Private services will be held for the family. A Celebration of Life for the public will be held at a later date in 2021.
Cindy Ann Halenka (Vida) was born to the late Joseph and Shirley (Schefky) Vida on July 25, 1952 on the Great Lakes Naval Base in Great Lakes, IL. Shortly after, they moved to Greenfield, WI where she was raised with her two younger brothers, Joseph and Scott. She graduated from Greenfield High School in the year 1970.
It was within these high school years where she met a boy that turned out to be her eternal life partner. Brian Halenka and Cindy were united in marriage on June 12, 1970. They continued to live in the Milwaukee area until 1977, then they moved to Thorp where they raised their four children.
The move to Thorp brought on many different roles which created her well-known name in our small community. Many know Cindy from her work behind the bars of Sawmill, Club 73 and Leon & Lil’s. Some may know her from her trap shooting and bowling leagues. She also employed many individuals to pick weeds in ginseng fields. With a strong Catholic family background, she was an active member of the St. Bernard- St. Hedwig Parish where she was a cook at the Thorp Catholic School, a member of the PCCW and a leader of the morning Children’s Prayer Time.
July of 2000, she made the choice to purchase the 52-year established tavern Leon and Lil’s. She had been employed and loved by the Kaczmarek/Teclaw family for 16 years prior to this honorable decision. Cindy’s was the new business name, but the pride, love and atmosphere lived on through Cindy. In the 18 years of ownership, Cindy and Brian worked long hours and transformed the business to become a popular place where you could find delicious food, an inviting atmosphere and great hospitality. As a Thorp business owner, Cindy never denied the opportunity to give back in any way she could. Cindy hosted and donated to multiple fundraisers for local organizations such as the Thorp Fire and Ambulance Department, Chippewa Falls Youth Football, Chippewa Valley Down Syndrome Association and many more. Cindy created a hard legacy to follow, but in 2015 her son Chris, took over the business. Cindy chose to supervise his work and soon learned that she had instilled the same work ethics, values and morals into her son who would only continue her legacy by upholding her name with great pride and honor.
Cindy had a very strong work ethic, although she was a dedicated mother first and foremost. She treasured her children and embraced every moment with them. She especially loved her role as Nana. The way she loved each individual grandchild with her whole heart was evident and felt strongly by her grandchildren. With retirement, Brian and Cindy bought a family cottage on Lake Holcombe. This is where Cindy got to enjoy what she loved most and that was simply being with her family; memories of backyard kickball, the front yard swing, the first jump off the dock in the summer, nights of Phase 10, cribbage, and the smoke alarm followed with Brian announcing “Breakfast is ready!” The list of memories that have been created is endless and will continue on, as Cindy believed the value of family being together is priceless.
On October 20, 2020 many lives were saddened by the end of her life on Earth. She would want us to take comfort in knowing her beautiful soul lives on beside all of the family and friends who have moved on before her. Together they are watching over our family with love and pride.
Beloved wife and best friend of Brian Halenka. Loving mother of Christopher (Amanda Person) Halenka, Tracy (Toby Stelzer) Halenka, Michelle (Robbie) Krzyzanowski and Terri Ann (Shawn) Wnek. Irreplaceable Nana of Alexis Kailee & Lily, Teagan, Kayla Madisyn & Mason, Bradyn & Emree. Cherished sister, aunt, godmother, niece and cousin. She was also blessed through her endless hard work and selfless life with a long list of friends that were nothing short of family to her.
Our hearts have been healing of the passing of our loved one by the abundant acts of kindness extended by so many. Your prayers, expressions of love and sympathy are greatly appreciated. May God’s blessings of peace and love continue with you always.
Due to the ongoing situation, and the restrictions placed on public gatherings, only a private mass and burial service for family members will be held. A public celebration to properly honor Cindy will be scheduled at a later date.