A Gathering of Family and Friends will be held 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Sunday, August 13 at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson
A Celebration of Denise's Life will take place at 4:00 PM Sunday, August 13 at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson
Denise Suzanne (Zirkle) Brouillard, age 51, passed away peacefully July 21, 2017 at her home in Hudson after a brave and most courageous battle with breast cancer.
Denise was born October 4, 1965 in Long Island, NY. Denise was not adopted, but very much welcomed, loved and chosen, and became the precious daughter of David and Joanne (Stark) Zirkle. Denise graduated from Western High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the Class of 1984. She went on to achieve her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, her Masters Degree from St. Cloud State University, and her PhD from the University of Nevada, Reno. With hard work and great compassion, Denise worked as a Professor of Counseling at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Denise blossomed and shined as a professor and became tenured. Denise was accomplished in her work, and recently received the Mary Gehrke-McAllister Leadership Award in 2017. She had a tremendous love and respect for others, never quick to judge or be critical, which touched the lives of so many students and colleagues.
Denise was united in marriage to Robert Brouillard, although their marriage dissolved, their life was blessed with two chosen and beautiful children, Michael and Bridget. Her children were the center of her world, making each day a true blessing for her. Denise fought her battle with cancer bravely and full of such grace for her children. Always letting them know that they are the most important part of her, and securing that forever love as a mom. Her loving bonds and continued care were always evident in her role as a daughter and sister, showing the utmost love to her sister, Penny, brother, David Jr. and her parents.
Denise had a remarkable way of making those around her feel special. She was introspective and so thoughtful in her ways towards others. Denise was determined, full of life, and had a unique way of bringing levity to even the most serious situations. She loved her community and the people around her. Denise was very fond of the unconditional love of her little dogs, Phoebe and Shiloh. She enjoyed baking, gardening, and making each day count. May Denise’s legacy of such courage and graciousness live on in the many hearts she blessed.
Denise will remain in the hearts of her two precious children, Michael and Bridget; her former husband and wonderful father to her children, Robert Brouillard; her father, David Zirkle of CO; siblings, Penny (Greg) Hoglund of Zepher Cove, NV, Dr. David Jr. (Sabra) Zirkle of Colorado Springs, CO; dear nieces and nephews, Kelsey, Liam, and Ella; as well as many other loving relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her mother, Joanne Zirkle, to whom she adored; and her brother, Russell.
A Gathering of Family and Friends will be held 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Sunday, August 13 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson, with a Celebration of Denise’s Life at 4:00 PM. Interment will take place at Willow River Cemetery in Hudson. Knowing that Denise had such love for animals, memorials are preferred to the Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue and Lakeview Hospice, which provided such great care to Denise in her final days.