Maxine D. Garvalia, 91, of La Crosse, Wis., died Tuesday, October 8, 2019, at Gundersen Health System. She was born in Wabasha, Minn., on December 16, 1927, to William and Hazel (Baker) Counter.
After high school Maxine moved to La Crosse. While she was working as a ballroom dance teacher, she met James Garvalia at a dance while he was singing as the entertainment. He asked her to dance and they cleared the floor with their talent and grace. They married and moved to Saukville, Wis., and started a family. In 1963, they returned to La Crosse and became part of the Blessed Sacrament and Aquinas families. Jim and Max owned and operated Garvalia’s China Shop for 35 years. She loved working with brides, and later continued that passion at Charlotte’s Bridal Shop.
Maxine was involved in Christian Women’s Club, but truly showed her faith through her kind words and actions. She volunteered and worked for several years at the Scenic Bluffs Chapter of the American Red Cross, earning the 2002 award for Excellence in Philanthropy for her fundraising efforts. She was a volunteer for civic organizations including Oktoberfest USA, Coulee Region Humane Society, and La Crosse Area Jazz Society. While volunteering for CRHS, Max fell in love with and adopted her sweet canine companion Ginger. She loved people, animals, and music. For many years she found great joy attending concerts performed by La Crosse Symphony Orchestra and the Jazz Society. Heaven has gained an amazing angel. Dad has waited 17 years for the next dance with this lovely woman!
She will be deeply missed by her three daughters; Mary (Brad) Noah of Holmen, Wis., Patty (La Vern) Libke of Hazelhurst, Wis., and Kathy (Greg) Curti of Stoddard, Wis., her son; James M. (Shari) Garvalia of Lake in the Hills, Ill., eight grandchildren; Trevor (Stephanie) Hauser, Krista (Jesse) Kook, Lesley Libke, Nicole Jackson, Olivia and Christian Curti, and Michael and Jeffrey Garvalia, seven great-grandchildren; Ellie and Jack Kook, Saniyah, Calogero (C.J.) and Matayah Maxine Jackson, and Kian and Kambri Hauser, sister; Mary Bersing of Stoughton, Wis., brother; Kenneth (Barbara) Counter of Oshkosh, Wis., and sisters-in-law; Carol Counter of Milton, Wis., and Jean Counter of Friendship, Wis., and brother-in-law; John Nandory of Janesville, Wis. She is further survived by special friends; Ryan, Mary Jo and Michael Lium, and many other relatives and friends.
Maxine was preceded in death by her husband James in 2002, her parents, brothers William Counter and John Counter; sisters Geraldine Counter and Kathleen Nandory, and brother-in-law Vernon Bersing.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 AM Monday, October 14, 2019, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 130 Losey Blvd. So., La Crosse. Rev. Peter Raj will officiate with Entombment to be held in the St. Joseph Mausoleum in the Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse. Family and friends may visit on Sunday, October 13, 2019 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM, at the Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home, 1501 West Ave. So., La Crosse. Family and friends may also visit from 10:00 AM until the time of Mass Monday at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
Memorials are preferred to Blessed Sacrament Parish, Aquinas Foundation, American Red Cross or Coulee Region Humane Society.
The family would like to thank the staffs of Brookdale Senior Living, Benedictine Living Community and Gundersen Health System for their compassionate care and support of Maxine and her family.