Life Story / Obituary
Florence Ghelfi (nee Wisinski) was a strong-willed, smart, kind-hearted woman: a devoted wife, loving mother and grandmother, loyal to her faith and friends. Flo will be deeply missed by her family and friends.
Florence D. Ghelfi, passed away on March 22, 2021 at the age of 94. Flo’s family includes her daughter Janine Ghelfi, grandson Andre Ghelfi-Thomas and his wife, Christina Ghelfi-Thomas (Robertson). Beloved wife of the late Edward C. Ghelfi and mother of the late Margaret Ghelfi. Daughter of the late Frank and Nellie Wisinski. Dear friend of the late George and Shirley Jambois, Alice Siedlecki, Florence Drewek, Marian Moderski, Ella Utsey and other relatives and friends.
Family and friends will gather on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at Three Holy Women Parish – St. Hedwig Church, 1702 N. Humboldt Avenue from 9 a.m. until the time of Memorial Mass at 10 a.m.
Florence was born on April 8, 1926, to proud parents Frank and Nellie (Herkowski) Wisinski. Florence did not have any siblings. Florence resided for 85 years in the same house on N. Arlington Place on Milwaukee’s Lower Eastside. She attended St. Hedwig’s grade school and graduated in 1939 and attended Messmer High School, graduating with top honors in 1943. As a girl, Flo enjoyed playing tennis, bowling, shopping with her mother, volunteering, and trips to Eagle River with her family, just to name a few. Shortly after graduating from high school, Flo started to work for Wisconsin Bell (now AT&T) and held various positions including Business Services Supervisor until her retirement in 1986 with over 40 years of dedicated service.
In 1957, Flo met a young man named Edward (Eddie) Ghelfi at Century Hall Bowling Alley, which was located on Farwell Avenue in Milwaukee. Flo and Eddie hit it off right away and started dating. The happy couple was married on October 17, 1959, at St. Hedwig’s Church in Milwaukee. They were married for 52 years when Eddie passed away in 2012.
She continued living at the family home on N. Arlington place right after being married and in the years to come, Eddie and Florence were blessed with two children: Margaret and Janine (sadly, Margaret died in infancy). The Ghelfi family usually included a dog or two and Flo enjoyed spending time with them. Chloe, Buddy, Riley, Benji and Little Ricky were loyal canine friends. Flo was very active at St. Hedwig Parish and School (now Three Holy Women Parish) and sat on many boards and committees in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. After that she volunteered at the parish office a few times a week. Flo had a very special friendship with Father Tim Kitzke of Three Holy Women Parish who she absolutely adored. Flo and Eddie traveled and loved to spend time in Genoa, Wisconsin with their dear friends, the late George and Shirley Jambois. Now they are all reunited and probably on the road again.
In 1993, Flo was delighted to become a grandmother with the birth of her grandson, Andre. Flo referred to Andre as her “Sonny Boy” and there was nothing that she would not do for him. And in return, there was nothing that he wouldn’t do for her. He inherited her smarts and she always made sure he was on the straight and narrow. They shared a special bond which included their faith, going to church, being very good in math, their quick wittiness and gift of gab and their love of sports which included the Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Brewers, Green Bay Packers and Marquette Golden Eagles. Andre would stop what he was doing to make sure he took a call from his grandma at any time. Her famous question would be to ask what time and what channel the Milwaukee Bucks were on. They never missed a game or a chance to talk about who scored the most points. She had her words about some of the players but always remained a true hometown team fan. Andre will continue to make his grandma proud and carry out her legacy.
The family would like to offer their heartfelt thanks to all who helped care for Flo in her final years. Personal home caregivers, Yvonne Nielsen, Karen Lopez, Tiffiney Moore, Christina Valuskis, Christina Lewis and Colette Lewis. Cousins Mary Deering, Terry Ray, Ray and Diane Prondzinski. Dr. Guglielmo Sala, Dr. Sophie Kramer, Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, Dr. John Betz and the staff at Milwaukee Catholic Home. Flo had a big part in writing this obituary and wanted to make sure she thanked everyone who cared and loved her. We love and miss you. Until we meet again, please continue to watch over us. Rest in Peace, Flo.
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