Sharon Lee (née Lowe) Vierbicher passed away on Dec. 9 with her family by her side. She fought a brief but valiant fight against brain cancer with courage and grace, never complaining or questioning her illness.
Sharon was born in Friendship, Wis., on Dec. 2, 1942, to Helen C. (née Nichols) and Leland “Bud” Lowe. She was baptized into the Friendship Congregational Bible Church on April 25, 1943, and subsequently converted to the Lutheran church after her marriage. Her faith served as a bedrock value throughout her life and Sharon participated actively in many different church activities. She drew strength from and formed lifelong friendships through the many Bible study groups, women’s circles and choirs that she joined. It was her faith in the Lord that gave her the strength and courage to face her final battle in life without fear.
Sharon spent her childhood in Friendship, where she developed many passions and pursuits that she enjoyed throughout her life. After graduating as the valedictorian of her high school class, Sharon attended Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Madison and graduated in 1963 as a registered nurse. While in nurse’s training, Sharon met her future husband, Jim Vierbicher, an engineering student at the University of Wisconsin. The two completed their studies and married on June 29, 1963. Sharon and Jim moved often during the early years of their marriage, living in Indianapolis, St. Louis, back to Madison, on to Indianapolis again and eventually Houston. Along the way, their family grew to include first daughter Jill, then daughter Heather and finally son Lee. Eventually, in 1972, Sharon and Jim decided to return to Wisconsin to raise their family and settled in Reedsburg.
Sharon pursued her nursing career in Reedsburg, working at the Reedsburg Hospital and then at the new Reedsburg Area Medical Center when it opened. She enjoyed being a generalist in nursing, working in the emergency room, the operating room and even in the maternity ward. Sharon also provided in-home medical care through Home Health Services. Eventually, Sharon took her deep capacity for caring for others and her nurse’s ability to juggle multiple tasks to a whole new environment. She joined Jim in the early years of his engineering firm, handling a myriad of duties as Vierbicher Associates grew. Jim and Sharon worked side by side for many years, devoting themselves to each other and the business. The success of Vierbicher Associates was due in no small measure to the efforts and dedication of Sharon.
Sharon was an accomplished pianist, competing in state solo and ensemble competitions as well as accompanying many vocalists during her high school years. She continued to play the piano and sing in church choirs throughout her life. When Sharon and Jim retired to Pagosa Springs, Colo., one of the possessions that made the trip into the mountains with them was Sharon’s piano. Sharon’s love of music was a balm during her illness. She recalled and sang songs that brought her peace and put a smile on her face. Another childhood passion was sewing. Sharon won many ribbons at county and state fairs for the dresses she created. Her daughters often had beautiful handmade dresses, and Sharon was also creative with costumes and window coverings for her children and grandchildren. Sewing also became a philanthropic activity for Sharon. She loved the circle of women she worked with to make prayer quilts, and she used her sewing skills to support various projects for overseas mission groups.
Sharon was also deeply involved in the local community. She actively participated in fundraising projects for the library and other organizations in Reedsburg, and she served on the board of directors for the Reedsburg Area Medical Foundation.
Sharon also had a sense of wanderlust and curiosity. From the time they were first married, Sharon and Jim traveled. Family road trips were always well-planned, including stacks of informational brochures about the sites the family visited. Later, Sharon and Jim traveled extensively in the United States and internationally, including special trips to China when daughter Heather studied abroad and India for Heather’s wedding. Having hosted foreign exchange students when their children were attending Reedsburg High, Sharon and Jim later visited their “adopted” daughters, Coralie and Ingrid, in France and Norway. Sharon always made the most of wherever she found herself, whether it was snorkeling in Hawaii, hiking in Colorado or picking up pickleball after the age of 70 while living in Arizona.
Sharon will be remembered for her kindness, selfless generosity, devoted friendship and strength of character. She was devoted to Jim and her children, always there when needed. Her family and friends will cherish the countless happy memories of Sharon’s helpfulness, her positive outlook and her determination.
Sharon is survived by her husband, Jim, of 58 years, as well as her children, Jill, Heather and Lee, their spouses, and her brother Michael Lowe. Sharon also leaves behind several grandchildren. She will forever be in our hearts. We will miss her deeply.
Funeral services for Sharon will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 29, at St. John Ev. Lutheran Church in Reedsburg with Pastor Beth Voigt officiating. Visitation will be on Wednesday from noon until the time of the service at the church. Burial will be made in St. John Cemetery, Reedsburg.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Sharon’s memory at the Reedsburg Area Medical Center Foundation, the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, the UW Carbone Cancer Center, or a charity of your choice.
The Farber Funeral Home, Reedsburg, Wis., is assisting the family.