Our beloved "Liz" passed away on Saturday, June 3, 2017. She had been battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer and drew her last breath at home in Waterloo with her family by her side. She was our mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, teacher, friend and neighbor. We loved her dearly and lost her way too soon.
Elizabeth Jane (West) Fugate (date of birth April 15, 1969 at Madison General Hospital) was the first child of Ross Nelson West and Jeanne Audrey (Biddick) West. When she was 3 years old, her family moved to La Crosse where she graduated from Central High School with highest honors in 1987. She played trumpet in the high school band and was an exemplary student. In 1991, she graduated with honors from UW-Madison in the School of Education. She played in the UW Marching/Varsity band where she met her future husband, Christopher ("Chris") Alan Fugate, her favorite trombonist. They were married on campus at St. Paul's Catholic Church on August 8, 1992 and blessed with two wonderful sons, Andrew Ross Fugate and Joseph William Fugate, born in 1996 and 1998, respectively.
Together, she and Chris put all their love and energy into raising sons who would be kind, good citizens and hard workers no matter what endeavors they would pursue. Liz's family was her passion and she saw being a mother as her most important role, which she totally enjoyed. She was incredibly proud of her boys. She was always an involved and supportive mom throughout their childhoods and continued to be a very positive influence in their lives as they matured and entered college.
Liz also nurtured and valued relationships with her parents, parents in law, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, co-workers and her entire Fugate extended family. She loved a lot of people and was so loved in return. She was also passionate about teaching and for many years taught at Thompson Correction Center, helping inmates attain their high school diplomas. She delighted in every success of her students.
Liz set very high standards for herself in all her relationships and endeavors. She found so many ways to convey her caring for others. Liz was just plain fun to be around. She had a zest for life and an earnest interest in others and this, together with her insightful and witty sense of humor, made her the perfect companion.
Liz was also an active member of her community. One of the many examples of this was her participation in the Waterloo City Band. She managed to turn this into a family affair, since her sons and Chris are fine musicians as well.
Lastly, one cannot fully describe Liz without noting her ravenous appetite for reading. Throughout her life, she was always in the middle of a novel. She instilled a love of reading to her sons as well.
Liz's primary relationship always has been with her husband and sons. The four of them were close and through the years have had many memorable vacations traveling the U.S.A. and beyond. The family now includes in many of their activities Mikayla Kucken, Andrew's girlfriend.
Liz is survived by her loving husband of almost 25 years (this August 8) and her sons and their girlfriends, her parents and step mother Lynn West, her mother in law, Sharon Fugate, her sisters, Catherine Dal Cerro (Dr. Steve) and Carmen West, her aunts, Barbara (Tom) Henning, Mary Grace (Jim) Tredinnick, Elizabeth (Jack) Lorch, Barbara (Phillip) Swanson and Pam (Rich) Roth, her uncle Neal (Nancy) West, her brothers and sisters in law: Connie Fugate, Bill (Judy) Fugate, Vicki (Chris) Freed, Jim (Terry) Fugate, Juli Fugate, Paul (Tosha) Fugate, Ben (Leslie) Fugate and Josh Fugate. She is further survived by her nieces and nephews, Zoe Elizaeth and Theta Jane Dal Cerro, Jason (Corina) Fugate, Katie Fugate, Angelica, Juli and Tina Freed, Sami Jo and Luke Fugate, Robert (Rachel) Reynolds, Erin, Kyle and Ryan Fugate, Gabriel and Sophia Fugate and grands: Owen Reynolds, Ellie Mae Fugate and Christopher and Elizabeth Fugate. Lastly, she is survived by her dog Belle and her cat Tony.
Liz was preceded in death by her grandparents, John and Grace Biddick and Dwight and Eleanor West, her Father in law, William Fugate, her nephew, Matthew Fugate and her step father, Bo Schmitz.
Dear Liz and Mom,
We will be eternally grateful for the person you were and the love you gave us... unconditionally. We will love, miss and remember you always.
A public friends and family gathering will take place at Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home in Waterloo from 5:00PM to 9:00PM on Friday, June 16th, 2017. A public celebration of life gathering will take place at 11:00AM on Sunday, August 6th, 2017 at Firemen's Park in Waterloo.
Friday, June 16th, 2017, 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Pederson-Nowatka Funeral Home-Waterloo
Sunday, August 6th, 2017, 11:00am, Waterloo Firemen's Park