Emma Emily Kolander, age 84 of Siren, WI, passed away Saturday morning, April 29, 2017.
Emma was the daughter of Elmo and Bessie (Wolanek) Peterson. She was born on Madeline Island of Lake Superior on August 15, 1932. When Emma was very young, the Peterson family moved from Eau Claire, WI to Trade Lake, WI. She attended public schools and was a 1950 graduate of Grantsburg High School.
Emma attended Superior Normal School (now known as University of Wisconsin-Superior), earning her Bachelor of Education degree in the spring of 1954. She later earned her Master’s degree in Math from the same college.
On June 12, 1954, Emma was united in marriage with Walter Otto Kolander at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Frederic, WI. They owned and operated a livestock farm in the Town of Daniels. After Wally’s death on June 10, 1998, Emma continued her involvement with the farm.
Emma’s first teaching position was in the School District of Luck, WI. She retired from being a full-time teacher and reading specialist in the Siren School District in 1996. She also served various school districts as a substitute teacher at different times of her life. Emma was a member and past president of the Wisconsin Retired Educators Association (WREA). She was also a dedicated volunteer of Kinship Mentoring Service.
Emma was a very active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church. She served on the church council, was a member of the Ladies Aid, and played the organ for church services. She served as the Town of Daniels Treasurer for forty-two years.
Emma enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and overseas. She had very fond memories of her trips to Alaska, and to Australia, Japan and China. She definitely had a “green thumb” and was proud of her flowers beds. She also enjoyed baking and decorating cakes, and was very caring and supportive to those who needed a helping hand.
An independent, hard-working individual, Emma was fun-loving and energetic. She enjoyed being actively involved on the farm. Raking hay on her beloved tractor, the 3020 John Deere, and driving the farm truck to help gather bales from the field were two of her favorite tasks. Bringing hogs that she and Wally raised to market brought her pride and joy. She was also well-versed in running for parts and tools, which kept the family operation running smoothly.
Preceding Emma in death are her parents, Bessie and Elmo Peterson; her husband, Wally; siblings: Josephine (Louis) Walta, Louis Bissell, Arthur (Alvina) Bissell, Janet Lukson, and Francis (George) Engelhard.
Emma is survived by her two children, James Kolander (Melissa Hernandez) and Karen (Ken) Chinander; three grandchildren: Darcy Paulson, Nolan Merrill, and Connor Craine; three great-grandchildren: Eliza, Josie, and Hazel; as well as siblings, Selma (Jim) Christiansen and Lorraine Hoefs; sisters-in-law, Kay Stoner and Grace (Jack) Sexton; and many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends may call between the hours of 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm, Thursday, May 4, 2017, at Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home, Siren, WI. The funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 am (visitation 10:00 to 11:00 am), Friday, May 5, 2017, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (LCMS), Webster, WI, with Pastor Jody Walter officiating. Interment will be in Lakeview Cemetery, Town of Daniels, following the fellowship meal.
Casket bearers are: Scott Hoefs, Gene Hoefs, Brian Hoefs, Bryan Anderson, Keith Stoner, and Steve Stoner.
Arrangements have been entrusted with Swedberg-Taylor Funeral Home, Siren, WI. Online condolences may be expressed at www.swedberg-taylor.com.