Middleton lost one of its finest citizens and community members this week.
Anna Gillitzer, resident for over 85 years, died on December 8, 2014. Her spirit is carried on by her eight children, 18 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild and an extended family of neighbors, relatives and friends from all walks of life.
Born in Waunakee WI, November 29, 1920, she was the next to the youngest of the 7 children of Joseph and Philomena “Minnie” (Schuetz) Diederich. Anna graduated from Middleton High School with honors in 1938. Anna was wed to the love of her life, Thomas Joseph Gillitzer II, in January 1954. Anna was a member of St Bernard’s Parish and its Catholic Women’s Altar Society. She was also active in the Middleton VFW post Women’s Auxiliary group.
Anna spent her life being the genuine person she was, doing what was best for her husband and family. She was a quiet soldier to feminism and the power of womanhood. Anna forged her own way for a good share of her life. Above all she was Brave, a great Mother, cook and seamstress, bookkeeper and gopher. As an “empty nester”, she enjoyed working for 10 years at the Bank of Middleton and the friends she had there.
We could fill a book with “Anna-isms”. Her long list for living included; always waiting your turn, standing up straight and being proud of your height, learn something new every day, toot your own horn, live within your means, and excusing her frugality “because she is a child of the depression”. Some of Anna’s favorite things were “A Man in Uniform”, garage sales, sweepstakes, a real bargain, bingo, crocheted dish rags, big boat cars, Jeopardy, word jumbles, sudoku, cryptoquote, classic country music, and Gone With The Wind. She had strong opinions on many things. The first to come to mind is what constitutes “Good Coffee” among many other things.
She is survived by her 8 children and grandchildren: Barbara (husband Ted Elliott, children Wendy and Ted Jr.); Wilma (husband Tom Cook, children Matt, Phil, Susanna); Kathy (husband Gerry Garvoille, children Alan, Kari, Paul); Laurel (husband Mike Statz, children Chris, Nick, Barry); Tom Jr. “Gib” (wife Mary, children Ashley, Lindsey, T.J.); Andrea (husband David Hareid, children Andrew, Ellie); Dan (wife Gina); Gary “Ox” (wife Roxanne, children Jacob, Jessica).
Anna has been reunited with her husband, her soul mate, Tom Gillitzer (died in 1982).
She was also predeceased by her parents, Tom’s parents, all her siblings and uncountable extended relatives and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. BERNARD’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 7450 University Ave. Middleton, at 11 AM on Monday December 15, 2014, with Monsignor Douglas Dushack presiding. A memorial gathering will be held at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL & CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave. Middleton, from 3 PM to 6 PM on Sunday December 14, 2014 and also at the church on Monday from 10 AM until the time of the services.
The family would like to thank Liz Humphries, RN at Heartland Hospice and all staff at Heartland. Hospice, staff from Senior Helpers, staff at Madison St. Mary’s Hospital, Dr. Randy Haas at Dean Clinic for his long-term health care of her, and clergy members at St. Bernard’s church.
Don’t worry Mom, we will sign ourselves in, turn the light off and lock the door, when the last person is in for the night.
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