Carroll University icon Gert Ullsperger passes away: 'An inspiration'

Gert Ullsperger, the Carroll University icon and "unofficial grandma," has died, the university announced Thursday, Jan. 27. She was 95 years old.

Gone but never forgotten, staff, students and alumni remembered Ullsperger and her 58-year legacy on Thursday. 

"One of the top three women in my life. My mom, my grandma and Gert – and I did tell her that, so she knew that," said Kim Bettinger, who worked alongside Ullsperger for 12 years.

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It is rare for someone to not only work at the same place for 58 years, but to also leave an everlasting impact.

"If you were feeling down, Gertie would bring you up," Roseanne Garcia, an employee at Gert's Grab 'n Go Store, said.

Gert Ullsperger

"Her smile would light up the room when she came in," said Gary Stephany, a dining room employee.

And that was Ullsperger: The adopted grandma of Carroll University who would light up people's days and fill up their plates.

Gert's Grab 'n Go at Carroll University

Staff and students who spoke to FOX6 News on Thursday said they are grateful that Ullsperger got to see for herself that her legacy will get to live on through the campus' Gert Ullsperger Main Dining Room.

"If anybody deserved a dining room named after them, it was Gert," Bettinger said. "There are so many people who have came through these doors that knew Gert." 

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"My classmates, my friends – everyone will remember Gert," alumna Kaylee Gransee said.

The COVID-19 pandemic kept Ullsperger away from campus the past few years of her life, but students and staff found a way to keep her in the dining room.

Poster in memory of Gert Ullsperger at Carroll University

"They did a zoom every other Tuesday with her, and so we would all come up and it was like having her in the dining room again," said Bettinger. "She was an inspiration to all of us to be a better person to have a good attitude. Always gave hugs. Always was happy. Knew all of our families, knew their names. I mean, she’s just an inspiration, and this world is definitely going to miss her."

Funeral arrangements for Ullsperger are still being made, but Carroll University has provided an address for those who would like to send family cards or signs of sympathy:
Marsha James
1010 Wisteria Lane
Waukesha, WI 53189


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