Christine J. “Chris” Gratz, age 68, passed away into the arms of God, Monday, June 4, 2018 at UW Hospital in Madison. Chris was born Sept. 8, 1949, in Dodgeville, the daughter of Harold and Eileen (Pickett) Barth. Chris graduated from Darlington High School in 1967 and later went on to receive a certificate in Nutrition from MATC in Madison.
Chris was united in marriage to Charles “Chuck” E. Gratz on July 28, 1973 at Darlington United Methodist Church in Darlington. Chris lived in Darlington most of her life. She worked as a dietician at Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County and later at Lands’ End in Dodgeville for 25 years. Chris also co-owned and operated Wood Violet Floral Shop for a number of years with her friends, Mary Gould, Jeaneen Benson and Donna Marhee.
Chris is survived by her best friend and husband, Charlie; her mother, Eileen Barth of Shullsburg; her son, Jerry (Julie Meyer Wells) Prine of Madison; her daughter-in-law, Amanda Prine of Darlington; her very special granddaughter, Destiny Prine of Darlington; Christi Hansen, a very special person in Chris and Chuck’s life, who is currently serving in the military; and two brothers: Steven (Christine) Barth of Carmel, Calif.; and Eric (Joan) Barth of Sauk City; her niece and nephews, Thomas “TJ”(Stephanie) Barth, Heather Barth and Jeremy Brakke; her sister-in-law, Lisa Anne Crowley; many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Chris was preceded in death by her father, Harold; her son, Timothy Prine; and brother, Jim Barth.
Chris was a member of Immanuel United Church of Christ in Darlington, its Women’s Guild, and taught Sunday School. She was also a very proud member of Red Rock Homemakers. Chris loved to bake and entertain her family and friends. She enjoyed her Marten Dine-in and her Whine and Cheese get-togethers. Chris proudly hosted a rest stop annually for Toyota’s Best Dam Bike Ride that benefited M.S. Chris’ wonderful smile, thoughtful deeds, playful laugh, and orange chip dip will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by her family and friends.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Immanuel United Church of Christ, 339 E. Louisa Street, Darlington with Rev. Barbara Brakey officiating. Friends and family are welcome to the visitation to be held Wednesday, June 6, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and Thursday, June 7, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church. The Erickson Funeral Home in Darlington is serving the family. Online condolences may be expressed at www.ericksonfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Chris’ name.