Wilkinson, Lisa Kay
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49, of Phoenix AZ passed away on April 20, 2011. Born in Lincoln, NE August 1, 1961, Lisa grew up chasing cows on Grandma & Grandpa's farm, learning about the Women's Right Movement from Gigi, cheering on the NE Cornhuskers, & moving about the Midwest with her Railroad family. Lisa graduated from Fargo North High School in 1978 & then obtained her Associate's Degree in Medical Records Coding from Moorhead State University. After graduation, Lisa's independent spirit had her headed to Phoenix AZ for a position at Maricopa Medical Center, in a town were she did not know a soul. Lisa continued to work in the Medical Record Coding Community in Phoenix until her death. Lisa found her 'dream job' in coding at the Mayo Clinic and had worked there for the last five years. Lisa loved the "Mayo" and the best co-workers a girl could ask for. In Lisa's personal life, she continued her education & earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. In 1994, Lisa met the 'love of her life' Matthew Wilkinson. Matt & Lisa married in 1995 and welcomed Lisa's pride and joy, son Ian Wilkinson in 1997. Lisa also enjoyed years of mountain biking, working in the nursery at church, and spending time with her family, especialy son Ian. Lisa viewed her most cherished accomplishment in life as that of being Ian's mother. Lisa's life was rocked in July of 2008 when she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive ovarian cancer. Yet, being the strong woman that Lisa was, she was not going to go down without a fight. For the last 3 years, Lisa's new job became fighting cancer. Lisa had 26 rounds of chemotherapy, numerous blood transfusions and shots, major surgeries, internal chemotherapy in her abdomen, plus her fair share of complications along the way. Despite this horrid treatment Lisa remained the best Mother in the World to Ian. Lisa even continued to work part time through this journey. It was not unusual for Lisa to go to work at Mayo and then walk over to the clinic for chemo or a blood transfusion at the end of her shift. Lisa's sister LeAnne was at her side most all of the time and they made a powerful cancer fighting team. Lisa even had some periods of remission where she was able to travel to San Diego and Kansas. Lisa was preceded in death by her father Gary Portsche and niece Isabella Portsche. Lisa leaves behind her husband Matthew Wilkinson and son, Ian Wilkison. Mother: Patricia Portsche of Olathe, KS Grandmother: Virginia Portsche of Lincoln, NE; Sister: LeAnne Prenovost (Pete) of Phoenix; Brothers: Doug Portsche of Saginaw, TX, & Mike Portsche (Nancy) of Olathe, KS. Nephews: Chad Rolstad (Erin) of Fort Worth, TX, Tyler Rolstad (Cassie) of San Diego, CA, & Adrick Portsche of Olathe, KS. Nieces: Nicole Rolstad of Denver,CO, Ashley Prenovost & Allison Herrera of Phoenix, & Kaylynn Portsche Olathe, KS Memorial Services will be held on Monday April 25th 3:30pm at Phoenix First Assembly Church in the Prayer Pavilion of Light. Food and Fellowship to follow at the Wilkinson Home. Lisa wanted to thank her family, friends, co-workers, physicians, nurses and all who helped to contribute to her being able to spend almost 3 more years of life on this earth. In lieu of flowers, Lisa's request was that contributions go to Mayo Clinic Arizona, Ovarian Cancer Research in her memory. Call 800-297-1185 or mail to Dept. of Development, Mayo Clinic 200 1st St SW, Rochester, MN 55905
Published in The Arizona Republic from Apr. 23 to Apr. 24, 2011