Although her life was not without hardship, Aleeze Schmidt was a delightful woman who shared a special relationship with her younger brother throughout her life.
The 1930s was a decade that was very much cloaked in hardship due to the Great Depression. It was in the year 1931 that “The Star Spangled Banner” became our national anthem, the Empire State Building was completed, and the first refrigerator became available to the average consumer. This was a year for great celebration in the family of John and Georgiana (Mason) Wilke as they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Aleeze, on September 11th. Aleeze was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as one of six children in her family, although her older siblings Charles and Delores died as infants. This left Aleeze as the oldest sibling to younger children Arnold, James, and Roberta. Her parents divorced in 1940, and her mother remarried in 1941. Then with the births of two more siblings, Gail and Allen, her family was complete.
Life turned a few different corners throughout the next several years of Aleeze’s life. She married and had two daughters, Diane and Deborah. When Aleeze and her husband later divorced, her ex-husband moved away with their girls, leaving Aleeze with little opportunity to communicate with them from that point forward. The days following her divorce and loss of her daughters were understandably difficult and left Aleeze suffering from mental challenges throughout the coming years. She later had a son named Jeffrey who eventually committed suicide. Aleeze’s mental issues only escalated after his death.
Even though Aleeze had struggles throughout her life, she was such a sweet woman to know. Her brother, Arnold, would take the bus to visit her apartment in order to help her with her day-to-day living as much as he was able. Aleeze also had an amazing ability to pay attention to even the most minute detail. She would have been able to recall anything from her life with total clarity, complete with specific dates and detailed information about each event.
Throughout her life, Aleeze Schmidt did her best to weather the storms that relentlessly loomed overhead. Although she was a woman with struggles, she was also a woman with a kind and loving heart toward those she treasured most. Aleeze will be dearly missed by those she leaves behind.
Aleeze Schmidt died in Milwaukee, WI, on January 15, 2010. Aleeze’s family includes her brother, Arnold Wilke; half-sister, Gail (Rev. Jerry) Burns; and half-brother, Allen (Elaine) Kuehn.
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