Lillian Helen (Zebro) Doze, 99, joined her husband, Edward, and Son, Ronald, in heaven on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. She passed away peacefully at Cedar Ridge Elder Care Services, Schofield.
Lillian, along with a twin sister, was born on April 24, 1917, in Holland, Michigan, to the late Louis and Mary (Kotecki) Zebro. Sadly, her twin did not survive. The family settled in the Town of Emmet, Marathon County, and began farming. Lillian attended Moon School through 8th grade. She was then needed at home to help care for her younger siblings. Lillian was the second oldest child with one sister and four brothers (two of whom had muscular dystrophy).
On July 24. 1934, at St. Paul Catholic Church, Mosinee, she married Edward Doze, a handsome city lad who had worked in the area as a farmhand. After 15 years of hard work and sacrifice, the 2-acre wedding present from her parents grew to 200 acres, and the one dairy cow became a herd of 40, and their children numbered five (three girls and two boys).
Lillian started her life as a timid farm girl. But then tragedy struck in April 1950, when Lillian lost her husband and four-year-old son. One month later, she gave birth to a baby girl. So at the age of 33, she became both Mother and Father to her children. She had to learn to drive a car and manage the farm by keeping meticulous records. Lillian and her children continued to farm for ten years, which she accomplished initially with the help of family, neighbors and a hired hand. When her son Robert enlisted in the Air Force in 1959, Lillian sold her beloved farm. She moved to Mosinee to seek employment which consisted of many years at Rondeau Cheese and a short time at Wausau Motor Parts. She was then employed at the Marathon County Health Care Facilities. She attended North Central Technical College which enabled her to become a head cook, a position she held until her retirement in 1972. She then cared for her aging parents and brother. At the age of 62, to everyone’s amazement, she learned to ride a two-wheeled bicycle which she rode to and from her parents. Never to be idle, Lillian accepted a custodial position at Mosinee Post Office for five years where they lovingly named her “Diamond Lil”.
Lillian loved her faith and Polish heritage. She was a life-long member of St. Paul Catholic Church and St. Monica’s Society. She prayed many rosaries, which could be found in all her coat pockets, glove compartment, dresser drawers, on lamp tables, under pillows and always in her hand at bedtime.
Thanksgiving was a special blessing to Lillian because it was the one time of year that all her children and grandchildren were gathered together. All her goodbyes ended with, “I love you and may the angels watch over you”. She continued with, “drive safely, watch out for deer, don’t pick up any two-legged strangers, and call me when you get home!”
Lillian is survived by her five children, Irene Strasser, Rosemary (John) Kozak, Robert (Judith) Doze, Patricia (Neil) Magrecke and Mary (Gerald “Butch”) Kudla; a sister, Helen (John) Belohlavek; sister-in-law, Mary Zebro; 18 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and 6 great- great-grandchildren.
Besides her husband, son and parents, Lillian was preceded in death by her brothers, Walter, John, Stanley and Frank Zebro Sr.; granddaughter, Debra (Magrecke) Thewes; great-granddaughter, Ashley Hytry; great-grandson, Bryce Thewes; son-in-law, Eugene Strasser; sister-in-law, Bernice Zebro; nieces, Nancy Belohlavek, Joyce and Mary Jane Zebro; and other relatives and many friends.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, at St. Paul Catholic Church, Mosinee. The Rev. Donald Przybylski will officiate. Burial will be in St. Paul Cemetery, Mosinee. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. Saturday until time of services at the church. Beste Funeral Home, Mosinee, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.bestefh.com
Memorials in Lillian’s memory may be directed to St. Paul Catholic Church Endowment Trust Fund.
The family would like to express special thanks to the wonderful staff and caregivers at Acorn Hill, Mosinee, and Cedar Ridge for their compassionate care for Lillian. A special thank you to Dr. Andy Weber, Michelle, Laura and staff of Interim HealthCare for guiding the family on this year-long journey with our Mother.
So now Mom, “May the angels watch over YOU!”