Catherine Helen (Stephan) Banasik passed away Saturday, June 1, 2019, at Hillview Healthcare Center.
She was born January 27, 1923, in Bloomfield, Montana to John Sr. and Lenora (Mc Call) Stephan. Catherine graduated from Aquinas High School in 1940. On July 9, 1940, she and Marlin “Mully” H. Banasik were married at Holy Trinity Catholic Church by Rev. C. W. Gille.
When the Stephan family moved back to La Crosse in 1926, they started a grocery store on South Avenue, which became Johnnie’s Restaurant in 1947, where Catherine and Mully were employed. In 1954, Catherine’s brother, John Stephan, Jr., took over ownership of Johnnie’s Restaurant. In 1955, Catherine and Mully bought the Wishing Well Motel on Mormon Coulee Road, which they operated until their retirement in 2000 – Mully was 82 and Catherine was 77 when they retired. She made sure every grandchild knew how to make a square corner on a bed. During this time, they were members of the Moose Lodge, the La Crosse Area Motel Association, and the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce.
Catherine was a great baker, known for her homemade cinnamon rolls. She had a plate for everyone who stopped by. Her BBQ ribs were another specialty. She loved gambling in general, but Church Bingo, casino trips, and tip-boards were her favorites. She enjoyed all family gatherings, especially Thanksgiving. Catherine could never sit idle and kept busy making afghans, doilies, pot holders, dish cloths, and baby blankets in the evening.
Faith and Family and Friends were most important to Catherine. She would do anything for anyone. She looked forward to Thursday mass at Hillview. She was a member of St. Pius X Parish and then Mary, Mother of the Church Parish.
She is survived by two daughters: Mary (Dennis) Boardman and Patty (Ed) Watson, 11 Grandchildren: Anne (Darrel) Iwanski, Peggy Boardman, Teri (Paul) Sayles, Julie Obermeier, Susan O’Dell, Steven (Sheila) Boardman, Andy (Melissa) Banasik, Wendy (Randy Martin) Banasik, Sarah (Dave) Stanfield, Katie Pedretti, Mike (Emilie) Watson, 21 Great Grandchildren and 4 Great-Great Grandchildren.
She is further survived by one nephew Bob (Beth) Sciborski, and two nieces Marilyn Sciborski, and Marge Fortun.
She was preceded in death by her husband Marlin in 2005, son Thomas in 2012, son Kenneth in 1964, her parents John Sr. and Lenora Stephan, father and mother in law Ray and Louise Banasik, brother John Stephan Jr. and wife Arlene, brother Leo Stephan and wife Janice, sister-in-law Lorraine Sciborski and husband Floyd, niece Kathleen DuCharme, nephews Bill Stephan, Mike Stephan, Jackie Stephan, Dick Sciborski and Dick’s wife Marilyn.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 7, 2019, at Mary, Mother of the Church, 2006 Weston St., La Crosse, WI. Rev. Brian D. Konopa will officiate with burial to be held in the Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse, WI. Family and friends may visit on Thursday, June 6th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home, 1501 West Ave. So., La Crosse, WI, with a Rosary to be held at 6:30 p.m. Family and friends may also visit from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass at the Church Friday.
The family would like to thank all the Staff at Hillview Healthcare Center for the great care and friendship extended to our mother.
We will always remember that Park Avenue coming down the street.