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Rita "Beverly" Costello Burtis, 85

Rita "Beverly" Costello Burtis, age 85, of North Hudson, Wis., passed away peacefully on Feb. 15, at Regions Hospital, with her family by her side.

Bev was born on July 26, 1928, to Edward Wallace and Martha Polly (Smith) O'Brien in Chicago, Ill.

She was united in marriage to George Aloyius Smith in August 1946, a marriage that would be blessed with one son, William Martin Smith. Their marriage would later dissolve.

Bev was then married to Gerald "Jerry" Walter Cuddigan-Costello in 1956, in Sparta, Wis., and they had three children: Teresa, Jim, and Tom. They loved the Northern Wisconsin wilderness. Bev and Jerry were dedicated fishing and hunting partners, and her love of fishing awarded her the Masters Anglers Award for largest brook trout caught by a woman above the Arctic Circle. She also spent time salmon fishing on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. They loved spending time outdoors and going to the family cabin in Hayward, Wis. Bev was known for her vegetable garden and canning.

After Jerry's passing in 1981, she remarried James Henry Burtis on Aug. 6, 1988.

Bev worked for 3M for 22 years in bookkeeping and project management, and for many years, she was the bookkeeper for Sam's Supper Club and Bowling in North Hudson, Wis. After she took an early retirement, Bev and Jim retired in Jacksonville, Fla., until 2002. While living in Florida, they traveled to Europe and Hawaii, and she enjoyed tending to her flower gardens.

Above all, she had a strong faith and had a devoted love for Jesus. She loved sharing His love with everyone who came into her presence, and she left that same legacy of faith to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Bev enjoyed sharing the story of "Jesus Hugs", and gave one whenever she could.

She is survived by her children: William (Vivian) Smith of Downers Grove, Ill., Teresa (Jim) Dickman of North Hudson, Wis., Jim (Lori) Costello of Tomah, Wis., Tom Costello of Ko Lanta, Thailand; grandchildren: Craig (Laurie) Smith, Colleen (Jason) Krohn, Brian (Tember) Dickman, Lindsay Costello, Tanner (Hanna) Costello, Hunter Costello, Jerry Costello, Edward Costello, and Gabriel Costello; step-grandchildren: Gary Mitchell and Stacy Mitchell; great-grandchildren: Madelyn, Alyssa, Samuel, Caleb, Claire, Kaydence, Gary, Jr., Steven, and Randi; siblings: Sharon (Dave) Ernst of Hixton, Wis., Marguerite "Peg" (Ray) Hart of Black River Falls, Wis., and Daniel (Mary) O'Brien of Black River Falls, Wis.; and close personal friend, Pam Costello.

Preceded in death by her parents; husbands: George Smith, Gerald Cuddigan-Costello, and James Burtis; and brother, Raymond O'Brien.

A celebration of Bev's life will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 14107 S. Hudson Rd., Afton, MN, with a gathering of friends and family one hour prior to the service at church. Interment at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Hudson, at a later date.

Memorials preferred to the family.

Services are entrusted to the O'Connell Family Funeral Home. (715) 386-3725.

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