A strong, independent, and gracious woman, Lorraine Davies was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was a woman of principle and strong moral character whose Catholic faith was the cornerstone on which her life was built. A more devoted mother would be hard to find as Lorraine focused much of her life on nurturing and providing for her children. Life was not always easy for her, but she took what came her way with a quiet strength that is to be admired. Lorraine will be dearly missed and warmly remembered by her many friends and loved ones.
As the economy continued to deteriorate during the early 1930s, the people of America exercised their ability to communicate their unhappiness with the world around them by electing President Franklin D. Roosevelt over the incumbent President Herbert Hoover in November of 1932. It was in April of that same year that a young couple from Cudahy, Wisconsin, was filled with great joy as they welcomed a healthy baby girl into their hearts and home on April 29th. Lorraine Antoinette was the oldest of four girls born to her parents, Alphonse and Antoinette (Gonsiorowsk) Kroll, and she was raised in the family home alongside her sisters, Sylvia, Kathleen, and Phyllis. Tragedy struck early in Lorraine’s life as her father died when she was only 14 years old. Her mother then worked to support their family as an operator at Wisconsin Bell. With her father’s death, Lorraine stepped in to help raise her younger sisters. Lorraine always fondly recalled things about her father such as the way he drank Pabst Blue Ribbon beer out of a bottle that had a real blue ribbon on it.
Growing up during the Great Depression of the 1930s was anything but easy, and the Kroll family was not immune to the struggles. It was a special treat when Lorraine and her sisters were able to get gum from her uncle’s store. She treasured each piece so much that she would stick it to the bedpost overnight so she could chew it again the next day. This was a trait that would stay with Lorraine for the rest of her life as it was common for her to stick her gum on the armrest in the car or under the edge of her plate at a restaurant. From the time she was a young girl Lorraine learned to be proud of her Polish heritage, which would continue throughout her entire life’s journey as well.
From the time she was a young girl Lorraine was continually on the go. She was a student at local schools, graduating from Holy Family Grade School in Cudahy. Lorraine’s years in high school found her at Cudahy High School, where she was given the nickname, “Larry”. Lorraine was very popular in high school and she was selected as “queen of the hop.” Lorraine loved to dance. In addition to holding down her studies she worked as a candy girl at Dretzka’s in Cudahy. Lorraine taught herself to drive, although under age she took someone’s car for a ride without permission. She always wanted to ride in a car with a rumble seat.
Lorraine’s first job out of high school was working in the office at Patrick Cudahy Meats. She would later go on to work at Allen Bradley Company in Milwaukee, retiring with over 27 years of service.
During a time when it was common for young people to attend dances, Lorraine met a young man from Waukesha while at a dance in Cudahy who would change the course of her life forever. His name was Glenn Davies, and Lorraine couldn’t help but notice him. A relationship developed, and they were married on June 14, 1952. Their marriage produced six children: Michael, Patrick, Kathleen, Mary, Joseph, and Anne.
From the moment she became a mother it seemed to be a role that was tailor made just for Lorraine. She made it seem easy to raise and support her children in every way. Lorraine’s children certainly knew that she was the boss and that it was always in their best interest to stay within her boundaries. Since she didn’t get her driver’s license until 1978, her children were simply used to walking wherever they needed to go. Lorraine’s children learned to embrace their Polish heritage through her, and she was always strong in the Catholic faith as well. Lorraine was the matriarch and rock of her family, meeting the needs of her children to the very end.
There were so many things that Lorraine loved throughout her life. Of course she loved polka music and dancing the polka, and she also enjoyed golfing with family. Lorraine loved having breakfast at George Webb Restaurant where she often had the blueberry pancakes with just the right toppings. She loved Christmas, inside and outside of the house was always decorated. The family gathered every year to celebrate, the space was tight but the family was together. A highlight later in life was driving to Florida with Anne and Dave to visit Mary. Lorraine loved all things Elvis, and when relaxing she enjoyed watching Judge Judy, Cash Cab, and Jeopardy. She was also a fan of the Brewers, the Badgers, and the Packers. For most of her life Lorraine was known for her green thumb as she always had a garden where she lived.
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Lorraine Davies filled her days with precious moments shared with those she loved most. It was clear that she was a firm believer in the notion that anything worth doing is worth doing right, her work ethic unmatched. Lorraine was a devoted mother who modeled what perseverance and determination look like in the midst of everyday life. Although she faced health challenges later in life, she continued to embrace the days she was given while holding her loved ones near. The memories Lorraine leaves behind will be forever cherished.
Lorraine A. Davies died on October 11, 2013. Lorraine’s family includes her children, Michael S. (Priscilla Tentoni) Davies, Patrick T. (Patricia) Davies, Kathleen M. (Sam Robinette) Davis, Mary A. (John) Poblocki, Joseph G. (Jean) Davies, and Anne M. (Dave Kohel) Davies; grandchildren Michael Jr., Glenn, Monica, Aaron, Mary, Kevin, Jennifer, Erica, Rebecca, Vincent, Sarah, Jessica and Alex, 10 great-grandchildren, sister, Kathleen (Richard) Schuster, her faithful companions Buttons and Ya Ya, other relatives and friends. Lorraine is preceded in death by her daughter-in-law Bernadette Davies and son-in-law Kevin Davis. Visit with Lorraine’s family and friends on Monday, October 14, at the Funeral Home from 4:00 p.m. until time of the Prayer Service at 6:00 p.m. Arrangements provided by Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes, Niemann / Suminski, 2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave (414) 744-5156. Please visit www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com.
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