Memorials may be made to Hunger Task Force.
Darlene “Dolly” Merle Koeckenberg (nee Lenz)
Passed away on June 27, 2020, at age 92. Beloved wife of the late Alfred Koeckenberg. Survived by her loving daughters Nancy Koeckenberg and Kristine Koeckenberg. Preceded in death by her parents Otto and Olive Lenz, and brothers Elwood (Mildred), Robert (Dorothy), James (Norma “Joan”), and Harvey (Marlene); in-laws Alfred Sr. and Hertha Koeckenberg, George and Joyce Franciskovic, Wayne and Lois Horn, and Robert and Donna Koeckenberg. Dear aunt to many caring and loving nieces and nephews of the Lenz, Koeckenberg, Franciskovic, and Horn families.
Darlene was the only girl in her family with four brothers: Elly, Bob, Jim, and Harvey. Her brothers always referred to her as their “dolly,” a nickname that stuck with her for the rest of her life.
Al and Dolly were married at Reformation Church in 1950. Shortly after they were married they built their family home in Greenfield where they raised their two daughters Nancy and Kristine.
Dolly loved family holidays–Christmas and Easter with the Koeckenbergs and Thanksgiving with the Lenzes. A yearly highlight was heading to her brother Bob’s for his and Dorothy’s annual spaghetti supper. Fridays meant heading out for a fish fry and a good Wisconsin Old Fashioned.
Dolly was a member of numerous card clubs, including the ladies of Lucky Six, and the Secret Pal Club. Al and Dolly loved a good party, and any other celebration where they would graciously open their home. They were known to lovingly add one more place at their table because there was “always room for one more.”
Dolly loved to read and you could often find her tackling a huge historical novel. She was meticulous about her books—always pristine hardcovers, pages that were never dog-eared, and if she leant a book to you, you better remember to return it! Dolly loved to sew and in her later life, she would create beautiful, cherished quilts for family and friends and she was a member of the Manor Park quilters for many years. She enjoyed sharing her love of the arts with Nancy and Kristine by attending movies, the Milwaukee Symphony, Broadway productions at the Marcus Center, the Milwaukee ballet, and visiting the area’s beautiful local museums.
Summers were spent at the cottage with family. She enjoyed heading “into town” for ice cream at Charlie’s in Hazelhurst followed by a trip to the Christmas Chalet or her favorite gift shop in Minocqua. Many hours were spent fishing on the Willow waiting for a nibble with two antsy kids in the boat, swimming in the lake on a hot summer day, or sitting around the cottage farm table playing Sheepshead.
In retirement, Al and Dolly would pack the car and hit the road to visit historical sites across America and loved visiting family and friends along the way.
During football season, Dolly would be decked out in her green and gold, cheering on The Pack, and in summer, she never missed her beloved Brewers on TV.
Sadly, Dolly’s final years were clouded by Alzheimer’s disease. Nancy was by her side, lovingly caring for her every step of the way. Thank you to the Aurora At-Home Hospice Team, Dr. Terry Spears-Barnett, and her loving caregiver, Mary Kaisler.
Private funeral services were held, but you may view the recorded service below. Interment at Good Hope Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Hunger Task Force.