Toni Kolsrud

Toni K. Kolsrud, 75, of Waterville died peacefully Saturday, April 29, 2023 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, WI, with her beloved family beside her. Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 6 at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon with Fr. John Moser officiating. Burial will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Waukon.

Friends may greet the family from 4-7 p.m. Friday, May 5 at Martin - Grau Funeral Home in Waukon, where there will be a 3:30 p.m. scripture service and a 5:30 p.m. American Legion/VFW Auxiliary service.

Toni Kathryn (Goltz) Kolsrud was born July 6, 1947 in Decorah, the daughter of Dale and Mary “Sis” (Campbell) Goltz. She was baptized at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon and grew her strong, humble faith throughout her 75 years.

While attending school at Waukon High School, she met her beloved Gary Kolsrud on a school bus. December 31, 1965, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, she married her best friend and the love of her life. Their daughter, Lisa, was born in 1966 in Waukon, and they lived with Toni’s grandfather, Leonard Campbell, while Gary was in the service. Later, their little family moved to Austin, MN, and they soon welcomed Michael and Jeremy into the family circle. In 1978, they returned home to an acreage near Waterville, where they still live today.

Toni was a proud mother of her three children. She supported and assisted Gary as they grew KolGol, their wire manufacturing business, alongside their partners/brother and sister-in-law, Frank and Patty Goltz. One of her proudest moments was when she received her AA degree at Northeast Iowa Community Technical Institute.

She has held many jobs over the years. At Banfield School in Austin, MN, she was the playground supervisor at the elementary school that the “Kolsrud Kids” attended. Even back then, she was watching, guiding and protecting “her kids”. She later enjoyed working as a secretary at the Morrow and White Law Office, but somehow, her heart was drawn to kids and the schools.

She served as a Sunday school teacher, worked as a superintendent secretary for Eastern Allamakee Schools under John Grampovnik, taught canning classes to adults, was the school secretary at St. Patrick’s School, and later, served as a para-educator for the Allamakee School District in the Waterville and Waukon centers. Toni’s passion was teaching children throughout her life and she never missed a chance to do so. In each of these places, she made lifelong friends that turned into family. She was a proud member of the Ladies Auxiliary and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Toni and Gary did a little traveling. Usually, their trips were to visit siblings, kids and relatives. On their 45th anniversary, they flew with their kids and grandkids to experience Disney World. One of their favorite adventures involved exploring Ireland together, without the kids! Toni enjoyed the simple things in life, her sister Laurie, laughing, shopping for “treasures” with her sister, Reenie, and filling their antique booth at New Generation Antique Mall in Harmony, MN with canning jars, cast-iron pans, etc. that they purchased at auctions and shops together.

She loved to read and play cards. She also loved watching animals and birds on their acreage. The deer, wrens, bluebirds and beautiful hummingbirds brought her joy. She loved teasing Gary about his “favorite” flowers (tulips) that Toni and Lisa planted and replanted.

She loved, Loved, LOVED her grandchildren and was very involved in their lives. She was her family’s biggest cheerleader, fiercest protector, best doctor when they were sick or hurting, and kindest person that they know. She led with her heart in all that she did. In so many little ways, she has touched the people around her through cards, notes, Facebook posts, little unexpected gifts, shoes or milk money for kids who needed it, and the list goes on.

Toni died peacefully Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 2:35 a.m. in La Crosse, WI. The helicopter landing above her and her family at exactly that time indicated that it was time to go home. They are so blessed by their beautiful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, best friend and wife. What a blessing was each moment. Her prayers were many, and she always directed them to look to the stars. We will hold her forever in our hearts and carry her with us in all that we do until we meet again around the throne.

She is survived by her husband, Gary Kolsrud; her three children: Lisa (Mark) VanderKolk and Michael (Lesya) Kolsrud, both of Waterville, and Jeremy (Jeni) Kolsrud of Waukon; 11 dear grandchildren: Meagan (Ivan) Ceballos, Breanna (Cody) Murray, Brody (Kayla) VanderKolk, Katelyn (Jake Thiessen) Kolsrud, Emily Kolsrud, Ryan Kolsrud, John Kolsrud, Andrew Kolsrud, Thomas Kolsrud, Lainey Kolsrud and Dasha Ryzhenkova; one great-grandchild: Krue VanderKolk; her sisters, Reenie Berryman and Laurie Goltz; her sisters-in-law, Carolyn Gillespie and Beverly Young; her brothers, Michael Goltz, Frank (Patty) Goltz and Clark (Shelly) Goltz; her brother-in-law, Terry (Bonnie) Kolsrud; and many cherished nieces and nephews.

Toni was preceded in death by her parents, Dale and Sis Goltz; Gary’s parents, Floyd and Beulah Kolsrud; her brother, Tom Goltz; and her brothers-in-law, Bev Berryman and Ray Gillespie.

Honorary casketbearers are Frank, Michael, Clark and Owen Goltz, Terry Kolsrud, Jake Thiessen and Krue VanderKolk. Casketbearers are Brody VanderKolk, John, Andrew, Thomas and Ryan Kolsrud, Cody Murray and Ivan Ceballos.

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