Longing to go home to the Lord, Virginia (91) died peacefully early Monday morning, January 24, at Prairie Home Assisted Living, Menasha, which was her home for the last four years. Virginia was born on August 9, 1930 to William and Susan (Hauser) Griesbach, the youngest in a family of eight children. She grew up at 608 First Street, just around the corner from Saint Mary Catholic Church. Tip was a graduate of Saint Mary Grade and High Schools. As her father was the organist and choir director at Saint Mary for forty years, all the children were members of the choir. Tip played the flute in high school. In her later years, Tip was a member of the funeral choir, and her sister, Donna, led the choir and played organ and piano. In her younger days, Tip enjoyed tennis and bowling.
Tip married Donald “Switz” Swichtenberg on November 26, 1953 at Saint Mary and they enjoyed 52 years of marriage. They raised their children, Fr. William (Appleton), Jeanie (Brian) Hartnett (Fox Point), and Robert (Judy) Swichtenberg (Menomonie) at 1397 Fatima Street, Menasha, in the home custom built by Switz, and his brother, Marvin. Tip was a meticulous homemaker and kept an immaculate house, with “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Her children remember enjoying homemade cake on Mondays, cookies on Wednesdays, Best Bakery on Thursdays, and pie on Fridays.
After graduation from high school, Mom worked in the lab at Marathon Paper. When all her children were in school, Mom worked many years in retail, starting off at Treasure Island, Famous Footwear, ShopKo and GNC at Valley Fair. She also completed a license in real estate and worked for Stilp Reality in Menasha. Tip was a hard worker and all of her bosses appreciated her dedication very much.
In the autumn years of her life, Tip enjoyed reading novels (actually her whole life) and was a steady patron of the Menasha Library. She even learned how to use a Nook. Mom was an avid follower of sports, especially the Brewers, Packers and Badgers. You had to have your wits about you if you wanted to talk sports with Tip.
Tip was very proud of her children and grandchildren.
Tip’s grandchildren are Andrea (Graham) Anderson, Brendan Hartnett, Caitrin (Josh) Rose, Leah (Dillon) Bode, and Anthony (Katlynne) Swichtenberg. Her great-children are Wyatt and Charlie Anderson, Eleanor Rose, and Jameson, Everleigh, Willemina Bode, and a new precious little Baby Swichtenberg whom we will welcome joyfully in July.
Tip is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Shirley Kuenhl and Mary Griesbach, and her brother- and sister-in-law, Marvin and Carol Swichtenberg, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Preceding Tip in death are her parents, husband, Don, who died in 2005, and her brothers and sisters-in-law, Norman (Katie), Marc, Robert (Mary Lou), William (Joan), and Donald (Sally), her sister, Evangeline (Sister Mary Donna Griesbach, SSND), her sister and brother-in-law, Donna (Donald) Mahoney, and her brother-in-law, Muriel Kuehnl.
The Mass of Christian Burial, celebrating our hope in the Risen Lord Jesus, will be celebrated at Saint Mary Church, Menasha, on Saturday, January 29, at 11:00 AM. Her son, Father Bill, will preside at the Mass. Family and friends are invited to a visitation in church from 10 to 11:00 AM. A luncheon will follow the Mass in the Parish Hall. A private burial will take place at Saint Mary Cemetery, Menasha.
Tip’s family would like to thank Mom’s caregivers at Prairie Home and at ThedaCare Hospice. Everyone of them expressed so many times how much they loved caring for Mom. Mom appreciated getting to know them.
Also, we are grateful to Chris and Matt at Wichmann Funeral Home – Laemmrich Chapel, Menasha, for all of their kind help.
In lieu of flowers, a gift to ThedaCare Hospice, 5910 Homeland Road, IN 46814 or Saint Mary Parish Funeral Choir, 528 2nd Street, Menasha 54952 would be welcomed.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Virginia Swichtenberg, please visit our floral store.