Anita A. Lilla


Anita Ann Lilla, 58, of Galesville, passed away peacefully in the comfort of her home, Saturday, January 27, 2024, surrounded by the love of her family, following a courageous fight with cancer.

Anita was born October 5, 1965, in La Crosse, to George and Dorothy (Bagniewski) Walski. She graduated from Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School and Winona State University. Anita was united in marriage to Brian Lilla, August 19, 1989, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Galesville.

Anita was employed in various positions, most recently as a receptionist with Bruce Nelson Law Office in Winona, and she was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Galesville.

In 2019, Anita became a member of the La Crosse Area Dragon Boat Team, Mississippi Sisters, along with her life-long friend, Vickie (Kriesel) Dunnum. They are a team of women who traveled in April 2023 to the International Breast Cancer Paddling Commission (IBCPC) Dragon Boat Festival on Lake Karapiro in New Zealand. She quickly made friends and was loved by the “sisters” and literally “jumped in the boat” to join in the sisters’ collective dream and quest to New Zealand.

Anita and her son, Carson, worked side-by-side and made memories for a lifetime, working in the Wisconsin Cattelmen Steak Trailer, not only raising money to support the Wisconsin Cattlemen, but also for non-profit organizations like the Mississippi Sisters. Anita also completed the YMCA’s Livestrong Program after her second bout of breast cancer in 2019.

She was an excellent cook whose greatest joy in life was her family. Anita was a loving wife and mom, and she was a devoted caregiver to her uncle, Frank. She will be deeply missed by all those who knew and loved her.

Anita is lovingly survived by her husband, Brian; sons: Mason, Bradley (fiancée Alison Kolek), and Carson; sisters: Diane (Tony) Wagner, Linda (Chuck) Glowcheski, and Kris (Kurt Thill) Teske; her beloved dogs: Hobbs and Molly; grand-dogs: Tucker, Owen, and Hank; mother-in-law, Peg Lilla; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Dorothy Walski; and her in-laws: Donald Lilla, and JoAnn and Gary Galewski. 

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, February 2, 2024, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Galesville. Burial was at Holy Cross Cemetery in Trempealeau. Pallbearers were: Carl Wagner, Mike Wagner, Christopher Wagner, Keith Schlesser, Jacob Teske, and Mark Motszko.

Anita’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the Gundersen Health System Oncology Department, Gundersen Hospice for their care for Anita, and to all our family and many friends who have given us so much love and support.

Memorials may be directed to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Galesville, or to breast cancer research.

Online condolences or memories may be left for Anita’s family at

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home of Winona is assisting the family with arrangements.

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