Bestowing love, wisdom, guidance, humor and grace until her last conscious moment, Terese Marie Neumann passed away on February 14, 2021 after a brief illness.
Born on June 24, 1927, in Madison, Wisconsin as the eldest of three children of Frank and Mary Breunig, Terese graduated first in her class from Edgewood High School in Madison in 1945. She briefly attended the University of Wisconsin on a scholarship before meeting Jack Neumann, a recent veteran of World War II who also attended the University. They married on June 21, 1947, and began a fruitful 67 year marriage that produced 13 children. She lost a newborn infant daughter, Mary Delphine, in 1953, and her beloved son Stephen in 2001. The remaining eight daughters and three sons, as well as Steve’s widow, Mary, all depended upon her for advice, humorous commentary, and unconditional support until the last hours of her life.
Terese’s life was focused on other people. As a result, she had countless friends. She was a long time member of St. Stephen parish in Milwaukee and later Lumen Christi parish in Mequon. For many years she worked as a teacher’s aide in the Milwaukee Public Schools. After she retired, she volunteered at the school where her daughter taught and helped her husband Jack as he coached high school girls’ basketball. She spent countless hours caring for her grandchildren. She was an active participant in a Bible study group, a book group, and her local TOPS club, and she enjoyed every social activity offered in her communities. She made it a point to know and cheerfully greet all her neighbors and fellow residents.
Terese was both mathematically and mechanically inclined. Her ingenious budgets kept the family afloat through many difficult financial times. She routinely repaired household appliances, even electrical wiring. In her elder years, she continued to do her own banking and tax returns and became internet and cell phone proficient.
She was an intrepid traveler, going east and west for adventures and holidays well into her nineties. She remained fiercely independent, reluctant to relegate any household task. In fact, she would often help neighbors with simple plumbing problems, hanging pictures, or running errands.
Terese meticulously maintained a list of the birthdays and anniversaries of each of her children, grandchildren and their spouses (a cast of thousands) so she could mail a personalized card on each of these occasions. She also recited the names of all of these loved ones every day in her morning prayers, so she would remember them all.
Terese’s compassion and sense of justice extended to the world at large. She lived out the egalitarian and social justice principles that she viewed as the foundation of her Catholic faith. She taught her children the importance of forgiveness and maintaining relationships. Above all else, she hoped to be remembered as a peacemaker.
She loved to sing, especially Gilbert and Sullivan songs while in the basement doing the family’s endless laundry, and often received compliments on her sweet soprano voice during hymns at Mass.
Terese will be grievously missed by her surviving children, Jack (Jeanette) Neumann, Judy Neumann (Ken Goldberg), Barbara (Wayne) Janaszek, Terese Ann Neumann-Hayes (Terry Hayes), Nancy Neumann (Brian Monroe), Jim (Patti) Neumann, Polly Neumann (Gunnar Anderson), Becky Neumann-Schwabe (Paul Schwabe), Christopher (Vicki) Neumann, Joanne Neumann (Ken Fowles), and Carolyn Neumann (Bill Becker), as well as Mary Neumann (widow of Stephen), 26 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren (with three more on the way), two great great grandchildren, and many beloved nieces and nephews and their children.
The family deeply appreciates the kindness, compassion, and skillful assistance of the staff at Elizabeth Residence and Horizon Hospice.
A visitation will be held on Friday, February 19, 2021, from 10:30am to 12:00 noon followed immediately by a Mass of Christian Burial, all at Lumen Christi Church, 2700 West Mequon Road, in Mequon. Interment will be in Crystal Falls, Michigan at a date TBA. To attend services remotely, log into: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV_UNj0v-pMOF_wk5P5bQvQ/live. Those who attend the visitation or Mass in person are requested to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Memorial donations made be made to Catholic Relief Services.
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