Julie A. Riese
Julie Ann Riese passed away Friday, April 19, 2019 at home,
surrounded by loved ones, following a courageous 11-year fight with metastatic
Cancer took her life, but it could not take Julie’s
spirit. She lived life to the fullest
and remained funny, upbeat and positive to the end. She never allowed the challenge of fighting
cancer to change her outgoing and warm personality.
Julie was born March 12, 1960, the daughter of Clifford and
Elsie (Berlowski) Pickart. On March 7,
1987 she married George Riese at St. Pat’s Church in Fond du Lac. She was a 1978 graduate of St. Mary’s Springs
and received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education from UW-Oshkosh.
Julie spent more than 30 years teaching Special Education at
Woodworth Middle School, Goodrich and then Fond du Lac High School, retiring in
2016. It was common for her to have former students approach her years later
and thank her for the impact she made in their lives. She gave many the
inspiration to continue a path to their life goals with her “Anyone can do
In addition to teaching Julie was a class advisor for many
years and was instrumental in starting the Adult Prom at the High School, an
event that has been enjoyed by many senior citizens in Fond du Lac.
Julie was a member of the UW-Oshkosh volleyball team and her
passion for the sport continued after college. She was the head volleyball
coach at St. Mary’s Springs from 1981 – 1985.
In 1986 she was hired as the Fond du Lac High School head volleyball
coach. Her teams won numerous Regional,
Sectional, and Conference Championships and made 4 State appearances with a
Runner-Up finish in 2011. Julie was
named FVA Coach of the Year in 2000. She
retired as coach at Fondy in 2012 so she could watch her daughter Emily play
volleyball at the collegiate level.
Julie was also the Club Director and a coach for the Fondy
Fusion Volleyball Club and her teams made several trips to Nationals. Fusion
offered Julie the opportunity to reach even more young players and instill a
love for the game and guide them in pursuit of their athletic and life dreams. Julie was known as a tough but caring
coach. She expected the best of herself
and that meant she expected the best of her players both on and off the court. She believed in being dedicated and firm, but
fair. It is a tribute to her influence
that many former players have gone on to become coaches and teachers.
Julie has been inducted into the Wisconsin Volleyball
Coaches Association 2018 Hall of Fame and was able to receive her induction
plaque prior to her death. Some of the testimonials for the induction were
written by opposing coaches who commented that when they played Julie’s teams
they knew they had to bring their “A” game.
She was well respected by her peers for preparing her players for the
game and the character she built within those players.
She will also be inducted into the Fond du Lac Athletic Hall
Fame this coming Fall.
Julie was a member of the Holy Family Parish, Eagles Aerie
270 Auxiliary and a member of the Eagles Dartball league and played softball in
the city of Fond du lac for many years.
She enjoyed singing, knitting, sewing, entertaining and hosting parties,
as well as watching the Packers and Brewers.
More than anything, Julie loved Christmas. She loved to decorate her home to make it a
Christmas Wonderland and loved sharing it by hosting Christmas parties and
sharing the season’s joy with family and friends.
She is survived by her husband George; sons, Andrew and
Mathew (Katie) and daughter, Emily.
Further survived by siblings, Barbara Gustafson, Richard (Joyce)
Pickart, Linda Pickart, Carol (Arnie) Albertz, Loretta White, Steven (Ann)
Pickart and David (Kay) Pickart. She is
also survived by in laws, Barbara (Dennis) Oster, David (Linda) Riese, Mary
(Jack) Zanders, Donna Clark, Ron (Chris) Riese, and Patty Riese (Special Friend
Donnie Prickette). She is further
survived by numerous aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, close cousins and
Julie was preceded in death by her parents, Clifford and Elsie;
sister, Marie; brothers in law, Phillip Gustafson and Ronald White and her
parents in law, Donald and Marion Riese.
Julie touched many lives through athletics, but her loss
will be felt by many beyond athletics. Her caring nature made her a friend to
all and brought people from all walks of life together and made them feel
The visitation will be held Wednesday, April 24, 2019 from
3:00 – 8:00 PM at Uecker-Witt Funeral Home and again on Thursday from 10:30 AM
– 12:00 PM at Holy Family Church, 271 Fourth Street Way, Fond du Lac. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00
noon on Thursday, April 25, 2019 at Holy Family Church. Cremation will follow the traditional
Thanks to the medical staff at Froedtert Cancer Center, Dr.
Jones and Agnesian Cancer Center, the wonderful staff from Hospice Hope and the
friends and family who offered so much support in Julie’s final days.
Guestbook and tribute wall may
be found by visiting ueckerwitt.com.