Madison-Kay (Sjolander) Groessl, 73, a woman of extraordinary grace and beauty, died on Sunday, December 15th, 2013, in Madison, Wisconsin, at Capitol Lakes after an extended struggle with Alzheimer's. She was a wife, mother, grandmother, gardener, artist, sailor, environmentalist, feminist, and loyal friend.
She is survived by her five children from her marriage to Dr. Peter Groessl: Daughter Kristin in Milwaukee, son Erik in San Diego, California, and his wife Jeannie and grandchildren Soren and Sofia; daughter Sarah in Madison and her husband Jeff Masciopinto and granddaughters Francesca, Audrey, and Emily; son Matthew in Longmont, Colorado, and grandson Aidan; and daughter Carolyn in Milwaukee. She is also survived by her mother Thelma Sjolander in Tomah, Wisconsin; by her brother Garry and his family in Austin, Texas; and by her husband Gerald Prindiville in Sarasota, Florida. She was preceded in death by Peter and by her father Bill Sjolander.
Kay grew up in Tomah, Wisconsin, and was salutatorian of her high school class, active in music, and an excellent student in math and science. She attended Carroll College and the Columbia Hospital Radiology program, and was employed as an x-ray technician before her marriage to Peter Groessl. They married in 1961 and raised their family in Milwaukee and Green Bay. In 1983, she completed her bachelor's degree at the University of Green Bay. She went on to become a highly respected marketing representative in the printing industry. In 1993, while employed at Independent Printing, she became aware of short-term memory issues, which caused her to reconsider her career. Within a year, she turned her talent and energy toward becoming a successful artist. She created mosaic pieces that can be found in many homes throughout Northeastern Wisconsin.
She managed a full and productive life and only her closest family and friends were aware of her illness for many years. She and Jerry traveled extensively in the United States and Europe visiting their children and grandchildren, and exploring the architecture, museums and cultures of many countries. A highlight of her life during this time was the winter months in Sarasota. A longtime volunteer at the Green Bay Botanical Garden, she became a welcome addition to the volunteer staff at the Selby Garden and the Sarasota Succulent Garden. In Sarasota, she acquired the skills and knowledge necessary to become a grower and collector of orchids. At her home in Green Bay, she designed and built a perennial garden that was the envy of friends and neighbors.
Kay was a founding member of the Green Bay Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, an active member of the Sarasota Unitarian Universalist Church and a member of the Humanists of Sarasota Bay. She loved foreign and independent film, a wide variety of music, good food, modern art, sailing, public gardens and her family and friends. She was a Renaissance woman with classic Scandinavian beauty who turned heads throughout her life. But she was never vain or unfriendly. She was wise and funny. She was kind, outgoing, and loyal. Over the past few years, her illness diminished her awareness but everyone who loved her knew that they were in the presence of a truly extraordinary woman, even in the last days of her life.
Contributions in Kay's name can be made to the Green Bay Botanical Garden or the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center - Wisconsin Brain Donor Program. A celebration of her life will be held at the Green Bay Botanical Garden in Green Bay with a brief service at 1PM on Saturday, January 25th, 2014, and reception to follow until 4PM.
Kay's family would like to thank her caregivers at Capitol Lakes. She brightened their days and they brightened hers. Jerry and the other Groessl children would like to give special thanks to Dr. Sarah Groessl, who watched over her mother's care with love, personal sacrifice, and devotion that only a mother and daughter could share.
Cress Funeral and
3610 Speedway Road
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette on Dec. 18, 2013
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison, WI 53705