Christine Sheldon died peacefully on Thursday, March 31, 2011.
Christine was born in Mühldorf im Mölltal, Carinthia, Austria on Dec. 16, 1928, the only child to Joseph and Christine Heidinger.
Christine is survived by her loving husband, Roger Yonke, who was at her side at the time of her passing.
Surviving children include Milton Giese, Wausau, Patricia (Doran) Karbowski, Merrill, Fred (Christine) Giese, Monroe, Christine (Douglas) Belongia, Oakfield, NY, John (Char) Giese, Merrill, Anne Marie (Jim) Emerson, Cedar Rapids, IA, and Shannon Yonke, Merrill. Her loving daughter-in-law, Carla Giese, preceded her in death.
Christine loved her family and delighted in how it seemed to grow exponentially, given that she was an only child. Her 15 grandchildren include Milton (Kim) Giese, Charlotte (Garrett) Schumacher, Adrian “Ace” Giese, Ryan (Cory) Giese, Laura (Matt) Schuster, Alexandra Van Dan, Katarina (Daniel) Antillon, Galen Giese, Amanda (Sam) Woller, Charlie Giese, Heather (Nate) Hinz, Scott Giese, Samantha (Nick Moore) Harrison, T.J. Harrison, and Danielle Harrison.
Great- grandchildren include Alicia and Austin Giese, Michaela, Spencer and Jacob Schumacher, Fox Giese, Natalie Schuster, Jeremiah, Sarah and Charlotte Van Dan, Vivienne Antillon, Madison and Bryan Woller, Adeline and Olivia Moore and Lily Pender.
Growing up, Christine’s family endured the Nazi occupation and in 1939 were forced to move to Waldmünchen, Germany. After they moved to Germany, the Nazi regime refused to allow her to attend school because “Du bist nur ein Mädchen!” In other words, she was only a girl. Somehow, her father convinced them to allow her to attend. She excelled in school and always encouraged and valued education. Her life was filled with many stories and she saw things exceedingly remarkable and also some things quite terrible to behold.
In 1950 she sailed for America on one of the Liberty ships with her first husband Milton Giese who preceded her in death in 1989. She became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. In later years, she was made an honorary member of the 42nd Rainbow Division of United States Army in recognition of her services to this country during WWII. She was able to return to her homeland three times. Each time she had the great pleasure of sharing that experience with her children.
Christine was a long-time employee of Weinbrenner Shoe Company. She took great pride in breaking ground as one of the first and best female welt-stitchers. Her talent as a translator was also often quite useful. Christine was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease over 20 years ago and her ability to gracefully survive the devastating effects of the disease amazed her family and doctors alike. Besides visiting with family and hosting get-togethers, Christine had many interests. Christine and Roger especially loved taking long drives in the country, bird feeding, discussing politics, gardening, camping and, of course, the Green Bay Packers.
Christine had an unforgettable smile and she will always be remembered for her kind and loving heart. Despite many hardships, she managed to persevere and encouraged others to do so, as well. She will be dearly missed.
Please join our family in celebrating her life even as we feel the sadness of her passing. Private services will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association.