Florence Bissen, 94, of Caledonia, MN (recently of La Crosse), passed away peacefully and with acceptance on Nov. 18, 2016.
She was born July 17, 1922 in Dorchester, IA to Ted and Mary (Schulte) Schwartzhoff.
In her youth she lived in the Freeburg / Caledonia area, spent a year in Minneapolis, then married Warren Bissen on January 20, 1945. They lived briefly in Washington DC until Warren was discharged from the US Navy. Florence had fond memories of their months there. They moved back to Caledonia where they raised a family and ran a business, Bissen Electric.
Florence was a gem. She raised five children and worked as caretaker for many people, young and old, and was a bookkeeper at the family business until Warren's death in 1985. After 25 years on her own in the house she and Warren had built, Florence moved to La Crosse in 2009 but remained a Caledonian at heart.
She was a social person who enjoyed playing cards, golfing, and being with her family and many friends. Florence was the family historian and shared stories and memories of days gone by. She was generous, and often visited or shared a meal with people who she felt needed company.
While in Caledonia, Florence had been an active volunteer in the American Legion Auxiliary, the MaCalGrove ladies' league, and St. Mary's Church and School.
She is survived by her five children: Mary (Roger) Cook and their children Tami (Tom) Dever and Greg Cook; Jane (Mike) Stitt; Donna Bartuski (Greg Teff) and her children Andrea (Luke) Dannenberg and Joe Bartuski; Maureen (Mark) Neuville, and their children Brad (Angie) Neuville, Brian Neuville, and Craig (Allison Estry) Neuville; and Joe (Sue) Bissen and their children Andy, Nick, and Katie Bissen. Florence's great grandchildren (Hannah Neuville, Brett and Hope Dever, and Vince and Edie Dannenberg) were blessed to have had her live long enough to know them. She is also survived by two siblings Regina Tony and Bob (Carol) Schwartzhoff, and sisters-in-law Betty Schwartzhoff, Doris Bissen, and Rita Von Arx.
Siblings who preceded her in death are Mary Ernster, Ray Schwartzhoff, Bernadette Peterson, Bert Schwartzhoff, Andy Schwartzhoff, Millie Osbahr, Rita Welshons and two who died in childhood. In-laws who preceded her in death are Bob and Lill Bissen, Ray and Bernadette Bissen, Walter Von Arx and Gene Bissen.
Visitation will be held at 9:30 Wednesday, Nov. 23 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Caledonia with a funeral Mass at 11:00. Memorials are requested to be given to Calvary Cemetery, St. Mary's School, or Camp Winnebago.
We will miss you, but you will always be with us as we retell your stories and add our own.