«Back to all

Dolores V. Pallen “Virg”

(Nee Drankiewicz)  Born in Milwaukee on August 19, 1928.  She left High School when she was 16 and worked for Gimbels Department Store, with a future in buying and selling high end ladies fashion.  As fate would have it, she met Chester Pallen at a dance hall and their futures became entwined.  Virg loved raising her children with discipline and fun, including family “water (even the occasional food) fights”.  FAMILY WAS HER LIFE.  When their children were grown and while the youngest, Conrad, was finishing High School, Virg and Chet built their first home in Clintonville, WI.  They moved there permanently in 1972.  Chet, the “love of her life” died on September 21, 1978 and Virg had to find a way to move on without him.  Throughout her time up north, Virg worked in the Clintonville Schools as a cook.  She retired in 1989 from the position of Head Cook at the High School.

Due to her 2nd bout with cancer, she moved back to Milwaukee.  She lived at Greenbrook Terrace Apartments in Greenfield for the next 18 years, during which time she was the “social director” for senior activities in the complex; although unpaid, it was extremely fulfilling to her. 

Next she lived at Howard Village Assisted Living in St. Francis for about a year; a place of sheer joy for her. 

Finally, due to health issues, she moved to Mt. Carmel (Kindred) Nursing Home, in Greenfield, in June 2007, where she lived until her death.  She passed away from congestive heart failure on Friday, November 1, 2013 – All Saint’s Day.  In her last days she was under the wonderful care of a group of skilled Vitas Hospice caregivers.

 Dolores was admired for her courage, determination and faith.  She was loved for her humor, her broadmindedness and warmth.  She had an innate ability to relate to people of any age but especially the young; a trait that is unusual in the elderly.  She engaged each individual with an openness to new ideas or values and without judgment or prejudice.  She lived a life devoted to her family and aimed to be of service to the people of whatever community she found herself in throughout the years. 

Dolores Pallen was a warrior.  She fought, with grace, through 3 cancers, open heart surgery, 2 knee replacement surgeries, a 10 year knee replacement infection, a Non-Parkinson’s tremor and all the other frailties that come with the life of an elder person. 

 OUR FAMILY IS GRATEFUL …To those caregivers at Mt. Carmel who came to know, admire and love our mom and those who treated her with such kindness and understanding.  We are especially grateful to Nancy McClellan, Evercare Nurse Practitioner at Mt. Carmel, who has been a “rock”, always steering us with wisdom and calm.  She became a friend to both Dolores and her daughter.  Bless You.

 OUR FAMILY IS GRATEFUL …To Dr. Divgi (the cancer miracle-worker) and Dr. Buggy (the steady keeper of her 10 year infection-a long term miracle) and to the many other doctors whose treatment and care and yes, love, helped her to keep on living and giving.  At one point we called her our ”cat with nine lives” and in time  she moved on to the moniker of “the energizer bunny” – she just kept running, doing the “work” God still had for her to do here on earth.


Dolores is the beloved mother of Gilbert (Kathy), Gerald (Joan), the late Wayne (Jody), Conrad (Debbie) and Linda (Rick) Schudiske. 

Loving grandmother of Laura (Ed) Zierl, William Pallen (Katherine), Gregory and Julie (Joe) Elder; Paul (Amy) Pallen, the late Jill Pallen, Matthew (Lisa) Pallen and Mandy (Luciano) Golpe; Darren (Jenny) Pallen; Justin (Katie) Pallen and Shari Pallen (Mike); Amy (Todd) Fowler and Joel Schudiske.

Dear great-grandmother of Cody and Colton Zierl, Aaron and Bryan Pallen, and Joanna, Rachel and Caleb Elder; Tyler and Kyle Pallen, and Sofia Pallen; Ethan, Austin, Nathan and Jackson Pallen; Megan Pallen and Abigail Vandenboom; and Annaliese and Owen Fowler.

Special big sister of Gerald Drankiewicz.

Further survived by other relatives and friends, especially those who were so faithful to the end.

Dolores leaves this world to join her Dearly Loved and Missed Husband Chester, ”Charmer” son Wayne, Sweet granddaughter, Jill, her parents Frank Drankiewicz and Eleanor (nee Shrank), sister Rita, brother-in-law David and nephew Mark Brzozowski.  

Visitation will be held Saturday, November 9 at 9:30 AM, with Memorial Tributes to Dolores being spoken from 10:00-10:30 AM  at ST. ALPHONSUS CATHOLIC CHURCH, W. Loomis Rd. & W. Grange Ave. in Greendale, followed by the Memorial Mass of Christian Burial at 11 AM.




Leave a note

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verify you are not a computer: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.