Jen Gauthier

(Janina) Joan “Jen” Gauthier, 104, of Oconto Falls, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday morning, Sept. 9, 2017. The sixth-oldest of 10 children and twin sister of Lottie was born May 24, 1913, to John and Anna (Mioduszewski) Pawlak in Milwaukee.

Because her family called her Nina as a little girl, a neighbor asked why not just call her Jen since the age of 4 years. Jen grew up in Milwaukee where she attended St. Josaphat’s Basilica School until the eighth grade, when she had to help at home to care for the rest of the family so her mother could work out of the house. As a young woman, she moved with family members to “Swedetown” in Oconto County so they could get out of the big city and live near family and friends.

On Oct. 26, 1935, she married Leo Martin Gauthier in Michigan. The couple owned and operated the Gauthier family farm for many years. Because Leo was also in the cattle business, Jen ran the farm, raising their 11 children and looking after and feeding them and all the hired hands. They had 15 acres of pickles and beans, so many Oconto Falls youth would come during harvest time to pick. Jen would help organize it all and pay the workers. She also worked at the Oconto Falls Canning Co. for three years.

As a lady of strong Catholic faith, she was a longtime member of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Oconto Falls and belonged to the Altar Rosary Society (now PCCW). She once served as secretary/treasurer. Jen also helped with church rummage sales, volunteered at the local senior center and was an original member of the Golden Agers card club.

During the Vietnam War, all four of her sons served in the military at the same time. She prayed for their safety every day, and all four returned home. At onetime, Jen also served as the health officer for the town of Stiles, a 4-H leader and as chaplain of the World War I Auxiliary.

Survivors include 10 children, Patricia “Patsy” Gauthier-Offutt, Milwaukee, Joan (Elroy) Block, Bonduel, Margaret “Marge” (Len) Duco, Lake Villa, Illinois, Leo J. (Dolores) Gauthier, Cerritos, California, Helen (Richard) Johnson, New London, William (Marjie) Gauthier, Cherokee, Iowa, Victor Gauthier, Oconto Falls, Robert (Marianne) Gauthier, Marinette, Denise (Howard) Malecki, Rio Rico, Arizona, and Sue Campbell, Oconto Falls; 40 grandchildren, 86 great-grandchildren and numerous great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leo M. Gauthier, in 1986, one daughter, Mary Walske, in 1982; five brothers, Anthony, Stanley, August, Edmund and John Pawlak; four sisters, Sister Mary Therese, Bernice Schuessler, Eva Pawlak and twin sister Lottie Wusterbarth, in 1994; three infant grandchildren; and one grandson, Joseph Block.

Visitation will be held from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at Jones Funeral Service in Oconto Falls with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Friday. Visitation will continue after 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Oconto Falls until the time of service. Mass of Christian Burial will be held 1:30 p.m. Saturday at church with the Rev. Fr. Joel Sember officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.