Cover photo for Albert W. Witkus's Obituary
Albert W. Witkus Profile Photo

Albert W. Witkus

August 16, 1938 — April 5, 2023

Jim Falls

Albert W. Witkus

Albert Wayne Witkus was born on August 16, 1938 to Della (Claudy) and Raymond Witkus. He passed away on April 5, 2023, surrounded by his daughters and feeling all of their love. Dad fought a 2.5 year battle with leukemia, surpassing his initial prognosis of 9-21 months by making it to 26 months.

Dad was born in a boxcar in Jim Falls that the family had converted into a home. He was delivered by his 13 year-old sister, Bernice. His mother died when he was six years old, and his father died when he was 21 years old.  He and his sister Bernice were exceptionally close for his entire life.  We think she spoiled him! Sadly, she passed away in the spring of 2020.

Dad lived most of his life in Jim Falls.  He attended Washington School in the Town of Anson for the first grade.  He then attended grades 2-8 at Vance School in Jim Falls.  He loved talking about the “olden days” and his childhood memories.  He loved Jim Falls and everyone who lived there.

Dad married Sharon Bergeron on September 14, 1960. They later divorced.  He remained close to the Bergeron family throughout his life.

Dad was drafted in the Army in 1961.   He was stationed in Fort Carson, Colorado and drove a fuel truck.  He was proud of his time in the service and spoke of it often.

Dad married Cynthia Blanchard on January 29, 1966.  They had four children together, Wendy, Penny, Heidi and Amy.  They divorced in 1993.  Our dad taught us many things including how to swim on Cornell Lake and how to play cribbage.  He took us hunting, which was one of his favorite pastimes. He scraped our car windows in the wintertime, did our laundry, and made us Malt-O-Meal every morning before school. He would have done anything for us.

When Dad was 14, he sat at a “show” in Jim Falls next to the young Lois Sedlacek.  Many years later they became companions and were together for nearly 20 years until her passing in 2019.  He affectionately called her “Granny” and he loved her dearly, as well as all her children, Linda, Bill, Tom, Lorraine, Mary, Marsha, Michelle, Paula, and Hoss.  They affectionately called him “Pops.”  Together, Dad and Granny enjoyed watching the Cubs and Packers, going to Randy’s, canning, gardening, playing cribbage, going to Jackpot Junction on the bus tours, and watching their favorite shows “Andy Griffith” and “Colombo.” He loved teasing her about being Bohemian and she teased him right back about being Lithuanian. Lois passed away on November 18, 2019.

Our dad was the Cubs #1 fan.  He first became a fan when he was 10 years old.  His sister Betty who lived in Chicago was visiting and wondered why the Cubs weren’t on the radio.  Dad was a die-hard Cubs fan from that moment on.  He lived in Chicago for 9 months when he was 18.  He didn’t care for it, but was able to attend some Cubs games at Wrigley Field.  The first Cubs game he attended cost 75 cents.  Dad got his first and only tattoo when he was 79 years old as the Cubs won the World Series.  He proudly showed everyone and anyone.

Dad was a very hard worker.  He worked as an apprentice for his older brother, Elmer, building basements.  He went into business on his own as a mason contractor and built many basements in the surrounding area.  When out on a drive, he loved pointing out which basements he had built.  He later worked for Cloverbelt Farms until he was injured on the job in 1991.

Dad was the assistant fire chief for the Anson Fire Department for many years and was very proud of his time on the fire department.  The Anson Fire Department honored him on his 82nd birthday with a 5-truck drive-by his house and a “Happy Birthday” song.   He played baseball for the Jim Falls Sturgeons and on several area softball teams.  He was a versatile player but loved being catcher most.  He was on a golf league for many years both at the Bloomer Golf Course and at the Whispering Pines Golf Course.  He shot a hole-in-one on #9 in Bloomer in 1985.

Bestgrandpaever! Dad was a wonderful grandpa! He loved babysitting his grandchildren when they were younger and was affectionately called “Grandpa Cubby.” He was exceptionally close to his grandson, Bailey, who he lovingly nicknamed “Buddy.” Grandpa taught him how to hunt and fish; they were each other’s best friend. Thank you for taking such great care of Grandpa, Buddy! Dad loved his granddaughter, Haley, and, of course, nicknamed her “Sissy.” Haley enjoyed Grandpa driving her to school for swimming practice. Dad loved sharing fishing stories and his famous beef jerkey recipe with his grandson, “Zachy.” Dante and Istana loved hearing Grandpa share stories about their mother, Penny. Dad loved the “golfing bond” he had with his grandchildren, Lexi, Casi, Nate, and Ella. Leah lovingly called him “Grandpapa” and enjoyed placing wagers on sporting events with him. Jake loved talking about gardening with Grandpa. Dad treated his stepgrandchildren as his own - Kacie, Matt, Jamie, Matthew, Jeffrey and Annalee will miss you! Dad was able to meet his great-grandson, little Sully Wayne, just days before his passing.

What happened when it was your birthday? Well, you got a “tune” of course! Dad called everyone he cared about and played a few notes on his harmonica on each birthday.  Everyone loved getting a “tune.” His final tune was played to Marsha and Michelle just a few days ago; it was so special. Everyone will miss that.

Dad was alsopreceded in death by his daughter, Penny Witkus Poe in 2015, and his parents, Della and Raymond. Dad was the 8th out of 9 children and was the last one left.  Dad was preceded in death by all of his siblings, Eva Stark, Elmer Witkus, Lawrence Witkus, Bernice Schwetz, Betty Weis, Mavis Nettles, Jim Witkus, and Raymond Witkus, Jr.

Dad was also preceded in death by his loving companion, Lois Kvapil, and his beloved “Bohemian” Yorkie, Annie.

Dad is survived by his children Wendy (Matt) Quisling of Altoona, Heidi (Jay) James of Eau Claire, Amy (Ryan) Moore of Whitewater, Dawn (Joe) Gefroh of Bloomington, MN, Stacy (Derald) Hobbs of Portales, NM, and all of Lois’ children. He truly was a “girl dad.”

Dad is also survived by many nieces and nephews. We appreciate all of you caring about him and checking in on him all the time. Our aunts and uncles would be proud of their children's dedication to their loving brother, Albie.

Dad will be missed greatly by his neighbors, Denny Kinderman, and Jeff “Magoo” and Pam Sima. We are so thankful for all you have done for our dad. You went above and beyond for him, and we cannot repay you.

Thank you to the dedicated volunteers from Meals on Wheels for not only checking in on our dad, but giving him a little something to look forward to everyday.

Thank you to Dad’s caring medical team at Prevea Cancer Center in Eau Claire. Dad received the best possible care during his journey with cancer. We are so appreciative of the exceptional care he received from his medical assistant, Crystal Braker, and his oncologist, Dr. Mihailo Lalich. We cannot say enough about the compassion and support they provided to Dad and to our family. We could not have asked for any better.

During the last few years, Dad enjoying going for golf cart rides around Jim Falls with his daughters. He also enjoyed going on rides with his daughters looking for deer and other critters. We went for our last car ride on Tuesday, March 28th and saw 190 deer, 26 turkey, 9 sandhill cranes, and a fox. As you can see, Dad was big on stats.

Thank you to our older sister, Dawn, who came into our lives four years ago and helped us so much with Dad. They had a very special bond and this gave him a lot of joy. Thank you for everything you did for him, Dawn. He sure did love you.

Thank you to our oldest sister, Stacy, who came into our lives four months ago and was able to meet dad through FaceTime and then in person just a few days before his passing. She got to see the jokester side of his, and that was pretty special.

As you can see, our Dad loved all of his daughters. He welcomed Dawn and Stacy with open arms and they were able to feel his love. This not only  speaks to the type of man he was, but to the content of his character.

Dad, we are so grateful for the time we had with you but now there is a hole in our hearts that can never be filled. We will cherish all our memories with you, that’s for sure.  We love you, Old Man!

The visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 12, at Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel, 44 E. Columbia Street, Chippewa Falls.

The memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 13, at Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel, with a visitation one hour prior to the service. Rev. Paul Messmer will be officiating. The interment will be in Copp Cemetery, Town of Anson, with Military Honors conducted by the Chippewa Falls Patriotic Council.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Albert W. Witkus, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services

44 East Columbia Street, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Thursday, April 13, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services

44 East Columbia Street, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Thursday, April 13, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Pederson-Volker Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services

44 East Columbia Street, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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