Howard J. Gillitzer

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Howard J. Gillitzer, 80, of Prairie du Chien, died on Wednesday, Feb. 7. 

He was born Feb. 3, 1938, to Carrie (Ocenosak) and Lawrence Gillitzer. Graduating from Campion in 1955, he entered the novitiate of the Order of the Holy Cross in Hastings, Neb. Two years later was sent to Our Lady of the Lake Seminary in Syracuse, Ind., and four years later to Crosier Seminary in Onamia, Minn. The next twenty years were spent in Administration, college financial aid and fundraising. 

In 1980, he left the Crosiers, worked in production development and contracts for the Opportunity Center and retired in 2003. In 1981, he married Arleen St. Jacque Wachter, who preceded him in death in 2012. He was actively involved with Holy Family Parish having served various ministries and boards. 

He is survived by step children: Gina (Neil) Wimmer, of St. Charles, Minn., Bill (Dawn) Wachter, of Woodman, Randy (Janet) Wachter and Dan (Julie) Wachter, of Prairie du Chien; nine grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; two sisters, Virginia Horstman, of La Crosse, and Marian Steele, of Madison; a brother-in-law Jim St. Jacque, of Boscobel; a sister-in-law Marilyn (Ron) Smethurst, of Onalaska; and numerous nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Arleen; and brothers-in-law Roger Horstman and Bill Steele. 

A Memorial Mass of Christian burial will be Friday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m., at St. John’s Church of the Holy Family Parish with burial in Calvary Cemetery both in Prairie du Chien.  Friends may call at the church on Friday from 9 a.m. until the time of services. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Prairie du Chien Hospice Program or the Prairie Catholic Schools. The Garrity Funeral Home of Prairie du Chien is assisting the family.



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