Obit: Fonstad, Grace M. (1916 - 2016)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Fonstad, Vobach, Fleischauer, Fix, Taillon
----Source: Cress Funeral Home - Madison, WI
Fonstad, Grace M. (11 MAY 1916 - 17 APR 2016)
MADISON - Grace M. Fonstad, age 99, passed away on Sunday April 17, 2016. She was born May 11, 1916 in Colby, Wisconsin the daughter of Emil and Caroline (Vobach) Fleischauer. She graduated from Colby High School in 1933 and from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1937 with a B.A. in Library Science. She was fond of telling her kids how her dad would give her a shot of blackberry brandy before putting her on the bus for the long ride from Colby to Madison. She completed the requirements for her teaching certificate at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire in 1961 while living in Greenwood, Wisconsin.
Grace fell in love with books and libraries as a young girl growing up across the street from the Colby Public Library. The librarian let Grace follow her around the library as much as she wanted. Grace was the librarian at the New London Public library when she met her husband Clifton G. Fonstad who came in to read "Popular Mechanics." They married in 1941. Grace spent many years in libraries - in Fort Atkinson, Wheaton (Ill.), New London, Neillsville High School, Tomah High School and Madison, where she worked as the bookmobile librarian for Dane County Library Services. She gave generously to the Colby, Greenwood, Waupaca and Middleton public libraries throughout her life.
She was the librarian at Kromrey Middle School in Middleton from 1968 to 1978. She loved middle schoolers - they didn't hold a grudge, she said. She might catch them misbehaving and have to discipline them but by the end of the day they would say "Good night, Mrs. Fonstad. We sure had fun in the library today, didn't we."
Grace taught her children to love hiking in the woods, looking for birds, and hunting wild mushrooms. She was an artist and many of her watercolor paintings and pastel and charcoal drawings decorated her home. She collected cartoons and silly poems (some she wrote), gardened as long as she was physically able, and always had fresh flowers on the table. She enjoyed traveling to far off places with her friends and playing bridge with her card buddies. She especially liked playing Scrabble, at which she was very good.
Grace was proudest of her family but she would say that one of her most important accomplishments was working to help create Governor Nelson State Park. She was also proud of being a founding member of Crossroads Methodist Church in Waunakee. And she volunteered at the University Hospital for many years, first with her husband Clif and then on her own after he died in 1982. She finally stopped in 2007 after she was no longer able to drive.
Grace is survived by her children Clifton Jr. and his wife Carmenza of Arlington, Massachusetts, Mary Fix of Madison, and Eric and his wife Bridget of Fox Point, Wisconsin; grandchildren Nils and Diego Fonstad, Peter Fix and Ann (Fix) Taillon, and Megan Fonstad; and great grandchildren Karina, Luca, Thea, and Tessa Fonstad and Kyria and Liam Taillon. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her brother Emil Jr., and her son-in-law Steven Fix.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday May 14, 2016 at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. Visitation will be from 10:00 AM until the time of the service. The family invites you for a light luncheon at the funeral home immediately following the service.
Grace always said that she wanted the words "Call the Public Library" engraved on her memorial marker. Those wishing to express their sympathy with a memorial may wish to consider contributing to their local public library.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison
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