Obit: Broeren, Matilda "Tillie" Albina (1908 - 2009)

Contact:: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surnames: Broeren, Meger, Cesafsky, Klisiewicz, Pagel, VanErt, Wilder 

----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI.) October 28, 2009 

Broeren, Matilda "Tillie" Albina (1 March 1908 - 24 October 2009)  

Matilda "Tillie" Albina (Cesafsky) Broeren, age 101, of Walnut, IL, passed away on October 24, 2009 at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL.  She had been visiting with a daughter and family in Chicago for four weeks. 

Tillie was born March 1, 1908 in LeSueur Center, MN to John and Martha (Meger) Cesafsky.  At age nine, her family moved to a farm outside Thorp, WI, where she attended Goff School through eighth grade.  She then quit school to become her father’s "right-hand man" on the farm.  In her late teens, she worked in Milwaukee, WI for Master Lock Co. and then for Curtiss Candy Co. in Chicago, IL. 

In 1932, Tillie married Elmer Broeren at St. Hedwig’s Catholic Church in Thorp, WI. They lived back on the Cesafsky home farm with Tillie’s parents, assisting them with farm work.  Two children, Theodora (1933) and Donald (1935) were born there. 

A cheese-making job lured them to Manlius, IL where a daughter, Marjorie (1936) was born, followed by sons Russell (1939) and Patrick (1940).  In 1941 Elmer took another cheese-making job and moved  their family to Walnut, IL, where daughter Marilyn Kay (1942) was born.  Elmer was drafted into the Army in 1944 and Tillie was left home alone to care for their six children who ranged in age from eleven to two years old.  The town of Walnut successfully petitioned the Army to release Tillie’s husband from military service early (1945) because of family obligations at home.  Daughter, Mary Ellen (1946) and son, James (1948) were born after Elmer’s return from WWII.  All of Tillie’s children were born at home, assisted by a ‘midwife’ whenever the doctor was unavailable for a house call. 

Thinking it would be a better place to raise a big family, they moved to a 40-acre farm in Boyd, WI in 1948.  Tillie and the kids helped with the farm work while Elmer worked at a nearby factory. 

In 1958, at age 50, Tillie and the family moved back to Walnut, IL.  Elmer worked as a carpenter and Tillie did housework for others.  In the mid-1960s Tillie was employed next door at Avanti Foods where she worked on an assembly line, pinching pieces of sausage on top of pizzas.  She retired in 1974 at age 66. 

She enjoyed playing cards and Scrabble with her husband, family, and neighbors.  She attended Mass regularly at St. John’s Catholic Church, and for several years sang in the church choir.  She especially enjoyed her family’s annual reunion/fishing trips which started in 1970 and continued through 2001.  She traveled to WI, MN, SD, CO, WY and TX for these cherished gatherings. 

She cared for her husband, Elmer, through his broken hip, heart attack, and lung cancer before he died in 1978.  Despite diminished vision (a result of macular degeneration), diminished hearing and a worn out knee, she continued to live alone in her own home with some assistance from family and friends. 

Tillie will be sadly missed by one sister, Elaine (Steve) Klisiewicz of Boyd, WI; her eight children and their spouses, 25 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren, & 4 great-great-grandchildren.   

Preceding Tillie in death were her parents, John and Martha Cesafsky; three brothers: Frank, Joe, and Tony; and two sisters: Frances Pagel and Elizabeth VanErt. 

Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Walnut, Illinois with Father Dan Wilder, pastor, officiating.  Burial will be in Walnut Cemetery.  Visitation will be held at Garland Funeral Home in Walnut, Illinois on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., with rosary at 6;30 p.m.  A memorial has been established in her memory to St. John’s Altar Rosary Society.   

Condolences maybe sent to  

Arrangements have been made by Garland Funeral Home in Walnut, Illinois.



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel