Anne Frances Leute Wilson lived an incredible life and departed it to join her beloved husband of 52 years, Thomas Charles Wilson on December 21, 2020. In true Anne fashion, she left on her own terms in her own time. Her last days were filled with grace and laughs and love and music, surrounded by her three children Amy, Charlie and Brendan—exactly how God intended.
Anne was born and raised in Dubuque, IA, the daughter of Ag and Charlie Leute and the oldest of six siblings. She inherited her parents’ gifts of generosity, frankness, laughter, music, and a good game of euchre. She devoted her life to fighting for those she loved, including the orphans, the mentally ill, the underdogs, the women of her generation, the members of her family, and the University of Notre Dame football team.
Anne lived a breathtaking life. She tried every new food, welcomed every stranger, stopped at every scenic overlook, sang every day, and embraced every opportunity to learn something new. She spent her life caring for others, earning multiple degrees, raising her children, sharing her gifts, singing her heart out, seeing the world, and laughing as often as possible. She wanted to try it all, and she swept her family and friends along with her joyous enthusiasm. Her appetite for life was matched only by her appetite for ice cream.
Later in life, dementia began to overtake her. She did not succumb without a fight, but over the final years she truly forgot all the people and places that meant so much to her. The tragedy of losing her memory was balanced, however, by the grace-filled joy of allowing others to take care of her for the first time in her life. Her natural sweetness and gratitude blossomed as her memory faded and she was Anne even to the end: still rolling her eyes at Tom and lighting up at the mere sound of his voice.
Even with her dementia, she found great pleasure in her grandchildren Ellen, Marcellus, Thomas, Patrick, Peter, Damien, Anna, and baby Stephen. She loved her daughters-in-law Julia and Amy P. and her son-in-law Frank. She was devoted to her sisters Rosemary and Carolyn and her brothers Chuck, Bobby and Marc. She was immensely proud of her children and relieved they turned out okay. She was cherished by her amazing husband Tom, who predeceased her in 2019.
Anne believed in beautiful music, good grammar, family first, talking to strangers, occasional punctuality, speaking the truth, hearty laughs, voracious reading, polka dancing, competence, gratitude, sharing, and living her faith through action. She died as courageously as she lived and will surely be united with Tom at the correct exit in heaven.
The family is profoundly grateful for the exceptional care Anne received at Eagle Crest South Community and from the nursing staff on the 6th floor at Gunderson Hospital in La Crosse, WI. Heartfelt thanks also to Dr. Steve and Jeanne Pavela, who blessed Tom and Anne with their wonderful kindness and special magic.
A private Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 in Mary Mother of the Church Parish. Rev. Brian D. Konopa will officiate with entombment to be held in Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse. Family and friends may live stream the mass at http://mmoclacrosse.org/
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association of Ontario or to Catholic Charities of LaCrosse, WI.