WAUNAKEE-Marlaine Therese Cruz, RN, our beloved mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully at her home on February 5, 2019. Marlaine was an amazing mother, awesome and proud grandmother, caring nurse, and tireless Chicago Bear's fan who always had her door open for family and friends. She was a caregiver who took care of anyone in need regardless of who they were or where they came from.
Marlaine was born May 8, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois, to Joseph and Evelyn Straub. She received her nursing degree from South Chicago Hospital and her Master's in Education from Carthage College. Her career in nursing brought her great joy and fulfillment and included surgical and ER nursing, hospital management, nursing education, and auditing for the State of Wisconsin.
While working at South Chicago Hospital, she met a physician, Nazario Cruz, to whom she was married for 54 wonderful years. They moved from Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where they raised four children and enjoyed many happy years in their house by Lake Michigan. She formed many close friendships while volunteering at her children's schools, church, and medical auxiliary. She also traveled extensively with her family, enjoying many special trips to the Philippines and Disney World.
Marlaine and Nazario followed their children to Madison and settled in Waunakee for the last 33 years. Marlaine loved spending time with her grandchildren, going to their sporting and music events, and taking them on adventures. One of her favorite mottos was: "Grandma's: a place where cousins become friends."
Marlaine was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Nazario, with her sister, Dorothy Rupp, surviving her.
Surviving her are her four children and their families: daughter Mercedes Ranum, her husband Bill, and their children Tylor, Carly, Elly, and Jordan; daughter Marcelline Peterson, her husband Dave, and their children Aria, Ella, and Willa; son Joseph, his wife Laura, and their children Joey and his wife Bri, Julianna, and Cooper; and son Ricardo.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Al Musa, MD, and SSM Health at Home for their wonderful care and our extended family and friends for their kindness and generosity.
Funeral services will be held at ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CATHOLIC CHURCH, 209 South Street, Waunakee, at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, February 8, 2019, with Monsignor James Gunn officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Friends may call at the church from 9:30 A.M. until the time of service on Friday.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the family for distribution to local charities Marlaine held dear to her heart.
Winn-Cress Funeral and Cremation Service
5785 Highway Q
Waunakee, WI 53597
"It was my honor and pleasure to work with Marlaine for many years. Her dedication to our mission of protecting Wisconsin citizens was one of the main reasons for the creation and then success of the Department of Health services' Office of the Inspector General. She will be missed by all of those who knew her. May she now have the peace and comfort she so richly deserves.
"Both Jim and I were so sad to hear of Marlaine's passing. I worked with Marlaine back in the 80's at Kenosha Memorial Hospital, now called Froedtert. I have never forgotten the fun times we had at the hospital. Marlaine's positive, fun loving attitude was truly so instrumental during many hard days. We recently received her Christmas card with all of her grandchildren and literally said it was the best card we received. Our condolences to the family. Rita and Jim Richmond, Kenosha WI"
"I was so sad to read of your Mom's passing. Even though it's been many many years since I have seen any of you, I do keep in contact with Rick (through FB). Your Mom was the nicest, most welcoming person. She always made me feel like family when I would be with Rick for one reason or another. I know first hand how important her family was to her, as there wasn't anything she wouldn't have done for you or anyone who needed it. I remember how she loved Disney and how often she would visit there with her kids and grandkids. In fact, I was vacationing at Disney with my family and while waiting to eat at Chef Mickey's who was also there waiting? Yup! Your Mom, Dad, Joe and others. How special to have all those memories! So glad you have each other at this difficult time. I will be thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers.
Gina (Lehr) Masanz"
"Mrs Cruz was a wonderful person who left her legacy in her awesome kids. Always felt part of the family whenever was around the Cruz family.
Sorry for your loss.
Michael and Lisa Richards"
"Nothing will ever replace this amazing woman. Her love for her family, and all of her grandchildren, was truly admired. Rest in peace, Mar. And love to all of her family. "
"My condolences to all of you at this difficult time. My family sends prayers of comfort to you all. "