Viola (Vi) Eleanore Suelflow Strzyzewski peacefully left this world for Eternal Rest in Jesus on October 4, 2022. Vi was born April 16, 1924 to Selma and August Henry (Henry) Suelflow, the fifth of seven children.
Vi’s early childhood years were spent in Newburg, Wisconsin when Henry and his brothers owned and operated a telephone company. When Vi was five years old, the Suelflow brothers sold the family business to Wisconsin Bell and Henry and Selma and their children returned to the family farm near Freistadt.
Vi left the farm at age 14 to work as an au pair in Milwaukee in order to attend Lutheran High School. After high school, Vi attended Valparaiso University in Indiana. However ill health and financial difficulties prevented completion of her studies there.
Vi returned to Milwaukee and while working in a box factory met Eugene Strzyzewski. Vi and Eugene married on May 31, 1947 and immediately started a family. Vi and Eugene began raising Martha, Jerry, Jim, and Marla in Milwaukee but moved to Cudahy in 1956 following Eugene’s employment at Ladish Company there.
Vi and Eugene separated in 1961 and Vi became a single mom, maintaining the home in Cudahy and supporting her children. Vi began employment with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and found joy there in being able to earn a living from the challenge of solving math problems. Vi retired in 1986 after 23 years at Northwestern Mutual.
Although finances were tight, Viola provided many opportunities for travel, adventure, education and fun for her children. Two of the most memorable examples are a camping trip to Washington D.C. and the annual New Year’s Eve game night followed by a midnight toast.
Among Viola’s interests were travel, reading for knowledge, square dancing, embroidery, and card/board/word games. Vi visited almost all of the states in the US, many foreign countries, and all the continents except for South America, Australia and Antarctica. Vi was a lifelong learner, earning her associate’s degree when she was in her fifties. Vi continued to enjoy playing bridge and sheepshead until advancing macular degeneration prevented her from doing so.
Vi is predeceased by her parents, Selma and Henry Suelflow; siblings and their spouses Alice Worthington, Roy (Wanda) Suelflow, Esther (Robert) Leege, and August (Gladys) Suelflow, and infant brother Henry; and son, James Strzyzewski. Vi is survived by her sister Vera Sweeney; children Martha (Ron) Oleszak, Jerry (Heidi) Strzyzewski, and Marla Stuart; grandchildren Traci Ahlborn, Nick Oleszak, and Amy Oleszak; great-grandchildren Allison Oleszak, Cody Ahlborn, and Katelyn Oleszak; as well as many nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Gathering will be held on Thursday, October 13th, 2022, at WOODLAWN LUTHERAN CHURCH, corner of South 99th Street and Lincoln Avenue from 9-11am with a Memorial Gathering at 11am. If so desired memorials to Woodlawn Lutheran Church appreciated.
HERITAGE FUNERAL HOMES