Lucy Hans

JEFFERSON — Lucille “Lucy” M. Hans, 95, of Jefferson, passed away at home, surrounded by her family, on Friday, March 27, 2020, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Lucy was born on Oct. 14, 1924, in a farmhouse in Helenville, to Elmer and Leonora (Palm) Waldmann.

She was baptized into faith at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Helenville, where she also was confirmed. She attended Sunshine School and St. Peter’s Lutheran, completing eighth grade.

As a teenager Lucy worked as a cook, housekeeper and nanny. In adulthood, she worked at Schweiger Industries in the wood shop, the first woman hired for that department. While at Schweiger’s she was introduced to her future husband, Gene. She later rented a room at Gordie’s bar and got into the restaurant business.

Lucy married Eugene “Gene” B. Hans on Aug. 1, 1945, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Jefferson. Gene passed away on July 10, 2003.

Lucy and Gene built their first business in 1946, the Ox Yoke tavern, which was the first bar in Jefferson at that time where 18-year olds could drink. They also served noon lunches to patrons. The bar later was sold and tore down, making way for the Carnation plant.

Their next business venture began in 1951 when Hans Bros., Inc., a redi-mix and concrete construction business was established. During all the years in business, Lucille was the bookkeeper and the driving force behind their success.

In 1952, the family farm was purchased and soon became home to their five children as well as a variety of animals, most notable being buffalo; Scottish Highland cattle; yaks; llamas; several dogs and cats; Nibs the goat; and horses, including Breezy the pony.

They later raised and bred black bears. Annually, the bear cubs were sold to various hobby farms throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. Lucille had a special place in her heart for all their animals.

In 1983, they purchased Jefferson’s historic train depot, converting it into The Depot, the second tavern they owned until being sold in 1996.

She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Jefferson. Her firm foundation in Christ was apparent throughout her life as she modeled her Christian faith.

Lucy shared her love of tradition, holidays, cooking, music, dancing and fashion with her family.

In 2012, with the assistance of her granddaughters, Lucille’s life story was captured in a book titled, “The Life Story of Lucille (Waldmann) Hans.” Shared in the book was a special message to her family that included: I may not have a professional degree, but I was a world-class teacher all the same. And I practiced on a daily basis, not on a college campus or behind a podium in a marble-floored classroom, but here in my home. Over my 88 years, there have been many happy moments and many trying times. Through it all, I have learned and taught: Marriage takes a lot of work and forgiveness; what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger; God will never give us more than we can bear; always apologize when you’ve made a mistake; have fun and celebrate life’s joyous moments; alcohol in moderation is a blessing and in excess is a curse; make sure the people in your life know what they mean to you; sometimes a little spying is needed to figure out what is really going on; if you believe in yourself, you can achieve anything you set your mind to; be careful how you live, you may be the only Bible some people will ever read; and always make time for church, family, friends and dancing.

She is survived by her loving family including her children, Renee Gehrke, Stevens Point; Lianne (Dave) Haffelder, Jefferson; Zoa (Doug) Orcutt, Johnson Creek; Jeff (Debbie) Hans, Jefferson; Jolene (Pat) Wedl, Koshkonong; 11 grandchildren: Brett Parsons, Park Falls; Dory (Andrea) Haffelder, Fort Atkinson; Tony (Michelle) Haffelder, Jefferson; Jason (Katie) Gehrke, Stevens Point; Sadie Orcutt, Fort Atkinson; Travis (Carrie) Burnett, Eau Claire; Emily (Rob) Holmes, Moycock, N.C.; Ellie (Dan) Roekle, Middleton; Tyson Burnett, Madison; Abbie Hans (Fitchburg); and Tim (Sarah) Bakken (Green Bay); 15 great-grandchildren and one great great-grandchild on the way; two siblings, Ruby Betschler, Helenville, and Eunice Doebereiner, Jefferson; sisters-in-law, Judy Waldmann and Sandra Hans of Jefferson, and Ramona Hans, West Bend. She further is survived by a number of nieces, nephews, friends, and her Gemuetlichkeit family that adored her.

Also left behind is her brother-in-law, Francis Hans. Fran was her beloved companion, dance partner, cook and caregiver. Without his love and support she would not have been able to stay in her home on the farm until her passing.

The family cannot thank him enough for his love and commitment, and for treating her like a queen.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gene; parents, Elmer and Leonora Waldmann; in-laws, Ben and Matilda Hans; brothers, Royal and Elmer, Jr. Waldmann; grandson, Cain Hans; and many brother and sister in-laws.

Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Jefferson, with the Rev. Joshua Martin presiding. Burial will follow at the Union Cemetery.

Visitation will be held at the church from noon until the time of services.

Friends are invited to a Celebration of Lucille’s Life at 13 East, immediately following the gravesite, from approximately 4:15 to 4:30 p.m. Food and music will be provided.

If desired, memorials may be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church, the Gemuetlichkeit Days organization or the Parkinson’s Foundation (https://www.parkinson.org/).

The family would like to thank the staff of Senior Helpers for their constant care of Lucille, and Rainbow Hospice for their end-of-life assistance.

Visit www.schneidermichaelisfuneralhome.com to leave a condolence or to light a candle in her memory.

To plant a tree in memory of Lucille Hans as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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