Mary (Crall) Mittlesteadt

PORTAGE -- Mary (Crall) Mittlesteadt, age 80, passed away on October 28, 2022, at Tivoli Assisted Living in Portage, WI.

Mary was born on July 27, 1942, in Reedsburg, Wisconsin the daughter of Harvey and Emma Crall.  The daughter of a teacher, it was in Mary’s blood to be a teacher and she knew it from the time she was a little girl, lining up her dolls to play school.  Teaching was her passion and she excelled at it in many ways.  Mary met Maynard Mittlesteadt while in college and they were married after graduation on January 18, 1964.  Mary immediately began her teaching career in Nekoosa.  The next year, they moved to Portage after accepting a job at Caledonia School.  She would continue to teach for Portage Schools for 35 years, 29 at Caledonia School and 6 at John Muir Elementary.

Mary and Maynard spent their entire 54 years of marriage living in Caledonia township.  They loved the people and the land. They knew the land well from years of boating, snowmobiling, and hunting. Mary got to know the neighbors well because of her years as a teacher, serving as town clerk, being an active member of Caledonia Neighborhood Club, HCE Caledonia Circle Club, Caledonia Bluff Climbers Snowmobile Club, Caledonia Presbyterian Church and Bible Study group, and Caledonia Historical Society. Mary felt a deep connection to the land, the people, and the history. So much so, that she wrote a history of the township, A Caledonia Scrapbook, a book that preserved the history of the township. Mary was always the first to volunteer to host a party, bake a pie, or decorate for an event.  One of her favorite quotes was Maya Angelou’s, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”

Besides teaching and giving, you could find Mary cooking, canning, dancing with her favorite partner Maynard, taking care of her home, reading, teaching Sunday and Bible School, gardening, traveling anywhere Maynard would take her, and of course, family time was all important, too.

Mary is preceded in death by her husband, Maynard who was her best friend, travel tour driver, home project partner, pontoon captain, and dance partner.  She is survived by three daughters, Lea Mittlesteadt, Lonna (Todd) Calkins, and Laura (Brian) Hirano; and five granddaughters, Lexie Reuter, Emma and Lauryn Calkins, and Zoah and Scarlett Hirano; her brothers- and sisters-in-law, Shirley Mittlesteadt, Marvin and Merna Mittlesteadt, Myrna and Jerry Williams, Monica and Jim Wagner, Betty Mittlesteadt and many wonderful nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents, and her husband, Maynard in 2018.

Her children would like to thank the staff at Tivoli and Agrace and the faithful friends and family who have visited Mary during these last difficult months.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to Boys and Girls Club of West-Central Wisconsin, Portage Project, or mail to:  Boys and Girls Club, c/o Portage Presbyterian Church, 118 W. Pleasant St., Portage, WI  53901.

Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family.