Beatrice E. Gilles

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Beatrice E. Gilles

January 23, 2020

Beatrice E. Gilles Beatrice 'Bea' E. Gilles
Beatrice "Bea" E. Gilles, 81, of La Crosse passed away Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at her home. She was born in La Crosse in 1938, to Albert and Alvira Biesen. After graduating from Holy Trinity grade school, Bea attended Aquinas High School, where she expanded her love of music and prepared for a career in nursing. She graduated from St. Francis School of Nursing in 1959. In 1961, Bea wed the love of her life, Richard Gilles and started their family.
She worked as a registered nurse at St. Francis Hospital, Bethany St. Joe's and eventually Gundersen Lutheran Hospital. She enjoyed her work as an operating room RN, specializing in cardiac surgery. She also worked helping those with acute eye sight issues by coordinating and executing the organ donor process in the region. She deeply valued family, friends and faith. She was an active member of St. Pius X Parish from its inception and then migrated to Mary, Mother of the Church Parish, where she enjoyed singing with the choir.
Bea worked hard and played harder. In the outdoors, she loved gardening, bird watching and growing anything she could get her hands on. An avid fisher-woman, her crowning achievement was a nine-pound Walleye that is proudly displayed at her cabin. She spent countless hours watching her children and grandchildren participate in plays, musicals and sports. Indoors, she was a prolific quilter, reader and crafter. She loved anything to help her express her artistic side. She loved to play cards and to help teach all of her grandkids to share in her love of the camaraderie and togetherness that card playing brings.
Bea is preceded in death by her parents; her siblings, Ronald, Norbert, Lyle and Gerald. She is survived by her husband, Richard; her children, Stephen (Stephanie), Cheryl (Bryan) Van Riper and Bill (Heather); and grandchildren, Greg, Geoff, Gerry, Katie, Anna, Sean, and Elin; her sisters, Marilyn, Carol and Rita; her sister-in-law, Gloria; and nieces, Rita and Mary.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31, in Mary, Mother of the Church Parish at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 2006 Weston St., La Crosse. The Rev. Brian D. Konopa will officiate with entombment to be held in the St. Francis of Assisi Mausoleum in the Catholic Cemetery, La Crosse. Family and friends may visit from 9 a.m. until the time of Mass, Friday.
The Blaschke & Schneider funeral homes are assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Aquinas Catholic Schools or Mary Mother of the Church. Online condolences may be made at
Published on January 29, 2020
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2 posts

Carol Bell
Jan 29, 2020
So sorry for your loss.
Sandy Hammes
Jan 29, 2020
Bea was such a wonderful woman. We met when she and Richard joined the Luxembourg/American Descendants' Society of the La Crosse Region. She was very proud of her Luxembourg roots. One day we went to the register of deeds so she could find out information on the death of her mother, she had that question all her adult life. I was so happy to help her. She and Richard were faithful members of the Luxembourg Society and she will be greatly missed. My prayers are for Richard as he walks through this difficult path in life.
Bea you will always be special in my heart. Sandy