Kathy P. Belgea (Zuelke), MD, age 82, of Stratford, died peacefully on Friday, September 30, 2022, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.
She was formerly of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Ashland and Wausau, Wisconsin. Kathy was born on July 3, 1940, in Saint Paul, the daughter of Dr. Peter and Kathryn Belgea. She and Arthur Zuelke were married on November 28, 1975, in Saint Paul.
She attended Catholic schools in Saint Paul and was a graduate of Our Lady of Peace High School. She completed her undergraduate degree in chemistry at the University of Minnesota and was awarded her medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1965. Following six years of internship, residency, and fellowships in her specialty of pathology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, she passed the national boards to be certified in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology.
She began her medical career at the Minneapolis War Memorial Blood Bank (now Memorial Blood Center) and in federal service at the Minneapolis VA Hospital. She started private practice as the first pathologist at the hospital in Ashland, Wisconsin. She later joined the practice at Associates in Pathology in Wausau and remained there until her retirement in 2001. For over 26 years, she was the Medical Director of the Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) Program at Wausau Hospital and a member of the UW Stevens Point CLS Advisory Committee.
She loved animals, including her horse Skip; dogs Nikki, Tanna, Alex, Harley, Belle, and Ladybug; cats Schwarzie and Jingles, and the barn kitties; plus the assortment of sheep, goats, geese, chickens, and longhorn cattle that roamed “Stratfork Ranch,” so named in her effort to recreate the "Dallas" television show locally. She was a robust country line-dancer and avid hockey fan, loved to play cards for valuable prizes purchased from the dollar store, and believed Charles Bronson and Patrick Swayze were the greatest actors who ever lived.
She is predeceased by her parents and her dear husband of 34 years, Art. She is survived by her sisters, Lynn Belgea and Barbara Gontarek; niece Kit Gontarek; nephew Peter (Kelli) Gontarek and their daughter Michelle; stepdaughter Patti Zuelke, and dear cousins. She is also survived by Art’s family, including his siblings, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews, many of whom were very close to her. She is also survived by many good friends, former students, and mentees.
Special thanks to her friend Inez Halvorson, who provided so much help and companionship over the last few years.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Maternity of Mary Catholic Church (1414 N. Dale St.) on Tuesday, November 15 at 10:30am with visitation and hour prior.
Interment at Oakland Cemetery
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be designated to your favorite animal rescue organization.