Ina L. Fenske (nee Wasberg), of Waukesha and formerly of Whitefish Bay, passed away at Autumn Bay on December 30, 2020, at the age of 80 after courageously living for several years with primary progressive aphasia. Ina was born in Milwaukee on January 4, 1940, the daughter of Einar and Bertha Wasberg. She attended high school at Whitefish Bay and received her nursing degree at UW-Madison. For 26 years, Ina worked as a registered nurse at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. She was a natural caregiver and pursued nursing with a passion, wholeheartedly staying abreast of developments in the field, including retraining to work in diabetes education near the end of her career. Ina’s good spirits and willingness to help made her an appreciated coworker. She gladly assumed end-of-life caregiving responsibilities for many relatives and friends. She proudly dedicated much of her time to her three children’s school trips, scouting activities, sports competitions, and AFS events. Ina was a former member of St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.
In the early 1970s, she accompanied her husband to Ecuador when he volunteered to serve in the Peace Corps, taking along their twin toddlers. She also supported the AFS international student exchange program, regularly hosting teenagers from nearly all continents and occasionally visiting them in their home countries. She enjoyed spending time in the outdoors with the Trailblazer and Wagabond camping groups of Wisconsin, eventually becoming an RV camping enthusiast. She frequently travelled across the US or to Europe to visit her grandchildren and support them in their activities or to see her good friends in Finland. Ina was a proud fan of UW and other local sports teams and made sure her family was well-outfitted in team regalia. She was very creative and loved many crafts. Sewing and cross-stitch were her particular passions. Her grandchildren remember her endless patience as she taught them crafts, her love of making doll clothes, the joy she experienced watching them play and grow up, and her fondness for desserts (and willingness to share them!). She loved her camera, using it to record and remember family activities, creating artistic albums to share with others.
Ina will be deeply missed by her college sweetheart and husband of 58 years, James; children, Timothy (Nicole), Thomas (Linda), and David (Elena); grandchildren, Heather (Colin) Vencill, Forrest Fenske, Charles Fenske, Leia Fenske Rubio, and Kalem Fenske Rubio; and great-granddaughter, Sadie Vencill. She is further survived by a niece and nephews, other relatives, and many friends. Ina was preceded in death by her parents, sister Ingrid Mory, and niece.
No memorial services will be held.
The family would like to express their thanks for the wonderful help and care given by Autumn Bay and the hospice care team over the past two years.
Donations may be given to the Alzheimer’s Association, AFTD or another charity of your choice.