Verna D. Halama, 99, matriarch of the William Kulig family, died Sunday, November 11, 2018 at Gundersen Tri-County Care Center, Whitehall, with the assistance of St. Croix Hospice. Verna, formerly of Independence, was born to William and Elizabeth (Wiench) Kulig on March 28, 1919 in Maule Coulee. She was the oldest of ten children. Her mother died on February 11, 1930 when Verna was almost 11 years old. She took charge of caring for her younger siblings with the help of housekeeper and later her stepmother. Verna married Aloysie Halama on April 8, 1942. They met at a wedding when Verna was a bridesmaid for her cousin and Aloysie a groomsman for his uncle. They settled on a farm in Elk Creek north of Independence, worked hard and raised a family of 5 children. Verna enjoyed flowers, gardening, canning and keeping a clean house. She would make homemade blackberry brandy that everyone enjoyed. In their retirement years they would travel in their motor home to Polka Fests. Verna was a member of S.S. Peter and Paul Parish and its women's organization. Verna is survived by her children, Elizabeth (Betty) Hedrington of Chippewa Falls, Wis., Marjorie (Jerry) Sygulla of Forest Lake, Minn., Ronald (Marita) and Richard, both of Independence and Joanne (David) Murphy of Apple Valley, Minn.; 14 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson. She is also survived by a sister, Adeline Puccini of Potomac Falls, Va; a half-brother, Roland (Doris) Kulig; three half-sisters, Rosemary Sosalla, Renita (Art) Bohn and Ruth Marsolek (friend, Gordy Nepstad); two sisters-in-law, Theresa Kulig and Doris Kulig all of Whitehall and Independence. Verna was preceded in death by her husband on January 19, 1998; her parents, William and Elizabeth; her stepmother, Julia; her brothers, Ben (Ruth), Adolph, Clifford, Clarence, Anton, Edward F (Arlene) and William Jr; a sister, Eleanor (Art) Drangstveit; two half brothers, Richard and Robert; two brothers-in-law, Ben Sosalla and Martin Marsolek; a son-in-law, Roger Hedrington and two grandchildren. Verna's family wants to thank St. Croix Hospice for their assistance during our time of need. A BIG thank you to the staff at the Care Center for the enjoyment Mom had playing games and dancing to Polka music. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 15, 2018 at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Independence, with Rev. Woodrow H. Pace officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior to Mass at the church on Thursday.
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