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Marcella Bernice Fronk, age 104, died October 18, 2023 at Milestone Senior Living Hillsboro, Wl. Marcella was born March 24, 1919, of Czech-German descent, the daughter of Anna (Slama) Haas and John A. Haas Jr. on the family farm near Mt. Tabor. As a child, she attended the one-room country school in Trippville, where her dad would drive her to the school in horse and buggy. She worshipped with her family at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mt. Tabor, where her parents were charter members.
Marcella graduated from Hillsboro High School, class of 1937. Rural country students stayed with families in Hillsboro during the week to be able to receive their high school degree since there was no bus service into the city. She felt it was an honor to further her education. She often commented that her dad would bring her back home on the weekends. She loved growing up in that rural community that was typical of historic small-town life which had a grocery store, creamery, sawmill, and a dance hall.
Marcella married Rudolph W. Fronk, son of Ella (Wopat) Fronk and William R. Fronk on July 24, 1940, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Hillsboro. Marcella and Rudy settled on the family farm in Greenwood township, south of Hillsboro on Beaver Creek Road. Czech language often spoken in that household.
Marcella had the heart of a farmwife dedicated to Rural America's small family dairy farm, quietly paving the way for women in agriculture. Raising a large garden, canning vegetables in a hot humid house on a wood cookstove, raising chickens, selling eggs, milking cows 2 times a day, unloading hay bales, shocking oats in 90-degree weather, cooking 3 meals a day all while raising 5 children and caring for a large farmhouse.
Marcella was an excellent seamstress, making many of her family's clothes and an artist, piecing and sewing quilts, often using her favorite color pink in her creations. Her baking and cooking will be remembered, her specialties of kolaches, noodles, pies, homemade buns all served family style with love and conversation around the farmhouse kitchen table.
Faith built into daily life, a member of St. Aloysius Catholic Church, praying the rosary daily, an active member of St. Ann Altar Society contributing her baked goods to many funeral meals in the church basement.
With her strong work ethic passed to her children, they continued to maintain this beautiful farm. With son, Steve's dairy cattle management, Locust Grove Farms became leaders in achieving national awards for their Registered Holstein Herd. Marcella had great respect for each new life born into her family. Her nurturing spirit cared not only for family, but also the farm animals, especially her Rhode Island Red chickens and many stray barn cats.
In 1992, the original farm was sold due to Marcella's heart surgery and Rudy's progressing Parkinson's condition. They moved into the city of Hillsboro, building again many friendships. Rudy died Jan. 5, 1997. Marcella enjoyed card-playing at the Senior Center, her breakfast club group at the local town restaurant, and an occasional trip to the casino. Years later, Marcella enjoyed the special friendship of her companion, the late Jim Stanek.
For the past 6 years, Mom resided at Milestone Senior Living, Hillsboro. Our humble thanks to the caregivers of Milestone Senior Living and St. Croix Hospice for their loving care of 'Marcy' remembered for her cute little laugh.
Marcella will be remembered as a member of America's Greatest Generation. God shed his grace on the farmwomen of America.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Rudy; brother, Ernest Haas, sister and brother-in-law, Elsie (Fronk) Benish and Emil Benish; son-in-law, James Pollard and special friend, James Stanek.
Survivors include her children, Donald Fronk, Kewaunee; Judith Pollard, Fond du Lac; Thomas (Donna) Fronk, Clovis, CA; Patricia (Lewis) Haugh, Reedsburg and Steven Fronk, Rice Lake. Grandchildren: Susan (Ben) Lodwick, William (Sue) Pollard, John (Mary Elizabeth) Pollard, Thomas (Lisa) Pollard, Christine (Dale Giese) Pollard, Angela (Dwayne III) Balthazor, Karissa Fronk, Angela (Ron) Staton, Scott (Kimberly) Haugh and Dionne (Brian) Bulin. Great Grandchildren: Rebecca (Matt) Wittkopp, Elizabeth (Deric) Lightle, Alissa and Noah Pollard, Wesley, Jeremy, Joy Baganz, Zachary & Megan Pollard, Peter Abhold, Dwayne IV & Austin Balthazor, Mason & Kasmira Fronk, Aleigha Staton, Ashlyne, Alayna & Rhianna Haugh. Great-great grandchildren: Arabella & Adeline Wittkopp, Lucille, Elaina & Lincoln Lightle.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 12 noon at the Picha Funeral Home in Hillsboro, WI. Visitation will be on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Picha Funeral Home. Interment will be in the Mount Vernon Cemetery in Hillsboro. All friends and relatives invited to a luncheon immediately after the burial at Beezers.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105