thank the staff at Jessica’s restaurant for their kindness and great breakfasts over several years. They would also like to thank all staff members at Hearthstone and Fairhaven for the loving attention they provided his last few years. He enjoyed playing cards with Sarah, taking bike rides with Stephanie, attending chapel and singing with Luke and bantering with all his caregivers. They are eternally grateful for the outstanding care, emotional support and comfort shown not only to Jerry but to the family members as well. A graveside service will be held on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. at the Richmond Cemetery, Highway 89, south of Whitewater. As an expression of sympathy you may wish to consider memorials to Fairhaven Senior Living.

Nitardy Funeral Home, Whitewater is assisting the family.

Wanda G. Richards, 85, of Whitewater passed away on Friday, July 31, 2020 at the Rainbow Hospice Center

Wanda G. Richards, 85, of Whitewater, Wis., passed away on Friday, July 31, 2020, at the Rainbow Hospice Center, Johnson Creek, Wis. Wanda was born on April 8, 1935, in Altoona, Pa., to Eldon and Marguerite (Brokaw) Gearhart. Wanda married James H. Richards in Nappanee, Ind., on August 31, 1956.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by three children, Elizabeth (Ernest) Stetenfeld, Laura (John) Vitale, and David (Carrie) Richards; eight grandchildren, Daniel Stetenfeld, Maria (Allen) Vitale-Echon, Rebecca Vitale, Rachel Stetenfeld, Helen Richards, Grace Richards, Amelia Richards, and Charlotte Richards; one great-grandchild, Oliver Echon; and two sisters, Marguerite (Charles) Kraft, and Virginia (Norman) Yost. Wanda was preceded in death by her parents and her adoptive father, J. Milton Bowman; one sister, Rosena (James) Sawyer; and one brother, Willard Gearhart.

Wanda received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Omaha and her master’s in counseling and guidance from Ball State University. Wanda spent more than 35 years in the field of education, from elementary school teacher to various district-level administrative roles. She retired as the director of curriculum/instruction for the De Pere School District. Wanda enjoyed gardening, traveling, and painting. Most of all, she loved spending time with her family. She was a member of First United Methodist Church, Whitewater. A private burial will take place at the Roselawn Memory Gardens, Lake Geneva, Wis.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society and/or Rainbow Hospice Care, Jefferson, Wis.

And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Donna Mae Weirich, 50, of Whitewater passed away on Friday, July 24, 2020 at her home

Donna Mae Weirich, 50, of Whitewater passed away on Friday, July 24, 2020 at her home.

Donna was born on June 26, 1970 in McHenry, Illinois to Arthur and Donna J. Weirich. She graduated from Round Lake High School.

She enjoyed spending time with her son and friends. In her spare time she enjoyed crafting and trying new recipes.

Donna is survived by her son, Nicholas Weirich; mother, Donna Weirich; siblings, Art Weirich, Shane Page, Amanda Page; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

At this time, no services will take place.

Nitardy Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolences can be made at

Barbara Ellen Walenton, age 77, of Whitewater passed away unexpectedly at home on the family farm on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 surrounded by her loving family

Barbara Ellen Walenton, age 77, of Whitewater, Wisconsin passed away unexpectedly at home on the family farm on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 surrounded by her loving family.

Barbara was born in Whitewater on December 30, 1942 to Donald and Eleanor (Rutoski) Vail. She received her education at Whitewater High School and was a member of the Girls Scouts and Rainbow Girls. On January 2, 1960, Barbara married Robert E. Walenton at the First United Methodist Church in Whitewater, recently celebrating their 60th anniversary.

Barbara was a homemaker at heart and enjoyed spending time with family and friends on the Farm. As a young woman, she worked as a CNA and medical records technician. Her need to be a stay-at-home mom inspired her to become a business woman so she became an Avon representative. Her love of children inspired her to open her own licensed daycare provider. To this day, those daycare children have grown to become family.

Family was her foundation, but her passion was always horses, a passion she shared with her husband. Bob and Barb raised quarterhorses on the Farm and, for many years, along with their six children and other family and friends, they hosted hundreds of riders and barrel racers at the Walenton Speed Shows on the Farm, also known as the “Rockin ‘B’ Ranch.” Inevitably, the shows outgrew the Farm, so they took the shows on the road. For over a decade Bob, Barb and crew held the Walenton Speed Shows at the Walworth County Fair in Elkhorn. It was only natural that was an active member of the Boots and Saddle Club of Walworth County and the Kettle Moraine Saddle Club.

Barb enjoyed cooking, gardening, bird watching, reading, doing puzzles and gambling. You will often find family and friends gathered at the Farm for game nights, cookouts and bonfires. She loved playing cards and learning new games. Barb loved to dance and go to concerts, especially if the music was country music. Her love of traveling often took them “Up North,” and it seemed that every year, you would find her “on the road again” to faraway places like Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia. Her favorites were Nashville, Dollywood, Loretta Lynn’s Farm and the occasional casino in between.

Barbara is survived by her husband Bob, three beloved sons: John E. Walenton of Whitewater, Donald J. (Cindy) Walenton of Smiths Grove, KY, and Robert D. Walenton of Rhinelander; three beloved daughters: Susan R. (Brent) Nelson of Janesville, Michelle M. (Chris) Haferman of Whitewater and Carrie E. (Scott) St. Clair of Whitewater; grandchildren: Jennifer (Quinn) Walenton, Samantha Bluhm, Catherine Nelson, Melissa Walenton, Nicholas Haferman, David Nelson, Cheyenne St. Clair, Canyon St. Clair, Jodi Harris, Jozie Reed, Jamie Reed, Nicki Olds, Emily Olds, and Chad Olds; great-grandchildren: Angelita Walenton-Garnica, Kiana Walenton-Garnica, Jay Schwartz, Braxton West-Olds and Ophelia Diaz; sisters: Karen (Bob) Fadness of Colorado, Bonnie (Tom) Miller of Whitewater, and Nancy (Perry) Kairis of North Carolina; brother-in-law: Raymond (Jan) Walenton of Whitewater; sister‑in‑law Avril Walenton of Menominee Falls, WI; nieces: Debora Austin (and her son Elijah) of Friendship, WI, Amy Austin of Milwaukee, WI, Amanda (Daniel) Travis of Walkertown, NC, Ashley Kairis of Cary, NC, Lisa Burk of Longmont, Colorado, Geila Frevele of Menominee Falls, Lori Lang of Menominee Falls and Robin Walenton; nephews: Andy Fadness of St. Croix Falls, WI, Rodney Walenton and Ronald Walenton, both of Whitewater; and many great-nieces and great-nephews.

Barbara was preceded in death by her parents Donald and Eleanor Vail.

A Celebration of Life will be held at the Farm at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, Barb’s family would like to suggest a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association or to the family at: Walentons, P.O. Box 818, East Troy, WI 53120-0818.

The family would like to give a special thank you to the Whitewater Rescue Squad, the Rock County Sheriff’s Department, and the Mercy Hospital Paramedics for their assistance and compassion.

The Nitardy Funeral Home of Whitewater is assisting the family. Online condolences may be given to the family at