Obituary: Edith Elain (Walter) Hepp Burkhalter

Edith Burkhalter, age 93 years, of La Valle, WI, died February 15, 2024 peacefully at home after a brief illness. She was born January 23, 1931 to Clifford and Vera (Sonnenberg) Walter in Mauston. Attended Alton Country School, through the eighth grade. Edith and Hugh G. Hepp were married June 15, 1949 in Mauston. To this union they had six children. They farmed on the Hepp Family Farm until Hugh got ill and could no longer farm. They moved to rural La Valle where Edith cared for Hugh at home until his death in 1988.

She worked at Hartje’s part-time for years. She also helped Country Gals Lunch at auctions and at Brandau Sale Barn. She made hundreds of pies for Country Gals Cafe, Wonewoc Fire Department Hunter’s Night Out, Wonewoc American Legion Hall and anyone that asked for a pie.

On June 15, 1996 Edith married Ervin (Bud) Burkhalter at their home in La Valle. They enjoyed going on the Wagon Train, taking care of the horses and dancing. Edith was always ready to help other people, whether it was canning, butchering, changing the oil, taking the blades off the lawn mower or rescuing her children from a bat invasion. She was always right there, ready and willing to help! She would not allow anyone to leave her home without eating a meal, or at least a handful of homemade cookies. Her door and her kitchen were always open. She was not only “Ma” and “Grandma” to us, but to most people who knew her.

Survivors include her children: Diane (Don) Hess, Wonewoc, Donna (Ben) Field, Wonewoc, Dale (Elaine) Hepp, La Valle, Denise (Fred) Stecher, Wonewoc, Doreen (Brian Butcher) Hepp, Reedsburg, and Dawn (Joe) Kelbel, Hillsboro. Grandchildren: Nicole (John) Hess Jackson, Chad (Melanie Thullen) Herrewig, Cassi (Jesse) Emden, Eric (Jazz Filip) Field, Nicholas (Sarah) Hepp, Adam Hepp, Jacob (Haley Bordner) Hepp, Brittney (Peter) Nestingen, Fritz (Kelly) Stecher, Brooke (Jesse) Birkrem, Daniel (Regan) Zimmerman, Heath Zimmerman, Tasha (Nick) Monica, Brogan Boldon, Eason Kelbel, John Kelbel, Andy Burkhalter, Kenny Burkhalter, several great grandchildren and a great great grandson, sister Bonnie Hooker, brother Byron Walter, sister-in-law Judy Walter and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Edith was preceded in death by her parents, Clifford and Vera Walter, husbands Hugh Hepp and Ervin Burkhalter, brothers Leroy Walter and Lyle Walter, sister Bernadine Vodak, step children Gale Burkhalter, Cheryl Kay Heimann and Jill E Burkhalter.

A celebration of life will be held at Picha Funeral Home, Wonewoc on Saturday, February 24, 2024 at 1:30 pm with Pastor Deb Burkhalter officiating. Visitation will be from 10 am until time of service. Interment will be at Pine Eden Cemetery, Wonewoc with a luncheon following at the Wonewoc American Legion Hall.

The family would like to thank the staff at Gunderson Hospital, La Crosse, Elroy Health Services and Picha Funeral Home, Wonewoc. A special thank you to nurse Courtney and the wonderful caring staff from Agrace in Baraboo for the great care and compassion they gave Edith and our whole family. A very special thank you to Edith’s roommate, at Elroy Health Services, and our friend, Marilyn Olson.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Agrace Hospice Care, Shriners Hospitals for Children or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital would be appreciated.

If roses grew in Heaven Lord, please pick a bunch for us,

place them in our Mother’s arms, and tell her they’re from us.

Tell her that we love and miss her,

and when she turns to smile,

place a kiss upon her cheek, and hold her for awhile.

Remembering Ma is easy, we do it every day.

But there is an ache within our hearts, that will never go away.