Obit: Cesnik, Mayme (1908 - 2005)

Contact: Audrey Roedel


----Sources: Loyal TRG 13 July 2005

Cesnik, Mayme (15 AUG 1908 - 24 JUN 2005)

Mayme Cesnik, 96, formally of Willard, died Friday, June 24, 2005 in a nursing home in Waunakee, less than two months before her 97th birthday. A Mass of the Resurrection will be said at 11 a.m., July 30, at Holy Family Catholic Church, Willard.

Mary Catherine Bayuk was born Aug. 15, 1908, in St. Cloud, Minn. She moved with her family to Willard in November of 1910, when she was 2 years old. There, her family, like dozens of other Slovenian immigrants of the time, carved a farm from the cut-over timberland that then surrounded the village. (The farm now is owned and operated by Bill Bogdonovich.) Her formal education took place at the old Willard grade school and ended when she graduated from the eighth grade. She often told how at the age of 10 or 11, she and other students at the school used their recesses to carry bricks to the men of the parish as they built the Holy Family parish house in 1919. A lifelong lover of all things beautiful, especially flowers, in her early teens she created a wildflower garden in a woodlot next to the Bayuk farmhouse by transplanting specimens from woodlands for miles around. Her love of flowers also manifested itself when in later life she began drying their blossoms, domestic and wild and especially Queen Anne’s lace, and using them to create unique note cards. She taught several granddaughters and nieces to dry flowers and send her the blossoms for the cards. A few she taught to make the cards themselves. In her later teens she worked with her husband-to-be , Ignatius A. ("Ig") Cesnik, at the old Quast & Co. general store, feed mill and John Deere dealership in Willard. She also occasionally wrote articles for Willard Spice, a sometimes insert in the Greenwood Gleaner, produced by Willard’s young people. Early in the Great Depression (1929-41) she left Willard for Chicago, where she worked as a nanny for a family of one of that city’s multimillionaire meatpacking families. When she and Ig were married in 1933, they set up housekeeping in the old N.C. Foster land office 9now a historic building) next to the Quast & Co. store, where she once again worked as a clerk. The first of their children was born while they lived there. From 1938-1962, she and Ig lived in Hillsboro, where he worked with his brother, John, in operation of the Hillsboro & Northwestern Railway, and where three of their four children were born. From Hillsboro, the couple moved to the southwest, where they were partners for five years in the operation of a Dairy Queen store in Tucson, Ariz. While they were in the southwest, she also fulfilled a longtime dream and took up painting. When they moved back to Wisconsin for a short time in the 80’s—to Marshfield—one of her paintings, a seascape, won a "first Premium" blue ribbon at the 1984 Central Wisconsin State Fair. Widowed in 1988, she moved into the Waunakee Manor nursing home in 1999. Shortly thereafter, a local weekly newspaper published an illustrated feature about her and her paintings. She was a member of Holy Family Lodge 136 of the American Slovenian Catholic Union/KSKJ in Willard for more than 60 years. In Hillsboro, she was a member of the St. Aloysius Altar Society and the Catholic Order of Foresters. In Tucson, she served on the board of directors of the Silver Bell Condominium.

Survivors include four sons, James Cesnik, Leesburg, Va., Bernard Cesnik, Madison, Thomas Cesnik, Winchester, Va., and Mark Cesnik, Tucson, Ariz.; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; a brother, Ed Bayuk, Willard; and a sister, Florence Klinke, Greenwood.

Preceding her in death were her husband of 55 years, four sisters, and four brothers.



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel