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Obituaries » Beatrice E. Gilles

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Beatrice E. Gilles

February 27, 1938 - January 23, 2020

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Beatrice (Bea) E. Gilles, 81, of La Crosse passed away Thursday January 23, 2020, at her home. She was born in La Crosse in 1938, to Albert and Alvira Biesen. After graduating from Holy Trinity grade school, Bea attended Aquinas High School where she expanded her love of music and prepared for a career in nursing. She graduated from St Francis School of Nursing in 1959. In 1961, Bea wed the love of her life Richard Gilles and started their family.

She worked as a Registered Nurse at St Francis Hospital, Bethany St. Joes and eventually Gundersen Lutheran Hospital. She enjoyed her work as an operating room RN, specializing in cardiac surgery. She also worked helping those with acute eye sight issues by coordinating and executing the organ donor process in the region. She deeply valued family, friends, and faith. She was an active member of St. Pius X parish from its inception and then migrated to Mary Mother of the Church parish where she enjoyed singing with the choir.

Bea worked hard and played harder. In the outdoors, she loved gardening, bird watching, and growing anything she could get her hands on. An avid fisherwoman, her crowning achievement was a 9 pound Walleye that is proudly displayed at her cabin. She spent countless hours watching her children and grandchildren participate in plays, musicals, and sports. Indoors, she was a prolific quilter, reader, and crafter. She loved anything to help her express her artistic side. She loved to play cards and to help teach all of her grandkids to share in her love of the camaraderie and togetherness that card playing brings.

Bea was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings Ronald, Norbert, Lyle, and Gerald. She is survived by her husband Richard, her children Stephen (Stephanie), Cheryl (Bryan) Van Riper, and Bill (Heather), and grandchildren Greg, Geoff, Gerry, Katie, Anna, Sean, and Elin. Her sisters Marilyn, Carol, and Rita, her sister-in-law Gloria, and nieces Rita and Mary.

A funeral Mass will be held at 11: 00 AM Friday, January 31, 2020, in Mary, Mother of the Church Parish at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 2006 Weston St., La Crosse, Wis. Rev. Brian D. Konopa will officiate with Entombment to be held in the St. Francis of Assisi Mausoleum in the Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse, Wis. Family and friends may visit form 9:00 AM until the time of Mass on Friday.
The Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Aquinas Catholic Schools or Mary Mother of the Church.