Margaret “Peggy” Ann (Kallenberger) Diser passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at Our House Senior Living in Menomonie after a long, courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Peggy was born on August 11, 1940 to Herbert and Edna Kallenberger in Eureka, South Dakota. She grew up surrounded by a loving extended family who were a great support to Peggy and her mom when Herbert served in the US Army and was stationed in England and Germany during WWII. Peggy's sister, Sharon, was also born in Eureka, and her youngest sister, Bonnie, was born after the family moved to Racine, WI.
Peggy graduated from Horlick High School in Racine in 1958 and studied at Evanston Hospital School of Nursing where she became a Registered Nurse. She began her nursing career in San Francisco, CA where she met the love of her life, Philip Diser. Peggy and Phil were married on the first day of spring in 1964 in Columbus, OH. Phil earned his master’s degree at Ohio State and their daughter, Carol, was born.
The family moved to LaCrosse, WI where their son, John, was born, and then moved to Milwaukee, WI for several years before settling in Menomonie in 1971. In each city, Peggy furthered her nursing career and she began working at the Dunn County Health Care Center in 1972. A dedicated nurse who specialized in psychiatric care, she served for over twenty five years and became the Assistant Director of Nursing. Peggy pioneered the development of an Alzheimer’s unit at the Health Care Center which continues at the Neighbors of Dunn County to this day.
Peggy valued family above everything else. A loving mother, aunt, and grandmother, Peggy was actively involved in the lives of her children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. She took great joy in watching them grow and celebrated every achievement and effort with pride. She loved to attend their concerts, plays, recitals, and sporting events, go on family trips and outings, create special holiday traditions, and host fun-filled sleepovers with activities and treats. She made the best Christmas Cookies and never failed to remember everyone's favorite homemade dessert.
An active member of the community, Peggy was deeply involved at the United Methodist Church in Menomonie, serving on the church board and various committees. After retiring from nursing, Peggy headed the very active Church and Society Committee which helped families in need with school supplies and Christmas gifts, and also sponsored the annual School Board Candidates Forum for many years. During her nearly 50 years in Menomonie, Peggy was also involved in the Menomonie Theater Guild, her PEO Sisterhood Chapter DD, and the many activities of her children and grandchildren
Throughout their marriage of 56 years, Peg and Phil shared a love of books, music, theater, and travel. Longtime season ticket holders, they attended every production of the Menomonie Theater Guild, enjoyed concerts at the Mabel Tainter, and spent their summer Tuesday evenings listening to the Ludington Guard Band while eating pie. Everywhere they went, Peggy and Phil enjoyed socializing with their friends and neighbors. They loved taking road trips to visit family in South Dakota, Florida, and the East Coast. Peg always said, “We have a wonderful family,” and “We have a good life,” and she made it so.
Peggy is survived by her devoted husband, Philip; her daughter, Carol Ropella; her son, John Diser and his wife, Marge; her grandchildren Justin Diser and his wife, Amy; Sarah Berg and her husband, Nick; Rachel Ropella, and Henry Ropella; her sisters, Sharon Beth and her husband, Gil; Bonnie Porter and her husband, Al; as well as many loving nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In addition to her parents, Peggy was preceded in death by her son in law, Tom Ropella.
An open visitation will be held on Friday, September 18 from 4pm to 7pm at Rhiel Funeral Home in Menomonie. Due to COVID restrictions, social distancing and masks will be required. A private funeral service will be held with interment at Evergreen Cemetery. The family plans to livestream the service via a Facebook Live Event, titled In Memory of Peggy Diser, so that friends and family can share in our celebration of her life. Memorials may be made to Stepping Stones of Dunn County, Menomonie United Methodist Church, or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Peggy’s family would like to thank the caregivers and nurses of Our House Senior Living and St. Croix Hospice for their loving and attentive care.