Anne O. Guenther, 89, of Rhinelander, died Wednesday, March 14, 2012, at Taylor Park Nursing & Rehabilitation. She was born Nov. 27, 1922, in Rhinelander, to Carl and Jennie Olson.
Anne grew up in a residence on Oneida Avenue in a historic neighborhood near the Oneida County Courthouse, attended Rhinelander public schools and graduated with the Rhinelander High School Class of 1940. While growing up, she took piano lessions, eventually becoming a talented pianist and organist. Music was an integral part of her life through the years. Anne attended Ripon College, earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1944. On May 27, 1944, she married her high school sweetheart, Lieutenant Kermit Guenther, in Rhinelander while he was on leave from serving with the U.S. Army during World War II. They spent 67 wonderful years together in Rhinelander and were devoted to one another until Kermit’s death on Feb. 26, 2012. As her children completed their local schooling, Anne became employed by the Rhinelander School District as a teacher’s aide in the Title I program from 1971 to 1981. She found her work helping students at Newbold, Pelican and other local schools rewarding. She also volunteered for several years as a tutor, helping students improve their reading skills. Anne and Kermit spent many happy days together at their Crescent Lake cottage. For several months each year during their retirement, the cottage served as their summer home. They could often be found in the evenings seated side by side at the lakeshore, watching the waves roll in, the passing boats and the wildlife. Anne particularly enjoyed watching the many birds that inhabited the shoreline area. Anne was a lifelong member of First Congregational United Church of Christ and was active in numerous church activities, including the handbell choir. She served the church for many years as an organist and accompanied the church choirs. Over the years, she battled through numerous medical challenges. Her positive attitude in the face of those challenges served as an inspiration for family members and friends. Mrs. Guenther was a former member of the American Association of University Women. She enjoyed playing bridge with friends and often triumphed in family Yahtzee games.
Anne is survived by two sons, Robert (Julie) of Manitowoc and Thomas of Fond du Lac, one daughter, Mary Ann (Thomas) Pavlik of Beecher, Ill.; five grandchildren, Isaac (Kierstin) Guenther of Elizabethtown, N.Y., and Anna Guenther of Kaukauna, Shanna (Nikolaus) Ratzburg of Tucson, Ariz., and Andrew (Lauren) Pavlik of New Lenox, Ill., and Valerie Pavik of Beecher, Ill.; and one great-grandson, Mac Ratzburg of Tucson. She is further survived by one sister-in-law, Phyllis Wheatlake of Thornton, Colo.; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Kermit; two brothers, Neal and Don Olson; her stepmother, Minnie Redfield; two sisters-in-law; and a brother-in-law.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 16, at 11 a.m., at First Congregational United Church of Christ. Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. on March 16, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ. Interment will be in the Forest Home Cemetery.
Carlson Funeral Home)