Official Obituary of

Mary Ann Brigson

August 20, 1945 ~ April 2, 2024 (age 78) 78 Years Old

Mary Ann Brigson Obituary

Mary Ann (Cain) Brigson of Sparta, Wisconsin, was born on August 20th, 1945 to Joseph and Margaret (Boland) Cain in La Crosse, Wisconsin and went to her happy eternal home on April 2nd, 2024.  She was raised on her parents’ family farm (Hillcrest) near Rising Sun, Wisconsin.  She lived her days enthusiastically and felt truly blessed by her Lord.  She attended Lynn Grade School and Gays Mills (now North Crawford) High School graduating in 1963.  She attended Viterbo University in La Crosse, graduating in May 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in Education and a Sociology minor.  She also earned a master’s degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1985.

She married John Brigson (the most selfless man she ever knew – and her best friend) on August 12th, 1967 at St. James Catholic Church in Rising Sun, Wisconsin – they were married for 56 years and lived in Fennimore for over 30 of those years before relocating to Sparta in 2012.  Their marriage brought into their life two precious children – Beth and Brent.  A third child, Margaret (Maggie) died at birth on June 12th, 1969. 

Mary Ann is the super proud grandmother of Grace, Emma and Leah Brigson; her children and granddaughters were her true blessings, and her happiest days were spent with them.  She loved to watch her children and grandchildren play sports and perform in school musical events.  She appreciated her time spent with her family who brightened her days.

She became a full-time mother to Beth and Brent from 1970-1973; she felt it was a true gift from God to be with her two children 24/7.  In 1972 she became an instructor at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College (SWTC) in Fennimore and taught there until she retired in 2006.  Mary Ann believed that God led her to SWTC where she tremendously enjoyed her students and co-worker friends in the Academic Skills Center (ASC) and the general education department.  She kept in touch with her SWTC friends until her death. 

In 2002 she and John purchased their Castle Rock Lake property where they happily spent as much time as possible before and after their retirements; their lake friends became their second family!!  At Castle Rock Lake she always enjoyed having fun and often would say, “I’ve got an idea.”  This meant that she had plans for the day with John and her friends.  She looked for the best in everyone and usually discovered it.  She will be truly missed by her family and friends and will be remembered for her huge endless smiles, warm hugs, and friendly, kind personality.

Mary Ann was preceded in death by her two daughters, parents, brother, brother-in-law, and numerous extended family and close friends.  She is survived by her wonderful husband John, son Brent, daughter-in-law Dana, three granddaughters – Grace, Emma and Leah, son-in-law Doug and his wife, Kate, sister Joan, many nieces and nephews, and numerous cousins and friends.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Foundation – specifically for the Charger Dream Fund in memory of Beth (Brigson) Ferral – John and Mary Ann’s daughter - who passed away on September 2nd, 2007.

Mary Ann will be buried at Saint James Catholic Cemetery in Rising Sun beside her parents and daughter Maggie at a later date.  May she rest in peace.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Sparta, with Father Eric Berns officiating.

Family and friends are invited for visitation from 10 a.m. until 12 noon on Saturday at the church. Online condolences may be offered at

Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements. 

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April 27, 2024

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
St. Patrick Catholic Church (Sparta)
319 W. Main St.
Sparta, Wisconsin 54656
Guaranteed delivery before the Visitation begins

Memorial Mass
April 27, 2024

12:00 PM
St. Patrick Catholic Church (Sparta)
319 W. Main St.
Sparta, Wisconsin 54656
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Mass begins

April 27, 2024

1:00 PM
St. Patrick Catholic Church (Sparta)
319 W. Main St.
Sparta, Wisconsin 54656

Burial at a Later Date

St. James Catholic
10905 WI-27
Ferryville, WI 54628


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