Florence Markheim Abbs
Florence Markheim Abbs passed away peacefully on April 7, 2023, at St. Francis Home in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Florence was born in Fond du Lac on March 4, 1921, to Jacob and Katherine Markheim. She was a first-generation American; her parents immigrated from a two century-old German Settlement in Russia. Florence attended Fond du Lac’s Roosevelt Junior High School and in 1938 she graduated with honors from Goodrich Senior High. On August 18, 1940, Florence was united in marriage to Howard William Abbs of Eldorado, Wisconsin at Immanuel Trinity Lutheran Church in Fond du Lac. Over the years Florence worked at a holiday marketing company in Oshkosh and starting in 1960 as a market data-analyst at the A.C. Nielsen company in Fond du Lac. For almost 35 years Florence and Howard also operated a Wisconsin Century Dairy Farm near Eldorado, Wisconsin. They sold the farm, built a new house in 1967 and in 1987, after Howard retired from Speed Queen, they moved to Fond du Lac. Florence was a sixty-year member of Peace Lutheran Church in Rosendale, Wisconsin, and also served as a Sunday school teacher. Florence and Howard also were long-time members of two rural card-playing groups including The Sheepshead Club. Florence and her husband enjoyed extended visits to their families in Long Beach, California, San Diego, Seattle, Florida, and South Carolina. In 1990 they made a special trip to England with their son Jim to meet a large family of their British relatives. Florence was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, (Chapter 68, Rosendale) also serving as Worthy Matron for one year. Along with her father-in-law Frank W. Abbs, Florence also was one of the original leaders of the Eldorado, Wisconsin Busy Bee 4-H club. Florence was deeply aware of her German-Russian roots, her parents’ celebration of family holidays and her many aunts, uncles and cousins who shared their special heritage. Florence’s special strengths were seen in her focus on education, her deep love of certain old-world foods and her understanding of the culture from which her family originated.
Survivors include her three sons, Jim and his wife Roxanne of Philadelphia, Ward and his wife Joanne of Hartland, Wisconsin, Brion of Green Bay and one daughter Charlene Reitz of Eldorado. Florence will be dearly missed by her grandchildren, Shelly Lovejoy, Pam Abbs, Thomas Abbs, Niles Abbs, Tina Rich, Mitch Maloney, Staci Maloney, Becky Wojahn, Kristy Bohn, Ward Abbs Jr., Marty Reitz, William Abbs, and Elizabeth Abbs. Other loving survivors include over 40 great- and great-great grandchildren. Preceding her in death were her parents, her husband Howard, son-in-law Gene Reitz, her three sisters, Helen Cutler of Fond du Lac, Eleanor Schuppe of Milwaukee, Delores (Tabbert) Simon of Eldorado, two brothers Harold Markheim of Fond du Lac, Mark Trott of Mayville, and one grandson, Ward W. Abbs of Spokane, Washington. Visitation will be Wednesday, April 12, 2023, at Peace Lutheran Church, 124 S. Main, Rosendale, WI, from 10:30 AM until Noon, with funeral service following. Burial ceremony will be at nearby Rosendale Cemetery after which there will be a memorial luncheon at Sunset-On-The-Water at N7354 Winnebago Drive, Fond du Lac.