Father: Stuart NITSCHKE ( )
Mother: Michele SIKORA ( )

Emily NITSCHKE (*ABT 1991 +18 Nov 1999)

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Personal details of people who may be living are NOT placed on the web
                    _Albert P NITSCHKE _________|
                   |                            |_____________________________
 _Stuart NITSCHKE _|
|                  |                             _Werner Karl Robert SCHREIB _+
|                  |_Hannelore Irmgard SCHREIB _|
|                                               |_Charlotte Ilse G√ľNTHER ____
|--Emily NITSCHKE 
|                                                _____________________________
|                   ____________________________|
|                  |                            |_____________________________
|_Michele SIKORA __|
                   |                             _____________________________

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[24316] from Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal

Schoolgirl dies without warning
Sussex parents grieve for 8-year-old, who collapsed at Woodside
By Betsy Thatcher
of the Journal Sentinel staff
Last Updated: Nov. 19, 1999
She left home looking forward to the school day, a bubbling 8-year-old tomboy from Sussex who loved to be hugged and wanted a puppy.

But later, standing in line at the side of her teacher with several of her Woodside Elementary School classmates waiting for a bus ride home, Emily Nitschke collapsed.

She died in less than two hours.

On Friday, a day later, Emily's family and her third-grade classmates struggled with their grief but were comforted by memories.

"There's no way you can prepare for something like this," said her father, Stuart Nitschke, choking back tears. "We had eight years. I can't imagine them being any better.

"She affected everybody she met. Everybody loved her."

Nitschke and his wife, Michele, said their daughter loved to be hugged and snuggled every night and constantly begged for a puppy.

"She brought us a lot of joy," Michele Nitschke said.

Doctors discovered earlier this year that Emily had a heart ailment. But her death was a shock because the ailment was thought to be under control and stabilized, Stuart Nitschke said.

From early in her life, Emily had complained of chest pains, particularly during physical activity, her father said. Doctors at first told the Nitschkes that Emily suffered from exercise-induced asthma.

Earlier this year, though, the Nitschkes decided to consult other doctors and were referred to the cardiac care unit at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa. Specialists there discovered a problem with Emily's left heart ventricle and suggested she might be a candidate for a heart transplant, Stuart Nitschke said.

Subsequent tests, however, did not reveal a buildup of scar tissue, so the doctors did not recommend that Emily be placed on the transplant list, he said.

Instead, he said, they were told the condition was something that could be controlled and that she could live a relatively normal life but for some restrictions on physical activity.

It was only two weeks ago that Emily had her last medical examination, and her vital statistics had actually improved, Stuart Nitschke said. "For the last six to nine months, everything looked stable."

Emily's collapse came as she walked to her bus line, not during any exertion, he noted.

And she was not a sedentary girl, he added.

"I guess you would describe her a little bit like a tomboy," he said. "She always wore her T-shirt and blue jeans. Bugs didn't bother her."

A Brownie who had planned to "bridge" to Junior Girl Scouts at the end of the current school year, Emily's passions were animals and artwork, her parents said.

"This week she drew a picture of her brother," Michele Nitschke said of the drawing Emily made for her 5-year-old brother, Mitchell.

Recently, Emily and her brother tagged along with their father on a duck-hunting outing.

Emily was especially close to her grandfather, Albert Nitschke, who on the nights that Emily slept at her grandparents' home would sleep on the floor next to her bed and hold her hand all night.

Emily's classmates and teachers also struggled with their loss Friday at Woodside, where the American flag outside the school flew at half-staff.

"Counselors, psychologists and social workers were available at Woodside throughout the day for students to talk about their friendship with Emily and about death and dying," said Hamilton School District spokeswoman Denise Dorn Lindberg.

"The counselors and staff met with students in small groups, letting them know about Emily's death. The staff members took their cue from the children. Some of them wanted to talk, some just wanted to return to their routine."

Staff members on Thursday had notified the parents of Emily's classmates and closest friends of her death to give parents the option of telling their children themselves or allowing them to learn it in the school setting, Dorn Lindberg said. Parents also were given the option of accompanying their children at school while they were told of Emily's death.

In addition to her parents, brother and grandfather, Emily is survived by her paternal grandmother, Hannelore Nitschke of New Berlin; her maternal grandparents, Jim and Dolores Sikora of Hales Corners; and her great-grandparents, Alois Sikora of Hales Corners, Jacqueline Weber of Milwaukee and Charlotte Schreib of Hales Corners.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, with a prayer vigil from 7:30 to 8 p.m., at the Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral Home, W250-N6505 Highway 164, Sussex. Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. James Church, W220-N6570 Town Line Road, Menomonee Falls. After Mass, a graveside service will be held at St. James-Rose Hill Cemetery.

The family suggests memorials to the cardiac care unit at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.

[24312] [S275] Obituary of Emily Nitschke

[24313] [S275] Obituary of Emily Nitschke

[24314] [S275] Obituary of Emily Nitschke

[24315] [S275] Obituary of Emily Nitschke