Kathryn Brunker McGraw
Ridgeway – Kathryn Brunker McGraw, age 91, of Ridgeway, passed away on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at Upland Hills Nursing & Rehab Center in Dodgeville, with her family by her side.
Kay was born on August 22, 1922 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dodgeville, to Emmett and Milly (Murty) Brunker. She had many happy memories of her early years growing up with her parents and four siblings. When Kay was six years old, tragedy struck her family. On April 26, 1928, her mother was badly burned from their house fire. She died weeks later on May 31, 1928 from those injuries.
During the Great Depression, her family moved to several farms in the Ridgeway and Hollandale area. Kay learned to prepare meals for her family at a very young age. She was known for her delicious apple pies.
Kay was a member of St. Bridget’s Catholic Church in Ridgeway. She was proud to have received all her sacraments at St. Bridget’s. Her faith was very important to her. She taught CCD and was a member of St. Bridget’s Catholic Council of Women.
Kay attended Hollandale High School for three years and graduated from Dodgeville High School in 1940. She also graduated from Platteville Normal School in 1942. She had wonderful memories of teaching at McCutchin School, near Hyde and Pleasant View School, near Mineral Point.
Kay met her husband John, at a dance at Hi Point in Ridgeway. They were married on December 27, 1943. Kay and John raised twelve children on their farms. One farm they purchased has been in Kay’s family since 1848. They both were very devoted to their children, teaching them many life lessons, especially kindness and generosity. Kay and John’s oldest son, Bobby, died from cancer on November 16, 1964. When John passed away of cancer, of December 30, 1974, the youngest 6 children were still in school. Kay always said, “In spite of the sadness in my life, I’ve had many happy times. I’ve had a good life.”
She received great joy from her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her grandchildren have fond memories of baking pies, cookies and bread with Grandma McGraw. She kept a supply of miniature pie tins for the children to bake their own pies, right along with her.
Kay lived on their farm in the Ridgeway area most of her life. Kay resided at Upland Hills Nursing & Rehab Center since March, 2013. She loved the staff as they treated her with kindness and respect.
Kay is survived by her children, Margaret Lawinger, Dianne McGraw, Pat (Jean) McGraw, Milly (Dave) Babcock, Mike McGraw, Milissa (Jeff) Hoxtell, Tory (Dave) Meyer, Jim (Jodi) McGraw, Christine McGraw, Tom (Becky) McGraw and Shawn (Adriana) McGraw; her sister, Mary Larson; her sisters-in-law, Eleanor Gevelinger, Lois McGraw and Laura Tuschen; her grandchildren, Mary Kay (Jeff) Woollen, Dan (Dawn) Lawinger, Connie (Mark) Scheld, Lori (Tom) McKinlay, Larry Lawinger, Nicole (Andy) Johns, Kyle (Rochelle Denu) McGraw, Kevin McGraw, Shawn (Sarah) Murphy, Ryan (Nicole Bollinger) Murphy, Bobby (Jenny) McGraw, Brigid (Frank Edmonds) McGraw, Kelly (Clint) Nieforth, Katie Hoxtell, Abby Meyer, John McGraw, Jamie (Vicky) Drake, Ashley (Todd) Miller, Declan McGraw, Dylan McGraw, Aidan McGraw, Haley McGraw, Baley McGraw; her great grandchildren, Zach Woollen, McKenzie, Parker, Grant, and Kyra Scheld, Avery and Landon McKinlay, Haley Johns, Archer McGraw, Logan and Livia Murphy, Connell and Gannon Murphy, Jeremiah Edmonds, Evan and Colin Nieforth, Kyla and Kaden Drake, Kynzli Williams, Ally Miller; her step grandchildren, Shelly (Lonnie Wendt) Hinrichs, Torre, Camden, and Ana Capri Peterson Waldvogel, Chris Forbes; her step great grandchildren, Jenny and Tim Woollen, Amber (Brandon) Hastings, Tori and Dylan Hefty, Andrew Palmer, Austin and Alex Johnson; her step great-great grandchildren, Harper, Sienna, and Kiera Hastings; many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John, her son, Bob McGraw, her parents, her son-in-law, Danny Lawinger, her brothers, Ray Brunker and Bob (Dolores) Brunker, her sister, Betty (Howard) Bussian, her brothers and sisters-in-law, Stan Larson, Ray Gevelinger, Bob Tuschen, Paul McGraw, Edward and Lucille McGraw, Danny and Dorothy McGraw, Margaret McGraw, Will and Genevieve Laverty, Will and Theresa Weier, John and Jane Peckham.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at ST. BRIDGET’S CATHOLIC CHURCH in Ridgeway. Father Sanctus Ibe will officiate. Burial will be held in St. Bridget’s Cemetery. Friends may call from 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Monday at the GORGEN-McGINLEY & AYERS FUNERAL HOME in Dodgeville and from 10:00 a.m. until time of Mass on Tuesday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be made to The Rose Window Fund @ St. Bridget’s Church, Ridgeway.
Gorgen-McGinley & Ayers Funeral Home
400 E. Grace Street Dodgeville
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