Granton FFA Alumni Select
2015 Honored Grandparent


Ceasar Young, Sharon Kohler, Angela Kowal


   Based on an essay submitted by grandchildren Angela Kowal and Ceasar Young, the Granton FFA Alumni selected Sharon Kohler
 to be honored at the annual Granton Fall Festival Sept. 11 to 13 as the 2015 Honored Grandparent.
(Contributed photo)


The grandchildren said in their essay Grandma “has played the part of both grandparents for the past 11 years, which we think she has done a pretty amazing job at it.”  Sharon’s husband Albert passed away Christmas Day in 2004 after 46 and one-half years of marriage.  However, this loss in her life did not set her back.  She continued to move ahead and be a positive role model for everyone.  The grandchildren said, “Every time you see her she has a smile on her face” and she is “always young at heart.”

Sharon has four children living today.  They are Roger Kohler, Barb Opelt, Julie Drost and Sheryl Young.  She has 14 grandchildren:  they are Eric Jessica, Travis, Melyssa, Jennifer, Ashley, Angela, Gina, Troy, Jenny, Amber, Ceasar, Kennedy and Liberty.  In addition, she has nine great-grandchildren: Peyton, Brent, Serene, Dominic, Avery, Joey, Maddy Renesmee and Skylar.

In 1965, Sharon had to endure the tragic loss of their second son, Albert Junior, at the early age of three, as he passed away from lung cancer.  She faces another challenge today with cancer, as she herself is going through treatment. But, according to the grandchildren, “She is fighting a tough battle right now, but she is holding on strong and not giving up.  We have her back because she always has ours.”   

The grandchildren said, “She has always stood up for us and is always standing for what is right.  She is always putting others before herself, even if she is in pain and it hurts her in the process.”  Sharon is known to make a joke out of tough situations and that makes things easier.  Her positive energy is very catch.  In their essay the grandchildren said, “She is endlessly bringing life to the party.” 

Grandma Sharon has always demonstrated that family comes first for her and her children have continued that awesome tradition.  In 2001, upon his retirement, Sharon and her husband Albert moved to Granton to be close to his family, particularly his siblings.  Shortly thereafter, her children moved closer to the area.  Even her son-in-law Omar moved to Granton, after saying for years he would never live in Wisconsin.  The energy and high spirit that Sharon radiates is evident and why the family wants to be near her.

Though she was born and raised in Illinois, she feels very at home in Granton.  Sharon was a stay-at-home Mom until her youngest daughter Sheryl started school.  She then spent over 10 years working with an answering service for doctors.  Patients would call in to speak with doctors and Sharon had to reach them and relay messages.  She also worked as a cashier at a drugstore.  Upon coming to Granton, she worked at Pamida for 10 years in the fashion department and as a cashier.

She has been an active volunteer for the Relay for Life and several other fundraisers for cancer research.  She is a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Granton and has helped out with the Vacation Bible School program in the past.  She has also helped on several occasions with the PTO food stand at the annual Granton Fall Festival, whether setting up, cleaning up or running for supplies.

The grandchildren said her example is one they only hope they can follow and lead for others in the future.  She always made an effort to be involved in their lives on a regular basis and came to their various school functions whenever possible. She attended “performances, academic awards and basketball games, pretty much anything her grandkids were involved in.”

When asked about a few favorite memories, the grandchildren said they love her guitar playing - “She just picks it up and wants to start playing.”  They also said, “She makes a pretty mean coffee cake and several other desserts.  You never go hungry at Grandma’s.  She always had some kind of goodies for us, and sometimes it had to be our secret.  We never told.”

Angela said, “She is always there for me and offers to take me to lunch when my mom is at work. Ceasar said he always remembers that as a young boy, “Grandma always made me special chocolate malts whenever I came to her house, and they were the best I ever had.”  Those little special moments that make lifetime memories are very apparent with this Honored Grandma.

The strength and energy that Sharon shows in her life is a legacy that is evident in her children and grandchildren today.  The essay ends with, “There is no other grandma like ours.”  That is evident in the joy and fun being around Sharon.

In recognition of her honor, Sharon will be one of the first to ride through the Granton Fall Festival Parade Sunday, Sept. 13, which happens to be National Grandparents Day.  She will also be honored at the queen coronation ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, at the Granton Fire Station.


From the Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

September 2, 2015

Transcribed by Dolores Mohr Kenyon, September 3, 2015

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, September 3, 2015

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