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David L. Bylsma

David L. Bylsma

October 17, 2017

David L. Bylsma, age 64, of Eau Claire passed from this life on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at Mayo Clinic Health System- Eau Claire, surrounded by his loving family. He waged a valiant battle against esophageal cancer for 18 months.

He was born on April 13, 1953, to Louis and Bertha (Alsum) Bylsma and grew up on a dairy farm in Randolph, WI, with his three younger brothers. In 1971, he graduated from Randolph High School and in 1976 from UW-River Falls with a B.S. in Earth Science. He worked as assistant zoning administrator in St. Croix County, then as zoning administrator in Pepin County for five years. While living in Durand and working as an EMT with the volunteer ambulance, he became interested in nursing. In 1984, he graduated from CVTC with the first ADN class and later received a BSN from UW-EC.  Over a 33 year RN career, he worked at Durand Hospital,  HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital ER, OakLeaf Surgical Hospital, and finally at Mayo Clinic Health System-Eau Claire in PACU.

He embarked on the adventure of his life when he married his nursing school classmate Trish on August, 31, 1985, and became step-dad to four daughters. Dave was a wise, kind, gentle giant of a man and a compassionate nurse. He loved and lived to fish - his best days were spent fly-fishing. He had a wonderful sense of humor, sharp and inquiring intellect, and seemed to remember everything he ever read. He adored his six very precious grandchildren. They were his motivation for fighting so valiantly to live. He was a gift of a man, we are so blessed he chose us to be his family.

He is survived by his loving wife, Trish; four step-daughters, Sara Grump of Eau Claire, Emily (Joe) Grace of Independence, WI, Katherine (Sagar) Sonar of Roselle, IL, and Jennifer (Gary Vollink) Brinley of Brooklyn, NY; grandchildren, Benjamin David, Natalie, Isaiah, and Abigail Grace, Alistair and Marielle Sonar; mother, Bertha of Randolph, WI; three brothers, James (Pam) Bylsma of Randolph, WI, Richard (Debra) Bylsma of Middlebury, IN, and Larry (Doreen) Bylsma of Friesland, WI; many nieces, nephews, and other family members and friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Louis Bylsma, Jr.

Many thanks to friends Jack Kins, Jeff Bartynski, Gary Balwierz, and Dave Carlson, who took Dave on some wonderful fishing trips during the last few months of his life when he could no longer go on his own. Also thanks to the many friends who assisted with frequent trips to Rochester.


Celebration of Life: 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the funeral home with Reverend Dave Stratton officiating

Visitation: will only be on the evening prior (Friday, October 27) from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home concluding with a Nightingale Tribute at 6:45 p.m.

A private interment will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer memorials be given to Eau Claire Adult Special Olympics, 2505 Beverly Hills, Eau Claire, WI, 54701 or WI Clear Waters Trout Unlimited, P.O. Box 822, Eau Claire, WI, 54702, www.wcwtu.com.