Edna Mae Cragin, age 82, of Portage (formerly of Montello) passed away Monday, April 3rd at 1:10 pm surrounded by her family. Even though she has faced several health challenges over the last 13 years, Edna Mae enjoyed every day with a cheerful attitude and indelible smile. Edna Mae was born in Portage on December 14, 1940 to Merval and Blanche (Ellis) Shaw. She was raised on the family farm in Moundville and returned to the farm to raise her family. She graduated from Portage High School in 1958 and married Stanley Puterbaugh; together they raised three wonderful children and later divorced. Edna Mae found the love of her life in Casey Cragin and they were united in marriage on May 13, 1995. They shared 11 cherished years together before he passed away on July 6, 2006.
Edna Mae had several different careers throughout her life; she worked for Port Washington schools, she was employed by the Wisconsin State Patrol, she had positions in both Maryland and Colorado while her husband was in the military, and she worked for the Portage Community School District for 18 years.
She was a giving person, volunteering for her community in many ways including serving as a 4-H cooking leader, blood drive organizer, city poll worker, as well as raising funds to fight cystic fibrosis. She was secretary and Sunday school teacher for Trinity Lutheran Church in Packwaukee. Edna Mae was honored in 2013 by the Marquette County Farm Bureau with the Distinguished Service to Ag Award for her longtime involvement with the Farm Bureau and organizing Montello area blood drives. She was also recognized for her efforts as a blood drive donor, receiving the Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for Blood Services from the American Red Cross in 2011. Her donors always looked forward to sandwiches, soups, and a variety of pies.
While Edna Mae was proud of her dedication to her career accomplishments and glad to volunteer for great causes, family and friends were her pride and joy. She loved to spend time with her family and will be fondly remembered for wearing her red polka dot bikini, cutting hay in the fields on her Owattana hay cutter, which she loved to do. She always took the time to listen and give guidance when asked. She also loved spending precious family time with family and friends at the family’s Shaw Park, singing songs written with friends and sharing contagious laughter. Her enthusiasm and positive energy was shared with so many causes to help other people.
She also dedicated much of her time and energy cheering on her grandchildren at whatever activities they were doing, spending days at the county fair, curling rinks, ballfields, and musicals. When her grandkids were excited about something, she was just as excited right along with them, well known as “Savage Grandma.” She had a gift of celebrating every special occasion in the lives of everyone around her- birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, special occasions and milestones. Every accomplishment those near to her earned, she was there to celebrate with them.
Edna Mae is greatly missed by her three children: Doug (Heidi) of Moundville, Jill (Michael) Weyh of Portage and Susie Maier of Moundville and her five grandchildren: Anthony (Leah), Ashley (David), Adam, Halie and Ryan. Her memory lives on with her four great-grandchildren: Kyra, Eli, Ava and Ellie, sister-in-law, Barbara Shaw, and many other extended family members. Edna Mae also leaves behind so many wonderful, caring friends whom she loved like family.
Edna Mae is preceded in death by her parents, husband, Casey Cragin, brother, Stanley Shaw, sister, Mildred “Millie” Kempley and nephew, Stanley “Boomer” Shaw.
The family would like to thank Dr. Heun and his staff, the SSM Hospice Team, and Budda Box of Montello, for all their care and support.
Honoring Edna Mae’s wishes, only a visitation will be held on Friday, April 7, 2023 from 3:00 until 7:00 PM at the Crawford Funeral Home in Montello. No public service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the family, which will be passed on to local organizations in Edna Mae’s name.
In memory of Edna Mae, hug your family, love your friends, be kind to strangers, find ways to be the sunshine in someone’s day and “Bee Happy!”