Jean May Desjarlais

Jean May Desjarlais

Jean May Desjarlais, 85, of Beaver Dam passed away on Tuesday, May 15th at Randolph Health Services.

There will be a memorial gathering at Annunciation Catholic Church in Fox Lake on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at church at 11:30 a.m. with Fr. John Radetski as celebrant.  Inurnment will follow at Highland Memory Gardens.

Jean was born in the town of Calamus, Wisconsin on April 25, 1933 to Herbert and Annetta (nee Zepp) Bortz.  She went to school in a one room school house where they taught grades 1st – 6th and two of her teachers were Myrtle Wagner and Stella Hermanson.  She graduated at Beaver Dam High School with high honors.  Jean worked at Stokely’s Canning Factory at age 16, Osters (Milwaukee), became a Nursing Assistant at Beaver Dam Hospital for 2 years, made shells at Monarch Range Kraft Foods, showed her love for animals by working at Beaver Dam Humane Society for 2 years, cleaned for Lisa Glamann’s Marshland Maids Service, and drove school bus for 25 years. She retired on October 16, 1996.

She met Ralph Desjarlais her beloved husband at a dance. They were married soon after on February 19, 1955. Ralph and Jean started out by renting two small apartments in Beaver Dam on Franklin and Lincoln streets, but soon after rented a house in the country. They settled in after buying a house in Burnett, Wisconsin where they raised their 6 children and resided for 34 years. The last 20 years they resided in their home on Beaver Dam Lake.

Jean still found time to serve on the Burnett Ladies Auxiliary as President for 8 Years, Vice President for 4 years, and Treasurer for 8 years. She was the custodian for Burnett Hall and Manager of the Food Stand for the Burnett Picnic for 4 years.

Ralph and Jean loved to dance and Jean’s love for music was demonstrated by her playing the piano. They are members of the Annunciation Parish in Fox Lake and were former members at St. Malachy in Horicon and St. Patrick in Beaver Dam

Survivors include husband, Ralph Desjarlais, Beaver Dam; three sons, Don (Gail) Desjarlais, Garibaldi, Oregon, Dan (Wanda) Desjarlais, Hartford, Tim (Carol Hays) Desjarlais, Neosho; three daughters, Susan (Randy) Neumann, Grover, Missouri, Lisa Glamann, Horicon, Annette (Jim) Heffelfinger, Tucson, Arizona; two sisters, Joan Goodrich, Beaver Dam and Barbara (Donald) Gensch, Beaver Dam; two brothers, Gerald (Betty) Bortz, Beaver Dam, Wayne (Barbara) Bortz, DePere; a sister-in-law, Carolyn Bortz of DeForest;  fourteen grandchildren, and fifteen great grandchildren; other relatives and friends.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert and Annetta Bortz; brother, Richard Bortz; sister, Monita Hupf; and brothers-in-law, Jerome Hupf, Donald Goodrich, and Phil McDonald; and son-in-law, Doug Glamann.

The Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is caring for the family. To leave online condolences, or for directions and other information, please visit our website at