Cover photo for Linda And Max Rottman's Obituary
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Linda And Max

Linda And Max Rottman

d. May 10, 2022

PRESQUE ISLE, WI – Max Rottman loved cheese pizza. Little else appealed to Max, who had food sensitivities. His mother, Linda Rottman, encouraged him to expand his diet, but recognized that cheese pizza sustained him and made him happy. And so she made certain it was always handy when he was hungry. His health and happiness were always on her mind.

Linda appears to have been gardening outside the family cabin in Presque Isle Tuesday, May 10, when she noticed something concerning nearby. It’s believed she investigated and Max, who was as devoted to his mother as she was to him, was by her side. Electricity from a downed power line ended their lives, nearly simultaneously. A glass of water was found near Linda’s gardening tools. A slice of pizza was at Max’s place at the table.

Linda Kathryn Rottman was born on March 14, 1960, in La Crosse. The eighth of Laurence and Adele Stolder’s eight children, she grew up on a hobby farm outside the village of Chaseburg, Wisconsin, attending Chaseburg Grade School and Westby High School. She graduated from Western Wisconsin Technical College (now Western Technical College) in 1980, receiving a degree in drafting. Everyone said she looked like the actress Jacqueline Bisset, who was at the peak of her fame at the time. Following graduation, Linda relocated to Minneapolis to work as a drafter, then joined Delta Airlines as a flight attendant. Based out of Salt Lake City, she traveled extensively and generously shared her travel benefits with her family, taking her mother overseas for the first time to experience London.

Linda transferred to Chicago. While she enjoyed the city’s culture and nightlife, she was a homebody by nature. She met the man she would spend the rest of her life with at a Christmas party. Matt Rottman was a coworker of Linda’s sister Susan. Susan brought Linda as a guest and Matt was instantly smitten. “Why didn’t you introduce me to your sister?” Matt asked when he had a moment with Susan. “Because you said you didn’t want to date!” she said. They were married in Chicago the following summer, on July 19, 1990.

Linda and Matt, a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University and sales manager of MW Industries, Inc., settled into a quiet, homey life in Chicago. Their son, Mathew Xavier – known from then on as Max – was born on December 11, 1998. Matt became director of North American Sales in 2001. His position required frequent travel, so Linda left her job with Delta to focus on her son. The family moved to Ottawa, Illinois. Linda designed their home there and oversaw its construction. She worked in food service at Max’s school. Their home became a welcoming place. Guests were always made to feel at home, but particularly those in need. When Linda’s sister, Patricia, visited with her daughter, Meaghan, and granddaughter, Sydney, she observed that it was the first time Sydney wasn’t treated like she was disabled. When a niece and her two young sons were in need of sanctuary, Linda got her to eat her first real meal in a month and Max presented the boys with his games, toys, and cards, treating them like siblings.

Max got his license in 2015, went to his first concert in 2016, and developed a passion for anime and gaming as he moved through his teens. He graduated from Ottawa Township High School in 2017, then attended Illinois Valley Community College.

In 2020, the family moved full-time to a cabin on Presque Isle’s Van Vliet Lake that had been purchased by Matt’s mother and father decades earlier. It had been their summer getaway for years. Living in tight quarters, they became closer than ever. They enjoyed the outdoors, and visiting and hosting members of the Rottman and Stolder families. More than anything, they enjoyed one another’s company. Linda began working for Howard Young Hospital in Woodruff in 2020. She is credited there with bringing a high level of professionalism to its food service program. They called her the “queen of the expiration date” and were wowed by her omelets.

Linda and Max will be remembered for the things that made them unique, as well as the many things they shared – dark eyes and high cheekbones, hospitality when family and friends were about, peaceful natures and generous spirits, a love for one another and for Matt. They left as they lived – at one another’s sides.

Linda and Max are survived by loving husband and father Matthew Rottman, Patricia Flynn, Thomas Stolder (Kaye Green), Mary Ellen Stolder (Tom Pyrek), Jane Mason (Craig), Susan Gardaphe, Steven Stolder (Mary Park). Jim Rottman (DeeDee), Mark Uscian, Jean Galiardo (Joe), Marcia Grear (Phillip), Joan Vandenbosch (Tom), and Mark Rottman (Ann). They are also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Predeceased by Laurence and Adele Stolder, James and Marge Rottman, Michael Stolder, and Mary Uscian.

The family will notify loved ones when a service is scheduled. The family wishes memorial contributions be made to Home of Our Own, which supports long-term independence for disabled residents. Home of Our Own: W615 Legler Valley Road, New Glarus, WI 53574.

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