Rosetta Jane Brooker Kazda, 95, died Friday, June 29, 2012, at Avanti Health and Rehab in Minocqua. She was born in Minocqua, Feb. 14, 1917. She was the second born of 11 children to George and Ella Ahlborn Brooker. When she was one, her parents moved the family to Camp Highlands on Plum Lake, where George served as caretaker for seven years. Camp Highlands is the oldest boys' camp still operating in the Northwoods. The growing family moved to Glenbrook Farm on Plum Lake when Rosetta was 8 years old. They farmed there for eight years before moving into the village of Sayner, where George became janitor of the grade school.
At the age of 16, Rosetta served as the first telephone operator in Hatches Store in Sayner. She graduated from Eagle River Union Free High School (Northland Pines) in 1936, and found employment in the ensuing years in Chicago, as a companion and housemaid to an elderly lady. She and her sister, Almeda, formed wonderful lifelong friendships with several other young ladies working in the same capacity in the big city.
She returned to Sayner in the early 1940s and in 1945 married Charles James Kazda, when he finished serving in the U.S. Army overseas. Charles worked as a carpenter until he and Rosetta both retired in the mid 1970s. They raised six children and were active members of their community. Rosetta became an avid golfer in her later years, joining Charlie in his passion for the game. Hardly a day passed that they didn't walk nine holes wherever they were located. They traveled as much as possible. Over the years they spent time in Alaska; spent winter months in Tucson, Ariz., and various locations in Florida and Texas. They made many friends along the way as they drove the highways and byways of America.
Rosetta was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 451, of Boulder Junction and Sayner for more than 50 years. Every Memorial Day she felt it her duty and honor to sell poppies to help raise funds for veterans. Rosetta was a charter member of Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church. She sang in the choir, served on various committees, and taught Sunday school and Bible school over the years. Rosetta was a newspaper correspondent for the Vilas County News for 11 years, writing a weekly column of Sayner news and events. Rosetta was also a charter member of the Plum Lake Women's Club which was organized in the early 1950s.
At age 93, Rosetta moved to Elkhorn, where she resided with her son, Charles Jr., and family. She returned in fall of 2011 to reside in Avanti Health and Rehab in Minocqua. Her heart never left Sayner, her family, and the great memories of growing up there. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother. She will be remembered for her gentle character, her participation in civic and social affairs, and willingness to help wherever she could. She worked all her life, in and out of her home, but was always there for her family and was a strong influence in all of their lives, believing in her God, country, and community.
Rosetta was preceded in death by her husband, Charlie, of 56 years; her parents; her twin brother, Burton; sister, Almeda Grzanic; brother Robert, killed in service in 1945; brother George; and a sister, Laura Bell.
She is survived by six children, Bernard (Janet) of St. Germain, Kathleen (Donald) Eliason of St. Germain, Shirley (Robert) Chernouski of Hayden, ID, Charles Jr. (Ivy) of Elkhorn, Mary (Alan) Hill of St. Maries, ID, and John (Joan) of Sayner; her brother, Richard (Florence) Brooker of Sayner; her sisters, Lillian Crall of Sayner and Angeline Hoppe of Rhinelander; she will be dearly missed by her 16 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild, as well as by many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Monday, July 2, 1 p.m., at Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church in Sayner, with a visitation from noon until time of service.
Burial will be the Plum Lake Cemetery.
Online condolences may be shared at www.nimsgernfuneral.com.
Nimsgern Funeral & Cremation Services of Woodruff handled the arrangements.