Saturday, July 19, 2014

Obituary - Ronald H. Burrows

MADISON - Ronald H. Burrows, age 62, passed away on Thursday, July 17, 2014, at St. Mary's Hospital. Per Ron's wishes, services will be private.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on July 19, 2014. Submitted by Cathy Swanson-Hayes (Class of 1966), sister of Ron Burrows.

Per Cathy's request, reprinted below is the long version of her brother's obituary, which was published on the Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care website: 

Obituary for Ronald H. Burrows 
Early the morning of July 17, 2014, Ron joined an extended family of loved ones and friends. He had taken steps to avoid pancreatic cancer, and he fought with determination and grace.

There are many people who were involved in his care that the family would like to thank, but the names are endless. Please know how grateful he was for each of you, beginning with Dr. Cambray who got the ball rolling with his concern for Ron's health; Dr. Matzke and the entire staff of St. Mary's Outpatient Care as well as the St. Mary's hospital staff were beams of light in a tough journey; and Dr. O'Mahar who carried him through his cancer treatment journey. He was indeed blessed by the care, concern, and cheering on of everyone involved. Because of that, he was determined to get healthy again.

Ron is survived by his sister, Cathy (John) Swanson-Hayes, his daughter Emily, and life partner Laurie Peterson, along with his dear friends, nephews and nieces. He had most recently lost another sister-Terry Burrows Orvold-who resided in Seattle.

The family is planning a service that will be announced at a later date when the timing is more comfortable.

Ron, where you are now we know you are riding a bike, walking a dog, swinging a bat and running bases again, riding white caps on a lake, tending to your tomatoes and peppers, strolling through farm fields, or at a pool table showing someone how a table run is done. He is now surrounded by many friends, family members, and animals alike who have gone before him. With consistent and contagious compassion, Ron always cherished the simplicity of life, reminding us each day to "Live simply so others may simply live." 

Note: Ron Burrows attended Madison Central High School, and is therefore an alumnus. However, according to his sister, Cathy: "My brother Ron also attended Central, did not graduate from there, but got his GED after attending East, after Central closed. Just as Central was about to close, my father died after being critically ill for seven years, which was most difficult for my younger bother, and negatively impacted his switch to a different high school, as it did for Terry and I as we finished at Central."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Obituary: Charles D. Sprecher - Class of 1954

MADISON - Charles D. Sprecher, age 79, of Madison, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 12, 2014, at Oak Park Place. He was born on April 11, 1935, in Madison, the son of John and Bertha Sprecher. He married his high school sweetheart, Leonette Nelson, on June 28, 1958, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison. Charlie graduated from Central High School, Madison, in 1954, and then went on to attend UW-Madison. He was a lifelong salesman in the Madison area, and then had his own business until his retirement. Charlie enjoyed playing cards and watching sports, especially his granchildren's sporting events. He enjoyed all animals, especially his best buddy, Bear. Charlie is survived by his wife of 56 years, Leonette, of Madison; daughters, Julie Sprecher of Madison, and Janie Sprecher of Madison; a son, Dan (Paulette) Sprecher of Cross Plains; grandchildren, Blake and Miranda Sprecher; a sister, Alice Funk of Rhode Island; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Robert and Frederick Sprecher; and two sisters, Kathleen Lawler and Jeanne Faust. A Celebration of Charles' Life will be held at BABES GRILL AND BAR, 5614 Schroeder Road, Madison, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., on Saturday, July 26, 2014. In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to Madison Area Special Olympics and Community Work Service. The family would like to thank the doctors and staff at UW-Hospital, Oak Park Place and Agrace HospiceCare.  

Originally published on July 16, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Obituary: Marie "Mary" (Smith) Burgess - Class of 1965

McFARLAND - Marie "Mary" Burgus, age 67, of McFarland, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at her home. Mary was born on Feb. 24, 1947, in Madison, the daughter of Lester A. and Eileen Smith. She graduated from Madison Central High School in 1965. She married Albert Burgus Jr. on Aug. 28, 1965, in Madison. Mary worked at St. Mary's Hospital for many years, retiring in 2012. The most important things in Mary's life were her family and her pets. Mary is survived by her husband, Al; son, James (Jill); brothers, Michael (Carol) Smith and Frank (Lynne) Smith; sister, Patricia (Terry) Sellers; brother-in-law, Joe (Sandy) Burgus; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Virginia and Albert Burgus Sr.; a sister, Susan Smith; and sister-in-law, Mary Mazeika. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at CHRIST THE KING CATHOLIC CHURCH, 5306 Main St., McFarland, at 6 p.m. on Monday, July 14, 2014, with Father D. Stephen Smith presiding. A private burial will be at Roselawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be held at the church from 4 p.m. until the time of the Mass on Monday. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established  

 Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on July 13, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968).

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Obituary: Jacqueline "Dolly" (Westfield) Matthews - Class of 1947

MADISON - Jacqueline "Dolly" Matthews passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Dolly was born in Madison on May 10, 1929, to John (Boots) and Alice (Lobre) Westbury. She was a graduate of Central High, class of 1947. Dolly was a former employee of the Wisconsin Memorial Union, UW Field House, Dane County Coliseum, Kmart, and retired from Dean Clinic after 32 years of service. Dolly enjoyed spending time with her lifelong card club friends, her Wednesday coffee group, and her many friends from Dean Clinic. She delighted in sitting on her front porch on Lakeside Street, talking and waving to those passing by. One of her greatest joys was celebrating the Christmas season. She especially loved the gift of giving and watching the happiness it brought to those around her. Most of all, Dolly enjoyed the time she spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be remembered for her infectious smile, hardy laugh, the way she made people happy, and how her door was always open to all. Dolly is survived by her husband, Jim Mayer; children, Cheri, John, Suzanne (James), Mark (Terri) and Todd (Jennifer); grandchildren, Jessica (Pete), Ryan, Erin, Kaely, Talia (Chris), Emily (Steve), CJ (Emily), Sadie, Remy, Clive and Emmit; and great-grandchildren, Olivia, Sebastian, Nolan, Silas, Avilyn and Owen. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John Matthews; daughter, Jackie Matthews; and sisters, Patricia Triplett, Donna Epler, and Joanne (Pinky) Crawmer. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, July 7, 2014, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, Wis., officiated by the Rev. Mary Pharmer. Prior to the service, a visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Burial will follow at Forest Hill Cemetery. Memorials may be made to The Salvation Army. The Matthews family would like to thank Home Health United, Dr. David Sorber and staff, and a special thanks to Jim Mayer for all his love and care.  

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on July 6, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968).

Friday, July 04, 2014

Obituary: Lee S. (Lewis) Baxter - Class of 1969

MADISON - Lee S. Baxter, age 62, died on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg. Lee was born in Madison on Oct. 21, 1951, to Elizabeth and Eugene Lewis. Lee graduated from Central High School in 1969 and MATC in 1971. On Aug. 12, 1972, she married Patrick J. Baxter. Lee worked as a legal secretary at the State Bar of Wisconsin until her first child was born. She began her second career in 1978 raising her four children. Lee was very active in her children's lives. She was their partner and advocate through their education, sports teams and all aspects of their lives. Lee's third career began two years ago with the birth of her first grandchild, Genevieve, followed by Patrick. She was thrilled to mentor and nurture her two beautiful grandkids. "Nana" created the perfect kids paradise at her home and always looked forward to entertaining them. Lee was president of P.E.O. chapter BY in Madison. She loved being part of this group of wonderful ladies and looked forward to the monthly meetings and projects. Lee and Pat travelled the world and enjoyed time spent with their kids on annual family vacations and "Up North" at their home in Three Lakes, Wis. Christmas and Halloween were her favorite holidays and she went all out for both. Lee is survived by her husband of 42 years, Patrick; children, Sean and wife, Amanda, Ryan, Brendan and wife, Kristin, all of Madison, and Bridget of Scottsdale, Ariz.; grandchildren, Genevieve and Patrick (Sean and Amanda); siblings, Gene Lewis and Ginny Clark; and in-laws, Monsignor Tom Baxter, Rick Baxter, Mary and George Meier, William and Therese Baxter and Erin Lewis. Lee was a beautiful woman who was kind, generous, caring, intelligent and humble. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her. Services will be private. Memorials in Lee's name can be made to P.E.O. Foundation, 3700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312, or Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg, WI 53711.  

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on July 4, 2014. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968).