Maxine Wilke passed away in Madison on November 20, 2022, after living to the ripe old age of 100.
She was born Maxine Marie Wolske on February 13, 1922, in Mason City, IA. Her parents were Adolph and Christina Wolske, and she was the 10th of their 11 children.
She first moved to WI to participate in the war effort at the Badger Ordnance Works near Sauk City during World War II. A blind date with a friend’s brother led to an impactful change to her life’s trajectory. The date, Karl Wilke, proposed marriage on that first evening and she accepted the same night! They were married on August 14, 1945, and remained together until he passed away, just shy of 50 years of marriage.
Maxine and Karl were partners in business as well as in life. Together they owned and operated Sunnyside Hatchery, first in Madison, then in Oregon, WI.
She was an artistic person and first started painting in a Norwegian Rosemaling class offered by MATC in the 1950s. By the 2nd semester she was teaching the class. She became adept at a variety of painting styles and painted on any surface available. In addition to painting she was an expert and prolific crocheter, creating hundreds of afghan blankets during her lifetime. She completed her Associates degree in Art at MATC in 1999 at the age of 77.
Maxine was preceded in death by her parents and 10 siblings, her husband, Karl, and her son, Robert Wolske.
Maxine is survived by five children: Kris Malek, Madison, WI; Jan Kamish (Bob), Ft. Myers, FL; Jean Hammen (Gary), Ft. Myers, FL; Ann Thompson (Tim), Merrimac, WI; and Alan Wilke, Cathedral City, CA. She is also survived by many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
There will be a Celebration of Life to be held in Madison in August 2023, details forthcoming.