Loretta Jean Reda, age 93, of Ojibwa, passed away Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at Marshfield Medical Center in Ladysmith with her adopted sister and friend, Dolores Dygart at her side.
Loretta was born Aug. 6, 1926 in Forest Park, Ill., the daughter of Eugene and Sarah (Scallaro) Reda. Her mother had passed away and her father lost his job in Chicago, so he then brought his children to Wisconsin in 1936.
Loretta attended the Barber Lake, Ojibwa and Winter schools, graduating from Winter High School in 1945. She helped her father in the business, Reda’s Tavern, east of Winter from 1940 to 1952. After the business was sold in 1952, she worked in Eau Claire at Uniroyal Tire Co. and for many summers at Camp Chickagami Girls Camp (now camp Wenakee) of Winter. She also packaged cranberries for Ocean Spray in Phillips.
In 1955, Loretta decided to go back to school and attended the two year Teacher’s College in Medford. Her summers were spent at UW-Superior toward her bachelor of science degree, which she obtained in 1966, and also earned credits toward her master’s degree.
Her teaching career began in September of 1957 at the Couderay Elementary School teaching first and second grades. Upon its closure, Loretta then taught first grade at the Radisson Elementary School which had consolidated with Winter. Loretta taught a total of 31 years, retiring in 1988. She enjoyed her students and still hears from many.
In her earlier life, Loretta enjoyed traveling, especially out west and southwest, motorcycling, snowmobiling, musky fishing and hunting. In later years, she enjoyed gardening, flowers and the upkeep of her place. After retirement, she enjoyed substituting in the Winter public school and driving senior citizens to appointments for the Sawyer County Aging Unit and her senior friends to doctor appointments and grocery shopping. She loved making beautiful crosses from the palms of Palm Sunday. She loved making Italian spaghetti from her grandfather’s and father’s recipe.
Loretta was an active member of St. Peter Catholic Church, a former member of Women’s Society in Winter and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.
She is survived by her nieces and nephews, Ursala (Frank) Rasmussen and family, Eugene (Terrie) Grapa and family, John Grapa and family, Ben (Connie) Grapa and family, Tony (Dorie) Grapa and family, David Reda and family, Amy Reda and her “adopted sister” and dear friend, Dolores Dygart.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, Ursala Grapa; her brother, Frank Grapa and her niece Judy (Grapa) Wright.
Due to the virus situation, a memorial service will be held at a warmer later date at St. Peter Catholic Church in Winter and the committal in Winter Cemetery.
For additional information, call the Hayward Funeral Home at 715-634-2609 or leave condolences for the family online at www.bratley-nelsonchapels.com.