Rosemary Kriener

Rosemary Kriener, age 89, of Fort Atkinson died Tuesday, January 31, 2023 at her home in Fort Atkinson. Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, February 4 at the St. Luke’s Catholic Church in St. Lucas with Rev. Nick Radloff presiding. Burial was in the St. Luke’s Cemetery.

Rosemary Theresa (Herold) Kriener was born September 12, 1933 on the family farm outside of Fort Atkinson. She tagged along earlier than most to the one-room schoolhouse just across the road, sitting on catalogs to get a better vantage point of all the learning that was happening around her. Her early schooling took place in Fort Atkinson and she graduated from high school in Waucoma, as it was more convenient to ride with big sister Valeria to her teaching assignment.

Rosemary came from a long line of educators and also made this her calling. She earned her AA teaching degree from Mount Mercy College, spent a summer in South Dakota and then earned her BA from the Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, currently UNI. She loved learning. Rosemary taught at Alpha, Strawberry Point, Hawkeye, West Union and St. Lucas.

Rosemary took a shine to Leo Kriener after he asked her to a common neighbor’s wedding dance in Spillville. They married August 4, 1962 and shared a lifetime of farming and raising six children to know that hard work, responsibility and God’s love were an important part of making your way in the world. Rosemary had a knack for making work enjoyable. Lessons were learned and friendships formed while walking bean fields, canning, making hay or doing other family chores. Whenever possible, she liked to travel, watch her children and grandchildren’s events and visit with others.

Rosemary was a devout Christian and community leader teaching religious education, planning funerals and participating in the Catholic Order of Foresters, the Catholic Daughters of America, the Rosary Society, St. Lucas Board of Education, Christ Our Hope Cluster Chorale and the American Legion Auxiliary. She loved praying the rosary and incorporated it into most car trips. Prayers for others were a daily priority.

Rosemary was a servant to the earth, someone who could nurture a garden to make anything grow. She enjoyed quilting and sewing blankets to keep her loved ones warm and reminded of her love. Rosemary was an excellent cook and baker, always sharing and teaching her kids and grandchildren how to make her favorite recipes. She stayed in constant contact with her family via phone, text, FaceTime, and snail mail. She was a caretaker by nature for her parents, husband and sisters. The house was always open to visitors to share a cup (or pot) of coffee and lively conversation.

Rosemary will be missed. She had 89 years full of love, adventure, courage and serving others and Christ.

Rosemary is survived by her six children: Anne (Dave) Blocker, Evie (Myron) Milbrandt, Linda Jones, Rich (Nancy) Kriener, Arnie (Tanya) Kriener and Joe (Kristin) Kriener; her grandchildren, Katie, Marty and Grace Blocker, Cassie and Nolan Milbrandt, Xavier (Alexis), Markus (Evelyn) and Trinton Jones, Ryan (Beth), Mikia and Tyler Kriener, Kyleigh (Shaun Galbraith) Kriener, Jared (Nick) Nienhaus, Allanda and Madison Kriener, Kroix and Skylar Klingfus, and Trey, Eric and Clara Kriener; her great-grandchildren, Gabriel Jones, Mirielle Nienhaus and Nora Galbraith; her sister, Anastasia Kriener; and brother and sisters-in-law, Anita Herold, Anita Busta, Conrad and Kathleen Kriener, Diane Kriener and Madonna Kriener. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Leo; her parents, Martin and Mayme Herold; her in-laws, Peter and Mary Kriener; her siblings and in-laws, Valeria Herold, Ambrose (Evelyn) Herold, Cletus Herold, Peter Kriener, Cyril Kriener, Ignatius and Pauline Kriener, Eleanor and Reuben Mracek, Linus Kriener, Francis Kriener, Godlove Busta, Herman and Greta Kriener, Jerome Kriener and Lawrence Kriener (in infancy); and her grandchildren, Paul and Mary Blocker (in infancy).