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MADISON—Mary Rose Gilardi, age 95, passed away on Oct. 20, 2018. She was born Nov. 28, 1922, in Solon Springs, Wis., the tenth of eleven children of Joseph Gilardi Sr. and Angeline (Penchi) Gilardi. Since three siblings died before she was born, Mary Rose grew up as the only girl with seven brothers. When she was 3 years old, the family moved to Wisconsin Rapids, and in 1947, to Milwaukee. She was a graduate of Viterbo College (now University) La Crosse. She received an M.A. in Education from Creighton Univ., and an M.A. in Spanish from UW Madison. Her life was spent as an educator at various grade levels in parochial and public schools. She taught Adult Basic Education and GED for several years at Milwaukee Area Technical College before moving East where she married Francis J. Gilardi (no relation), on Oct. 6, 1980, in Washington D.C. They bought a home in Arlington, Va. From November 1980 to June, 1986, she taught at Oyster Bilingual School in D.C. after which she retired from teaching. In June 2001, she and her husband moved from Arlington to Madison. In both cities, she was active as a parish volunteer, particularly in visits to the sick and home bound, served as a Eucharistic minister, delivered Meals on Wheels, and did occasional tutoring.

Mary Rose was preceded in death by her husband, Frank (September 2013); her parents; all 10 siblings; sisters-in-law; and four nephews. Surviving are four nephews, Donald (Cathy), Illinois, Richard (Linda), Pennsylvania. John H., Chicago and Charles (Kathy), Madison; and five nieces, Jean Gilardi Westfahl (Michael), Washington, Karen Gilardi Brower, North Carolina, Carol Gilardi, Madison, Mary A. Gilardi, Milwaukee, and Domenica Gilardi Kuech (Thomas), Madison. She is further survived by many grand and great-grand nephews and nieces; two great-great grandnieces; and one great-great grandnephew.

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A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 401 S. Owen Drive, Madison, with Monsignor Kenneth J. Fielder officiating. A visitation will be held one hour prior to Mass. Private burial will take place at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Smile Train or to a charity of your choice. Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral and Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road, Madison

(608) 238-3434

the life of: Gilardi, Mary Rose
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