Audrey Winegarden-Bencke

Obituary of Audrey Winegarden-Bencke

Audrey Elaine (Lewis) Winegarden-Bencke, age 90, of Wisconsin Rapids stepped from the loving care of her family into the loving arms of her Lord and looking forward in great expectation to her future with Him on July 9, 2017.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, July 13, 2017, at Calvary Baptist Church in Wisconsin Rapids. Pastor Jack Austin will officiate. Burial will take place at Green Hill Cemetery in the Town of Saratoga. Visitation will be from 9 A.M. until time of services at the church on Thursday.  Herman-Taylor Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Audrey was born June 28, 1927 in Port Edwards, WI, to Ralph and Elizabeth (Yusten) Lewis. She was raised by her step-mother, Winifred (Fletcher) Lewis.

Growing up she loved to read and draw, winning many drawing contests in the local newspaper. After graduating from Lincoln High School, she married William “Jack/Bill” Winegarden on March 26, 1945, with whom she raised 10 children: Bill, Jim, Dave, Mike, Jackie, Wendy, Cathy, Mark, Mary, and Jenny.  

Audrey and William farmed in Kellner and Sigel, traveled to Alaska twice, and built their dream home designed entirely by Audrey. Her artistic talents extended to poetry, which was published in her book “Because of Him” and by the Blue Mountain Arts greeting card company. Audrey taught Sunday School at Saint Luke’s Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids and later taught Sunday School and Ladies Bible Study at Calvary Baptist Church.

After William’s death in 1980, Audrey obtained her realtors license through the Wisconsin School of Real Estate and started a new career working for Coldwell Banker Siewert Realtors in Wisconsin Rapids and finally retired in 1994. She was very talented with her savvy property assessments and enjoyed helping others achieve their dream of owning a home.

She married her beloved husband Ken on November 10, 1995 and expanded her family. Together Ken and Audrey lived a wonderful life remodeling 3 homes, wintering in Florida, traveling and helping family. Their love and commitment to each other was a precious example to us all.

Audrey is survived by her loving husband, Ken; her children: Dave (Rose) Winegarden, Nekoosa, WI, Mike (Shelia) Winegarden, Wisconsin Rapids, Wendy Winegarden, Wisconsin Rapids, Cathy (Dan) Hughes, Wisconsin Rapids, Mark Winegarden, Neilsville, WI, Mary (Gordie) Anderson, Minocqua, WI, and Jenny (David) Farley, Wisconsin Rapids; step-children: Kim (Tim) Anderson, Fort Atkinson, WI, Pam Anderson, Wisconsin Rapids, Todd (Karen) Bencke, Wisconsin Rapids, and Suzanne (Hans) Walther, Stevens Point, WI; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her first husband William; parents: Elizabeth and Ralph Lewis; step-mother, Winifred Lewis; mother-in-law, Frances Irene Winegarden; father-in-law, Charles Winegarden; sisters: Joyce Henke and Catherine “Skip” Lewis; children: Bill, Jim, and Jackie Winegarden; grandchildren: Andrea Bencke and Benjamin Walther; and great grandchildren: Gavin Anderson and Marek Patterson.

Audrey loved her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and led many to believe in Christ alone for salvation and acceptance of the free gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23)

Having spiritual children was a great joy to her as well as investing in the lives of her thirty-five grandchildren and fifty-four great-grandchildren, who loved Grandma and her candy basket.

While we do sorely miss her, we do not grieve as those who have no hope, but look forward to seeing our wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother again.

A special thank you to the helpful caregivers, nurses and doctors of Renaissance Assisted Living, Aspirus Riverview Hospital, Edgewater Haven Nursing Home and Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice for the wonderful attention given to Audrey and her family.  Thank you also to Pastor Jack Austin for the visits and prayers.  Audrey so appreciated your shepherding care.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:5