Waunakee-Kathy Spahn, affectionately known as “G-ma” by her grandchildren, peacefully passed at home on November 12, 2017, surrounded by her beloved family.
Born Kathleen Mary Fitzgerald to her parents, Lawrence and Madeline “Peggy” Fitzgerald, on October 15, 1941.
Kathy moved frequently with her parents, sister and 5 brothers, living in Kentucky, Washington state, Stoughton and Waunakee. She attended Waunakee High School where she loved being a cheerleader for the Warriors. She graduated in 1960 and worked as a secretary for a brief time before she got lucky in love and married the distinguished Stan Spahn on January 6, 1962. While Stan built a successful business, Kathy kept the home fires burning raising their three children.
One of Kathy’s passions was reading so when their youngest child started school, Kathy was offered a position at the Waunakee Public Library. She enjoyed her job so much that she continued to serve there for almost 30 years. After retiring from her position at the library, she continued providing public service to the citizens of Waunakee as an elections poll worker and as a volunteer at the Waunakee Senior Center. In addition, she enjoyed spending her free time serving the American Red Cross as a volunteer for blood drives. When she became too ill to continue her service, friends and co-workers at the library, village elections, senior center and Red Cross called her frequently to express how much they missed her.
The happiest times of Kathy’s life were spent with her husband, children and grandchildren. She and Stan loved to spend afternoons driving around and they occasionally tried their luck at some of Wisconsin’s casinos. She also enjoyed traveling with Stan and friends to Europe and Japan and on many cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Laughing and talking with her children and grandchildren was a source of complete happiness for her. Her grandchildren never tired of hearing about “G-ma’s” antics. Kathy established a cherished family tradition of renting a cabin in Wisconsin Dells every holiday season for the whole family to spend time together. This gave her family a chance to experience her wonderful cooking. She loved to try new recipes, but her grandchildren repeatedly requested their favorites including her “puppy chow” which tasted better because of the extra ingredient of love that she mixed in.
Kathy was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Bob and Mike; father and mother-in-law, Joseph and Agnes Spahn; brothers-in-law, David Spahn, Eldon Vondra, Vernon Ripp and Edward Kaltenberg; nieces, Susan Kaltenberg and Kathleen Fitzgerald; nephews, Steven Vondra, Joshua Fitzgerald and Ronald Ripp.
Kathy is survived by her husband; her children, Michael (Cindy) Baker of Freedom, Debra (Michael) Spahn Bursinger of Oconomowoc, Michael (Jodie) Spahn of Waunakee, and Mark (Shari) Spahn of Waunakee; her grandchildren, Jeff, Brad and Kyle Baker; Kathryn, Caroline and Jack Bursinger; Michael and Cassie Spahn and Jesse Olson; Toria Jo (Darren) Spahn-Sutherland and Tanner Spahn; her great grandchildren, Ramzey, Lanie, Lily, Lincoln and Olivia Baker and Stella Spahn; sister, Virginia Vondra; brothers, John, Dennis and Tim Fitzgerald; sisters-in-law, Beverly, Sharon, Arlene, Anita and Mary Fitzgerald, Doris (Spahn) Ripp, Jane (Spahn) Kaltenberg, and Maryanne Spahn; brother-in-law, Jim Spahn; many nieces and nephews and many friends.
Kathy’s family would like to express their gratitude to two very special caregivers – Geralyn Hurley and Michelle DeMott. Because of your kind and compassionate care in the last months of her illness, mom was able to continue to find joy in living and peace in dying. We will be forever grateful that, because of your dedication to her, we fulfilled her wish to return home and to pass from this life in the place she was most comfortable, surrounded by her family.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at St John’s Catholic Church, 209 South St., Waunakee. Msgr James Gunn will officiate. Friends may call at the Winn-Cress Funeral Home on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friends may also call at the church on Friday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services. Burial will take place in the church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial will be established at a later date.
Additional thanks extended to the staffs at Waunakee Manor, Agrace Hospice, and UW Hospital for their hard work and compassionate care.
Winn-Cress Funeral Home
5785 Hwy Q
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