Our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Regina Ann Pampuch, passed away on January 5, 2020, at the age of 99.
She was born on a farm in Bluff Siding, Wis., on March 1, 1920, the youngest child of Peter and Helen Merchlewitz.
Regina’s mother had cancer and passed away two days after Regina’s first birthday, leaving her father to run the farm and care for Regina and her siblings, Joe, Wilma, Lawrence and Helen. Her sisters would take Regina in a wagon to a neighboring farm so their cousin, who also had a young child, could nurse her.
In 1923 her father married Lucy Czaplewski. Seven step-brothers and sisters joined the family. Her sister, Betty, was born 15 years later.
During a lifetime that spanned nearly 100 years, Regina’s life experiences mirrored the history of the United States over the last century. She grew up in a house lit by kerosene lamps, heated by a wood-burning stove, had outdoor plumbing only, and her schooling was in a one-room school house.
In 1941 Regina married Michael Pampuch. Soon after, Mike was drafted and served in the European Theater. Following the war, Regina and Mike got manufacturing jobs in Winona, Minn. She retired from Lake Center Switch Co. after 28 years. She wrote that she then had time to focus on “cards, bingo, fishing, hiking, biking, reading and just watching the world go by.” Since 1993, Regina spent winters in California, living at each of her children’s homes for two weeks each month. In the summer she returned to Minnesota and her children took turns living with her in her home there.
She taught her grandchildren to play many card games, especially “kitchen poker” (her favorite). In Winona, she loved to play cards with relatives and friends at the Senior Center.
Regina was preceded in death by her husband in 1996 and 11 of her brothers and sisters. She is survived by her son, Sherman Pampuch (wife, Rosemary); daughter, Sharon Muth (husband, George); four grandchildren, Brenda Muth, Brent Muth (wife, Shanna), Lisa Pampuch (husband, James Kim), Julie Pampuch (husband, Jeff Geier); four great-grandchildren, Audrey and Elliot Kim and Corinne and Kendall Muth; her sister, Betty; and many nieces and nephews.
We will miss our mom/grandma/great-grandmother’s warmth and wit, her spunk and laughter, her generosity and curiosity, her kindness and wisdom and her loving devotion to her family. We are grateful she lived for nearly 100 years.
We had a celebration of her life in February with her family and friends in California. Due to travel restrictions and health concerns, no other services are planned at this time. She was interred in the crypt next to her husband at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Winona in March.