BARABOO - My (Beth Kramer) 18 year long journey with cancer ended on June 29th at Meadow Ridge in Baraboo with my husband and daughters at my side.
I was born the eldest child to Gen (Genevieve) Metcalf Counselman and Phil (Philip) Counselman on October 20, 1947 in Monroe, WI. I attended St. Victor's School and graduated from Monroe High School. I was a 1969 graduate of WSU-La Crosse with a degree in Medical Technology. On January 23, 1971, I married Terry Kramer at St. Victor's in Monroe. Terry was my best friend and life partner. Our marriage was blessed with two daughters, Katrina Kramer (Gary Diny) and Michelle (Ben) Anderson.
The greatest gifts of my long life were our grandchildren, John, Sam and Andrew Anderson, and Annika Diny. I am also survived by my sister, Jill (John) Norton; brother, Dean Counselman (Deb Shutvet); sister-in-law, Vicki (Duane) Fenrick; and several nieces, nephews and extended families. I was preceded in death by my parents, parents-in-law, and my youngest sister, Lynn.
I was a stay at home Mom in the early years of our daughter's lives. I volunteered at their schools, was scout leader and assisted with 4-H. In both Plover and Baraboo, I taught religious education to children of many ages including confirmation mentoring at St. Joseph's.
After a couple years working as an aide at East School, I returned to laboratory work at Medical Associates. For one year, I worked at St. Clare hospital before returning to the Clinic. Later, I left clinical work and was employed as a receptionist for Dr. Tom Ritzenthaler's eye practice.
Besides my family, my greatest achievement was attaining my Master Gardener certification a year after my initial cancer diagnosis. Gardening has always been my love. Gardening relieves stress, renews one's spirit and brings one closer to God's creation. Master Gardener volunteering was fulfilling in many ways - from sharing plants, ideas and time to teaching others to garden.
My advice to others would be to travel when you can. The most memorable trips for Terry and me were Glacier National park via Amtrak; experiencing Alaska by bus, rail and small cruise ship; Bryce, Zion and the Grand Canyons; New Brunswick, Canada; kayaking the sea caves on Lake Superior; and our only overseas trip, Great Britain. In Britain, after our guided tour, we ventured out with native Brits and historians to visit places our dad's had been stationed at during WW II - a lifelong dream.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 304 East St., Baraboo, with Fr. Jay Poster officiating. Visitation will be at the church on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until time of Mass. The Rago-Baldwin Funeral Home, 520 East St., Baraboo, is assisting the family.
My family and I want to thank all my doctors (and supporting staff) at UW Hospital and Clinics: Dr. Cleary (Oncology), Dr. Ferguson (Pulmonary), and Dr. Vogelman (Infectious Disease). Additional thanks to the staff at Agrace Hospice and Meadow Ridge. As much as I loved gardening, in lieu of flowers I would prefer donations or memorials be given to the UW Carbone Cancer Center or Agrace Hospice.
"To cultivate a garden is to walk with God." - Bovee
Posted: Thursday, July 5, 2018
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My loving prayers to Beth's family. Beth and I graduated from High School together and were friends there. Sadly, we did not keep in touch through the years. Her self written obituary speaks of her love of life, family and self. She had all those gifts when I knew her.