The following obituary was written by Peg as an assignment for a nursing class this past summer. The only changes made were the dates and service information in the final paragraph. These were the words that Peg wanted to share about her life and the importance of love and giving back to others.
Peggy Arlene Van Zee, 48, of La Crosse passed away unexpectedly Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018.
Peg was born in Ames, Iowa, and raised in the Tomahamp Douglas area. She graduated from Tomah High School in 1988. After a few odd jobs, Peg went on to spend 21 years at The Company Store (TCS), where she worked her way up the ladder while building a family of friends that stand by her side to this day. While at TCS, Peg had a tremendous opportunity to help other employees give back to each other and the community while also having some fun. There were many blood drives, Toys for Tots, Mitten Trees, Back to School drives and countless other events coordinated through Peg and her Employee Relations Committee, over the years. After Peg left The Company Store, she spent some amazing time with her children, before taking a part time job with Mayo Clinic. She will jokingly tell you that during this time, she was trying to figure out what she wanted to be when she grows up. Peg went to Western Technical College for her CNA and this fueled her love of helping patients at Gundersen Hospital, where she has worked for the past five and a half years. This love of patient care, along with tremendous support from her favorite nurse, Heather, and an infinite amount of hospital staff, led Peg into the nursing program. During her personal time, she loved time with her kids, Heather, and her family. Outdoor activities and adventures were favorites for her. Peg loved giving to others with the smallest daily gestures to her annual event for the past 19 years of organizing Peg’s Team for the La Crosse Community Neighbors Day. In April 2019, we will make one last Peg’s Team to honor the 20th anniversary for her. Her hope is that it will be the biggest and best Peg’s Team ever.
Peg told her family frequently and will share with all of you, look at the sky, sun, moon and stars. Don’t get so wrapped up in life that you miss moments to see the beauty above us and around us. When was the last time you took a moment to see a sunrise or find constellations in the sky? Share these moments with the people around you often.
Peg is survived by her beloved children, Maxwell, Cooper, Ruby; her special love, Heather and her children, Shay, Ari and Lilly. Two more kids that touch Peg’s life are Matix and Primrose. Her father, Lloyd, brother, Clifford and his children. Other family members include wonderful aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Peg was preceded in death by her mother, Margaret; brother, Paul; uncle, Arie; and both sets of grandparents, Clifford, Edith, John and Gladys.
A memorial service will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, in the Prairie Room, at Coulee Region Cremation Group, 133 Mason St., Onalaska, with a visitation from 2:30 p.m. until the time of the service. Tara Shilts will be leading the service.
A memorial fund has been set up in Peg’s honor at Altra Federal Credit Union in La Crosse. Please make any donations payable to Peg VanZee Memorial. Coulee Region Cremation Group is assisting the family.