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Clara L. Chossek PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ozaukee Press   
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 20:30

Longtime Port Washington resident Clara L. Chossek completed an impressive goal — making a hooked or braided rug for the last of her 14 great-grandchildren — about a year and a half ago.
    She had previously made rugs for her six grandchildren and three children.
    “They were very personal to her. She made some beautiful rugs,” her son Jim said. “She became very good at it, and she was known throughout the area for it.”
    So good, he said, that she won awards for her rugs at the Ozaukee County and Wisconsin State fairs and taught rug hooking and braiding at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Port Washington and West Bend.
    She also participated in a rug hooking group that met at Hill School in Port for years, and after moving to Lasata Senior Living Campus in 2004 she took part in a group there.
     While she initially followed patterns created by others, Mrs. Chossek eventually began making her own patterns for the rugs, sometimes basing them on photographs she and her husband would take on vacation, her son said.
    She also dyed her own wool for the rugs.
    “I remember coming home one day and there was a pot on the stove, but it wasn’t dinner, it was wool she was dying,” her son said.
    Mrs. Chossek died Sunday, Jan. 14, at Lasata Care Center in Cedarburg. She was 99.
    “She lived a good life,” her son said.
    Mrs. Chossek was born on Aug. 13, 1918, in Ironton, Mich., the daughter of Andrew and Ella Kuhn Kline.
    In 1941, she married Walter Chossek of Menominee, Mich. The couple moved to Port Washington in 1945, after Mr. Chossek got a job at the Wisconsin Electric Power Co. plant.
    Although Mrs. Chossek studied to be a nurse in St. Paul, Minn., she never pursued a career, her son said. Instead, she devoted herself to being a homemaker.
    She volunteered with the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and was a member and officer of the Port Washington chapter of Homemakers.
    She had a large garden and froze and canned the produce, her son said.
    “We’d have food in the freezer and on the shelves all through the winter,” he said, noting his mother grew up during the Depression and learned to do a lot for herself.
    “She was a quiet, inward person,” her son added. “She was a very loving person.”
    Mrs. Chossek and her husband enjoyed camping. Her son said that when he was young, the family would camp at Mauthe Lake.
    “That was our summer cottage,” he said.
    In the mid 1960s, his parents bought a trailer, first a small one and graduating to larger versions until they had a 28-foot Avion trailer — and camped with them. They took the trailers on winter trips to Florida and Texas.
    Mrs. Chossek is survived by her children, Margaret (John) Graham of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Walter (Aleta) of Shorewood and James (Vicki) of Thiensville; grandchildren Alison (Andrew) Galbraith of Vienna, Va., Andrew (Megan) Graham of Littleton, Colo., Derek (Lori) Janu-Chossek of Oak Park, Ill., Kristen (John) Malecki of Madison, Ben (Wendy) Chossek of Wauwatosa and Brian (Jordana Snider) Chossek of St. Louis, Mo.; and 14 great-grandchildren.
    She is further survived by her sisters, Sister Bernadette Kline of Milwaukee, Gertrude (Bruce) Kramer of DeKalb, Ill., and Rogene (Bud) Richards of South Bend, Ind.; and sister-in-law Marion Peters of Reno, Nev.
    In addition to her husband Walter, who died on Feb. 7, 1986, Mrs. Chossek was preceded in death by her sisters, Margaret Kline and Frances Strassler, brother Edward Kline and brother-in-law Norman Strassler.
    A celebration of Mrs. Chossek’s life will be held on May 5 at Christ the King Church in Port Washington.
    Memorials to Christ the King Church are suggested.
    Funeral arrangements are being handled through Poole Funeral Home, Port Washington.

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