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Tory Lynn Stenske

Mar 26, 1953 - May 28, 2021


Tory Lynn Stenske, of Sheboygan, was called Home by her Lord and Savior on May 28, 2021. She was 68 years old. Tory was born on March 26, 1953, the second daughter of Donald and Elizabeth (“Betty”) (Nelson) Stenske.

Tory grew up in Sheboygan and graduated from South High School in 1971. She was a member of Christ Lutheran Church. Tory taught Sunday School from 1970-2018, as well as Vacation Bible School whenever possible. She loved her students dearly, and found the best hour of each week to be Sunday morning at 8:30.

She was employed in Children’s Services at Mead Public Library from 1969-2014. Tory spent over 30 years researching and writing family histories, completing books on her Stegner, Schneidewind, Jerving, Nelson, Miller, Wolfram and Bogen ancestors and their descendants. Tory also enjoyed Bible classes, children, sewing and quilting, baking, Janet Evanovich books, and anything by Agatha Christie. In retirement she loved helping others with their own family history research.

Tory was a Master Nap-Taker, especially fond of good news, food she didn’t have to cook herself, and high quality cotton fabric for quilting. Once on a trip to the Detroit area, she surprised her cousin and the friend with whom they were shopping, by exiting a fine quilt shop in 27 minutes flat, with 30 yards of fabric. Leigh Anne and Todd, who hadn’t met before but knew Tory well, couldn’t believe it. They’d been convinced they would be stuck there all day.

On the rare occasions that Tory had an urge to garden, she’d lie down until the urge passed. Tory disliked spiders, stinging things, politics, liars, violence and hot weather. She had zero tolerance for abuse of any kind. When she herself was bullied, Tory tried her best to follow God’s instructions and pray for the abuser. This may not have changed what happened, but it comforted Tory to remember that the Lord is as close as our breathing, forever.

Tory is survived by her much-loved brother and sister-in-law, Mark and Marilyn (Koenig) Stenske; eight nieces and nephews, Jenni (Adam) Brownlea; Christopher (Abbey) Stenske and their children, Beckett and Teagan; Gabrielle (Jason) Dorn and their daughter, Matilda Lu; Haleigh (Mike) Brickey; Sara Stenske and her children, Joseph and Juliana; Roman Lulloff; Averi (Derek) Bennett; and Halden (Kayla) Lulloff, three of whom were her Godchildren, and eight other dear Godchildren: Tracy Zabel, Kendra Rahberg, Jimmy Pellegrene, Brianna and Alexis Heckert, Vanessa Olvera, Aiden and Aubrie Horn. Tory’s closest friends, Barb Heinrich, Connie Poppy, Julie Budrecki, Laura Dumovich, Lynne Sheppard, Aleen Rieskamp, special angels Rose Mary Teal, Bill Lang, and David Kolar, other relatives and friends also survive her.

Tory was a proud member of the Nelson Clan.

She was preceded in death by her parents, maternal grandparents Emil and Frieda (Stegner) Nelson, paternal grandparents Barney and Gertha (Bogen) Stenske, and her infant sister, Karen Elizabeth. Tory was previously married to Scott W. Franke.

A memorial service will be held on June 4, 2021 at 6:00 pm at Christ Lutheran Church, 3816 S 12th St., Sheboygan Wisconsin, with Pastor Gugel officiating. Family and friends may greet the family at the church from 3:00 pm until 5:45 pm. A private burial will be held at a later date at Wildwood Cemetery in Sheboygan, where her cremains will await the Resurrection. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Christ Lutheran Church in Tory’s name would be especially appreciated.

Special thanks to Sara, Joseph and Juliana for making Tory’s life easier the past two years, Dr. Michael D. Johnson, Dr. Sonya R. Hollingsworth, Dr. Manpreet K. Sethi, Dr. James R. Pawlak, and the incredible staff of the St. Nicholas Hospital Dialysis Center.

The Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at

Memorial Service

Date: Friday Jun 4, 2021
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Christ Lutheran Church [map]


Date: Friday Jun 4, 2021
Time: 3:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Location: Christ Lutheran Church [map]



Guestbook Entries SIGN GUESTBOOK

Lori Kerwin

My dear sweet Tory. I haven’t seen her in years but will always remember her fondly. I “grew up” in the Children’s room at the library and Tory was one of my favorites. I ended up getting my first job in that same room with her. Tory made me my very own handmade Raggedy Ann doll. She was one of the kindest people I ever knew.

Sandy Reineking

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

kerry G white

Tory was an incredible person and I will have the greatest memories of working with her , sadly at a distance, on the Wolfram family history.

Blaine Hedberg

I first met Tory in 1989 when she came to Madison to trace her Jerving and Nelson family histories. I helped her with research over the years and I remember how proud I was when she completed the Nelson Family History in 1998. She gave our genealogy library the first copy of the book she printed. We became close friends and I was one of the benefactors of her beautiful quilting talents. I was able to correspond with Tory just four days before her passing and we shared some great memories and shared our faith in God. Blessed be her memory.

Scott Franke

I was very sad to hear of Tory’s passing. Clearly, she loved The Lord and “did His work” throughout her life. She will always have a special place tucked away in my ‘heart. Rest in Heaven Tory. My deepest sympathy to her family.

Charlotte Briggs

I started corresponding with Tory when I purchased the book she had written about her Miller genealogy. Tory is descended from my great grandmother Ernestine Arndt Luloff's sister Augusta Arndt Miller. We hardly ever missed a day without sharing our daily happenings, joys and sorrows. Tory had a way with words that would make you feel so much better when you were having a bad day or going through some trial. She gave Godly wisdom and also threw some humor in. Even though we were never able to meet in person due to miles and health issues, we were chums. I look forward to meeting her in Heaven. I will not be sad, as I know she was ready to go Home. Tory's distant, but close cousin, Charlotte Briggs

Sharon Quicker

Prayers and sympathy to all of Tory's family and friends. Tory gave me a great deal of help with my genealogy research, for which I will always be thankful for. It was with patience and humor, she helped me understand the twists and turns found in the layers of research. God Bless and Keep you, Tory.

Marjorie Gibson

Dear family of Tory, Keeping you in prayer as you remember and thank God for Tory and the gift she was to many..