Edith Burkhalter, 93, of La Valle, Wis., died Feb. 15, 2024, peacefully at home after a brief illness. 

She was born Jan. 23, 1931, to Clifford and Vera (Sonnenberg) Walter in Mauston. She attended Alton Country School through the eighth grade. Edith and Hugh G. Hepp were married June 15, 1949, in Mauston. To this union, they had six children. They farmed on the Hepp Family Farm until Hugh got ill and could no longer farm. They moved to rural La Valle, where Edith cared for Hugh at home until his death in 1988.

She worked at Hartje’s part time for years. She also helped Country Gals Lunch at auctions and at Brandau Sale Barn. She made hundreds of pies for Country Gals Cafe, Wonewoc Fire Department Hunter’s Night Out, Wonewoc American Legion Hall and anyone who asked for a pie.

On June 15, 1996, Edith married Ervin (Bud) Burkhalter at their home in La Valle. They enjoyed going on the Wagon Train, taking care of the horses, and dancing. Edith was always ready to help other people, whether it was canning, butchering, changing the oil, taking the blades off the lawnmower, or rescuing her children from a bat invasion. She was always right there, ready and willing to help! She would not allow anyone to leave her home without eating a meal, or at least a handful of homemade cookies. Her door and her kitchen were always open. She was not only “Ma” and “Grandma” to us, but to most people who knew her.

Survivors include her children, Diane (Don) Hess of Wonewoc, Donna (Ben) Field of Wonewoc, Dale (Elaine) Hepp of La Valle, Denise (Fred) Stecher of Wonewoc, Doreen (Brian Butcher) Hepp of Reedsburg, and Dawn (Joe) Kelbel of Hillsboro; her grandchildren, Nicole (John) Hess Jackson, Chad (Melanie Thullen) Herrewig, Cassi (Jesse) Emden, Eric (Jazz Filip) Field, Nicholas (Sarah) Hepp, Adam Hepp, Jacob (Haley Border) Hepp, Brittney (Peter) Nestingen, Fritz (Kelly) Stecher, Brooke (Jesse) Birkrem, Daniel (Regan) Zimmerman, Heath Zimmerman, Tasha (Nick) Monica, Brogan Boldon, Eason Kelbel, John Kelbel, Andy Burkhalter, and Kenny Burkhalter; several great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandson; a sister, Bonnie Hooker; a brother, Byron Walter; a sister-in-law, Judy Walter; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Edith was preceded in death by her parents, Clifford and Vera Walter; her husbands, Hugh Hepp and Ervin Burkhalter; her brothers, Leroy Walter and Lyle Walter; her sister, Bernadine Vodak; and her stepchildren, Gale Burkhalter, Cheryl Kay Heimann and Jill E. Burkhalter.

A celebration of life will be at the Picha Funeral Home in Wonewoc on Saturday, Feb. 24, at 1:30 pm with Pastor Deb Burkhalter officiating. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until time of service. Interment will be at Pine Eden Cemetery in Wonewoc, with a luncheon following at the Wonewoc American Legion Hall.

The family would like to thank the staff at Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse, Elroy Health Services and Picha Funeral Home in Wonewoc. A special thank-you to nurse Courtney and the wonderful, caring staff from Agrace in Baraboo for the great care and compassion they gave Edith and our whole family. A very special thank-you to Edith’s roommate at Elroy Health Services and our friend, Marilyn Olson.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Agrace Hospice Care, Shriners Hospitals for Children or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital would be appreciated.