Kiwa K. Tessman, 94 of Jefferson, died peacefully at the home of her daughter on Friday, December 11, 2020 in Madison.
Kiwa was born on March 20, 1926 in Iwate-ken, Japan, the daughter of Suekichi and Rykio Kikuchi. She attended and graduated from Morioka all girls High School and began working as a post office clerk in Japan, a business that her family owned. After 4 years, she began working as a nanny for a US military family and became a follower of Christ during that time. In 1949, she met Duane Tessman on a bus ride on her way to work. Duane gave up his seat for Kiwa and earned a date. The couple married on August 10, 1951 at the American Consulate in Tokyo, Japan and the couple moved to the US in 1952. Kiwa and Duane had 4 children and enjoyed 37 years of marriage, until his death in 1988. Kiwa was confirmed at St. Peter’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Helenville as an adult and was an active and committed member. She worked a variety of jobs in the area and retired from Jones’ Dairy Farm after 18 years. The family remembers the “Kiwa rules”: don’t let her use a boat you don’t want broken; never let her have more than 1 fuzzy navel; and don’t let her have too many donuts, as she blames her 2004 heart attack on excess donut consumption. Kiwa was a fun lady, who was full of spunk, and she loved Friday Night Fish Fry’s at the Wayside Inn. She was born in the year of the tiger, being extremely strong and courageous. She is remembered as a beautiful person with a kind heart and loving soul – a star in the sky.
She is survived by: her children Kristina Quest of Oshkosh, Linda Foote of Columbus, Jerry Tessman of Jefferson, and Sally (Phil) Warren of Madison; 6 grandchildren Jenny, Eric (Michelle), Sarah (Jason), Jessica (Fred), Tracy (Terry), and Beth (Tigh); 20 great-grandchildren; 4 great, great-grandchildren; and sister Shizue and Chizu, both of Japan. Kiwa is also survived by a number of other relatives and friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother Suezo, sister Teruko, and many other relatives.
The family would like to express a sincere thank you to the staff of SSM Hospice Care for the loving care provided to Kiwa.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00AM on Friday, December 18, 2020 at St. Peter’s Ev. Lutheran Church of Helenville with Rev. Charlie Papenfuss presiding. Visitation will be on Friday from 10:00AM until the time of service at the church. Kiwa will be laid to rest at St. Peter’s Evergreen Cemetery following the service.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kiwa K. Tessman, please visit our floral store.