Cover photo for Catherine M. Stulken's Obituary
Catherine M. Stulken Profile Photo
1919 Catherine 2023

Catherine M. Stulken

May 8, 1919 — July 7, 2023


Remarkable is an overused word, but it absolutely describes the life of Catherine Stulken. She was born in the town of Fort Dauphin, Madagascar. Her parents, the Rev. David Lovaas and Emma (Hogie) Lovaas were Lutheran missionaries there until 1931, visiting the U.S. only briefly during those years. They travelled home on a steamship through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean, then across the Atlantic Ocean. Her father was called to two small congregations in Wisconsin, and Catherine grew up in Prairie Farm. She attended 4 different high schools, graduating from Minnehaha Academy. She went on to Augsburg College and graduated with a degree as an English teacher. Later she earned her Master’s Degree in literature from UW LaCrosse.
She married Donald Stulken, a fellow teacher, in 1942. They moved to Chicago so he could attend Optometric School, then opened a practice in Viroqua, Wisconsin. They moved to LaCrosse for several years, then back to live in Viroqua, while she taught English at Westby Junior High and High School. In between the teaching, professional organizations, volunteer work and further schooling she raised three children. They continued to travel widely around the US, visiting all four national borders.
Retiring in 1980 they moved to the northern Wisconsin town of Woodruff. After Donald’s death in 1985 she moved to Waunakee, Wisconsin, to be near children and grandchildren in Madison.She continued to travel, visiting several areas of Canada, the United Kingdom, Norway, and The Netherlands. She was always interested in seeing new places and meeting people from different cultures. Late in life she made a visit back to Madagascar, to see the places where she spent her childhood.
Catherine was predeceased by her parents, her husband, and youngest son Randall (Lana). She is survived by her son Donald G. (Sally), daughter Kristi (Roch) Gersbach, and granddaughters Mariah Stulken (Reed Molls) and Larissa Stulken (special friend Skylar McLeod.) She will be missed by nieces, nephews, and many friends.
Catherine was an avid reader and lover of books and words. She was also a prolific knitter whose children and grandchildren still have many of the hats, mittens, scarves and sweaters she knit over the years. She was awarded the President’s 4000 Hours award for the charity knitting she did through RSVP. She was a member of the Lutheran Church, which has become
the ELCA. She was a lifelong learner who was always interested in new things. And until the last few months of her life she could beat nearly everyone at Scrabble. She ended her longest journey on Friday, July 7th.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Eden Vista Senior Living and Heartland/ProMedica Hospice for their care in her last months. Help us celebrate this remarkable life at Peace Lutheran Church in Waunakee on July 19th, at 11:00. There will be a private burial service in LaCrosse at a later date.

Please share your memories of Catherine by posting in her Guestbook.

Cress Funeral Services

3325 E. Washington Avenue, Madison

(608) 249-6666

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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