Obit: Cesnik, Mayme #2 (1908 - 2005)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Cesnik, Bayuk, Klinke

----Sources: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) July 20, 2005

Cesnik, Mayme ‘Mary Catherine’ (1908 - 24 June 2005)

Mayme Cesnik, who grew up in the Willard community during its pioneer days, died June 24, 2005, in a nursing home in Waunakee. She was 96, less than two months short of her 97th birthday.

Born Mary Catherine Bayuk in 1908 in St. Cloud, MN, she moved with her family to Willard when she was two years old. There her parents, John and Balbina Bayuk along with dozens of other Slovenian immigrants, carved a working farm from the cut over timberland that then surrounded the village. (The farm now is owned and operated by Bill Bogdanovich.)

She often told how at the age of 10 or 11 she and other students at the old Willard school used their recesses to carry bricks to the men of the Holy Family parish as they built the parish house in 1919.

A lifelong lover of all things beautiful, especially flowers, in her early teens she created a wild flower 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, especially Queen Anne’s lace, and using them to create unique note cards.

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.

For about three years while the U.S. was suffering through the Great Depression (1919-1941) she went to Chicago where she worked as a ‘nanny’ for one of the city’s multimillionaire meatpacking families. (The T.J. Reddys of Armour & Co.)

When she and "Ig" were married in 1933, they set up housekeeping in the former N.C. Foster land office (now a historic building), which was next to the store.

The family lived in Hillsboro, WI, from 1938-1962, while "Ig" worked with his brother, John, operating the old Hillsboro & Northeastern Railway.

In 1962 the couple moved to the Southwestern U.S., where they were partners for five years in the operation of a Dairy Queen store in Tucson, AZ.

Later in Roswell, NM, Mayme fulfilled a longtime dream when she took a formal course in painting. When she and "Ig" moved back to Wisconsin for a few years in the 1980’s, one of her paintings, an acrylic seascape, was awarded a "First Premium" blue ribbon at the Central Wisconsin State Fair in Marshfield.

Soon after she moved into the Waunakee Manor nursing home in 1999, a local weekly newspaper published an illustrated feature article about her and her painting.

She was a member of Holy Family Lodge #135 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.

Surviving are four sons: James, of Leesburg, VA; Bernard, of Madison; Thomas, of Winchester, VA; and Mark of Tucson: nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchilden; one brother, Ed Bayuk, of Willard; and one sister, Florence Klinke, of Greenwood.

Preceding her in death is her husband of 55 years, who died in 1988, four sisters and four brothers.

A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11 a.m. July 30, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Willard. (The part about the burial is missing from the obituary in the newspaper.)



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