Evelyn E. Smieja, 91, passed away on Tuesday, November 26, 2019, at Hillview Senior Living in Mondovi, Wisconsin. Evelyn, a life-long resident of Independence, was born on March 23, 1928. She married Wilfred Smieja on Nov. 19, 1953, and together they had a daughter, Debbie. Evelyn attended technical college after high school, and early on, worked for the John O. Melby Bank in Whitehall. Later, she did the bookkeeping for Smieja’s Market in Independence. Evelyn was a member of the Independence Lutheran Church and served as their organist for several decades. Evelyn was kind, loving, and caring, and had a wonderful attitude towards life, even when she became more homebound. She was an avid Green Bay Packers fan and enjoyed almost every sporting event on television. Evelyn was generous and always wanted to give, and she loved her family deeply. She shared a special bond with her daughter Debbie as they were each other’s best friends. She also loved the four English springer spaniels that went before her, and she adored Debbie’s dog, Champ, in recent years. She was preceded in death by her twin sister (at birth), her parents, Tom and Olga Kotlarz, and her husband, Willie. Evelyn is survived by her daughter, Debbie, her son-in-law, Jim (Roden), and her grandson, Michael. There was never a day that went by that Evelyn didn’t ask about and pray for her loved ones. She was such a beautiful soul and will be greatly missed. A memorial service will be held at noon on Saturday, December 7, at the Independence Lutheran Church, with lunch to follow. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the services at the church.
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