Irene E. O. (Thielker) Schaller, 87, of Sparta, passed away into the hands of Jesus in the early hours of Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at Gundersen Health System, La Crosse. Irene was born on December 17, 1933 to Herman and Mabel (Erickson) Thielker. She spent her childhood in Fish Creek with her siblings and parents.
Irene married David Schaller on November 2, 1953, they later divorced. She enjoyed sewing for her children and grandchildren as was evident in the many outfits made out of love that she made for each one. She always welcomed her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren with open arms and candy. She would always smile when asked for the bag of candy during church because she was always prepared with mints and root beer barrels.
Irene worked at Northern Engraving Incorporated until her retirement. Upon retirement, she spent many hours in the kitchen baking goods for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to enjoy.
Irene is survived by her children, Jeff (Donna) Schaller, Ricky Schaller, Lori (Harold) Oesterle, Scott Schaller, Cheryl (Bob) Nichols, Brenda (Gus) Elsen, and son-in-law, David Abbott.
She was a wonderful grandmother who will forever be missed by Julie Maier, Jessica Schaller, Becky Oesterle, Jonathan Abbott, Andrew Abbott, Kristina Oesterle, Meranda Schaller, Nikki Aguilar, Brittney Salmon, Malissa Tucker, Taylor Elmore, Randi Schaller, and Jordan Schaller.
Her grandchildren brought her even more joy to her life when she became a great grandmother to Austin Erickson, Mariah Stopla, Dakota Sanders, Heidi Stopla, Ella Middleton, Kierra Maier, Addyson Stark, Amelia Jorstad, Leelah Peterson, Ryker Jorstad, Javier Aguilar, Lilli Elmore, Elijah Elmore, and Skyler Salmon.
She is further survived by her sister, Phyllis Bjorkman; many step grandchildren and step great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents; siblings, Dorothy, LaVern, Raymond, and Lucille. She is reunited in death with her children she lost too soon, Debra Abbott, Michael Schaller, and Gary Schaller.
The family would like to thank the staff at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse for their expert care during her brief stay.
We rejoice that our Ma, grandma, and great grandma is now at peace in body and spirit in the presence of the Lord and Savior, and trust that our memories will help fill the empty place left in our hearts and lives.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 5, 2021 at St. John’s Ev Lutheran Church, Sparta, with Reverend John Meyer officiating. Burial will be in Burns Cemetery, rural Bangor.
Family and friends are invited to call from 9 a.m. until time of services on Monday at the church. Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com
Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.
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