Obituary for Nancy Claire (Isabella) Vilbrandt | Ryan Funeral Homes
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Nancy Claire (Isabella) Vilbrandt

April 10, 1936 ~ June 6, 2019 (age 83)

MADISON – Nancy Claire Vilbrandt, age 83, passed away on Thursday morning, June 6th.  She was born in Madison on April 10, 1936 to Nicholas and Mary (Sullivan) Isabella, the third of three children.  She was musically talented from a very young age playing violin and performing in a quartet at the age of 4.  She also played piano by ear.  She graduated from Edgewood High School in 1954 and attended Alverno College before marrying Gerald “Jerry” Vilbrandt on October 6, 1956.

While raising her family of four children in the Westmorland area of Madison, Nancy successfully earned a BA in English Literature with a minor in History and Math.  She graduated from Edgewood College “Magna Cum Laude” in 1974 and set out into the workplace.  She worked various jobs until she began a long career with the UW Madison Medical School as a continuing education outreach coordinator for over 20 years.

She was an avid Badger athletics fan as a season ticket holder for several decades.  You could find her and Jerry by “the pumps” at Stadium Bar after home football games, and in The Blue Line Room for hockey games. They were both active in growing the Westmorland youth hockey program, and bringing hockey back to Edgewood High School in the 1970’s.  For several years she and Jerry were directors of the Edgewood High School annual fund raising event “Edgefest Follies” where Nancy organized the many entertainment acts of the Follies, including performing as one of the “Lemon Sisters” with her friends and daughter Karen.

Nancy had many groups of friends including family, ex-classmates, and the medical community.  In her retired years you could find Nancy playing bridge 2-4 times a week along with being very active with the Edgewood High School Class of 1954 reunion committee where she put her outstanding organizational skills to good use for their annual reunion luncheons.  Most of all she was kind to everyone, she loved people, loved to make people laugh, enjoyed cooking Italian dishes for friends and family, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Nancy is survived by her children:  Karen (Robert) Brunker of Columbus, David Vilbrandt of Madison, and Brian (Judy) Vilbrandt of San Diego; her five grandchildren: Heather, Nicholas, Brennan, Dahlen, and Tennli; along with her step-grandchildren Jason (Beth) Kripps of Verona, Andrea (Ben) Weihert. Bobby (Kendall) Brunker, Heather (John) Ladwig; and her step-great grandchildren Madilyn, Keaton, Adriana, Alana, and Quinn.

She was preceded in death by her parents Nicholas and Mary Isabella, ex-husband Jerry Vilbrandt, brother Donald Isabella, sister Elizabeth Clayton, several brothers and sisters-in-law, and her beloved daughter Lynne.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 PM on Thursday, June 13th at RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 2418 N. Sherman Avenue, Madison.  A visitation will be held from 1:00 PM until the time of service on Thursday at the funeral home.   The service will be followed by a Celebration of Life with friends and family. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services

2418 N. Sherman Avenue


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