Irene "Kraut" McMullen, 81, of Pulaski, WI formerly of Long Lake-Newald, WI, passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 22, 2020 with family at her side. Irene was born November 16, 1938 in Oberdorf, Germany to the late Frederick “Fritz” and Caroline (Haas) Beck. One of six children, she attended Bopfingen Schools, graduating the 8th grade in 1952. Unable to attend high school, she began working as a nanny for a butcher/shopkeeper family then moved with her sister, Maryanne, to Stuttgart, where they worked, roomed and boarded at the Stuttgart Hospital.
On October 3, 1961, she married the late Albert Lee McMullen in Stuttgart and they went on to have 4 daughters. They moved to the United States in 1962 and Irene became a US Citizen in the early 70's. She owned Kraut's Place tavern in Fredonia, WI. After selling the tavern, she moved her family further north where she co-managed Ray and Irene's Sportsman's Inn for many years. Irene loved a cold beer, shared many a good joke and was great at running a successful business.
Irene was a very caring, devoted mother with strong family values and consistently provided a well-kempt home. She enjoyed traveling, cooking, gardening, canning and story-telling with her grandkids. She took pride in her German heritage, passing down many delicious, unwritten recipes. She was famous for her enormous German pancakes (frisbees!), German potato salad and red cabbage. Also known as "Grandma Weenie," she loved the time she spent with her grandchildren, cherishing each and every train ride, zoo visit, festival, shopping trip and story-telling activity. She will forever be known as the rock of the family.
Irene was a long-time attending member of the Long Lake Bible Church and held a strong faith in God.
Irene is survived by daughters: Sharon Faye (Timothy) Leffler of Florence, WI, Tammy Lynn (Stephen) Hodgson of Suamico, WI and Michelle Renee (Todd) Geffers of North Dakota; 9 grandchildren: Christopher, Chad, Chantel, Cheyenne, Myranda, Stephen Jr., Myriah, Danny and Breanne; 9 great-grandchildren and many relatives in Germany.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Cindy Lee McMullen.
Visitation will be held at Long Lake Bible Church (11840 Maple St., Long Lake, WI), Thursday, September 3, 2020 from 11 AM to 12 PM. A funeral service will follow at 12 PM at the church. Burial will be in Long Lake Cemetery. To leave an online condolence for the family, please visit www.NewcomerGreenBay.com.
Irene's family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the medical teams at St. Mary's Hospital, St. Vincent Hospital, Crossroads West Nursing Home for their care and compassion and to the first responders of Pulaski, WI that assisted when she was in need.
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