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Monica Jean Niles, age 86, passed away peacefully Thursday, November 16, 2023, at the Serenity House in Tomah, with her family by her side. Monica was born on November 13, 1937, in Seven Mile Creek Township, the daughter of George and Agnes (Kelly) Kranz. Monica was the youngest of 16 children. She graduated from Madonna High School in 1956.
Monica was employed by Phillips Drug Store for 72 years. She began working there when she was 14 years old, eventually “retired” after 65 years, and then continued in a part-time capacity until the time of her death. The Phillips family was like a second family to Monica, sharing so much, love, laughter and teasing, resulting in many fond memories. Customers who frequented the drug store were always greeted with Monica’s smile, infectious personality, and gift of gab.
A long-time active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Monica also participated in the Lady of Fatima Circle with many of her dear friends.
To say that Monica was a wonderful cook is an understatement. She was best known for her Kit-Kat bars, mashed potatoes and gravy, and veggie pizza. Everything she made was delicious. Whenever someone asked for her recipe, she would reply, “A little bit of this and a little bit of that.”
Over the years, Monica enjoyed taking her children to Castle Rock Lake. Jerry and Monica eventually built an in-ground swimming pool on their farm which provided their family and friends with many hours of enjoyment and wonderful memories. Watching her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren participate in sports, club, and school activities was one of her greatest joys. She and her late husband Jerry loved watching all types of sports on TV. Monica has been known to tell the managers/coaches how to coach their team and would let the referees know when they missed a 3-second call. She was truly fortunate to have had many wonderful friendships throughout the years and always looked forward to spending time with friends on trips, Friday night fish fries, Wednesday at the Body Shop with her “Dice Shaking Friends” and hosting many card games at their home.
Monica recently lost the love of her life, Jerry. They had been married for 65 years and were able to celebrate this past July with family and friends. Monica is survived by her children, Shari (Greg) Voigtschild – Brookfield, WI; Sam (Sav) Niles – Tomball, Tx; Christie (Todd) Dawson – Houston, MN; Jody (Tom) Steinhaus – Wisconsin Dells, WI; Kevin (Kathy) Niles – New Lisbon, WI; grandchildren, Zachary (Kristina) Voigtschild, Kevin (Lauren) Voigtschild, Nicollette (Ryan) Boss, Jamie Goodenough, Andrea (Wade) Schossow, Tiffany (Phil) Bartz, JJ (Jessica) Heesch, Jon (Chelsie) Heesch, Krista (Billy) Kobleska, Jill (Seth Wage) Niles; great-grandchildren, Evelyn Boss, Abby and Kaylee Goodenough; Ellie, Levi, and Vada Schossow; Niles, Nila and Navi Bartz; Jackson Heesch; Hunter and Charlie Kobleska; sisters Veronica Krause, Eileen ( late Jim) Cauley, Patricia ( late Bill) Voigt, sister in law Rose (late Bill) Buttner and Brother-in-law Gordon Swan. Many special nieces, nephews, and friends also survive her.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings Mary ( Edmund) Beranek, John (Edna) Kranz, Ed (Bonnie) Kranz, Bill (Rita) Kranz, Bernice (Francis) Bohen, Leo ( Therese) Kranz, Jim (Bernice) Kranz, Evelyn ( John) Engel, Harold Kranz, Anita (Don) Pollard, Bernard (Paula) Kranz; as well as her in-laws Blanche (Dary) and Bernard Niles, Sister in law Marilyn Niles Swan and brother in law, Ronald Niles (deceased while serving in the Vietnam War); son-in-law Jeff Heesch, and very special nieces and nephews.
The family extends their sincere gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and staff at Sauk Prairie Hospital in Sauk City, and the Serenity House in Tomah, WI.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, December 2nd at 11:30 am at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (401 Mansion St.) in Mauston. Visitation will be held prior to the Mass from 9:30-11:30 am. Inurnment will take place in the St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery. The Hare Funeral Home in New Lisbon is assisting the family with services. Online guestbook available at www.harefuneralhomecom.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 401 Mansion St., Mauston, WI 53948, or the Serenity House, 601 Straw St., Tomah, WI 54660.