Obituary – Anna Jean LaVallee (1930 – 2021)
Ann LaVallee (née Turza) died peacefully in her sleep on the morning of Friday, August 6, 2021. She was born in Chicago on July 15, 1930 to John and Mary Turza. The family moved to Peshtigo, WI at the start of the depression and lived on a small farm through her high school years. She married Raymond LaVallee on September 11, 1954 and moved to the Milwaukee area, where they had six children and she lived for the rest of her life.
Ann exuded kindness, was a blessed spirit and lived with a strong belief in her Catholic faith, specifically as a member of St. Aloysius Church. She was passionate about social justice and lived it through her numerous actions, including monthly trips to the St. Ben’s meal program equipped with roasters of her beef stew and homemade rolls, her work with organizations such as the Guadalupe Center, and her boundless generosity. Through countless loafs of bread, chrusciki, and bake sales she demonstrated her selflessness. And as she frequently reminded her children, “you were put on this earth to help others”.
She cherished her family and made sure that we were well nourished with food and fun. Homemade egg rolls, pizza burgers, as well as local sausages and rolls from Sciortino’s and Dentice Brothers fueled hours of Scrabble, Rummikub, and laughter from her children and grandchildren. These gatherings, which often welcomed new members to the family, were punctuated with desserts made with fruit from her garden.
Ann made the most of her time each day. Whether attending square dancing events with her beloved Raymond, volunteering her typist skills with Outpost Natural Foods, dancing at Polish Fest, showing her prized orchids, or taking her grandchildren to bingo nights, she taught all how to look at each moment as an opportunity. And most importantly, she taught all of us to be better people.
While no longer physically with us, the spirit of our mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother will always be alive in our hearts and souls when we garden, show empathy and care for others, make her world-famous pizza burgers, or hear that wonderful sound of polka music!
Here’s hoping there is a Miller Lite and a glass of ice waiting for her in heaven along with a special toast to a life well lived.
Ann is survived by her son, Steven (Sandra) LaVallee; daughters, Rae Ann (the late Patrick) Bukowski, Linda (David) Rudolph and Nancy (Bruce) Krueger; her grandchildren, Leanne (Joseph) Hollingsworth, Collin (Stefanie) LaVallee, Shandra (Adam) Bauer, Zachary (Kim) LaVallee, Ariana (Brandon) LaVallee, Lisa (Doug) Ellis, Brian (Michelle) Bukowski, Kim (Chris) Garland, Julie LaVallee, and Christopher LaVallee; great-grandchildren: Madison, Mackenzie, Norah, Zoey, Elliana, Jacob Patrick, Brynn, Ethan, and Silas; and sister Jenny Stibbe.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John & Mary Turza, brothers John and Edward, husband Raymond LaVallee, sons David and Gerald, granddaughter Melissa, grandson Matthew and son-in-law Patrick Bukowski.
A private service will be held with family members. We wish to thank the staff at Linden Court for her wonderful care the last five years and especially in the last few months. You are God’s heroes!
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Ann’s name are appreciated to St. Ben’s Clinic, 1027 N 9th Street, Milwaukee 53233.