Dianne O’Leske

Florence, Wis. – Dianne Kathleen “Profe” O’Leske, 60, of Florence, passed away Tuesday, March 5, 2013, from cancer.

She was born to Norbert John O’Leske and J. Kathleen (Flynn) O’Leske in Waukesha, Wis. on July 21, 1952. Dianne attended a two-room grade school (Plainview), Merton Middle School and graduated from Arrowhead High School. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with an interdisciplinary degree in Spanish and cultural anthropology.

Dianne worked her way through college as a lifeguard at Pewaukee Beach. After graduation she became an archeologist for Great Lakes Archeological Research Center in Milwaukee, she worked as an electrical/natural gas meter reader for Wisconsin Electric (We Energies) in Waukesha County and was a high school Spanish teacher in Florence.

Her interests were varied. She was a life-long avid reader and academic. Dianne especially enjoyed studies about the environment, Pan-American prehistory and history; and the European Middle Ages.

When younger, she was a whitewater canoeist, sky-diver, and had a private pilot’s license (single engine land). Later she received a master gardener’s certificate, teaching certificate, and also enjoyed landscape painting and quilting. She volunteered thousands of hours, including archeological work for the USDA Forest Service and the State Historical Society. She also volunteered hours to Florence County, to the schools (Aurora and Florence), county lakeshore restoration projects and set up the Florence Conservation Department.

Dianne was kind, thoughtful and had a good sense of humor. She made everyone smile and she will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her own children, Zach (Laura) Polaske of Poplar, Wis., Anne Polaske of Negaunee, and Tom Polaske of Florence; her parents, Norb and Katie O’Leske of Lake Keesus; one aunt, Mickey (Delafield) Landwehr; one sister, Beth Rounds (William) of Appleton; two brothers, John (Cindy Capra) O’Leske of Hartland, and Dave O’Leske, Fox Lake. She is also survived by nephews, Jake O’Leske, Sam O’Leske, Adam O’Leske, and Mason Polaske; one niece, Isabella Polaske; and one grandchild, Vivian Polaske. She also leaves behind beloved friends, teachers, co-workers and students.

Dianne was preceded in death by her children’s father and her husband of 25 years, Matthew John Polaske, who passed away Sept. 18, 2010.

A special thank you to all her excellent caregivers, especially the doctors and their staffs; Dr. Gustavo Morel of Iron Mountain, Dr. Edith A. Krueger of Appleton, Dr. Thomas Wascher of Appleton, and Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee.

Visitation will be Friday from 11 a.m. to noon at St. Mary Catholic Church in Florence.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon Friday at the church. Rev. Fr. Matt Settle will officiate.

Graveside services will be held at 11:30 a.m., Saturday at St. Clare Catholic Cemetery in North Lake, Wis. Deacon Allen Olson will officiate.

This is what the Lord says: “stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls” Jeremiah 6:16.

You may light a candle in remembrance of Dianne or leave a condolence to her family online at JacobsFuneralHomes.com.

The family has chosen the Jacobs-Lundholm Funeral Home of Florence, to honor Dianne’s legacy of life.