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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Margaret R. Heisel

Issue Date: January 13, 2021

Margaret Rose (Peggy) (Neveu) Heisel, 88, of Oconto passed away Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021 at home.

Born Oct. 14, 1932 in Coleman, she was the ninth child of Laverna (Hower) Neveu and Frederick Neveu and grew up in a blended family of 17 full, half and step-siblings. She attended public school in Coleman through ninth grade until 1947 when she went to the convent of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Bay Settlement and became Sister Mary Francine until leaving the convent in 1973. 

She then married James Kostichka in 1974 and adopted his children, James Jr., Jeffrey and Patricia. After 26 years of a happy marriage, Deacon Jim died of cancer in 2000.  At the 50th high school class reunion that summer, she re-met Byron Heisel whom she dated in high school. They married in 2001 and were planning their 20th wedding anniversary for August 2021.

  She earned Master's Degrees in education and theology and for over 40 years taught both parochial and public schools. As a musician, she played piano and organ and taught choir.

She loved all types of music,  enjoyed outdoor activities, skiing, camping, RVing, traveling, summers at White Potato Lake and winters in Texas and wanted to visit Rome, Italy and the Vatican. A fun-loving, smart, adventurous person with a quick wit and a kind heart, she was a trusted friend to many and will be missed by all who knew her.

She is survived by her husband, Byron Heisel of Oconto; two step-children, David (Mona) Heisel and Teresa Schneider; a half- brother, Roger (Marge) Thibodeau; two adopted children, Jeffrey (Julie) Kostichka and Patricia (Kostichka) Chaltry; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, Deacon James Kostichka; a son, James Kostichka, Jr.; her  step-father, Arthur Thibodeau; three brothers, Paul (Jeanette), Phil (Betty) and Harry (Lois); five sisters, Ruth Weed, Marion Stravinsky, Florence Sager, Loretta Rebholz, and Arleen Huebler; a half-sister, Janice Podoski and step-brothers and sisters, Roy, Ethel, George and Earl Neveu, and Mark, Eugenie and Greg Thibodeau.

A Covid safe Funeral Mass will be held with visitation at St. Ann Catholic Church, 211 Main St., Lena on Friday, Jan. 15 from 9 a.m. until time of the Mass at 11 a.m. No social gatherings are planned. Burial will be in St. Charles Cemetery in Lena. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimers Association or American Cancer Society are appreciated.


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