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Annaliesa “Anna” Graenicher

March 1, 2019 | 11 comments

Annaliesa Graenicher, fondly known to friends and family as Anna, passed away peacefully on February 21, 2019, at the age of 90, while residing at the Onalaska Care Center in Onalaska, WI.

Anna was born on September 27, 1928 in Thörigen, Switzerland, the daughter of farmers, Hans and Anna Brügger. She had two siblings, Hans and Therese, both of whom pre-deceased Anna. While brother Hans stayed in Switzerland all his life, Anna and Therese immigrated to the United States.

After a year of compliance efforts with the sponsorship requirements from the United States Immigration authorities, Anna and her husband, Walter Graenicher, with their four children, under age 9, were granted immigration papers for the United States. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean by ship, they landed at Ellis Island, Upper New York Bay, in 1956.  With immigration papers in order, they were legally admitted into the United States of America.  They began their American Dream at their sponsor’s farm in Rock Grove, Illinois.  Anna’s family became naturalized citizens of the United States.

For many years, they were dairy farmers in the Monroe, Woodford and Browntown communities of Wisconsin.  Anna’s entire family participated in the Swiss Wilhelm Tell play in New Glarus, when it was still performed in the Swiss-German language only.

Anna was a great cook, and an accomplished knitter. She was also a nurse’s aide for many years at St. Clare Hospital in Monroe, WI.

Later, Anna and Walter were independent business owners associated with Amway. This relationship provided them many opportunities for travel and the making of new acquaintances about the United States.  Walter and Anna relocated to Monticello in the late eighties, where Walter died September 4, 1990. A few years later, Anna moved to Onalaska, WI to be nearer to her daughters, Brigitta in Onalaska and Susanna in Rochester, MN.

She will be remembered with love by her four children – Brigitta (Bill) Gautsch, Kurt (Helena Coutinho) Graenicher, Susanna (Tom) Hughes and Rene (Vic) Graenicher; and nine grandchildren – Wendy (John) Zubek, Kris (Lori) Gautsch, Sara (Todd) Tullis, Anna (Terry Carver) Graenicher, Jake (Samantha) Graenicher, Lucas (Pamela Lynn) Graenicher, Maisie Graenicher, Zachery (Gina) Hughes, and Breyan (Andy) Richardson. She is survived by brother-in-law, Ernst Jaggi and his daughter, Annamarie.  Anna also leaves 16 great grandchildren, many dear friends and relatives both in the United States and Switzerland.

Many people in the Swiss American community of southern Wisconsin will affectionately remember Anna, her beautiful smile, welcoming manner, and the Swiss accent that stayed with her all her life. She enjoyed watching auto racing, the Green Bay Packers, and even attended a number of motorcycle races to watch her grandson Zachery compete.

Anna requested there be no memorial service. Interment arrangements are pending.



  1. Mike Berkley

    Sincere condolences from the Barge and Berkley families.

    • Daniel Gerber

      Dear Susanna, Brigitta, Kurt, Rene and families,
      it was very sad to hear of your mum’s passing at the same time I think it’s good to know that she’s reunited with your dad. Both of them were true friends of ours who will always have a very special place in my heart. Life has taken us into different directions but thoughts and memories will always stay close.
      May they both RIP together.

  2. Terry & Diane Baier

    Diane and I were truly blessed to know Anna and Walter for many years, having been first introduced by their daughter Brigitta and her husband Bill Gautsch, when they still lived in Monroe, Wis. We have many fond memories of times spent with the Graenicher family. Annas beautiful Swiss accent, coupled with her cheerful smile, will always be a cherished memory.

  3. Paul and Carolyn Stakun

    To Anna’s family,
    Please accept our prayers and sympathies for your loss.

    Paul and Carolyn Stakun

  4. Jill Jacobs

    Our condolences to the family. She was a wonderful person and raised an awesome family…they are the best people we have ever met…Love Brad and Jill

  5. Ron Robinson

    Condolences for you loss, Bill and Brigitta.

  6. Gränicher Sonja

    Liebe Trauerfamilie
    Wir möchten Euch auf diesem Weg unser aufrichtiges Beileid aussprechen.
    Annalies werden wir als fröhliche, interessante Tante/Frau in guter Erinnerung behalten. Wir haben uns gefreut, dass wir Annalies im Sept. 16 sehen konnten, anlässlich unseres Kurzurlaubes bei Brigitta und Bill.
    Annalies hat uns auch mehrmals in Röthenbach besucht, wo ihr Mann Walter aufgewachsen ist. Wir hatten immer eine sehr schöne Zeit.
    In Liebe
    Sonja u. Hanspeter
    Nicole, Thom u. Vincent
    Thom, Andrea u. James

  7. Dan Kahler

    Dear Brigitta

    We were saddened to hear of your mom’s passage. Rejoice in the happy memories you have of her which will be with you for all of your days.

    Francie and Dan

  8. Hans und Ruth Zuber

    Liebe Trauerfamilie

    Wir nehmen Anteil am Schmerz um Euer liebes Mueti und wünschen Euch viel Kraft in dieser schweren Zeit.
    Wir denken gerne an die gemeinsame Zeit mit Annelies zurück, auf die Ausflüge auf das Jungfraujoch, ins Appenzellerland oder ins Emmental zum Merängge-Ässe. Auch durften wir schöne Momente mit ihm zusammen auf unseren Reisen in Amerika erleben.
    Stille Grüsse

    Hans und Ruth Zuber

  9. Judy Gobeli

    Our sincere condolences to Anna’s family. My husband fondly remembers the family from living in Browntown and I knew her from working at St. Clare and knowing her children. She was such a good person. Jim and Judy Gobeli

  10. Nancy Deets

    To Anna’s family. My thoughts and prayers to all for the passing of your mom. She was a special lady. We worked together at St Clare. I always loved her smile and her accent. Nancy Deets


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