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Theresa Ortner - December 07, 2011


Theresa Madeline Ortner, the daughter of Edward Joseph and Agnes Brady Milan, was born Nov. 23, 1926 in Denver. She died at her home in Holyoke, surrounded by her family, on Dec. 7, 2011.

With her parents, three sisters and five brothers, she spent her childhood in the Denver area. She graduated from St. Francis de Sales High School in 1945 and attended Loretta Heights College.

On Feb. 12, 1947, Theresa was united in marriage to Joseph Ortner in Denver. To this union four daughters and four sons were born. They made their home on the family farm east of Holyoke.

Theresa’s life was centered on her faith and her family. As a devout member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, she was active in the Altar and Rosary Society and with Joe, helped sponsor the Catholic Youth Organization. Through the years, she held numerous leadership roles in the Northeast Deanery of the Altar and Rosary Society.

Theresa considered her family her greatest treasure and invested limitless love and energy in the upbringing of her children and the nurturing of her grandchildren.

She was a 4-H leader and chapter parent of the Future Homemakers of America and was awarded honorary membership in the Holyoke chapter. She and Joe received an honorary State Farmer degree from the Colorado Association of the Future Farmers of America. She was a founding member of the Paragon Club and continued her active involvement for 64 years.

She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her brothers, Edward, Joseph and Leo; and her sisters, Rita Romansik and Mary Agnes Foster.

She is survived by her eight children, 23 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. The children and their families include Mary Austin and husband Jim of Ovid and their children, Chris, Trudy, Toby, Anne and Natalie; Diann Lauder and husband John of Alliance, Neb. and their children, Jennifer and Greg; Dorothy Horrell and husband Ted of Wheat Ridge and their daughter, Meghan; Joe Ortner and wife Terri of Beloit, Kan. and their children, Elizabeth, Mary Frances, Sarah, Joe and Jim; Randy Ortner and wife Norma of Yuma and their daughters, Melissa, Lori and Amanda; Tim Ortner and wife Mariane of Holyoke and their son, Nicholas; Dan Ortner and wife Susan of Holyoke and their sons, John, Brian and Steven; and Linda Smith and husband Tracy of Prescott, Wisc. and their children, Ryan, Lindsey and Julie.

Theresa will be remembered for her zest for life, her Irish humor and her gift of hospitality. She will be missed by a host of friends and relatives including her sister Florence Pfau of Chappell, Neb. and her brothers John Milan of Lakewood and Tom Milan of Greeley.

A scriptural rosary service was held at St. Patrick Catholic Church on Dec. 9. The Funeral Mass was celebrated on Dec. 10, with Rev. Neal Pfister officiating.

The family requests memorials to St. Patrick Catholic Church of Holyoke or to Prairie Haven Hospice (2409 Box Butte Ave., Alliance, NE 69301).

Arrangements were directed by Baucke Mortuary of Holyoke.