Clarice (Tress) Elizabeth Bunk (full obituary)


Clarice (Tress) Elizabeth Bunk, a resident of Wilton, Wis., died Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, at her daughter’s home in Eagan, Minn., after a long battle with cancer.

She was born Feb. 23, 1936, in Cashton to Lucy (Heinz) and Leo Garthwaite. She attended St. Peter and Paul School of Pine Hollow. She was united in marriage to Jim Bunk on April 4, 1959, at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church at Pine Hollow. She was preceded in death by Jim on Oct. 21, 2000.

Jim and Clarice owned and operated the Little Bohemia Restaurant in Rib Lake, Wis., and then the operated the Hike and Bike in Elroy. Prior to her retirement, Clarice worked at the nursing home in Reedsburg. 

She is survived by four children, Sue (Nicholas) Wenner of Bloomington, Minn., Matt (Becky) of Necedah, Catherine (Nelson) Phillips of Elm Grove, Wis., and Ann (Mike) Peterson of Eagan, Minn. 

Clarice also was blessed with 14 beautiful grandchildren: Maria, Marc and Natalie Wenner; Daniel, Sarah and Adam Bunk, Catherine (Tess), Nelson (Q), and William Phillips; and Emma, Jack, Olivia, Ella and Isaac Peterson.

Clarice is survived by her siblings, Barb Garthwaite of Sparta, Alice (Delmar) Doll of Norwalk, Alma Angelier of West Allis, Wis., Father Tom Garthwaite of Cashton, Larry (Janet) Garthwaite of Cashton and Patrick (Kathy) of Elkhorn, Wis.; a sister-in-law Elda Bunk of Saukville, Wis.; a sister-in-law, Sue Ann (Tommy) Thompson of Madison; a brother-in-law, Michael (Sue) Mashak of Union Center; and many nieces and nephews.

Clarice had a tremendous love for her children and grandchildren and in retirement spent countless hours being “the best grandma ever” to her 14 grandchildren. Her children are eternally grateful for her love and kindness until her death. Clarice will be remembered for her tireless spirit, always helping out in any way she could. She had the energy and spirit of someone decades younger than she was; she always had a smile on her face and thought of others before herself. She found tremendous joy in the success of those she loved. She truly lived for others more than she lived for herself.  

Clarice was a devout Catholic her whole life. She attended Mass and prayed the rosary daily. She had the 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift every Monday evening at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Union Center for perpetual adoration. Whether there were blizzard conditions or it was below zero, she would tell us never to worry, as she knew that “the Good Lord was looking after her” as she made it safely to and from St. Theresa’s.

Clarice spent the last year and a half living with her daughter, Ann, as she battled cancer. Ann and Ann’s family took care of Clarice for that year and a half. She was in Heaven on Earth in the midst of much life and love, and she was constantly visited by family through that time who helped in her care. Just like the rest of her life, she fought a hard battle, never complaining, never thought of herself in her ordeal. She was surrounded by her children as she passed away peacefully at Ann’s house.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 301 Spring St., Kendall. Father James P. McNamee will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Relatives and friends are invited to call at the church from 4–8 p.m. Wednesday and from 10 a.m. until the time of the service Thursday. Online condolences may be sent to The Smith-Nelson Funeral Home of Kendall is assisting the family with the arrangements.



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