Joan Marie Gillitzer

Joan Marie Gillitzer

MADISON – Joan Marie Gillitzer, age 76, of Madison, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. She was born on July 30, 1944, in Appleton, the daughter of Joseph and Alice (Backus) Stier.

Joan graduated from St. Mary’s High School, Menasha, in 1962 and St. Mary’s Nursing School, Milwaukee, in 1965. She married James Gillitzer on Aug. 28, 1965, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Menasha. Joan worked as a Registered Nurse for 31 years, retiring from UW Health in 2001.

Some of Joan’s favorite activities were baking, reading, knitting, crocheting, gardening, traveling, playing bingo, bike riding, exercising and going to sporting events. Her favorite teams were the Brewers and Badgers. Joan especially enjoyed spending time with her grandkids.

Joan is survived by her husband, Jim; three daughters, Lynn (Jay) Hanson, Cheryl (Brett) Hervat and Suzanne (Kevin) Hagen; son, Joseph (Kathy) Gillitzer; two sisters, Catherine Mary (Jerry) Nytes and Barbara Krupka; brother, Peter (Sue) Stier; sister-in-law, Tilly Stier; and nine grandchildren, Brooke Gillitzer, Krystal Hagen, Andrea Hagen, Tony Gillitzer, Sam Hanson, Max Hanson, Hannah Hervat, Craig Hervat and Jason Hervat. She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Alice Stier; sister, Carol Maher; and two brothers, Thomas Stier and Joseph Stier.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 2450 Atwood Ave., Madison, at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, with Father Michael Radowicz presiding. Friends and family who wish to view the Mass via LIVESTREAM may visit Joan’s obituary page at at 11:30 a.m. Friday. Burial will follow at Highland Memory Gardens. Visitation will be held at the church at 9:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass on Friday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Bernard Catholic Church, Madison. The family wishes to thank the staff of Agrace HospiceCare, UW Carbone Cancer Center, Dr. Sonetti, Dr. Baschnagel, Dr. Lang and Dr. Abel for all of their wonderful care and support given to Joan and her family. Online condolences may be made at