Kathleen J. (Sprecher) Lawler
MONONA -Kathleen J. (Sprecher) Lawler, age 76, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Jan. 26, 2014, from complications of Alzheimer’s, while residing at Monona Heritage in the memory care unit.
Kathleen was born on Feb. 17, 1937, in the living room of her parent’s residence on Williamson Street, Madison. She grew up the second youngest of six children of John C. and Bertha F. (Pankow) Sprecher. The Sprechers’ moved their family to a home on the south side of Madison near the Monona Bay. Kathleen and her siblings spent their summers swimming and diving off the railroad bridges that crossed the Bay. Kathleen graduated from Madison Central High School in 1955 where she was on the swim team and played clarinet in the band.
On her 18th birthday she eloped in Rockford, Ill. with her childhood sweetheart and best friend, John Lawler. Kathleen and John were married for 41 years before he passed in 1996. From John and Kathleen’s marriage came five children. Kathleen stayed home in the early years of her marriage raising her family. Once all the kids were in school she began a long career working as a secretary and a bookkeeper at numerous businesses in the Madison area. In the mid 1980’s Kathleen began working for American Family Insurance and retired from their payroll department in 2002. While working at American Family Insurance she attended night school at Upper Iowa University and received a degree in accounting. While retired she traveled with her sister, Alice, to Germany, Russia, and other European countries. Kathleen and John raised their children with two important values, a strong work ethic and most importantly the love of family. Kathleen loved it whenever her family and extended family were around and had the philosophy of “the more the merrier.”
Kathleen was a kind and giving person, and had a large heart especially for animals. No matter what animal the kids brought home, it would become our next family member, even if we already had a house full. Mom could never say no to any animal.
Kathleen was an avid Packer and Badger fan, and held season tickets to both the Men’s and Women’s Badger basketball teams for 15 years. She also enjoyed listening to country music, golfing and was on a bowling league for several years.
Kathleen is survived by her five children, James (Jean) Lawler, Charles “Butch” Lawler, Colleen (Robert) Runkel, Lynda (Linda Guthrie) Lawler and Suzanne (Kerry Eldridge) Zinkel; her six grandchildren whom she loved dearly, Jennifer, Jonathan, Holly, and Kady Lawler, Lisa (Cody Towner) Runkel, and Nicole Zinkel; three great-grandchildren, Donnell, and twins Dontayon “Mister” and Dontayana “Missy” Washington; a sister, Alice (Sprecher) Funk; a brother, Charles (Leonette) Sprecher; sisters-in law, Lucille (Lawler) Brown, Rose Lawler, and Geri Lawler; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; two brothers, Robert and Fredrick Sprecher; a sister, Jeannie (Sprecher) Faust; and many brothers and sisters-in-law.
Funeral Services will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison, at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 11 a.m. until the time of the service on Thursday. Burial will be held at Roselawn Memorial Park, Monona.
Kathleen’s family would like to say a special thank you to Sister Fran for all the care, companionship, and comfort she gave to mom over the last several years. Also, thank you to the staff at Monona Heritage and Agrace HospiceCare for their care over the last few weeks.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive
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