Hildegarde Elizabeth Fermanich, age 85, of New London, died on November 21 ,2010, at her home surrounded by her loving family. Hildegarde was born January 25, 1925, in Kaukauna, the daughter of Earl and Elizabeth (Rueden) Hooyman. When Hildegarde was 12 her mother died and she served in the role of mother to her siblings. On May 25, 1948 in Shiocton she married Victor Fermanich. Hildegarde and Victor made their home in the town of Maple Creek for over 60 years. Her example of faith and strength inspired not only her children and grandchildren but all who met her as her gentle spirit and motherly instincts were evident to everyone she met. Her legacy of love will live on through everyone who has known her. Hildegarde was an active member of Most Precious Blood Catholic Church in New London. She served on the Parish Council, School Board, Social Concerns Committee, Religious Education – Special Needs, and Parish Council of Catholic Women. She enjoyed many years helping at the Church’s Resale Shop. She was a leader of the Busy Badgers 4-H club. She was a member of the Golden Hill Homemakers. She is survived by her nine children: Sally (Lyle) Jenks, Greenville; Jane (Glen) Ruckdashel, New London; William (Debbie) Fermanich, New London; Joe (Sally) Fermanich, Neenah; Ann (Steve) Van Handel, Appleton; Mary (Dale) Youngs, Easley, South Carolina; Kevin (Jill) Fermanich, Green Bay; Karen (Andy) Ratzlaff, Appleton; Kriss Nett, Waukon, Iowa; twenty-five grandchildren: Scott (special friend Renee) Jenks, Becky (special friend Jeff) Jenks, Katie (Steve) Zurawski, Emily, and Eric Jenks; Diane Ruckdashel and Kim (Dan) Gindt; Rob (Wendy) Fermanich and Jessica (Duston) Quandt; Andy (Kim) Fermanich, Molly (Alex) Rambo, and Caitlin (special friend Josh) Fermanich; Ben and Rachel Van Handel; Ellie, Sam, Jenna and David Youngs; Lydia and Wesley Fermanich; Tara, Samantha and Megan Ratzlaff; Adam and Kalee Nett; five great-grandchildren: Lucas Zurawski; Kylie, Paige and Autumn Gindt; Beverly Fermanich; sisters: Helena (Nick) Kruzicki, Rose Ann (Don) Smith, Theresa Buchner; brother-in-law: Roland Kanaman; sisters-in-law: Mary Lou (Don) Dorn, Audrey (Gene) Blake, Marge Weidner, Betty Fermanich and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; two sons Kenneth and Robert; two grandchildren; brothers: Herbert, Alex, and Eugene Hooyman; sisters: Betty Kanaman and Clara Petit. Funeral Mass for Hildegarde was held on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, New London with Fr. David Lewis officiating. Burial was in the parish Cemetery. Visitation was held at the church Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of service.
Special thank you to the staff at the Dialysis Center, Kobussen Bus Service, Dr. Winek and the medical personnel who cared for her over the years. The family asks that memorials be made to the Society of the Little Flower (www.littleflower.org) or to the Porphyria Foundation (www.porphyriafoundation.com).