Norma Ann (Buel) Kollars, 87, passed away peacefully on August 12, 2020 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center following a short illness.
Norma was born on January 21, 1933 in Madison Lake, Minnesota to Olley and Verena Rose. She graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Mankato, Minnesota. While attending high school she was introduced to Willard Buel through a mutual friend. Willard and Norma were married in 1950 and she moved to La Crosse, where they began their adventure of raising six children. Willard passed away unexpectedly in 1969 after 19 years of marriage. Norma subsequently married Gerald Kollars, who happily took on the challenge of becoming both husband and father to six kids ranging in age from 4 to 17. Norma and Jerry celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May, 2020.
Norma was a woman of strong character who loved spending time with family and friends, and her wonderful culinary skills were appreciated by all. For many years, Norma and Jerry’s summers were spent boating on the Mississippi. In 1995, they moved to their current location in Chipmunk Coulee, a peaceful and quiet setting surrounded by nature.
Norma was an avid reader and conversationalist with a great memory for details, and for that reason served as the family historian. Norma was also famous for her rapid-fire but friendly interrogations to get her up to speed on what was going on in your life. In her earlier days, she worked as a personal home care aid, and also volunteered at the Gundersen Hospital Gift Shop. She never missed doing her daily crossword puzzle, and was always up for a good game of Scrabble. Norma also enjoyed her monthly Bridge Club and the many lasting friendships that came from it. She discovered Facebook later in life and was impressive in her ability to stay abreast of the news and events surrounding the people she knew and loved. And when her eyesight began to fail, Norma became a voracious consumer of books on tape.
Norma is survived by her husband Gerald, Stoddard, WI; her daughter Donna (Rob) Carr, Kansas City, MO; her son Greg (Julie) Buel, Rushford, MN; her daughter Mary (Karl) Schubert, La Crosse, WI; her daughter Cindy (Steve) Wohlwend, La Crosse, WI; her son Jeff (Jane) Buel, Bonita Springs, FL; her son Mark Buel, Shakopee, MN; her grandchildren Chelsea (Ryan) Wagman, Jenna (Scott) Halvorson, Heather (Jamie) Brice, Justin Schubert, Darian (Tom) Poser, Nate Buel, Alexis (Kyle) Rankin, Taylor Buel, Kyle Buel, Adam Sickles, Tyler (Aja) Sickles, Marsha Wohlwend, Melissa Racicot and 18 great grandchildren.
Norma was preceded in death by her parents, Olley and Verena Rose; by her brothers Gary and John Rose; and by her first husband Willard Buel.
A private family service will be held in the coming days with burial at Woodlawn Cemetery. Sletten-McKee-Hanson Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family, and online condolences may be sent to www.affordablecremationlacrosse.com .
We want to thank the wonderful staffs at Gundersen and at Bethel Nursing Home in Viroqua for the loving care they provided Norma in her last weeks. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to Gundersen Medical Foundation.