Esther (Lillich) Staudenmayer

PORTAGE –    Esther (Lillich) Staudenmayer went to heaven on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 following a rich and full life.

Esther was born in Caledonia on September 9, 1924 to William and Helen (Dushek) Lillich.  She graduated from Portage High School and married John Staudenmayer on May 21, 1955.  Esther and John did not have biological children, but they “adopted” the families of Les and Arlaine Ziehmke and Leo and Charlotte Blau.  Between these two families, as well as many cousins and close friends, Esther and John lived the mantra, “friends are the family you choose.”

Esther’s life was rooted in service to God and her community.  Throughout the years, she volunteered with Divine Savior Hospital, Meals on Wheels, and local blood drives.  She was also an active member of St. Mary Catholic Church for the entirety of her life.

Esther understood the importance of bringing people together.  She was active in The Circle Homemakers Club of Caledonia, and spent many evenings enjoying a hand of cards with friends.  She hosted countless holidays and celebrations over the years.  Every event included a full spread of homemade food.  Esther was perhaps most well-known for her molasses cookies and dream bars….  No visit was complete without a bag of such goodies for the road.

Esther’s presence will be missed in many spaces, but her spirit lives on in those she touched with her love and generosity.

Esther was preceded in death by her parents, William and Helen Lillich, and her husband, John Staudenmayer.  She is survived by many close friends and extended family.  In particular, Sister Rose Marie Dischler provided special friendship to Esther in the years after John’s death.  Also, Sister Mary Rita Thompson for her friendship, and all the other special people in her life, of which there are too many to list.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 28, 2019 at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Portage, with Fr. Gary Krahenbuhl presiding.  Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Portage.  Visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at the Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage, and at the church on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.

Memorials may be made to St. Mary Catholic Church in Portage.



For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)