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Obituary: Phyllis A. Ghiardi

Ghiardi served as a U.S. Army surgical nurse in the Battles of Normandy, Ardennes, Northern France, Rhineland, and Northern Europe in WWII, receiving many accommodations during her military service.

Phyllis Ann Ghiardi

May 5, 1921 — Aug. 28, 2012

Phyllis Ann Ghiardi passed away Tuesday at the age of 91.

Born on May 5, 1921 in Minneapolis, MN to Arthur J. Lindmeier and Anna (Wallerius) Lindmeier, Ghiardi was preceded in death by her older sisters Helen Tollefson and Dorothy Ames Helgerson, as well as her dear brother Arthur J. Lindmeier, Jr., who was killed in France during WWII.

She attended Annunciation High School and St. Catherine’s University in Minneapolis, and became a registered nurse upon graduating from St. Mary’s, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

She was a WWII veteran, having served as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Nurse Corp from April, 1943 until February, 1946. She served as a surgical nurse in the 39th Evacuation Hospital in the European theatre during WWII. With the Third Army under General George Patton, she served in the Battles of Normandy, Ardennes, Northern France, Rhineland, and Northern Europe. Her unit treated over 20,000 casualties, including casualties from the Battle of the Bulge, and Bastogne. Her military awards included a Campaign Medal with three bronze stripes, a Victory Medal, three Overseas Medals, an American Campaign Medal and a Meritorious Unit Award.

She met her devoted husband James while her unit was on summer maneuvers near Shelbyville, TN in the summer of 1943. They served together in Europe and were married on September 7, 1945 in Amberg, Germany. They continued to travel extensively throughout their lives including, Hawaii, Australia, Panama, the Caribbean, Europe and the United States.

A long-time resident of Whitefish Bay, WI and then Shorewood, WI, Ghiardi was an active member of St. Monica’s Parish in Whitefish Bay, the State Bar of Wisconsin Lawyer’s Wives, the Women’s Club of Milwaukee and Marquette University Law School. She was a long-time volunteer for the Milwaukee Legal Aid Society, a brownie troop leader when her children were young, an avid bridge player, book reader, theater-goer, art lover and collector, as well as an excellent cook and homemaker.

She was a loving mother of Catherine Miller, Jeanne (James) Duffy and Mary (Richard) Merlie. Dear grandmother of Jennifer Duffy (Michael McCutcheon), Sarah Miller (Jon Konrath), Elizabeth Miller (Matthew Stratton), Jessica (Josh) Kreye and Cristina Miller. Blessed great grandmother of Gracie and Addison Kreye and twins Giacomo and Ambrose Stratton-Miller. Loving sister of Mary Ann White, and dear aunt of Margaret (Frank) Kryfka, Thomas Tollefson, Ann Tollefson Elliott, Jack Ghiardi, Francis (Katherine) Ghiardi, and the late John R. Johns. Also lovingly remembered by many other family members and friends.

The family wishes to express its gratitude to the staff of St. John’s on the Lake and Vitas Hospice for their care and compassion during the last months of her life.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 4 from 10 to 11 a.m. at St. Monica’s Parish, 5681 N. Santa Monica Blvd. in Whitefish Bay, followed by the celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Committal services and military honors will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery, 7301 W. Nash, Milwaukee, after the mass. A lunch will follow the committal in the school cafeteria. Memorials in Ghiardi name may be made to St. Monica Congregation, Whitefish Bay, or to the Marquette University Law School, (James D. Ghiardi and Phyllis A. Ghiardi Scholarship Fund).

(Courtesy of Feerick Funeral Home)

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