Call (608) 788-2188


Margaret T. Ertz

May 28, 2024 | 5 comments

Margaret T. Ertz, 71 of Onalaska, passed peacefully away May 24, 2024.  Her children and other family members and friends had kept vigil at her bedside from the time of her experiencing an unexpected and untreatable subarachnoid hemorrhage just 3 days earlier.

Margaret’s heart of caring for other people led her to become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Rochester, MN, after completing her nursing studies.  As a working, single mom, she studied for her bachelor’s degree and graduated “cum laude” with a 3.6 GPA from Viterbo University with a major in Personnel Management and a minor in Psychology.  She was the first in her family to earn a college degree.  Three months after graduation, she began her career at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, WI, as a Corporate Management Engineer, and then moved into the Corporate Research and Development where she earned many commendations.

Margaret was a Fellow of the Hospital Management Systems Society of America.  In addition she volunteered in the following associations:
La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce (Membership Committee),
American Heart Association (Top Volunteer Fund Raiser)
American Cancer Society (Volunteer Fund Raiser)
Children’s Miracle Network (Campaign Volunteer)

Margaret was a romantic at heart. Her favorite song was, “I Love How You Love Me,” by John Michael Montgomery.   Traveling and camping with family and friends, visiting around the campfire, organizing home parties (Mary Kay Cosmetics and Home Interiors), puzzling, and volunteering at her retirement community activities were her favorite pastimes.  In her later years, her dogs, Gabby, Gracie and Prancer, were her constant companions, and she made friends wherever she walked her dogs.  People who knew Margaret say she always signed her greeting cards “Love and hugs, Margaret…”

She is survived by her children, son, Matthew Davis of La Crescent, MN; step-daughter Sara Becker and husband, Scott, of West Salem, their sons, Nicholas and Nathan, their daughter, Kelcey, with husband, Dwight Schomberg, and daughter, Millie (Margaret’s step-granddaughter); step-daughter, Joy Paul of Eau Claire, and her children, Emily Sylte and Ryan Paul (Margaret’s step-grandchildren), step-son, Ryan Ertz, spouse Pam, and step-granddaughters, Caitlyn, Paige and Emma, of Rockton, IL; step-daughter, Corinne Ertz and husband, Scott Persons, and step-granddaughters Celia and Adeline, of Minneapolis, MN; and step-daughter, Anne Ertz, of Austin, TX.  Margaret’s surviving siblings include sister, Barbara Branch, brothers, Marty Branch, Paul Branch, Joe Branch, brother-in-law, Leonard Krueger, their children and grandchildren and many other beloved relatives and friends.  She is also survived by the special friend who later introduced her to her husband, Jim Ertz, who through circumstances and friendship also were like family to Margaret for the past 30 years, Barbara Pulfrey, and her husband, Charley Pulfrey.  Margaret describes them in own words in her autobiography, “Another unique relationship has evolved over time. The mom and stepdad of my two stepdaughters, Sara and Joy, have become “family” as well. We all live close enough to maintain contact in some form on a regular basis. We share each others triumphs and tragedies, and continually celebrate the twist of fate that occurred as a result of our failed marriages to the same man and the bond we developed through caring for each others children. Indirectly my son and I have been given the best gift of family we could ever want to have.”
Margaret is predeceased in death by her husband, Jim Ertz, her parents, Frank and Lucienne Branch, and her older sister, Mary (Branch) Krueger, whom she was looking forward to reuniting with in heaven, and with whom are now together with the LORD.

Memorial Gathering / Celebration of Life with family and friends is scheduled at 11:30am on Thursday, July 18, with visitation starting at 10:30am, at “The Gathering Place / Coulee Region Cremation, in Onalaska, MW.

To honor Margaret and her life of love and courage and dedication, in lieu of flowers, please consider giving a donation to a charity close to your heart.



  1. Elizabeth Trinca

    Even though we lived far away, Aunt Margaret was always so kind to my family and she even traveled quite a distance to attend my wedding. I am thinking and praying for Matt and her friends and family who are especially grieving her loss. May they know the peace and comfort of our Heavenly Father.

  2. valerie mahlum

    Our friendship was brief and valued. Her kind heart will be long remembered as well as her beloved Gabby.

    Richard and Valerie

  3. Laurie Smith

    Our condolences to your family. We lived in Englewood,FL and got to know Margaret well. She was friends with my sister Karen & brother Keith. She was so kind and and always willing to help where she could. Rest in peace Margaret. ♥️

  4. Chris and Jackie Bowers

    Our sincere condolences to Margaret’s friends and family. We always enjoyed seeing Margaret walking her dogs around the park. She would always speak and was friendly with everyone. I’m glad I was able to help Margaret navigate her insurance benefits etc. after Ian. Rest in peace

  5. Charity

    Aunt Marge always gave us a warm welcome whenever we’d see her. I fondly remember her pampering her dogs throughout the years.


Submit a Comment

Important: Condolences are approved before being posted. Condolences are not private, but viewable to the public.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's Celebrate Life Together

Call or send a message using the buttons below...
Call (608) 788-2188Send a Message