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Prudence Anne Giffey, age 85 died peacefully on Sunday, September 29, 2013, at Greenway Manor Nursing Home in Spring Green, WI. She was born on February 20, 1928, in Sheboygan County to Neil Victor and Monica Margaret (Sullivan) Giffey, and moved with her family to grow up on her parents’ dairy farm in the Town of Springvale, Fond du Lac County.
Prudence graduated from Fond du Lac Senior High School, and received a two-year rural school teaching degree in 1948 from Oshkosh State Teachers College. As a young woman in the 1940s and ‘50s, she and her girlfriends drove across country to visit and camp in national parks. After teaching in one-room rural schools in Wisconsin, she moved to California to teach in suburban Los Angeles schools. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Education at California State University-Los Angeles, and retired in 1987 after teaching 35 years in the Charter Oaks School District.
In California, she worked as a volunteer with theater companies, taught youths in her largely Latino church community, and lived with and cared for her mother for years before moving to Spring Green in 1994. Prudence was a gardener and athlete favoring bicycling, golf, basketball and tennis. She was a gifted amateur writer and lover of poetry and music. Prudence performed for many years with the Gregorian Schola of Los Angeles chant group, including a tour with performances in France. She also traveled to Ireland and Germany.
Toward the end of her teaching career, Prudence was diagnosed with serious sleep disorders which were previously undiagnosed. She enrolled in a potentially dangerous treatment program for narcolepsy and cataplexy, and carefully documented her experiences in the hope of advancing treatment for other people suffering from similar sleep disorders.
Prudence is survived by her brothers Neil (Janet) Giffey of Dodgeville, WI; Pierce Giffey of Appleton, WI; and David (Nancy) Giffey of Arena, WI; her nieces and nephews Anne Giffey, Thomas Giffey, Michelle Giffey, and Timothy Giffey; step-nephews Michael and David Goodfriend; and cousins. She is preceded in death by her parents, and sister-in-law Rose Marie Giffey.
Prudence received the Catholic sacrament of anointing from Fr. Mike Resop, pastor at St. John the Evangelist Church, Spring Green. Funeral mass will be held on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 11:00am at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Fond du Lac Street, Ripon, WI with Father Robert Fictum officiating. Family and friends may visit at the church from 10:00am until the time of the funeral mass. Interment will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery, Township of Ripon. Memorial donations may be made in Prudence's name to the Environmental Defense Fund, or to Greenpeace Fund, Inc.
The family is grateful for the loving care given to Prudence for the past 10 years by the staff at Greenway Manor Nursing Home.