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Virgene "Jean" R. Havlik

Virgene "Jean" R. Havlik

Virgene “Jean” R. Havlik age 85, of Menomonie, died Monday July 12, 2021 at Mayo Clinic Health System-Red Cedar in Menomonie.

Jean was born April 19, 1936, in Durand, WI.  She was the daughter of Edwin and Hannah (Falkner) Achenbach and grew up on the family farm in rural Durand.  She graduated from Durand High in 1954.  She went onto college at U.W. Stout and graduated with a Home Economics Education Degree. Jean married Bill Havlik June 6, 1959, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Durand. After marriage they lived in River Falls for a short time. During this time, Jean received her Elementary Education Degree from U.W. River Falls.  

Jean and Bill moved to Hillsboro, WI where she taught third grade at Hillsboro Elementary School until 1975.  In 1975 they bought a hobby farm south of Menomonie where they raised sheep.  Jean taught 4th grade at St. Joseph’s Elementary School five years. 

She was a substitute teacher in the Menomonie School District into her retirement. Throughout her career, she inspired many young people. Her passion for teaching manifested in many areas of her life, including 4H, Girl Scouts, and sewing. Sewing and tailoring was one of her special talents. She especially enjoyed helping friends and family fitting wedding and bridesmaid dresses. 

Jean is survived by four daughters, Jane (Edd) Hanke of Menomonie, Beth (Jim) Ernst of Burnsville, MN, Lynn (Charlie) Batten of Camp Douglas, Jill (Todd) Wolterstorff of Londonderry, OH; five grandchildren, Amanda (Dustin) Grover, Lauren Hanke, Matthew and Chuck Ernst, William (Keziah) Batten; six great grandchildren, Jaxon Hanke, Rowan Grover, Finnegan & Seamus Ernst, Stephen & Violet Batten; several nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Bill in 2018; a brother, Patrick Achenbach and a sister, Rometta Hock.

Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Tuesday July 20, 2021 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Menomonie wit Rev. John Mano officiating.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 PM Monday at the Rhiel Funeral Home in Menomonie and one hour prior to services at the church on Tuesday.

Condolences to the family may be made online at www.rhielfuneralhome.com

Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Menomonie is serving the family.



  1. Bob and Becky Hendrickson

    Your parents were always so friendly and welcoming. We spent several enjoyable evenings sharing a bonfire with them in their pasture. We just learned of Jean’s passing this evening. You are in our prayers.sibx

  2. Susan Zuberbuehler

    Just chatted with Jean. Will miss seeing her when I go to visit my Mom. The sheep farm was a great neighbor, always had good stories to tell. Still hear the sheriff tell me to stand back, the sheep are out. Hand near his weapon. I walked the sheep back in and pulled up the fence.

  3. Maria Wurtz

    My prayers and thoughts are with her beautiful and blessed daughters and family. I will always remember her as a sharp and stern yet caring teacher. I last spoke to her in 2015 at my mother’s mass and she was sharp as ever! God bless, Maria

  4. Tom and Kathy Dunbar

    To the family of Jean Havlik,
    Jean and Bill made me feel so welcome when I first began working at First National Bank in Menomonie, and we kept the friendship even after we were not working for the bank any longer. Keep the wonderful memories you have of them both.

    Tom and Kathy

  5. Paula Smith

    I remember visiting there sheep farm once it was so nice the family has my sympathy

  6. Lavonne Solem

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Jean often would help us out in the special education department when we were in need of a substitute. She was someone we could certainly count on to keep the day running smoothly.

  7. Melissa Moseler -Henry

    So very sorry to hear about your Mom's passing! She was my 4th grade teacher and always made learning fun!! Celebrate her life, talk about her often and know she made a difference in the lives of many!! God Bless!!

  8. Audry

    She was absolutely a wonderful, kind, spitfire, truthful, always loving, welcoming, and always told it like it was. We had many good conversations she brought a lot of light into my world and I learned alot from her. She was also sooo proud of her family so proud she always spoke of Jaxon and Lauren alot! I will miss her spunk, light, and just laughing❤️

  9. Bill & Debbie Harmon

    So sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  10. John Abraham

    So sorry for your loss. Jean was a neat lady. She helped me a lot with Forensics. Lots of fun!

  11. Lisabeth Hock

    Dear Jane and Beth and Lynn and Jill, I'm so very sorry for your loss. I remember well all of the lovely crafts that Jean and Bill and the rest of you made for all of us cousins. They were among my childhood treasures: a leather coin purse, ceramic figurines, and lace stars that continue to hang on my Christmas tree every year. Jean was also very important for my career. When I decided to stay longer in Germany after my junior year there so that I could teach English--it was my very first teaching job-my mom (her sister) was not happy about it, but Jean sent me encouragement and reminded me that my mom herself went to Europe in the 1950s against the wishes of their parents. Now a mother myself, I understand well the need to see one's children regularly and keep them safe, but at the time, Aunt Jean's support was what I needed. Now, Virgine and Rometta are together with Patrick, hopefully laughing a lot, probably bickering a little, and surely looking out for all of us.

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