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1926 Burnetta 2022

Burnetta Mae Besl

September 30, 1926 — May 14, 2022

La Crosse


Burnetta M. “Bernie” Besl, 95, of La Crosse, passed away on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Riverside Transitional Care. She was born in Genoa, WI, to Frank and Margaret (Jambois) Ghelfi on Sept. 30, 1926.

Bernie attended elementary school at St. Charles Catholic Elementary School and graduated high school from Lansing High School in 1943. She moved to La Crosse immediately after graduating. She was employed at Moen Photo Shop, World War II Ordinance Shop, receptionist and PBX Operator at the La Crosse Rubber Mills. She loved to play softball and played on Trane Company Women’s Team and later on the Heilman team.

Burnetta married Gerald J. Besl on July 16, 1949 and became a mother and homemaker. After her children were grown, she worked part time at Artistic Ceramics, Just for Fun Crafts in La Crosse, and Jan’s Crafts in Onalaska.

She was a member of St. Johns and St. James the Less Catholic Churches all her married life.

Bernie was an avid softball player, golfer, bowler, and euchre player. She enjoyed watching sports, especially the Brewers, Badgers, Packers and Bucks. She was a gifted ceramic artist, making many beautiful pieces for her family. She also enjoyed knitting and crocheting.

Bernie was a great wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend.

She is survived by 5 children, George (Lori) Besl, Paulette (Jim) Weber, Marianne Frost, Joseph (Julie) Besl, and Beth Foley; 11 grandchildren. Annie, Adam, Andy, Dustin, Katie, Kelly, Jared, Samuel, Jacob, Layne, and Tim; 15 great-grandchildren; brother Richard “Dick” (Nancy) Ghelfi, and many nieces and nephews.

Bernie was preceded in death by her husband Gerry and 2 grandchildren Abby Frost and Jordan Besl.

A private Funeral Mass will be held at St. James the Less Catholic Church, with entombment to take place in the Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse.

The family would like to thank the staff at The Willows, and Riverside Transitional Care, for the wonderful care given to Bernie.

Memorials are preferred to the Willows Assisted Living, Riverside Transitional Care, and the Boys and Girls Club Guitar and Music Program.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Burnetta Mae Besl, please visit our flower store.


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