obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

Catherine J.

The year 1928 was an exciting time in our nation’s history. The Roaring 20s redefined the culture of America while the entertainment industry was beginning to explode. The discovery of Penicillin forever changed the field of medicine and legendary baseball players set astounding records on the ball fields. Although the U.S. was on the brink of the Depression, a most welcome event in the lives of George and Florence (Nelson) Crowley took place on February 3, 1928 when they celebrated the birth of their daughter, Catherine Jean. The oldest of four children, Catherine was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois alongside her siblings, Ray, Naomi and Kay. Like many during the Great Depression, times were lean but Catherine experienced an enjoyable childhood. She attended the local schools and went on to complete her high school education.

In time Catherine moved to Wisconsin and there she met and married a young man named Les Ritzow in 1948. They were blessed with four daughters and Catherine relished her role as a mother. Sandra, Bonnie, Sheila and Joan brought her great joy. She welcomed everyone into her home, especially the girl’s friends and was simply everyone’s “surrogate” mom. For 39 years she worked as a dental assistant along with raising her children. Although fun loving and easy going, Catherine was easy to love, but when she got angry everyone quickly cleared the deck!

Times became difficult for Catherine when her husband Les died in 1992 after 44 years of marriage. With the help of family and friends, Catherine kept herself busy all while enjoying the pleasure of helping raise her grandchildren. She loved them dearly and there was little she wouldn’t do for them. With her caring and loving ways, Catherine always found a way to help others. A strong hearted woman, she was a hard worker and a problem solver. She never had much, but she always gave what she could without expecting anything in return, and one simply couldn’t help but love her.

A wonderful thing happened to Catherine when her daughter Sheila introduced her to Ron Czerwinski, a patron at the restaurant where she worked. Before long a budding romance developed and in love, Catherine and Ron were happily married on June 3, 1999, making Richfield, Wisconsin their home. Along with family, Catherine also loved spending time at rummage sales, playing bingo and gambling. It didn’t take much to make her happy, especially when surrounded by those she loved.

Throughout the years Catherine developed emphysema and congestive heart failure. As her health worsened in early August, she was admitted into Elmbrook Memorial Hospital in Brookfield, Wisconsin. She was placed into hospice care and sadly entered eternal rest on Sunday, August 22, 2010 at the age of 82. Catherine was a great wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and friend to many. Easy to love, her sense of caring and laughter meant the world to her family. She will be greatly missed.

Catherine was the beloved wife of Ronald J. Czerwinski and the late Les Ritzow; cherished mother of Sandra Switalski, Bonnie (Donald) Rofritz, Sheila Ritzow and Joan (Rod) Olson; fond sister of Naomi (Tom) Hansen, Kay (John) Smith and the late Ray (Sue) Crowley; five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Family and friends will gather Thursday, August 26, 2010 at Wisconsin Memorial Park–Chapel of the Chimes, 13235 W. Capitol Drive from 3:00 PM until the Memorial Service at 4:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family are appreciated. Please visit to leave a favorite memory or to sign Catherine’s online guest book. Suminski Family Funeral Homes-Niemann/Suminski 414-744-5156.

Past Comments

Scott B

I met Catherine during her golden years and spend many of hours enjoying her company, kindness, understanding, and her sense of humor as well. I feel lucky to have met a woman like her who did in fact value family, friendship, love, and a whole lot more.

Leave a condolence or share a memory

Go to Top