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Annaliesa Graenicher
Annaliesa Graenicher

Annaliesa Graenicher, fondly known to friends and family as Anna, passed away peacefully on February 21, 2019, at the age of 90, while residing at the Onalaska Care Center in Onalaska, WI.

Anna was born on September 27, 1928 in Thörigen, Switzerland, the daughter of farmers, Hans and Anna Brügger. She had two siblings, Hans and Therese, both of whom pre-deceased Anna. While brother Hans stayed in Switzerland all his life, Anna and Therese immigrated to the United States.

After a year of compliance efforts with the sponsorship requirements from the United States Immigration authorities, Anna and her husband, Walter Graenicher, with their four children, under age 9, were granted immigration papers for the United States. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean by ship, they landed at Ellis Island, Upper New York Bay, in 1956. With immigration papers in order, they were legally admitted into the United States of America. They began their American Dream at their sponsor’s farm in Rock Grove, Illinois. Anna’s family became naturalized citizens of the United States.

For many years, they were dairy farmers in the Monroe, Woodford and Browntown communities of Wisconsin. Anna’s entire family participated in the Swiss Wilhelm Tell play in New Glarus, when it was still performed in the Swiss-German language only.

Anna was a great cook, and an accomplished knitter. She was also a nurse’s aide for many years at St. Clare Hospital in Monroe, WI.

Later, Anna and Walter were independent business owners associated with Amway. This relationship provided them many opportunities for travel and the making of new acquaintances about the United States. Walter and Anna relocated to Monticello in the late eighties, where Walter died September 4, 1990. A few years later, Anna moved to Onalaska, WI to be nearer to her daughters, Brigitta in Onalaska and Susanna in Rochester, MN.

She will be remembered with love by her four children – Brigitta (Bill) Gautsch, Kurt (Helena Coutinho) Graenicher, Susanna (Tom) Hughes and Rene (Vic) Graenicher; and nine grandchildren – Wendy (John) Zubek, Kris (Lori) Gautsch, Sara (Todd) Tullis, Anna (Terry Carver) Graenicher, Jake (Samantha) Graenicher, Lucas (Pamela Lynn) Graenicher, Maisie Graenicher, Zachery (Gina) Hughes, and Breyan (Andy) Richardson. She is survived by brother-in-law, Ernst Jaggi and his daughter, Annamarie. Anna also leaves 16 great grandchildren, many dear friends and relatives both in the United States and Switzerland.

Many people in the Swiss American community of southern Wisconsin will affectionately remember Anna, her beautiful smile, welcoming manner, and the Swiss accent that stayed with her all her life. She enjoyed watching auto racing, the Green Bay Packers, and even attended a number of motorcycle races to watch her grandson Zachery compete.

Anna requested there be no memorial service. Interment arrangements are pending.  Condolences may be made online at