Mary J. Marquardt, 80, of Coon Valley died Saturday January 14, 2023 at Vernon Manor in Viroqua. She was born November 13, 1942 to Lawrence and Ella (Schmitz) Briggeman in Sparta, Wisconsin. After graduating from Cashton High School, she moved to La Crosse and became a nurse’s aide (candy striper) in the maternity ward at St. Francis Hospital. She loved working with the babies! In La Crosse she met her husband Bill (Willard) Marquardt. They were married at St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral on June 13, 1964. They lived in various places in the Onalaska and La Crosse area before moving to Coon Valley in 1970, where they raised their family.
Mary took various cleaning jobs around Coon Valley and would have to walk or ride her bike since she never had a driver’s license. She loved her job as a daycare teacher at Toddle Inn Daycare on St. Joseph Ridge. She was there 20 years. After leaving there, she volunteered at the Coon Valley Elementary School as a teacher’s aide and at the Knutson Library. Out in the community she would occasionally be greeted by a child she had cared for as “Grandma Mary”! She was always very proud of that.
While raising her children, she loved to go camping, snowmobiling, and boating and was active in the La Crosse Eagles Club. She also liked to play cards, but sometimes her desire to talk a lot made the card games interesting! Mary and Bill took many trips to Las Vegas with friends. She also loved going out to eat. Some of her favorite places were: Schmitty’s, Ridgeview Inn, Features in West Salem and the Freighthouse.
Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996, making her a 26-year cancer survivor!
Mary is survived by her husband Bill (Willard); a daughter, Ann (Gerald) Klinkner of Cashton, 2 sons, David of La Crosse and Robert (Karen) of Onalaska; grandchildren, Justin (Brittany) Klinkner, Jessica (Andrew) Frei, Dillan (Stephanie) Klinkner, Angela Klinkner, Rachel Klinkner, Zachary Marquardt and Cody Marquardt; 8 great grandchildren; a brother Joseph (Pat) Briggeman of La Crescent and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday January 21, 2023 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Coon Valley. Rev. Joe Richards will officiate with burial in the Onalaska Cemetery. A visitation will be held at the church on Saturday from 9 a.m. until service time. The Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley is assisting the family. Condolences may be given at selandsfuneralhome.com.
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