Martha Napstad, age 92 of Wausau, passed away on January 26, 2023.
Martha was born on March 12, 1930, in Milwaukee to Lloyd (Glenn) and Ellen Dunbar Walter. She graduated from Viola High School in 1948. She loved her years growing up in the rolling hills of southwestern Wisconsin with her three siblings.
Martha married Forrest Napstad on May 12, 1951, in Madison, WI. They welcomed two daughters, Sheila and Lori, while living in Madison and the family moved to Wausau in 1972. Martha and Forrest deeply enjoyed spending time with their beloved granddaughters. They also loved bowling, and brought home several trophies. Friday nights were spent sharing fish fries with friends, while they also cherished time spent with Martha's siblings and their spouses in Richland Center, playing cards while the guys told jokes, and making the girls laugh until they cried.
After Forrest's passing in 1980, Martha met John Ringle in 1983, and they spent 25 years together, traveling to New Zealand several times to visit his daughter and family, as well as trips to Bora Bora and Fiji. They spent a lot of time at John's home on Simon Lake in Harshaw, taking walks and working in the yard, feeding the wildlife, taking boat rides on the lake and going on overnight trips. They loved having company, always making sure there was a happy hour before dinner, and they were famous for their Halloween parties.
She enjoyed her week-long visits to Sheila and Dennis' home in Platteville, where they took her antiquing and thrifting, and went on little road trips, including a visit to John Wayne's home. Loiri lived close by and the two spent time together almost every Saturday, eating out for breakfast and shopping. Many evenings were spent together eating takeout dinners and watching westerns on Netflix - and for Martha, the more action, the better! Martha adored her son-in-law, Dennis, who always shared a laugh with her and took care of all her odd jobs around her treasured home. She looked forward to her weekly Sunday Scrabble games with her dear friend, Naomi Kletzin, followed by a good Packer game.
Martha loved being a homemaker and raising her daughters, decorating her house, working in her flower garden and hosting family gatherings for all of her extended family and friends in Madison, Wausau and Harshaw. She loved her annual girl's weekend with her daughters and granddaughters, playing cards together, exploring the shops, sharing coffee and lots and lots of laughter. She collected clocks, gnomes, cat and cardinal figurines. She enjoyed the challenge of crossword puzzles, and loved reading, bird watching, and eating popcorn. She was very particular about her appearance, never wanting to dress, look or act "old," and had a knack for making any new acquaintance feel immediately like a good friend. Her family and friends will miss her spunky and fun-loving personality. She could always make people smile and laugh, and everyone who knew her, loved her.
She is survived by her two daughters, Sheila (Dennis Stephenson) and Lori (Dave Skola); her three granddaughters, Stephanie Foster, Jill (Dave) von Falkenstein, and Tara (Jeremy) Rentmeester; and 6 great grandchildren: Connor, Eli, Emma, Sully, Sawyer and Adalyn. She was also survived by her New Zealand family: Marcia, Guy, Emily-Kate, Andrew and Lydia Ringle-Harris. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Forrest, her partner John Ringle, her siblings Naomi, Mark and Leroy and her beloved kitty, Vito.
A visitation will be held Saturday, February 4, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Brainard Funeral Home in Wausau. A 2 p.m. service will follow with Reverend Ilene Hill officiating. A graveside burial service will take place in her hometown of Viola, WI, later in the spring.