Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ethel Mae (Pfaffl) Stetka

On Saturday, March 23, 2013, Ethel Stetka (Nee: Pfaffl) left this world to start her new adventure in the next, passing from this life with her family surrounding her at home after 93 years on this earth.

Ethel, the daughter of Joseph and Laura Pfaffl, was a woman ahead of her time. Back in 1938, she decided that she wanted to go to college. Being that there was no support at home for her quest, she worked full-time during the day and went to college part-time at nights to get her degree in music.

In 1951 she married the love of her life, Frank Stetka, to whom she was married for 50 years. On their honeymoon, Frank and Ethel said a prayer at a cathedral in Canada. They asked for five children, to live to the year 2000, and to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Each of those prayers was realized. Frank preceded her in death in 2001 – shortly after their 50th wedding anniversary with their five children in attendance.

Ethel taught piano in the Racine area for 60 years, finally retiring at age 81. She loved kids and loved music. She was a founding member of the Racine Music Teachers Association (RMTA), and was an active member of Wisconsin Music Teachers Association (WMTA). She was a kind and passionate person, whose “can do” attitude, vivacious personality and love for her faith have been a lesson to everyone she knew.

She spent 40 years playing the organ at Sacred Heart Church, playing for daily and weekly masses, weddings and funerals. She started a traveling funeral choir that provided music and comfort for those in mourning at churches all over Racine.

She will be missed dearly by her children: David (Alta) Stetka –Sioux Falls, SD; Laura (Dale) Swenson – North Praire, WI; Mary Stetka – Racine; Margaret (Bill) Girdzius – Racine, Paul Stetka, Madison, and her “adopted” daughter, Barbara (Robert) Simon. She also leaves her amazing legacy to her grandchildren: Kelly (Jeremy) Brockwell – Janesville, WI; Joseph (Amber) Stetka – Las Vegas, NV; Adam Swenson –Waukesha, WI. She was blessed to see two great grandchildren:  Henry and Samuel Brockwell, Janesville, WI.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Laura Pfaffl; her sister, Agnes (Gene) Young; and her brother, Willard Pfaffl.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 2201 Northwestern Ave., with Rev. Ricardo Martin officiating.  Private interment will be held.  Relatives and friends may meet with the family Wednesday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until time of Mass at 11 a.m.

Special thanks to Mom’s caregivers, who have provided immense comfort to the family and to Mom over the years: Kris Manske, LaJuane Fisher, Carlene Borrelli and Armalinda Contreras.  Memorials to the Alzheimer’s Association have been suggested.

803 Main St., Racine    (262) 634-7888

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