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Obituary for Ruth Elaine (Uischner) Pongratz

Ruth Elaine (Uischner) Pongratz, age 93, passed away February 27, 2023, at the Onalaska Care Center.

Ruth was born October 23, 1929, in rural Warrens, WI to Oscar William and Emma Ella (Kastens) Uischner. She grew up in rural Warrens and was the valedictorian of the Tomah High School class of 1947. Ruth graduated with a teaching degree from UWL on June 3, 1951, and married John Pongratz a week later on June 10 at St. Mat​t​hew Lutheran Church in Warrens. They celebrated 71 years of marriage this past June. In the fall of 1951, Ruth began her teaching career in Caledonia while John was serving his two-year tour of duty with the Army in Japan. She taught biology and life science classes until retirement in 1986. Ruth was an avid bridge player and played in several clubs. She also enjoyed many hobbies including knitting, crafts, gardening, golfing, bowling, and collecting. Caledonia Green and other local organizations benefited from Ruth’s many volunteer hours.

Survivors include her husband​,​ John​;​ children​,​ Peggy (Nick) Burg​ and​ Dana (Kim) Pongratz​;​ her beloved grandchildren​,​ Jessica (John) Glasspoole, Nicole (Joe) Dockendorff, Tyler (Katie) Pongratz, Marci (Adam) Skemp, Colin Pongratz, and Marty Burg​;​ great​-​grandchildren​,​ Megan and Caitlin Glasspoole, Ruby and Ryan Dockendorff, Kora and Kada Pongratz, and Isabel and Owen Skemp​;​ her sister​,​ Agnes Benjamin​;​ and several nieces and nephews.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents​;​ parents-in-law​,​ Rolland and Florence Pongratz​;​ brother​,​ Eldon Uischner​;​ sister​,​ Joyce Capper​;​ in-laws​,​ David Capper, Tom Benjamin, Joanne and Nick Racheff, and James Pongratz.

Funeral services will be at 11:00am, Saturday, March 11, 2023 at St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church, 650 N. Kingston Street, Caledonia. Rev. Tom Schultz will officiate. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery. A visitation will be from 5:00pm until 7:00​ ​pm on Friday, March 10, 2023, and from 10:00am until the time of service on Saturday, March 11, 2023. Both will be held at the church. The service will be livestreamed via the Saint John's Ev. Lutheran Church YouTube channel.

In lieu of plants and flowers, please direct memorials to Four Seasons Community Center or St. John’s Lutheran Church, where Ruth was a long-time member. To honor Ruth plant a monocot or dicot this spring and then think of her when a lepidoptera visits your garden.

Fredrickson Funeral Home, Caledonia Chapel, is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be offered ​at on this website. ​