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Adele Stielow

Jun 19, 1927 - Dec 31, 2021


Adele “Toots” Stielow, 94, passed away Friday morning December 31, 2021. She died in the home she and her late husband, Walter, built themselves and where she had lived for many years.
Toots was born on June 19th 1927 in Sheboygan, a daughter of the late German Russians, John and Elizabeth Ertel, who immigrated here from the Volga River region in 1912. Her siblings Marie, John, Emily and Fritz have all preceded her in death. She grew up on the family farm outside of Sheboygan during the Great Depression, speaking both English and German. She attended a country one room schoolhouse and learned to read very early. She later graduated from Central High School.
On July 24th, 1948 she was united in marriage to Walter Stielow at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. They met when he came into the office of Mayline, where she worked as a billing clerk for 23 years. They celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1998. Toots and Walter were inseparable, which led to Toots becoming part of “The Penguins Club”. The Penguins organized in grade school and vowed they would be friends forever in Penguin solidarity. They chose the name of their social club because they wanted to be different from the Lions, Moose and Elks. They also liked how penguins appeared to be wearing formal attire and how that contrasted with their opinion of themselves as being “slobs”. When the penguins went their separate ways after high school, they promised to get together several times a year and made their wives full members.
Toots and Walter loved German Shepherds and had many wonderful ones over the years. Most notably “Tex” who was a gentle giant. They also loved visiting supper clubs all over the area. A tradition she continued for many years with her family. Her cocktail of choice was a “brandy sweet with a lemon twist” affectionately know by those who loved her as a “Toots drink” or just a “Toots”.
Toots lived her life her own way from the start to the end. As a child, she legally changed her name from Adelia to Adele without her parents ever knowing. She never suffered from debilitating illness, cut her own grass, raked, and bagged her leaves and was able to leave this world peacefully in her own home. She was always interested in the wellbeing of her family and had a great sense of humor. She spoke slowly and softly because she never had to do otherwise. Her voice was soft and slow, but she was sharp as a razor all the way to the end. She never aged for decades. In fact, she was such an incredible example of aging gracefully, she earned another nickname “The Legend”. She was a presence in our lives and will be dearly missed.
She was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church and is survived by her nephews Lance (wife Patti and son Cory), Bruce Ertel, and nieces Diane Petkus, Jackie Everly, and Deborah Rosenberg. Her nephew Tom Petkus (deceased) is survived by Sam and Bess Petkus. She was blessed with wonderful friends and neighbors Tom and Jane, who were as close as family.
Family and friends may gather at Trinity Lutheran Church, 824 Wisconsin Ave. Sheboygan on Monday January 31, 2022 from 12:00 p.m. until the time of service at 1:00 p.m. Pastor Timothy Mech will officiate. Entombment to follow in the Holy Cross Mausoleum.
Online condolences may be expressed at


Date: Monday Jan 31, 2022
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Trinity Lutheran Church [map]

Funeral Service

Date: Monday Jan 31, 2022
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Trinity Lutheran Church [map]



Guestbook Entries SIGN GUESTBOOK

Lance Ertel

Lisa Messner – Evans

Walter was my Mom's cousin. She was Connie Schirmeister. Toots and Uni were both just the most wonderful people. I remember German Shepherds and Cadillacs. I last saw Toots at my uncle, Erv Schirmeister's, funeral. We had such a great time reminiscing. I never knew that Toots changed her name. My mother did too. I bet they talked about that. My dad had a photo of Toots and Uni and I have that now in my basement. It is priceless. Rest in peace. Lisa and Kerk Evans

Nancy Beck

So sorry to hear of Aunt Tootsie's passing. I am one of the six nieces and nephews she had on her husband's side of the family. Uncle Walter had two wonderful sisters, Donna Shircel and Betty Rammer and two terrific brothers-in-law, Cy Shircel and Jerome Rammer. All of them are now deceased and enjoying each other's company once again in heaven. Rest in peace Aunt Tootsie from all of us - Jerry Shircel, Barb Luedke, Linda Steen, Theresa Zimmermann, Nancy Beck and David Rammer.