Lucille C. Wellenstein

Longtime Belgium-area resident Lucille C. Wellenstein was remembered as a “gentle soul” who loved to dance, travel and was known for her hospitality and skills as a weaver and baker.

Mrs. Wellenstein died Saturday, June 30, one day after her 103rd birthday, her son said.

“We had a little (birthday) party for her on Friday, afternoon” at Laurel Oaks Senior Living Community in Glendale, where she lived. It was attended by her daughter, Gail Wellenstein, who left to go back to Seattle that night, Mr. Wellenstein said.

On Saturday she had “a good morning.” he said, and took part in activities at the facility later that day. But passed away quietly that evening after dinner of apparent age-related causes.

Mrs. Wellenstein was born on June 29, 1915, in the Town of Belgium to Dominic and Leona Husting Ternes.

She married Lawrence Wellenstein on Oct. 7, 1939, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Lake Church.

Both of them grew up in that community and both liked to dance, often enjoying big band performances at The Light Fantastic, now called the Cedar Beach Inn.

They immediately moved into a home on Cedar Beach Lane that Mr. Wellenstein, who operated a home-building business, FM Wellenstein & Sons built. They lived there until 2002, her son said.

Mrs. Wellenstein’s son described a bucolic upbringing on Cedar Beach Lane that included an annual Fourth of July lobster boil on the beach, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Wellenstein.

Mrs. Wellenstein was the bookkeeper for her husband’s business and “she served my Dad breakfast every morning. He never ate a cold breakfast,” her son said.

She also wove the fabric for his business suits, he said.

“She was a very talented woman,” he said.

In fact, Mrs. Wellenstein’s skills as a weaver were so recognized that she taught weaving at Milwaukee Technical College for some time.

Mrs. Wellenstein was known for her skills as a baker, especially for making two kuchens — German coffee cakes — every Saturday, including one in spring made with rhubarb. She also made fasnacht -

German fried doughnuts every Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, as well as cookies for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“She made those (fasnacht) as recently as at the age of 98 in our house in Glendale with her grandchildren and great grandchildren,” Larry Wellenstein said. “But she didn’t eat them; she didn’t eat sweets; she stayed very thin. She just enjoyed watching other people enjoy her food.”

In their later years, Mr. and Mrs. Wellenstein liked to travel, her son said.

“They weren’t able to take a honeymoon until 1954 and then they went on a trip every summer after that,” their son said.

They eventually visited every state except two. Sometimes, their trips began on the spur of the moment, their son said.

“One day my father called and asked me to watch the house for them. He said they were going for a drive for a little while. When I said I’d be happy to check it, he said, ‘You might want to check it more often than that. In fact, you may want to move in for the summer.’ They went to Alaska and then to lower California. They came back three months later.”

His mother took “meticulous” notes of their trips while his father chronicled their vacations with photographs.

For their 40th wedding anniversary, their children sent them to Europe where they visited Germany, Luxembourg and Austria.

Mrs. Wellenstein was a lifelong and active member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Lake Church (now Divine Savior Parish). She was a volunteer for St. Mary School in Lake Church and St. Alphonsus Hospital in Port Washington.

“She was a gentle soul who accepted everyone and made everyone feel welcome,” her daughter-in-law, Mary Jo Wellenstein, Larry’s wife, said.

Mrs. Wellenstein is survived by her children Larry (Mary Jo) Wellenstein of Glendale and Gail (Nicholas de Chadenedes) Wellenstein of Everett, Wash. She is further survived by six grandchildren, Amy Emmer of Snohomish, Wash., Katy Emmer of Port Washington, Max (Patty Sibbernsen) Wellenstein of Shorewood, Annie (Rob) McLean of Wiesbaden, Germany, Mark de Chadenedes of Seattle, Wash. and Brett de Chadenedes of Boise, Idaho; her sister Leone Garrett of Anchorage, Alaska; and four great-grandsons.

She was preceded in death by her husband Lawrence, daughter Marie Emmer and four siblings, Marie Schanen, Myron Ternes, Al Ternes and Norman Ternes.  

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, July 6, at Divine Savior Parish, Holy Cross Chapel, in the Town of Belgium. Father Todd Budde will officiate.

Visitation will precede the funeral at 10 a.m. at the church.

Mrs. Wellenstein will be laid to rest next to her husband in St. Mary Parish Cemetery, Lake Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Divine Savior Parish.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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