Agnes Loraine Pirkel (nee Kearney) passed into the loving arms of God on July 6, 2023 at Timberwood Lodge Assisted Living in Lake Mills. Agnes struggled with dementia for the past nine years, but always kept her humor and was quick to throw out quips to keep caregivers amused.
Agnes was born in her parents’ home on Holbrook Street in Plymouth, Michigan on May 21, 1937. She was the fifth of six children born to Joseph Frances and Mary Francis (Foster) Kearney. She was a storyteller and loved to share memories of her childhood, family, friends, and neighborhood. From stories about tree climbing, angry goats, swimming during polio season, BB gun battles and train hopping, Nana could always be counted on to bring a smile to listeners’ faces.
She met the love of her life, Charles “Charlie” Pirkel, after moving to Wisconsin. Together they raised their children and amused their grandchildren. Charlie passed on June 8, 1989. Agnes never remarried or dated again; always insisting, “Once you have had the best, no one else will ever measure up.”
Agnes had many jobs in her youth, but felt most accomplished traveling around the U.S. to dry cleaners’ conventions as a shirt press demonstrator for Unipress. She always insisted that her greatest jobs were as a wife, mother, and Nana.
Agnes was known for her personalized, hand-embroidered gifts with love in every stitch. She made so many pillowcases, baby blankets, and TV blankets, that she lost count long ago. Agnes had a humble, kind, and compassionate personality. She was always willing to lend an ear and offer prayers for anyone in need.
She was a loving and devoted mother and grandmother. She will be forever missed by her children, Pamela (Daniel) Martin, Scott (Lisa) Pirkel, and Jeffery Pirkel (fiancé Sais Sturtevant); grandchildren, Chad (Christina) Manning, Charlie (Andrew) Sievert, Tabitha (Jeremy) Martin-Wiese, Ryan (Vanessa) Martin, Samantha (Brandon) Shifflett, Jameson Pirkel (fiancé Stephanie Wong), and Kelsey Pirkel; great-grandchildren, Julia, MyKayla, Marcus, Lauren, Leilah, Jocelyn, Jaela, Adelaide, and Eloise. She will also be missed by her dear friends, Cheryl and Peter Meyer.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Charlie; daughter, Victoria Wagner; granddaughter, Talena Wagner; and brothers: Patrick, Frank, Philip, and Irven Kearney.
The family would like to thank Timberwood Lodge Assisted Living staff (Jeremy, Mariah, Abby, Cassie, and Courtney) for treating Mom like family. A special thank you to Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care for their years of tender and compassionate care of Mom. Thank you to Kathy Boetcher for her extra support of the family as well. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent to Rainbow Hospice.