Cecilia Laura Raleigh, 99, of Verona, Wisconsin, passed away on August 4, 2021 with family at her side. Born July 7, 1922 in a log farmhouse on a high hill outside Sauk City, Wisconsin, she was one of 9 children of George and Anna (Pulvermacher) Wachter who walked four miles into town each day to attend school. At the outbreak of World War II, Cecilia joined the U.S. Army, serving as a corporal until the war’s end. Shortly afterward, she met a handsome fellow veteran, Henry Paul Raleigh, whom she married September 7, 1946. After a brief stay in St. Louis, MO, where their child, Karen was born, they moved to Wisconsin, settling in Verona.

Cecilia was not only a wonderful wife, mother, and homemaker, but also retired from her employment at the Dane County Home and Hospital in Verona after years of service to others. She was a caregiver to all who knew her. As she told her daughter, Karen, leaving for college, “Of course, it’s up to you what you major in, but it would be nice if you could work doing something that helps other people.” Karen became a speech and language therapist.

Upon retirement, Cecilia and her many friends enjoyed breakfasts after morning mass, bowling, outings, and years of travels together. She, Dorothy Draeger, and others explored much of the U.S. and several countries in Europe as they enjoyed each other’s company.

Cecilia was proceeded in death by her parents; husband (at the age of 66); siblings, John, Roman (Arletta), Peter (Betty), George (Jean survives), Marie (Charles) Olsen, Helen-Ardella (Norbert) Kaltenberg, Agnes (Harold) Schneider, Pauline Watson, and great-granddaughter, Charlotte Cecilia Steffes.

She is survived by her daughter, Karen (Joel) Willkom; grandchildren, Amy Willkom (Sean) Knowlton, Laine Willkom (Scott) Steffes, Meyer Willkom; great-grandchildren, Luke (Shay) Willkom, Violet and Ava Steffes; step-great-granddaughters, Tiffany and Taylor Knowlton; great-great grandchildren, Amelia and Lincoln Willkom, and step-great-great-grandson, Nikolas Smoyer. She is further survived by many loving nieces and nephews and their families.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 13, 2021 at St Andrew Catholic Church, .301 N. Main Street, Verona. Visitation will be held on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery with full military honors.

We all love you, Mom. Your smiles, your sense of humor, and your ever loving and gentle ways will never be forgotten. You will be dearly missed.

To view and sign this guestbook please visit www.ryanfuneralservice.com.

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services

Verona Chapel

220 Enterprise Drive


(0) entries

Sign the guestbook.

Thank you for taking part in our commenting section. We want this platform to be a safe and inclusive community where you can freely share ideas and opinions. Comments that are racist, hateful, sexist or attack others won’t be allowed. Just keep it clean. Do these things or you could be banned:

• Don’t name-call and attack other commenters. If you’d be in hot water for saying it in public, then don’t say it here.

• Don’t spam us.

• Don’t attack our journalists.

Let’s make this a platform that is educational, enjoyable and insightful.

Email questions to darkin@orourkemediagroup.com.

Share your opinion


Join the conversation

Recommended for you