Ann Margaret Gerrits, 53, Seymour, earned her wings peacefully on Friday, September 1, 2023 after a long courageous battle with breast cancer. She was born in Milwaukee on July 26, 1970, and was adopted by the late Timothy and Elizabeth "Betty" (Fleischmann) Kaczkowski. Ann was 1988 graduate of New Berlin West High School. She was a 1992 graduate of UW-Oshkosh, where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Human Services, and Ann received her Master's Degree in Social Work in 2004 from UW-Milwaukee. Ann was united in marriage to Michael Dake in 2001, and the couple had three children. They later divorced and Ann found love again and she was united in marriage to Mark Gerrits on September 10, 2016.
Ann has worked in the provision of mental health services to children, youth and families since 1990. This experience entails work in the areas of outreach, counseling, intensive therapeutic treatment and mental health clinic administration. In 2003, she founded CHAPS Academy, Inc. and served as the agency's Chief Executive Officer from its inception until September of 2012. She was a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and also worked as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh from 2008 until September of 2012 when she joined the University as a full time Academic Faculty Member.
Ann has a history of being a Social Innovator and Entrepreneur. Her passion for creating new and better ways to serve those living in her community has inspired many. She was named Mental Health Advocate of the Year from the American Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Association during the course of Ann's career. She enjoyed working with seniors and was well-known for her success in marriage counseling, and suicide prevention counseling. Ann continued her desire to create and make a real difference by the creation of Integrity Counseling, LLC. Her vision was to create a holistic mental health clinic that serves those in need by an approach that views the individual as a whole.
Ann enjoyed horseback riding, going up north with her best friend, Tammy McHugh, and riding on the pontoon boat. She cherished memories of biking and fishing with Bea Weyers. She liked traveling and going out for a good meal. Ann loved riding on Mark's motorcycle. Above all, Ann's family meant the world to her and were her greatest passion, and she raised her children to be strong and spoiled.
Survivors include her husband, Mark Gerrits, Seymour; three children: Josephine Kaczkowski Dake, LaCrosse; Kylie Kaczkowski Dake (fiance, Brennon) and Maxwell Dake, both of Seymour; her birth mother, Mary (Brian) Ellis, Germantown; her birth sister, Jennifer Ellis (significant other, Ryan), Waukesha; and her brother, Andrew J. (Lourdes) Kaczkowski, Chicago. Ann is further survived by one brother-in-law and three sisters-in-law: Terry (Marlene) Gerrits, Beloit, Paula (Steve) Weyers, Seymour, Colleen (Richard) Poquette, Oneida, and Jolene (Mark) Waldburger, Menasha; one niece, Mariko Kaczkowski, Chicago; two nephews: Vaughan and Cyrus Kaczkowski, both of Chicago; the father of her children, Michael Dake, Shiocton; other relatives and friends.
In addition to her parents, Ann was preceded in death by an infant grandson, Timothy Jones, her maternal grandparents: John and Margaret (Mullen) Fleischmann; her paternal grandparents: Joseph and Natalie (Oman) Kaczkowski; and her mother-in-law, Leone Benner.
Visitation will take place at Muehl-Boettcher Funeral Home, Seymour, on Monday, September 18, 2023 from 3:00 pm until the time of services at 6:00 pm, Chaplain Nicole Behnke-Welke officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials which will be used for the benefit of its metastatic breast cancer research fund would be appreciated to METAvivor (donate online at www.metavivor.org or mail check to: METAvivor, 1783 Forest Dr., #184, Annapolis, MD, 21401).
The family extends a special thanks to the staff of Unity Hospice for their compassionate care. A heartfelt thanks to Ann's family and friends for their love and support through her cancer journey including Polly Lund, Tammy McHugh, Paula Weyers, Tammy Van Eperen, and Andy and Lourdes Kaczkowski.
Online condolences may be expressed to Ann's family at www.muehlboettcher.com