Anne Gilfry Schierl, 86, was unexpectedly hospitalized on Tuesday, April 10, due to complications from pneumonia, kidney failure and reduced liver function. As she would say, “my body is just worn out.” She was placed into hospice care on Wednesday, April 11, and returned home to spend the rest of her time with family. She was called to heaven at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 12, just in time for “cocktail hour” with her late husband, Butch. We know she was greeted at heaven’s gate with a glass of chardonnay by a host of her beloved friends and family that preceded her in death.
Anne is survived by her three sons; Tim (Sara) (Stevens Point), Fritz (Julie) (Plover), and Bill (Sarena Melotte) (Stevens Point), and her six grandchildren; Samantha, Fritz, Kali, Emmy, Max and TJ.
Anne was the only child of Ralph and Ruth Gilfry (Portage County’s first public health nurse), born February 11, 1932, Milwaukee, WI. She graduated from P.J. Jacobs Senior High School in 1950. She went on to attend University Wisconsin – Madison and graduated as one of the first two women from UW-Madison medical school in 1957. She married her high school sweet heart, Butch Schierl, on June 11, 1960, Stevens Point. She was employed by St. Michael’s Hospital as the first female anesthesiologist and then served as the anesthesiology department chair for over 25 years. After retiring from medicine in 1989, she began her work as a “professional volunteer.” She was passionate about a litany of organizations and causes for the betterment of our community’s youth, arts and culture, and drug and alcohol prevention.
A true community leader, she was instrumental in founding multiple programs including: elementary school Sex Education, Home Free (Save Ride Home), MORP (alcohol-free post Prom event), Portage County Alliance for Youth, Community Capers (funding St. Michael's Hospital), Shoe String Players (children's performance theater), Community Foundation of Central WI, The Community Show (Community Foundation and CREATE Portage County fundraiser), Boys & Girls Club of Portage County, Soiree Musicale (UWSP Music Department fundraiser), ArtsBash (Theater & Dance/Art & Design Departments fundraiser) and Riverfront Jazz Festival.
She also participated in supporting Teen Leadership Mentoring, Monteverdi Chorale, Hospice, Central Wisconsin Symphony, UWSP Theater & Dance students (known as "Mama Anne") with several annual Anne Gilfry Schierl student scholarships, and performed in many Area Community Theater shows with only one thing in mind, "to make people laugh!” She served on the UW – Medical School Alumni Board, was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, was noted in the 2000 Women of Achievement publication, as well as receiving numerous other honors and recognitions throughout her lifetime.
Known by her cherished grandchildren as “Gannie”, she loved attending their school events and was often seen in the bleachers cheering them on at their sporting competitions. She took time to knit a personalized Christmas stocking for each along with never missing the opportunity to send a meaningful card on holidays, birthdays and special occasions. She accompanied them to many dance & theater performances, attended countless bonfires at Tim & Saras’, and spent quality time during one on one lunches.
Anne was a lifelong University Wisconsin fan who loved Bucky Badger and the marching band. Her love of travel took her to countless bowl games and events making her the most accomplished alumni travel participant in UW-Madison history.
Anne loved Waupaca, WI. She had many fond memories of dancing at the Indian Crossing Casino, boating on the Chain of Lakes and eating cheese curds at the Harbor Bar. She always said; “I never turn down three things; a boat ride, a new experience, or a dance”.
Anne proved that one can age without getting “old.” She chose to surround herself with positive people that “see what is possible versus what is.” She spent the majority of her time and energy on the idea of making things better. Although we are overcome with sorrow, we take comfort in knowing she exited gracefully and without suffering. We recognize that Earth’s tremendous loss is Heaven’s gain and she can now lend her tireless spirit to God’s kingdom.
She always wanted her work and words to make a difference in the lives of others…we believe she accomplished her goal.
Visitation held at Shuda Funeral Home, 3200 Stanley Street, Stevens Point on Wednesday, May 2 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Funeral services at St. Stephen’s Church, 1401 Clark Street, May 3 at 3 p.m. with Celebration of Life following at the Stevens Point Country Club from 4 – 6 p.m. Please consider wearing a bit of Badger Red in celebration of Anne’s life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made payable to the Community Foundation of Central WI, 1501 Clark Street, Stevens Point, WI 54481 Attn: Anne G Schierl Memorial Fund.
Online Gifts can be made at:
Memorials funds will be equally divided between the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County and the Arts & Culture Mission Fund of the Community Foundation of Central WI.