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Elizabeth Ann Reinartz, 90

Elizabeth Ann Reinartz (Liz), 90, died on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, at Agrace Hospice care.

Elizabeth Ann Reinartz, 90

She grew up in Austin, Minnesota, in a family that included cousin’s, grandparents, railroad-widowed aunts and her German-born great-grandfather, as well as her mother and stepfather, Geraldine and Garth Hadley. All of them, plus the nuns, priests, classmates, and colleagues she encountered through life became vividly familiar to anyone who heard Liz tell her wonderful stories.  Generations of her family worked at Austin’s Hormel plant, as did Liz to earn funds for college. Inspired by The Franciscan Sisters at The College of Saint Theresa, the Dominican priests who taught theology there and the local bishop’s plea to “give back a year to Catholic education,” Liz taught English at the Franciscans’ Saint Mary’s Academy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and joined the Thomist Society of Theological Study.

After far more than one year, she left to earn her Masters Degree in English at University of Wisconsin-Madison. This was followed by many years of teaching – first at Central High until it closed, then to West High School. There she met colleague Paul Buckalew, who became her best friend, neighbor and caregiver. While at West, she followed her grandmother’s example of unionism at Hormel by becoming active in Madison Teachers Inc. She was once asked if she ever met anyone famous and she promptly replied “Reggie Regent,” also known as Mike Koval. At the Dominican Blessed Sacrament parish, Liz participated in every possible organization (except the choir) and served as an elector, adviser to deacon interns, and on Brother Edward van Merrienboer’s team of CCD 1. “Auntie Liz” also entertained the kids by reading stories to them while their parents shopped at the annual Christmas Market. In retirement, Liz volunteered for the Madison Area Retired Educators Association and The Odyssey Project and enjoyed international travel with The Friendship Force and The Red Hatter’s.   

Liz is survived by the cousins she grew up with; and many friends and colleagues.  Deepest gratitude to Brother Edward, John McDermott, Georgia and Paula Benkart, Maile Paalani, Agrace Hospice, especially Paul, for their faithful care and friendship.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, at Blessed Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 2121 Rowley Ave., Madison, WI. A viewing will be held one hour prior to Mass on Saturday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Blessed Sacrament Parish at 2118 Hollister Ave., Madison, WI 53726, or to a charity of your choice. Please share your memories at www.cressfuneralservice.com.