Madison - Kathleen Frances "Kathy" Bries, age 87, passed away in her home on Monday, February 13, 2017 surrounded by her loving family. She was born on February 24, 1929 in Denmark, Wisconsin, the daughter of Valerian (Schommer) and Harry Zilisch. She was united in marriage on June 17, 1950 to Byron Joseph Bries in Green Bay, Wisconsin where they resided together for many years until they moved their family to Madison in 1966. In their retirement years, Kathy and Byron enjoyed being snowbirds, wintering in Florida until health challenges kept them close to home.
Kathy was a faithful Catholic and member of St. Bernard's Catholic Church. She looked forward to planting flowers in her yard each spring, spending summers camping with the kids and grandkids, annual Christmas break vacation trips to Florida with the family, and years of weekend football parties shared with friends. Kathy felt blessed to have raised her family in a neighborhood filled with wonderful, caring people whom she considered beloved friends to this day. She had a kind and courageous heart and devoted many years as caregiver for her parents and husband Byron through their life limiting illnesses.
Kathy was devoted to her family and took enormous pride in her home, children and grandchildren. She always made herself available to help out, frequently taking the grandkids to medical appointments or sports practice and made special effort to attend their many school programs, music and sporting events. Kathy lived for the frequent gatherings her family shared. She was known as the family "card shark" and loved nothing more than playing a good game of Fascination or Kings Corner, board games, decorating Christmas cookies, watching movies and old TV reruns or just sharing a home cooked meal and eating cake! She was surrounded by her children and grandchildren until her final moments of life.
Kathy touched many hearts and will be dearly missed by all whom knew and loved her.
Kathy is survived by her three daughters; Gail (Pat) Kohn, Julie Flugum and Joan (Stuart) Clifcorn all of Madison, six grandchildren; Melissa (Brett) McLain, James Kohn, Cory Clifcorn, Amber Clifcorn, Sara (fiancé Brooks Wilcox) Flugum and Kristin Flugum and six great grandchildren. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, other loving relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Byron, first born daughter Sheryl, four infant sons and daughters and brother Richard.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. BERNARD CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2450 Atwood Avenue, Madison on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at 12 Noon with Father Michael Radowicz presiding. A visitation will be held at the church on Saturday from 10:00 am until the time of Mass. Graveside services will be held on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 11:30 am at All Saints Cemetery in Denmark, Wisconsin.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in memory of Kathy to Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 East Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg, WI 53711.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Richelle Fields, Katie Diaz, and staff at Meriter Wisconsin Heart, the staff at Meriter Unity Point Health 11 Tower, Susan Sutherland with Meriter Pallitive Care, and the staff at Agrace HospiceCare for all their support, care, thoughtfulness and compassion they shared with Kathy and her family through this difficult time.
Mom, we miss you so. You are forever in our hearts...
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3325 E. Washington Ave., Madison
Kathy, you are the dearest of friends to me. You welcomed my family with open arms when we first met in 1968. I will miss you so much, our impromptu card games, our fun surfing the net (it was like the blind leading the blind). You always served me tea when my first choice was coffee, but the miniature candy bars always made up for it. You had them waiting for me in the fridge. Rest in peace my friend, you will be missed. Bernice
Grandma with Grandson Cory
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