Beverly Pronschinske, 86, of Arcadia, WI died at home early Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023, from complications related to esophageal cancer.
The oldest of three siblings, Beverly Reinhardt was born July 23, 1936, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Arthur and Dorothy (neé Bucholtz) Reinhardt. Her younger brothers were Al and Jerry Reinhardt. When Beverly was a child during the Great Depression, her parents often struggled to make ends meet, and she was sometimes sent to live with other relatives who could better care for her. She told stories of being mocked by fellow students for not having especially nice clothes. One of Beverly's more salient memories was of her mother making a pair of socks for her from the sleeves of an old sweater. She said other children in school made fun of the way they slouched around her ankles. To help make money for the family, she once worked at a chicken farm candling eggs to check on the development of the chicks. As a young lady and after a tumultuous childhood, Beverly married Gerald Anderson, who promised love and stability. The war was over and the boom was on and the growth of the automotive industry meant Gerald's gas station business became somewhat lucrative. They also dabbled in real estate. With him, Beverly had four children: Sheila, Donald, Robert, and John. John died shortly after birth. The family were active members of Hales Corners Lutheran Church in suburban Milwaukee. Beverly took up ice skating and swimming in the lake near their home. Once, when asked why she didn't work, she said, "It was a different time. I liked staying home to raise the kids, and raising three kids is work." Other times, she would say, "I didn't like working on that chicken farm, and I didn't need to work. So, I thought I'd leave jobs like that for people who needed them in order to put food on the table for their families."
In the mid-1970s Beverly and Gerald moved to Venice, Florida to escape Wisconsin winters and be nearer to her daughter's family. A newly-born grandson sweetened the deal. She loved her home there and regularly welcomed family and friends to pool parties and family dinners. She swam in that pool multiple times per day. In Venice, Beverly joined Emmanuel Lutheran Church, where she cared for young children in the nursery and sang in the choir for many years. She loved telling anyone who'd listen that she sang in that choir alongside her daughter and her grandson. She rode her bike, swam at the nearby beach, and took up bowling. She also enjoyed going on cruises, where she could play the slot machines. Perhaps in response to her childhood without very nice clothes, she took great joy in shopping. Members of the family enjoyed joking with her about her large shoe collection. Following many years of happiness, Gerald died shortly after their 50th wedding anniversary. Beverly found comfort and solace in friends, family, and church in Florida. On her wedding day, she had moved from her parents' home into a house with her husband.
A few years after Gerald died, she said she was kind of proud that she was able to make it on her own. She eventually found widowhood lonely and remarried. She returned with her new husband, Clarence Pronschinske, to Wisconsin, where she lived the rest of her life. There, she was welcomed into Clarence's very large family and had a whole new generation of grandchildren and great-grandchildren to lavish attention on. She often got together with her new friends in Arcadia to play cards. When her daughter and adult grandson Jason visited, they spent vast amounts of time playing Scrabble at the kitchen table and drinking gin rickeys. Beverly's favorite Scrabble word was "tome" and she tried to play it in every single game. The rules of the game relaxed with the number of rounds, both of Scrabble and of rickeys. After a lifetime of good health, Beverly was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in early 2021. She underwent aggressive radiation and chemotherapy at Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She had always loved styling her hair and the loss of it from chemo was hard on her. Beverly hated the wig the insurance company provided, so Jason sent her a blue pageboy wig to wear instead. She didn't like it any better, but at her birthday party that year, the whole family wore weirdly colored wigs, because if she had to wear one, everyone else did too. The cancer returned early this year, and Beverly went into hospice care in March. She spent her final weeks in the company of her husband, Clarence, her stepchildren, her daughter, Sheila, her son, Don, her daughter-in-law, Mary, her sister-in-law, Bernice Reinhardt, her niece, Jean Reinhardt, and her grandson, Jason.
The family is grateful for the care, kindness, and attention of the doctors, social workers, nurses, nursing assistants, and chaplains at Gundersen Hospice and for Pastor Dave Johnson at Christ Lutheran Church in Arcadia, Wisconsin. They have been wonderful.
Beverly was preceded in death by her infant son: John, her first husband: Gerald, and her two younger brothers: Al and Jerry.
Beverly is survived by Clarence Pronchinske and all his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren; sister-in-law: Bernice Reinhardt; three children: from her first marriage: Sheila (John) DeRose of Orland Park, Illinois; Don (Mary) Anderson of Kenosha, Wisconsin; Bob (Mary) Anderson of Englewood, Florida; and her grandson: Jason (Willis) DeRose of Santa Monica, California.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Christ Lutheran Church in Arcadia, Wisconsin. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials in honor of Beverly Pronschinske to Gundersen Hospice of La Crosse. At a later date, her ashes will be interred with Gerald Anderson's in the columbarium at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Venice, Florida. To express condolences to her family online, please visit www.wozneykillianfh.com.
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