Laura Rouse, age 74, of Rhinelander, passed away Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff. She was born on Dec. 23, 1948, in Racine, to James and Edith (Thomas) Willis. She grew up in Racine alongside her brother and four sisters.
Throughout her life Laura had many career paths, but she started out with nursing. After graduating high school, Laura went to nursing school in Milwaukee where she trained to be a nurse's aide. She worked mainly in nursing homes around the Racine area. It was during one of these places where she would meet a couple who would come to be her future in-laws.
In 1968, in a twist of fate, Laura went out on a blind date with Robert (Bob) Rouse. He was to have gone out with one of her friends, but they met instead and started dating. They soon found out that Laura had helped take care of Bob's dad in a nursing home following an accident and also knew his parents. They married on Aug. 14, 1968, and were married for almost 45 years when Bob passed away on April 3, 2014. Laura and Bob had two children, Robert James and PennieLynn.
Laura and Bob lived in Racine until 1984 when they moved to Pelican Lake for a short time, then to Rhinelander for a few years before returning to Pelican Lake to run the family resort, Johnson's Lodge, until 1995. Their final move was back to Rhinelander until they both passed.
Laura worked for several years at Holiday Inn as a housekeeper and for a couple years at Drs. Foster and Smith in the warehouse, until her health started to decline, and she decided to retire.
Along the way, Laura started getting grandchildren and they were the light of her life. She loved having them over at any time and encouraged playdates and sleepovers. These kids kept her young at heart.
Laura was a feisty person who got along with anyone she met and wasn't afraid to speak her mind. She was Honey to 1, Mom to 2 (+1), Grandma to 4, Gram to 2, Sister to 5, Aunt Laura to many and the light of a party for so many others. She was a wonderful person and built lasting relationships with many, many people. She will be greatly missed.
Laura is survived by her son Robert James of Rhinelander, her daughter and son-in-law PennieLynn and Bart Loebs of Newcastle, Wyo., her grandchildren Laurie Rouse (Jake Peltier), David Rouse, Chase Loebs and Jordyn Loebs, two great-grandsons Thomas and Ryder Peltier, a brother Jim (Sue) Willis of Pewaukee, sisters Pam (Mike) Sholz of Franksville and Edith Slater of Merrill, brother-in-law's Frank J. Sus of Merrill and Wayne Dettlaff of Oshkosh, as well as many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Bob, both of her parents, and her sisters Dawn Sus and Tracey Dettlaff.
A memorial for Laura will be held later this year.
You may leave your private condolences for the Rouse family at www.carlsonfh.com. The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Rouse family.
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