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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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June 7, 2023

5/12/2023 5:29:00 AM
Christine "Chrissy" Eva Kasson

Christine Eva (O'Melia) Kasson died peacefully at home in Rhinelander on May 7, 2023, with her family at her side. Christine (Chrissy) was born right in the middle of 10 brothers and sisters to Donald Clark and Margaret (McDonald) O'Melia at St. Mary's hospital in Rhinelander on Oct. 7, 1950. 

She attended St. Mary's Catholic grade school and was a proud Hodag, graduating from Rhinelander High School with the class of 1969.

Chrissy attended the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1973. She met James Franklin Kasson, the love of her life and husband of almost 51 years, while out one night with friends back in the summer of 1971. Jim, having just gotten back home to Northern Wisconsin from a stint exploring California, saw Chrissy and it was love at first sight. He told his mother he met the woman he was going to marry that very night. And he did so about a year later, on June 3, 1972. 

Jim and Chrissy took an opportunity to move to Arlington, Texas in 1985, where they raised their three daughters and pursued their careers, Jim as a land surveyor and later land developer and Chrissy as a beloved 1st grade teacher - the kind you never forget and dearly love. She retired from teaching school after 25 years. After retirement they bought a summer home in Rhinelander to spend more time in the North Woods, eventually moving back full-time. They spent their winters traveling, visiting friends and family. Jim and Chrissy loved traveling: day trips, road trips, long drives, international trips, she loved it all. Chris was very involved in Catholic Charities and the Ulster Project - a youth faith-based effort promoting peace between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. She served in several capacities including as a counselor, host, and board member for that organization. A lifelong baseball fan, her very first memory was sitting with her grandmother on the porch listening to a Milwaukee then Braves game on the radio. Naturally, the second she moved to Arlington she became a diehard Texas Rangers fan. If she wasn't at a game, she would watch the game on TV and if she couldn't do that the radio was dialed in. Not one to forsake her home team, after leaving Arlington to move back to Rhinelander in 2016, she rooted for the Brewers. 

She loved nothing more than being with friends and family. She especially enjoyed hosting parties and cooking for holidays, church friends, teacher friends, card playing friends, Jim's workplace friends, impromptu backyard BBQs around the pool with neighbors, classic cocktails on the porch, you get the picture.

Chris Kasson never sweated the small stuff and she made everything wonderful.  

Our strong Chrissy passed peacefully at home surrounded by family and covered in prayers. She can now join Our Lord, Mother Mary, all the Saints and Angels, whom she loved so much. She is preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Margaret O'Melia, her parents-in-law, Benjamin Kasson and Elizabeth Ryland Kasson, her sister, Susan Jean Jankowski, brother, the Honorable Michael John O'Melia, and nephews Matthew Peterson and Theodore Jankowski.

She is survived by her loving husband, Jim, daughters, Eva Marie Hong (David) of Whitefish Bay, Colleen Elizabeth O'Melia Kasson of Rhinelander, Melanie Claire Peterson (Ryan) of Austin, Texas; granddaughters, Sonja Renee Peterson and Katherine Anne Peterson, grandsons, Jacob Marlon Peterson, Augustus Sydney Porter V, Andrew James Porter, Liam Grey Porter, and Archer Yuden Hong.

She is further survived by sisters, Nora Bluhm (Don) Milwaukee, Mary Peterson (David) Rhinelander, Patricia Widule (Louis) Sugar Camp, Margaret Gillis (David) Escanaba Mich.; brothers, Donald (Julie) Minocqua, Brian (Marian) Summersville, South Carolina, David, Rhinelander, and Dennis (Gina) Rhinelander, and sisters and brothers-in-law, many nieces and nephews, countless cousins, and friends.

The family would like to thank the entire staff at Aspirus Rhinelander Hospital for their kind and sincere care of Chrissy and Aspirus Home Hospice for their compassion.

The visitation for Christine will be held on Monday, May 15, 2023, at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church located at 125 E. King Street, Rhinelander, from 10 a.m. until the noon Memorial Mass. Fr. Chris Kemp will officiate.

Memorial contributions in memory of Christine may be given to Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, 715-365-4343.

Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at

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