Audrey Caroline Harnisch

May 17, 1942 ~ September 16, 2022

Audrey C. Harnisch, 80, of Osseo, WI, passed away peacefully on September 16, 2022, at Milestone Memory Care in Eau Claire, WI, while surrounded by her beloved family. Audrey was born on May 17, 1942, to Clarence and Anna Marie (Mary) Swaim at home on the family farm in Pleasantville, WI. Audrey loved growing up on the farm. She fondly recalled milking cows by hand, dressing up litters of kittens, fishing in the creek and cooking for the threshing crews.

Audrey Caroline Harnisch

Audrey Caroline Harnisch

Audrey graduated from Whitehall High School in 1960. During her senior year in high school, Audrey helped out in the high school office. Upon graduating, she was immediately hired by the School District of Whitehall as a secretary.

On a warm August evening in 1960, Audrey asked her brother, Roland, if she could catch a ride to Club Midway in Independence, WI, to meet up with some friends. On that same evening, Ronald (“Ronnie”) Harnisch decided to take a ride to Club Midway to “hang out.” As fate would have it, Ron and Audrey met that night through mutual friends. Two weeks later they went on their first official date which consisted of a meal at a small diner in Independence followed by a movie at the Pix Theater in Whitehall. Ron proposed to Audrey on April Fool’s Day in 1961. They were married on August 5, 1961, at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Pigeon Falls, WI.

Ron and Audrey moved to Janesville, WI, in 1962. They had two children, Barbara and Bradley. Audrey worked at Parker Pen in Janesville for a short time before being hired by the School District of Janesville where she spent the next 27 years. Initially, she worked at the District’s Administration Center. In 1971 she transferred to the brand new Edison Junior High. She worked as the Principal’s Administrative Assistant until her retirement in 1992.

In 1995, Ron and Audrey officially moved to Osseo, WI. They built a new home on the farm previously owned by Ron’s parents. Audrey took great pride in tending to their beautiful landscaping. She especially loved caring for her flowers in the warmer months. Her tenacious efforts were admired far and wide when Ron and Audrey’s farm was featured in the August/September 2022 issue of “Our Wisconsin” magazine.

Audrey had many gifts and talents. Sheloved to cook and bake and was always happy to share her recipes. When others made her dishes, however, they never quite tasted like Audrey’s. That’s because they were missing her “tweak” of this and “pinch” of that. Audrey loved going to thrift sales, antique shops, second-hand stores and auctions. One of Audrey’s favorite activities was spending time with her granddaughter, Hope.

Audrey was a lovely person. She had a million dollar smile and a heart of gold. She loved to make others happy. Audrey was generous of heart and was empathetic to the needs of others. She was selfless and strong and virtuous. To have known her was to have loved her.

Audrey is survived by her husband, Ronald; daughter, Barbara (Rex) Howard, son, Bradley (Kelly) Harnisch; grandchildren, Hope (Jacob) Spies, Justin Steiner and Sean (Kim) Steiner; siblings, Lyman (Ruth) Swaim, Shirley (Fred) Breutzman, Roland (Shirley) Swaim and Harriet (LaMoine) Anderson; sister-in-law, Virginia (Dan) Peterson; and numerous other family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Anna Marie (Mary) Swaim; in-laws, Harold and Esther Harnisch; siblings, Maurice Swaim, Gordon Swaim and Clarice Pierce; and grandson, Aaron Steiner.

Our family would like to thank the Milestone Memory Care staff for their exemplary care, compassion and love during Audrey’s stay there. We extend heartfelt thanks to the Mayo Hospice Staff, especially to Linda. Your assistance in mom’s final days was so greatly appreciated. Audrey was a brittle diabetic. Because of the excellent and compassionate care given by her Mayo Clinic Care Team, we were able to have Audrey with us for 80 wonderful years. We extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. Gagandeep Singh, Dr. Charles Bingham and Dr. Patrick Roberts.

Funeral services will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, at Peace Lutheran Church, 13083 E. Main St., Pigeon Falls, WI 54760. Pastor Terry Lorenz will officiate. A light lunch will follow the service. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 26, 2022, at Jack Funeral Home, 35890 S Abrams St, Whitehall, WI 54773 and at the church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday, September 27.

Memorials may be directed to Peace Lutheran Church of Pigeon Falls.