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Obituaries » Audrey A. Kotnour
June 24, 1920 - October 3, 2016
KOTNOUR, Audrey A.
La Crosse, Wisconsin Audrey A. Kotnour, 96, of La Crosse passed away Monday, October, 3, 2016. She was born June 24, 1920 in Arcadia, WI. to Leo and Teckla (Kreibech) Bischof. Audrey had great faith in God and the Catholic tradition. Her deep love of family and friends was one of the base values in her life. Education and hard work were qualities she possessed but she also knew how to have fun and was always the “hostess with the mostess.” Audrey believed in giving back to the community, especially children, providing a beautiful example for her children and grandchildren to live by.
After graduating from Arcadia High School in 1938 she attended St. Francis School of Nursing, graduating in 1941. Her nursing career included positions at La Crosse Rubber Mills, St. Francis Hospital and Hillview Nursing Home. She joined the Army Nurse Corp during WWII, serving in the South Pacific tending to returning American servicemen who were held as POWs in Japanese camps.
On August 26, 1946 she married Joseph W. Kotnour and started their adventure in life. Joe passed away in 2001 in their 55th year of marriage and Audrey missed him terribly. They were hard workers owning Kotnour’ s Grocery store in their early years of marriage. Next they purchased two A & W Root Beer Stands in Rockford IL, and operated them for over ten years. At the end of the school year, Audrey would transport the kids and cat to join Joe who was already running the root beer stand. She maintained a home for her family while working hard in Root Beer Stand. On Labor day she would pack the kids and cat to return to La Crosse for the beginning of the school year with Joe coming home a month later. A & W awarded them the Pacesetter Award based on sales and only five percent of restaurants in the country received it.
Audrey had a strong faith and would attend Mass on a regular basis. Catholic Education was also important and her children graduated from St. Thomas More Grade school, Aquinas High School and Viterbo University. Audrey and Joe loved to travel and encouraged their children and grandchildren to travel. Their travels took them around the world and generated many great stories.
She loved the Mississippi River so it was natural to have pontoons and houseboats to enjoy it. Audrey and Joe had many “boat friends” over the years and she enjoyed these friendships right up to the end. During the cold Wisconsin winters, Audrey and Joe would go to Cocoa Beach, FL for a few weeks to soak up the sun.
Audrey was the ultimate party planner, she used any occasion to gather family and friends to celebrate. Her parties included Badger tailgating. Audrey would dress up as a cheerleader and lead the group on to fun. River soirees included corn boils on the sandbars, camping and the annual Oktoberfest parties. Her greatest joys were family gatherings with Christmas eve was the most important of all. Her family was her life, and she loved them dearly.
Audrey believed in giving back, volunteering at St. Thomas More Grade School, Hillview Nursing Home and Mayo Franciscan Health Care. She was a life time member of Catholic Daughters of America, serving as Regent for several years.
She is survived by her three children, Debra (Samuel) Siebenaler, Joseph (Ann) Kotnour, and Mary (Mike) Muller all of La Crosse. Her nine grandchildren; John Siebenaler, Mike Muller, Averi (Chris) Nelson, and Margaret Kotnour all of La Crosse. Kristen Muller of Chicago, Il., Jessica Kotnour of Seward, Al, Joe Kotnour of Clinton, MS., Jenna (Luke) Strub of Dubuque, IA., Jaclyn (Jared) Miller of Chesterfield. Mo. She also has two great-grandchildren Lincoln and Carson Miller, and a sister-in-law June Bischof of Livonia, Mi.,
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Joseph W. Kotnour; an infant sister, Marion Bischof, and two infant brothers, Paul and Alfred; her sister, Loraine (Robert) Albrecht, and brother Eugene Bischof.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October, 8, 2016 at Mary Mother of the Church Parish, 2006 Weston St. The Reverend Brian D. Konopa will officiate with burial be to be held in the Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 a.m. on Saturday at Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home, 1501 West Ave. South, in La Crosse.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Riverfront, Inc., Mary Mother of the Church, or Franciscan Skemp Foundation.
The family would like to thank the wonderful care givers at Brookdale Clare Bridge Cottage for their love and friendship shown to Audrey.