Alice M. Whitmore, 82, Mosinee, passed away at home on May 7, 2019 surrounded by family.
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She was born April 13, 1937, in Antigo, WI, the daughter of the late Otto and Gertrude (Carlin) Raith. She spent her pre-school in logging camps living in a 12’ x 18’ cabin with a wood-fired cook stove and a kerosene lamp. Her dad taught her poetry and songs and instilled in her a love for learning.
She graduated from Elcho High School, married on July 4, 1955 and five little Yoders were born in 6 years and 6 months. The close-knit pack of kids kept Alice busy gardening, sewing, attending church and catechism, getting kids to 4-H, horse shows, sports, demanding excellence in school and music and playing in the Yoder Family Polka Band. Alice orchestrated frequent moves the family made throughout the Midwest and if there wasn’t a 4-H club in a new community, she started one. Summers were spent at their cottage on Long Lake in Kempster, WI where Alice learned to do turn-arounds and start out backwards on water skis and she made sure all of her kids learned to ski as well. Alice began college when her fifth child left for kindergarten and graduated summa cum laude in four years from UWGB. She taught school at Elcho and Green Bay then, after another move, returned to school and earned her M.S. degree at Iowa State University. She also learned to fly.
After moving to Wausau, WI and a divorce from her first husband, Alice became a Realtor and business owner, leading Century 21 Tri City to become the second largest in sales volume in central Wisconsin. Alice attributed her resilience to her father whose mantra she lived by, 'A worry is an opportunity to take action’. She was active in many Wausau and Mosinee organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, Board of Realtors, Altrusa Club, Noon Optimists, Westside and South Area Business Associations, Habitat for Humanity and the Wisconsin Republic Party.
Alice married David Whitmore on Dec. 23, 1993 at St. Paul Catholic Church, Mosinee. The couple spent their 20 year marriage snow shoeing and skiing, bicycling with the Wausau Biking Vikings, ballroom dancing, attending classes and traveling the world together. Their active lifestyle was an inspiration to their children and grandchildren. She cared for David, at home, until he died on Christmas Eve in 2013.
Alice remained an active widow with the WAGOs (Women Actively Enjoying the Great Outdoors). She golfed frequently and served on the board of Indianhead Golf Course, Mosinee, volunteered as a teacher in the Little Red School House for the Marathon County Historical Society, lead water exercise classes in Mosinee for the Woodson YMCA, downhill skied, volunteered at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Mosinee and traveled. She was honored as a Woman of Vision by the Woodson YWCA in 2014. After being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2015, Alice traveled to Japan, Iceland, Turkey, Africa, Vietnam, Washington DC and New York City treating grandchildren to many of these and other trips. Alice’s last trip was to the Crystal Bridge Museum in Fayetteville, AK, a bucket list destination that she enjoyed just three weeks ago with her only sister, Vicki, cousin, Bev and aunt Karryl.
One to never give up, Alice water skied again at age 80. Now we stand on the dock crying, comforting each other, laughing and waving at mom, grandma, great grandma, sister, friend and teacher as she heads into heaven, on water skis, a golf cart, a bicycle, an airplane…
Survivors include five children, Debra (Steve) Dhein, Green Bay, , Steven Yoder, Blue Mounds, Lisa (Liana Teteberg) Yoder, Salt Lake City, UT, Amy (Dennis) Thomsen, Boise, ID, Cheryl (Jim) Kennedy, Schofield; 10 grandchildren, Nic and Dan Yoder, Natalie Klingforth, Clayton, Steve and Katy Powell, Reed and Blake Dhein, Allie Christman and Lexi Copeland; 8 great-grandchildren; and two siblings, Chuck (Diann) Raith, Summit Lake, and Veronica (Jan) Wagner, Pelican Lake. She is preceded in death by one brother, John Raith.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, May 13, 2019, at St. Paul Catholic Church, Mosinee. The Rev. Donald Meuret will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Beste Funeral Home, Mosinee. Visitation will be again from 10 a.m. Monday until time of services at the church.
Profound thanks to daughter Cher for her devoted care of Alice and to her husband, Jim, for his support. Thanks to Jillian, Tim and staff of Interim Hospice and to Dr. Onatillo and medical team, and to the staff of TLC Home Care. Memorial donations, in Alice’s name, are welcome to: St. Paul’s Alter Fund, Mosinee, The Little Red School House c/o Marathon County Historical Society and the Alzheimer’s Association. Online condolences can be made at www.bestefh.com