Brigitte Stolz, 71, of West Salem, formerly of Independence, WI. passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at her dear friend’s home in Arcadia, with her loving family at her side.
She was born on August 19, 1946 in Winterthur, Switzerland to Hans K. and Martha Stolz (Jucker). In 1948 at the age of 2 ½ years, she emigrated to the United States with her parents and brother, Hans P. Stolz, growing up on the family farm near Waumandee, WI. After graduation from Arcadia High School in 1964, she returned to Switzerland for a couple of years to work with horses. After her return back to the United States she attended Winona Area Vocational School to obtain her LPN degree in nursing and then advanced her nursing education at Western Wisconsin Technical Institute in La Crosse to receive her RN degree. She pursued her passion working as a nurse for over 30 years. She spent most of her years at St. Francis Medical Center in La Crosse and Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse. Her nursing career focused primarily with chemical dependent patients and their families for whom she had much passion. She was recognized as a role model and team worker among her peers, who remember her work ethics, high energy, and patience.
In 1970 she married Terry Burt, with whom she had 3 children. A few years later they divorced. Brigitte continued to raise her children in West Salem where she lived for the next 25 years. She loved her children and worked very hard raising them by herself and was always concerned for their well-being. Sundays were family day; the day family spent time together playing outdoor games, cards, and board games. The family favorite was a Swiss board game called “eili mit weile” (Parcheesi) that she played as a child with her brother and parents and was passed onto her children. Brigitte enjoyed cooking for family and friends and was an excellent cook. She always found the time to make home cooked meals every day, despite her busy schedule.
In the year 2000, Brigitte moved to beautiful British Columbia, Canada to retire, where she spent the next 17 years of her life. Brigitte always kept herself busy with her high level of energy. Brigitte really enjoyed being outdoors. Some of her interests included gardening, flowers, camping, riding motorcycle, fishing, family picnics, riding horses, going for walks, and traveling. Brigitte has traveled all over the United States and Canada, made many trips to Switzerland, as well as other areas of the world. She has always had a special place in her heart for all animals, especially horses, in which she had several over the years.
Brigitte’s Swiss heritage was never far from her mind. Besides taking many trips to Switzerland to see family, she also took many trips to New Glarus, WI for the Swiss brats, bread, and their bakery. She also loved the Swiss mountains, chocolate, music, and cooking many Swiss meals. Brigitte also spoke fluent Swiss and read books in German.
Brigitte will be deeply missed by her children: Randy Burt of La Crosse, Erich (Lori) Burt of West Salem, and Brenda (Chris) Matthews of Frankfort, KY; grandchildren: Collin Matthews, Cooper Matthews, Adelyn Burt, Lauren Burt, and Olivia Burt; sister-in-law Catherine Stolz of Independence, WI; nephews: Allen (Annegret) Stolz, Brian (Debbie) Stolz, and Stephen (Rebecca) Stolz; family in Switzerland, and many friends.
Brigitte was preceded in death by her parents Hans K. and Martha Stolz, her brother Hans P. Stolz, and aunts and uncles in Switzerland.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, April 23, at 1:00 pm at the Arcadia Area Historical Society Museum at 401 S. Washington St. Arcadia, WI 54612 with lunch to follow the service. The memorial gathering will be held from 11:00-1:00 pm prior to the memorial service at the same location. Bob and Carol Mullen will be officiating.
Memorials may be given to pancreatic cancer research, Alzheimers research, and Coulee Region Humane Society.
A special thanks to the doctors and support staff of the Mayo Clinic Health System of La Crosse and Rochester, hospice care staff of Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse, the University of Kentucky Health System in Lexington, KY; and to her dear friends Betty and Kenny Klopotek for their amazing support.