Cleo Ann Taft, 74 of Chetek went home on Thursday January 16, 2020 at Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield, Wisconsin. She was born in Rice Lake on November 10, 1945 the youngest child of Irene (Nelson) and Thomas Omtvedt.
Cleo graduated from Chetek High School in the Spring of 1963, and married Wayne Taft at Chetek Lutheran on December 14, 1963. Together they lived their dream of raising children on a dairy farm. The Taft family was active in 4H, and Cleo shared her love of caring for animals with her children. In addition to farming, Cleo was also a waitress, cook and bartender for various local restaurants. When chores were done they relaxed with their neighborhood friends and strong coffee to play cards. Later in life, Cleo and Wayne worked together at St. Croix Casino as blackjack dealers. Their new career took them to the Belle of Sioux City Riverboat Casino, on the Iowa/Nebraska border. In 2006 they moved back to Chetek to be closer to their children and growing families. Cleo then started her encore career as a caregiver for Care Partners in Rice Lake. She lived for her family and friends, enjoyed baking, gardening, snuggling grandbabies (and non-grandbabies) and watching the Green Bay Packers. She liked to travel, but didn’t like to take the freeway and preferred to find adventure on the path less traveled.
Cleo leaves behind her children; Gary (Becky) Taft, David (Mary) Taft, Debbie Sanford; brother Irv Omtvedt, sister-in-law, Alice Omtvedt; grandkids, Nikki (Troy) Killoran, Aaron (Bre) Taft, Jared Taft, Amber (Chris) Curavo, Racheal (Nate) Pintens, Eric Taft, Kelly Taft, Mikayla Sanford and Jenna Sanford; two step-grandkids, twelve great-grandkids, (along with countless friends of grandkids who also considered her their grandma); and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. She joins in their heavenly home her husband Wayne; parents, Irene and Tom; stepmother, Wilma Omtvedt; brother, Ralph Omtvedt; sisters-in-law, Wanda Omtvedt and Arlene Taft, brother-in-law, Richard Taft; and daughter-in-law, LouAnn Taft.
A memorial service will be held on Monday January 20th at 11:00 AM at Chetek Lutheran Church with Pastor Guy Redfield officiating. Beginning at 10:00 AM, family and friends will gather at the church to share memories of Cleo, with continued camaraderie and a luncheon in the fellowship hall following the service.
The Burnham-Ours-Kolstad Family Funeral Home has been entrusted with the final arrangements.
To send flowers to Cleo's family, please visit our floral section.