Rowena M. Gorz

Rowena Margareta Gorz was born to eternal life on Tuesday, November 24 after complications from Covid 19.   Rowena, the beloved daughter of Edward and Margareta Matschke, was born in Mankato, Minnesota on December 27, 1931.  She became a child of God through Baptism at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Mankato. She attended Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN  to become an elementary Christian Day School teacher.   She was sent to  St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Algoma, Wisconsin, as an emergency teacher in 1950.   It was in Algoma that she met the love of her life, Dr. Arthur J. Gorz.  They were married on July 19, 1952 and celebrated 46 years together.   They were blessed with four children:  Carole ( Mark) Rajkovich, John ( Susan) Gorz, Susan ( Todd) Bussian, and Kathryn ( Todd) Mielke.  

Rowena loved being a mother and spent many years as an at-home mom.  When her children were older, she decided to complete her teaching degree.  She attended Door County Teacher’s College,  UWGB and UW-Oshkosh and received her Bachelor’s degree in Education.  Ironically, she never went back and taught, but attended classes to become a paraoptometric assistant.  She spent many years working as a paraoptometric assistant and office manager  in her husband’s optometric practice.

Music was an important part of her life.  She sang in the church choir at St. Pauls, directed the Junior Choir, conducted the 4-H choir, taught music at St. Paul’s school, and played church organ for 50 years.  

Rowena lived a life of service, not only in her church, but in the community.  She served on the Algoma School Board and the Algoma Housing Authority for many years.  She belonged to the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Society at St. Paul’s and enjoyed her weekly quilting group very much.  She belonged to the Ladies Aid at St. Paul’s.

She was an incredible woman.  She taught her family so much in her 88 years.  First and foremost, she taught us to trust God in all things.  Her faith was unshakeable.  She was a role model for all of us to put God in the center of our lives.  She also taught us how to fight.  She beat pancreatic cancer and lung cancer and lived a full life even when she couldn’t see well because of macular degeneration.  Even when she lost Art, the love of her life, she fought back and lived life to the fullest.  She was a wonderful Grandma and loved her Grandchildren and was so proud of all of them.  We will miss being able to ask her advice and share stories about the kids with her.  We were all so blessed to have had her as part of our lives.  She was kind, smart, funny, and our best friend.  We will miss everything about her but rejoice that she took the fast track to Heaven and is with Jesus and Art and so many others who have gone before her.  Enjoy your first Thanksgiving in Heaven, Mom.

Rowena was preceded in death by her parents, mother and father-in-law, and husband.  She is survived by her children and grandchildren:  Nathan and Erin Rajkovich, Michael, Margaret, and Andrew Gorz, Tyler and Nicholas Bussian, and Madison and Caden Mielke.  

Visitation will take place on Saturday, November 28 from 9:00 until 10:30 am at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Algoma, WI.  Face masks and social distancing will be required.  A private family service will be held at 11:00 am.    This service will be live streamed.  Memorials for St. Paul’s Lutheran School would be appreciated.

The SCHINDERLE FUNERAL HOME, Algoma, was entrusted to assist the family with arrangements.

Express yur sympathy, memories and pictures on Rowena's tribute page at


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