/ Obituaries / Veneda M. Anzelmo

Veneda M. Anzelmo


Veneda M. Anzelmo of Minocqua, passed away Jan. 22, 2020 in Nashville Born in 1938 in Oak Park, Ill., Veneda was the first of three children for Newton and Grace Rickman. She grew up between Chicago and West Frankfort, Ill., where her paternal grandparents resided. Veneda graduated from Nixon Elementary School in 1952 and Kelvyn Park High School in 1956, both in Chicago. After graduation, Veneda went into the workforce at Harris Bank in downtown Chicago.

In 1954, while living on Pulaski Ave. in Chicago and visiting a new friend a few doors down, Veneda caught the eye of her friends’ brother, John Anzelmo. They dated from 1954 until they married in 1960 and a new adventure began. They lived in a flat above her in-laws for several years and had their first child, a wonderful baby boy. They then moved to Presque Isle for a few years to run a vacation resort. Many family stories about cooking, baking, and laundry have evolved from this experiment. Veneda never did like housework following those years. After returning to Chicago they lived in an apartment on Hamlin Ave. until, in 1969, they purchased their first home on Avers Ave. and shortly afterwards brought home their second child, a tiny baby girl. On Avers they found a community and friendships that would last their whole lives. During this time, Veneda handled the accounting and paperwork of her husbands’ business, worked at an Entenmann’s Bakery, and returned to a familiar position at a bank while raising their two children. They lived on Avers until 1992-1993 when they “retired,” moved to Minocqua, and opened The County Line Bar on Hwy 70.  

Minocqua had been a home away from home since they purchased a small get-away cabin in the mid-1970s. Many weekends, holidays, and summer vacations were spent in the little cabin. Snowmobile weekends with friends were a favorite pastime and a lot of great memories were made sitting around the kitchen table or snuggling up in the living room around the record player. 

While running The County Line Bar, Veneda and John found new friends in the Northwoods and a new community. Tales of line dancing, parties, hayrides, Lake of the Torches, Bloody Mary Sundays, and trips across country with friends are still family favorites. A lifelong Bears fan, Veneda developed a love for the Packers over the past 20 years (“as long as they weren’t playing the Bears”).

In the last decade, she spent several months each year in her “snowbird” home of Nashville, where she spoiled her youngest grandchild (as was her right), watched hockey and football with her son-in-law, and developed yet another branch of her extended family.

Veneda firmly believed in Family First — and demonstrated this daily. For her, family did not just mean blood-relative, family was every one of her adopted “kids” throughout the years, her friends, and her neighbors. She looked out for us all and is deeply missed.

She is preceded in death by her parents and husband. She is survived by her children, John R. Anzelmo (Lisa) of Amboy, Ill., and Grace M. Anzelmo-Shively (David) of Nashville, her grandchildren, Jessica Anzelmo and Nicholas Shively both of Nashville, her siblings, Grace Swanson and Ray Rickman of Illinois, and several nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

A Celebration of Life is scheduled for July 27 in Minocqua for family and friends. For information please call 615-238-7274. A Mass is scheduled for July 31, at St. Viator’s Catholic Church in Chicago. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Audubon Society as Veneda loved watching the birds at each of her homes. She will be buried in Irving Park Cemetery, with the love of her life, John Anzelmo.



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