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Former Jimmy's Grotto Owner Dies at Age 74

Former Waukesha man and violin maker also worked as horse ranch manager and breed for several ranches in Texas and Oklahoma.

Roland “Rocky” Werning, of Norman, OK, formerly of Waukesha, died on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 at the age of 74 years.

He was born in Waukesha on May 21, 1938 the son of Albert and Joyce (nee Wright) Werning.  Rocky was a 1956 graduate of Waukesha High School. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps.  On Dec. 19, 1977, he married Maria Lattanzio at the Evangelical & Reformed United Church of Christ in Waukesha. Rocky owned and operated Jimmy’s Grotto from 1958 until 1972. He then went on to work as a horse ranch manager and breeder for various horse ranches in Texas and Oklahoma.  Rocky’s greatest love and passion was for his work as a luthier for his violin-making business where he was very well known and respected. 

He will be sadly missed by his loving wife of 35 years, Maria Werning of Norman, OK, his children: Michael (Stacy) Werning of Illinois, Lisa Muehles of California and Kristin and Lucia Werning of Oklahoma and his three grandchildren: Bradley Muehles and Michael and Joseph Werning.  He is further survived by his brother Richard (Bobbie) Werning of the town of Waukesha and his sister Barbara (the late Willis) Foss of the Town of Vernon along with nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Roger Werning.  

A funeral Mass will be held on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 822 N. East Avenue, Waukesha.  Graveside services will immediately follow at Prairie Home Cemetery. Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral, Cremation and Preplanning Services is honored to serve the family.

For further information, please call the Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home at 262-547-4035 or go to www.waukeshafunerals.com for directions, an online obituary or to leave the family an online tribute message.

Mike Talin January 19, 2013 at 06:50 PM
I fondly remember going to Jimmy Grotto after the Attic. Usually I only had a dime and he would give me a bun with sauce and it was delicious. Good times, good memories. Rest In Peace.
michelle January 20, 2013 at 03:16 AM
My prayers are with the family. Through this hard time.
Paula Legault January 20, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Dear Mia, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of Rocky. I know he mean't the world to you. You are so blessed to have been married so long. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. All my love, Paula
Debi Huolihan Schweighardt January 21, 2013 at 05:25 PM
My sincere condolences to the family. I love you Wernings and am praying for comfort and good memories to carry you through.
Ada February 04, 2013 at 02:34 AM
Rocky was the maker of my viola and a good friend. I am saddened that I was not aware of his passing sooner. My prayers and thoughts go out to his wife and young daughter. Everytime I play on my viola I think of his talent and friendship. Everytime I would come to his studio I would plan to spen at least 45 min or more to talk and enjoy the instruments in his care. He would always show me his newest intsrument. His love of life will continue when his instruments are played!

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