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Leona (Fritz) Shuda, age 97, passed away peacefully on Oct. 5, 2023 at her home in Lehigh-Route 5, Rice Lake, WI, surrounded by the love of her family. Leona was born May 2, 1926 in Dunn County, WI to Alexander & Viola (Hawkins) Fritz. The family moved to rural Barron where she attended Anderson School. As a teenager, she had worked for her room & board so she could attend Rice Lake High School, graduating in 1945. In the final weeks of her senior year, Leona was hired as a proof reader and became one of the first Linotype Operators at the Rice Lake Chronotype. She eagerly let people know that ‘Job Security’ was walking across the stage to receive her HS diploma with her first paycheck in her pocket!
Leona married Henry J. Shuda in 1948. They lived on the family farm, (east of Rice Lake in the beautiful Blue Hills of Lehigh) where they raised their 5 children. Together they attended Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Strickland, where she was active in the Altar Society and PCCW. Leona was multi-talented individual. She was a wonderful cook, best known for her chicken dressing at the Strickland Church dinner. Other talents included being a very prolific seamstress and local family historian. She never wasted a good piece of fabric and was able to ‘rework’ it into something new and beautiful every time. She eagerly collected family history for both her and Henry’s family and also collected and retained much of the family church’s history. As a Senior Citizen, Leona worked at the Office on Aging and then ADRC for over 30 years. Her job was supervising the Loan Closet. She was 92 when she retired, proud to have been able to help the ‘Old People’.
She is survived by her children: Mary C. Shuda, Michael J. (Stacy) Shuda, Patrick J. (Debbie) Shuda, Mark H. (Marsha) Shuda and Ann (Bryant Julstrum) Shuda, grandchildren: Michael Shuda, Cynthia (Tony) Shepherd, Daniel (Merinda) Jennerman, Jacob (Holly) Jennerman, Nathaniel Shuda, Caitlin Shuda and a great grandson, Daniel Jennerman. She is also survived by one brother: Arthur Erickson of Plymouth, MN, one sister: Katherine Burger of Superior, WI, and many nieces and nephews. Leona was proceeded in death by her husband: Henry “Red” Shuda, her sister-in-laws: Genevieve Letness, Henrietta Nelson, Rosemary Shuda, her parents: Alex & Viola Fritz, her brothers: William Fritz, Robert Fritz, Daniel Fritz and her sisters: Celia Laustad & Florence Reuter.
Leona’s family wishes to thank the Marshfield Hospice Program for the wonderful care team, especially Dr. David Schiefling and Lyndsey Daniels-Munn. Also Sarah, Barb, LeAnn and Kari.
Visitation and prayer service will be at Rauch-Lundeen Funeral Home in Cameron, WI, Saturday, Oct 14th from 4 to 8 pm (prayer service will be at 7:30) A Mass of Christian Burial and Interment followed by a luncheon on Saturday, Oct 21st at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Strickland from 11:00- 2:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donation can be made to Marshfield Hospice Program; Barron Co. Food Pantry, or ADRC Office on Aging (Barron). Arrangements are with Rausch-Lundeen Funeral Homes, Cameron & Dallas.