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MADISON—Stephanie Webb passed away in Madison on Sept. 1, 2018, after several years of ferociously battling kidney disease and its complications. She was 48 years old, far too short a life for such a wonderful woman.

Steph was smart, funny, sexy, tougher than nails, and charming, but quick to anger at injustice. She made people laugh with her comedic zine Crawfish, and in the 1990s she volunteered at WORT Community Radio. She loved Game of Thrones (the books, not the TV show), everything Jane Austen wrote, minor-league baseball in Beloit, old movies at Cinematheque, the Wisconsin International Film Festival, bingo at Ho-Chunk or Potawatomi, cooking delicious but low-budget meals, and marijuana strictly for medicinal purposes.

She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earned her bachelor’s degree in Russian Language Studies at the University of Michigan, and her master’s in Library Science at San Jose State University. She then lived and worked in San Francisco (lovely, but impossibly expensive) and Kansas City (affordable, but boring) before returning to Madison, which she considered her home town despite being born in Racine.

She worked for Anchor Bank, in the Mortgage Department as the real estate bubble popped, and later worked for the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, where she issued titles for mobile homes. Stephanie always chuckled when she described that job, as if it was the silliest sliver of state bureaucracy. But she enjoyed the work, helping mostly old and poor people fill out forms to prove their mobile homes were theirs.

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She is survived by her loving husband, Doug Cotton; her proud parents, Jack and Karen Webb of Racine, Wis.; her extended family in Iowa and Wisconsin; and an affectionate housecat, Minky, who’s wondering where Steph has gone. Special thanks to Stephanie’s friends, her family, her dialysis nurses, Cynda and Annalise, Heather at the Vascular Department, and the staff at UW Hospital that worked so hard to help her at the end, especially Danielle and Jennifer, her nurses in the ICU.

Nothing would please Stephanie more than memorial donations to Tony Evers’ campaign for Governor of Wisconsin, to remove Scott Walker from office.

The memorial service was private and has already been held, but if you have any memories of Stephanie you’d like to share, please visit

the life of: Webb, Stephanie
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