Margaret G. Desris
Margaret G. Desris, 98, passed away at her home in Rib Lake, on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19, due to complications from congestive heart failure. Due to present health concerns, a private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Anthony’s, Kenosha. Private internment with military honors will be held at St. George Cemetery, Kenosha. She was born July 10, 1921 in Ottawa, Ill., daughter of the late Andrew P. and Anna (Sarinec) Gombar. The family subsequently moved to Somers, WI on August 27, 1923 and Margaret grew up on the family farm, planting, hoeing, weeding, picking fruit, picking potato bugs, harvesting, driving horses and many other chores. She attended Kenosha schools.
By the early 1940s, Margaret was living in Chicago. On January 12, 1943, she was sworn into the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC). That July, the organization converted to active duty status in the United States Army as the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) and its members became the first women—other than nurses—to serve within the Army. Staff Sergeant Gombar served in recruiting and was stationed in Buffalo, NY, working in NY, NJ and Delaware. By August 1945 she was working in a separation center at Fort Dix, NJ and was honorably discharged on December 17, 1945.
After World War II, she briefly worked as a professional model, and was employed in the Veteran’s Office from 1953 until 1957.
On July 21, 1956 at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, she married Kenosha firefighter John Desris. He preceded her in death on July 4, 2007.
Working as a homemaker during the 1960s, she also served several years as a Cub Scout Den Mother. She enjoyed gardening, growing flowers, and trips with the family during the summer, as well as larger family gatherings back on the farm, and Christmas get-togethers with homemade, traditional Slovak food.
She returned to work outside the home around 1970, with secretarial responsibilities at Kenosha Memorial Hospital, followed by jobs at the Kenosha County Courthouse with Emergency Government and the Sheriff’s Department. She then was hired by the Office of Family Court Commissioner and Child Support Agency, from where she retired in August 1982, then moving to Rib Lake.
Her Catholic faith was an integral part of her life and she belonged to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Stetsonville, and later to Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Rib Lake, as well as Historic St. Ann’s in Greenwood.
She was a member of the Twentieth Century Club in Rib Lake, the Wisconsin Slovak Historical Society and the Slovak Catholic Sokol. She enjoyed crosscountry skiing and flower gardens, although outdoor activities became challenging in later years.
Beginning in the late-1990s, she served tirelessly as a caregiver for her ailing husband.
In 2016, a request went out to friends and relatives to surprise Margaret with 95 birthday cards on her 95th birthday. She received 164 cards.
Margaret is survived by her son Joe, Kenosha, WI, sister Helen Benuska (Kenosha), brother Jake Gombar (Kenosha), sister Josephine Gombar (Pleasant Prairie) and sister-in-law Marlene Desris (Thousand Palms, CA), as well as many beloved nieces, nephews and other family members.
In addition to her parents and husband, Margaret was preceded in death by siblings Anna Kalnicky, Mary Gombar, John Gombar and Rose Norris, along with brothers-in-law Sam Kalnicky, John Benuska, Stan Norris, Donald Desrys and Tony Desris, plus sisters-in-law Louise Gombar, Virginia Gombar and Irene Desrys.
In lieu of flowers, masses would be appreciated by the family.
Paid Obituary 88288