Antonette M. “Dolly” Watembach, age 96, of Winona, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 24, 2017, at Lake Winona Manor.
She was born on December 31, 1920, in St. Paul, Minn., to John and Elizabeth (Wolzon) Banicki. Dolly was united in marriage with Hilary Watembach on January 10, 1943, in Florida, and he preceded her in death on February 9, 1982.
Dolly was employed as a waitress for the Oaks, Winona Country Club, and the Hot Fish Shop, and she worked for Miller Lubricator. She was a member of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka were she was active in singing with the funeral and adult choirs, the quilters, St. Jude’s Guild, baking for funerals, and she helped with the weekly church cleaning. She was also a member of Harvest House and the Polish Heritage Society.
Dolly treasured her Catholic faith and was proud of her Polish heritage. These traits led to her helping a Polish family after World War II. Besides letters, she sent care packages of food, clothes, and diapers, all hard to find in post-war Poland. The families eventually lost contact until 1989 when the granddaughter, at the request of her mother, was able to find Dolly. She travelled to Winona to meet and thank her personally. Dolly said after the meeting, “If I had only known how bad it was, I would have sent more.”
Some of Dolly’s favorite pastimes included designing and making homemade rugs, sewing, baking, and bowling on the Watkowski Funeral Home team. She also enjoyed traveling to Hawaii, England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, France, and Poland.
Dolly is lovingly survived by her daughters, Ann Marie (Gary) Bisping, Portage, Wis., Patricia Raine, Federal Way, Wash., Paula Watembach, Winona; sisters, Dorothy Banicki, Elizabeth Waters, and Therese Dyer; grandchildren, Jeff (Carrie) Bisping, Kevin, Kaitlyn, and Kendra, Amy (Tracy) Tjugum, Nikolas, Zachary, and David, Andrea (Jeremy) Duffy, Aden, Nora, and Liam, and Karey Losinski; as well as numerous nieces; nephews; and other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Hilary; brothers, Raymond, Walter, Norman, and Frank Banicki; and her sisters, Marcella Bohn and Josephine Waters.
A Harvest House Prayer Service and Rosary will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 31, 2017, at the Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home, with visitation following until 7 p.m. Visitation will also be held at the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka on Friday, September 1, 2017, from 10:30 a.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. The Reverend Monsignor Thomas J. Hargesheimer will officiate.
Dolly will be laid to rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Family would like to thank the residents and staff of Lake Winona Manor for their care and support for the past two years.
Memorials may be directed to St. Stan’s Quilters, St. Stan’s Choir or Winona Polish Museum.
Online condolences or memories may be left at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.