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Death notices and obituaries for Nov. 18, 2019

Patrick James Finnane-York

Dennis E. Schwarz

Susan M. Skilling

Shirley M. Stopple

Daniel W. Wobig

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Lost, found and given: Janesville man donates windfall to Good Samaritan Fund


Kenneth Kinna was a careful man.

Born in 1897, he lived through the Depression and the collapse of the banks, two world wars and plenty of economic uncertainly. As the son of farmers and a farmer himself, he knew the value of saving.

Three days before his death on July 6, 1973, Kinna made his final addition to his special savings account, $100, bringing the total to $1,160. Then he returned the money and the receipt book to its hiding place at the back of a kitchen cupboard in his little house on Rockport Road.

More than 46 years later, the house’s current owner, Carey Burkhard, was looking for hand towels and found Kinna’s stash instead.

Don’t bother calling Burkhard to ask him for a loan or to buy a round of drinks. The money’s gone.

On Friday, Burkhard donated it to the Good Samaritan Fund. The charity, which provides food baskets to those in need, is sponsored by The Gazette, where Burkhard’s mother worked for many years.

Anthony Wahl 

Carey Burkhard uses a flashlight to show the cabinet where he discovered a wallet with $1,160 in his Janesville house.

Here’s how this happened:

About a month ago, Burkhard started thinking about weatherizing his house.

He usually hangs plastic sheeting over the windows. Once the plastic is on, he uses a hair dryer to remove the wrinkles and improve the view.

“I was thinking about the kitchen window over the sink,” Burkhard said. “I thought, ‘Oh, to hell with it. I’m getting older, and I’ll probably break my leg getting up on that sink. I’ll pay a little extra in heating this winter.’”

He thought he’d put some hand towels between the two panes of glass to reduce drafts.

The hand towels were in one of those awkward kitchen cupboards. You know the kind. They’re either too narrow to store anything, or wide enough but too deep, or they sort of go around a corner in a weird way.

“I’ve been keeping stuff in there I never used,” Burkhard said.

“You know, I had a Crock-Pot back there, and a George Foreman grill, and a toaster that I used maybe once a year.”

He knew he had a few hand towels in there. When he went hunting for them, he saw what looked like a little shadow in the back of the cupboard.

“I wasn’t going to put my hand back there. It might have been a mouse trap or a mouse,” Burkhard said

Anthony Wahl 

Carey Burkhard uses a flashlight to show the cabinet where he found a wallet that belonged to previous homeowner Kenneth Kinna, who died in 1973. Burkhard chose to donate the $1,160 in the wallet to the Good Samaritan Fund, a fundraising effort that gives food baskets to the needy during the holidays. The drive is sponsored by The Gazette, where Burkhard’s mother once worked, and radio stations WCLO and WJVL.

His flashlight revealed the object: a wallet.

“I thought, ‘That might be cool if it had a couple of dollars in it,’” Burkhard said. “You know, like a woman who finds an old purse in a closet and finds some money in it. There were 58 $20 bills in there. There was an address card in there, and it had an address on it, and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s my address.’”

Before you chastise Burkhard for not cleaning his cupboards, remember that he is the house’s fourth owner.

“My neighbor Bob, he’s lived next door for a long time, and he remembered all the people,” Burkhard said.

After Kinna died, his wife, Hazel, lived in the house until her death in 1977.

The house then was sold to a couple named the Wests. Then someone named Ruth bought it, but she moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, during a General Motors shakeup in the mid-1980s. That’s when Burkhard bought it.

Burkhard knew from the beginning that he was going to donate the money.

“I’ve got money—not tons and tons, but I don’t need extra,’’ he said.

One day when he was logging on to The Gazette’s website, the promotion for the Good Samaritan Fund popped up. It made him think of his mom, Pat Burkhard.

Pat Burkhard performed a variety of jobs at The Gazette, but she was known for being a skilled copy editor who could spot a misplaced comma or a style error from across the newsroom.

“I looked at the Good Samaritan Fund, and it was The Gazette, and it kind of felt like a sign from my ma,” Burkhard said. “Everything came together.”

He hopes his donation will encourage others to give—even if they find the money in their pocketbooks instead of their cupboards.

Anthony Wahl 

Carey Burkhard recently found a wallet containing $1,160 in the back of a cabinet near the kitchen sink at his Janesville home. The wallet belonged to previous homeowner Kenneth Kinna, who died in 1973. Burkhard donated the money to charity. Kinna’s descendants are delighted about the donation and hope to reclaim the empty wallet and deposit notes.

Under new rule, hospitals will have to share pricing information

Hospitals will soon have to share price information they have long kept obscured—including how big a discount they offer cash-paying patients and rates negotiated with insurers—under a rule finalized Friday by the Trump administration.

In a companion proposal, the administration announced it is also planning to require health insurers to spell out beforehand for all services just how much patients may owe for out-of-pocket costs for all services. That measure is now open for public comment.

“What is more clear and sensible than Americans knowing what their care is going to cost before going to the doctor?” said Joe Grogan, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

The hospital rule is slated to go into effect in January 2021. But it is controversial and likely to face court challenges.

It is part of an effort by the Trump administration to increase price transparency in hopes of lowering health care costs on everything from hospital services to prescription drugs.

When that rule was first proposed in July, hospitals and insurers objected. They argued it would require them to disclose propriety information, could hamper negotiations and could backfire if some medical providers see they are underpriced compared with peers and raise their charges.

Shortly after the final rule’s release, four major hospital organizations said they would challenge it in court.

“This rule will introduce widespread confusion, accelerate anticompetitive behavior among health insurers and stymie innovations,” according a joint statement from these groups, which made clear their intent to soon “file a legal challenge to the rule on the grounds including that it exceeds the administration’s authority.” The statement was signed by the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Children’s Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals.

Insurers also pushed back. “The rules the administration released today will not help consumers better understand what health services will cost them and may not advance the broader goal of lowering health care costs,” said Scott Serota, president and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, in a statement.

Requiring disclosure of negotiated rates, he said, could lead to price increases “as clinicians and medical facilities could see in the negotiated payments a roadmap to bidding up prices rather than lowering rates.” The rule, he added, could confuse consumers.

It’s also a potentially crushing amount of data for a consumer to consider. However, the administration said it hopes the data will also spur researchers, employers or entrepreneurs to find additional ways of making the data accessible and useful.

The amount of information the rule requires to be disclosed will be massive—including gross charges, negotiated rates and cash prices among them—for every one of the thousands of services offered by every hospital, which they will be required to update annually.

In a nod to how hard it might be for a consumer to add up items from such an a la carte list of prices, the rule also requires each hospital to include a list of 300 “shoppable” services, described in plain language, with all the ancillary costs included. So, in effect, a patient could look up the total cost of a knee replacement, hernia repair or other treatment.

Insurers, under the proposed rule, would have to disclose the rates they negotiate with providers like hospitals. They would also be required to create online tools to calculate for individual consumers the amount of their estimated out-of-pocket costs for all services, including any deductible they may owe, and make that information available before the consumer heads to the hospital or doctor.

It would go into effect one year after it is finalized, although it is not known when that will occur.

Although consumer advocates say price information can help patients shop for lower-cost services, they also note that few consumers do, even when provided such information.

Earlier this year, the administration ordered drugmakers to include their prices in advertisements, but the industry sued and won a court ruling blocking the measure. The administration has appealed that ruling.

Nonetheless, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the administration is confident.

“We may face litigation, but we feel we are on sound legal footing for what we are asking,” Azar said. “We hope hospitals respect patients’ right to know the prices of services and we’d hate to see them take a page out of Big Pharma’s playbook and oppose transparency.”

He and other officials on a call with reporters admitted they don’t have any estimates on how much the proposal would save in lowered costs because such a broad effort has never been tried in the U.S. before.

Still, “point me to one sector of the American economy where having pricing information actually leads to higher prices,” Azar said.

Azar cited some studies that show that when prices are disclosed, overall spending can go down because patients choose cheaper services. However, such efforts also generally require financial incentives for the patient, such as sharing in the cost savings.

The proposed rule for insurers urges them to create such incentives, said Seema Verma, who oversees the federal government’s Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

George Nation, a business professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania who studies hospital pricing, called the final rule and the insurer proposal “exactly a move in the right direction.”

Among other things, he said, the price information may prove useful to employers comparing whether their insurer or administrator is doing a good job in bargaining with local providers.

Today, “they just see a bill and a discount. But is it a good discount? This will now all be transparent,” Nation said.

‘I was such a little kid’

When she was 7, Patty Gallagher was chosen to bring the priest who served her parish and school in Monona his daily milk.

The Rev. Lawrence Trainor was practically a member of the family. He came over for dinner and visited the family cottage. Trainor, a priest at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, ingratiated himself with her parents. And then, Gallagher said, he “raped me in every way possible.”

“I had to make my first confession with this man and say the words, ‘Bless me, Father, for I have sinned,’ to the man who raped me in the most horrific ways,” said Gallagher, of Milwaukee, whose last name is now Gallagher Marchant.

Gallagher Marchant, a psychotherapist, said she repressed these traumatic memories for decades.

When Gallagher Marchant was 35 and her daughter turned 7—the same age she was in 1965 at the time of her own abuse—the memories flooded back.

She notified the Catholic Diocese of Madison in 1991, eventually receiving a “six-figure” settlement in 1992. Ever since, Gallagher Marchant has been speaking out “because I can’t not talk about what’s so blatantly wrong.”

Many U.S. institutions have been rocked by sexual abuse scandals in recent years, including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Boy Scouts of America and USA Gymnastics.

But it is the scandal within the Catholic Church that continues to garner the most attention, prompting Pope Francis in May to issue the first worldwide mandate that all child sex abuse allegations be reported to church authorities—a measure that critics say still falls short.

“Abuse can happen everywhere and it does,” said Brent King, communications director for the Diocese of Madison. “The scandal in the church is different because these men were supposed to represent God and his church.”

Thousands of allegations

More than 11,000 accusations of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic priests and brothers have been made across the United States since the 1970s, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, a nonprofit that conducts social science research on the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church has paid tens of millions of dollars in settlements in Wisconsin, including an estimated $21 million from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to compensate 330 sexual assault survivors.

In Wisconsin, the number of credibly accused priests reported by dioceses, religious orders and law firms now stands at roughly 170, a Wisconsin Watch investigation shows. And it could rise.

Wisconsin Watch found wide variations in the approach of Wisconsin’s five dioceses and dozens of religious orders to publicly report alleged abuse. Critics say the Catholic Church must do a better job of reaching out to survivors to help them heal. A survivors’ group is pushing for independent investigations, including criminal probes, to root out allegations of abuse.

So far, three Wisconsin dioceses have publicly reported the names of 104 priests with substantiated or verified allegations: 48 from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 48 from the Green Bay Diocese and eight from the Madison Diocese.

The dioceses covering Superior and La Crosse have yet to release their own clergy disclosure lists, although BishopAccountability.org lists several priests in each diocese who have been convicted or were the subject of settlements. The diocese spokesperson for Superior did not respond to several messages seeking information.

Alongside the 779 diocesan priests currently serving in Wisconsin, there are another 452 priests from religious orders including the Franciscans, Jesuits and Norbertines. Religious order priests report to different authorities than diocesan priests do. And they vary widely in revealing sexual abuse within their ranks.

In July, the De Pere, Wisconsin-based Norbertines released a list of 22 priests—20 of whom have been credibly accused of sexual abuse in Wisconsin since the 1960s.

Religious order priests are not under the umbrella of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which issued the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in the wake of the Boston Globe’s 2002 expose of widespread abuse and coverups within the church.

These religious orders are overseen by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, which has also adopted the tenets of the charter, according to the organization’s communications director, Susan Gibbs.

The charter mandates training for religious and lay employees on how to avoid and spot sexual abuse, transparency in communicating with alleged victims and the public, mandatory reporting of child abuse allegations to law enforcement and other policies.

Church must do more

Despite these efforts, parishioners continue to come forward with fresh accusations, priests are facing criminal charges in state courts, and critics are calling for more action.

Zach Hiner, executive director of the St. Louis-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said he appreciates the steps the church has taken, but more needs to be done.

Hiner wants to see secular investigations into church personnel files, release of names of all credibly accused clergy and recognition of and discussion by the church, the public and elected officials about sexual abuse.

The scandal shows no signs of abating.

After the Green Bay Diocese posted a list of 46 accused priests in January, at least a dozen new reports of sexual abuse poured in dating back decades. In May, the diocese boosted the number of alleged priest abusers to 48.

Criminal cases continue

Criminal charges continue to be filed against Wisconsin priests for alleged sexual assault of children, sometimes decades earlier.

One is former priest Thomas E. Ericksen. He served at St. Peter Church in Winter in the 1980s. He was first investigated in 1983, but police handed his case back to the Diocese of Superior.

In 1988, Ericksen was removed from the priesthood. According to the Wausau Daily Herald, the diocese paid a $3 million out-of-court settlement to two of Ericksen’s victims from Winter. Ericksen later confessed to “fondling” boys to a news reporter and to police. He was charged in four separate cases in Sawyer County Circuit Court in 2018 and 2019.

One case involved a man who said he was abused in 1982 as a 14-year-old altar boy.

After the cases were consolidated and two dismissed, Ericksen was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Sept. 26.

Not all cases result in convictions. In September, a Jefferson County jury acquitted the Rev. William A. Nolan, a priest from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Fort Atkinson, of accusations that he had sexually assaulted a boy, now 27, between 2006 and 2010.

Investigations launched

In Wisconsin, all five dioceses have launched investigations to determine which personnel have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. Milwaukee was the first to release a list of priests accused of abuse in 2004. The other four in the state have been slow to follow.

Hiner said his concern with church-funded investigations is that companies hired to review files do not necessarily have to report their findings to law enforcement.

“As we’ve seen at places like Michigan State University, institutions cannot police themselves,” Hiner said, referring to the scandal in which USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was found to have molested hundreds of athletes.

King, the Madison Diocese spokesman, said the company investigating Madison’s files sees it as a “moral obligation” to report criminal activity.

Advocates like SNAP want state attorneys general to investigate abuse, as Pennsylvania’s attorney general did in 2018. Rebecca Ballweg, a spokeswoman for Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, said the office would not comment on whether it is investigating such allegations here.

‘I was such a little kid’

Kathryn Walczyk said her abuse occurred at the hands of a priest from St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere. She chose not to disclose her abuser’s name; the now-deceased man is on the list of accused Norbertine clergy.

Like Gallagher Marchant, Walczyk’s abuse began around the age of 7 as she prepared for First Communion at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Green Bay, where she still lives.

One of the times, Walczyk and a friend went into a room where the priest dresses before Mass. He grabbed her, pulling her under his robe; she felt his naked body against her mouth.

“I just remember the smell and that I was being suffocated. I thought I was going to die,” Walczyk said, choking back tears. “I was such a little kid, I didn’t know.”

Memories of her abuse did not surface until she was in her mid-40s, she said, when they emerged like a “tornado.”

“I had pictures of the side of the priest’s head … I had pictures of his yellow-stained hands, I had pictures of sacred objects in the church, but I didn’t have the movie.”

Walczyk, 58, now works as a spiritual companion, helping others on their paths to spirituality.

Walczyk said the Catholic Church should work toward “authentic transformation” by admitting it needs outside help to heal and repair the damage it has done.

From ‘leper’ to activist

Gallagher Marchant said when she reported her abuse in 1991, she was treated like a “leper” as the church immediately lawyered up.

“They said, ‘What do you want, a 1-800-clergy abuse line?’ They were very flip,” Gallagher Marchant said.

She eventually received a monetary settlement—Gallagher Marchant declined to discuss the exact size—and meetings with Trainor, the bishop and auxiliary bishop.

Years later, offices, hotlines and services like she proposed were set up by dioceses nationwide. But she said the church as a whole still has not fully atoned for the pain it caused by “not tending to the issue of clergy pedophilia in a timely and transparent manner.”

Finally in July, Gallagher Marchant got the heartfelt apology she always wanted during a meeting with Madison’s newly installed Bishop Donald Hying.

“I’m still sitting and basking in relief and peace that I never thought I’d have,” Gallagher Marchant said just after the meeting. “It really matters to be heard, heart to heart.”

Hying said in the past, some bishops relied on the advice of lawyers on how to address survivors.

“And so the initial response became sort of this legal response, when in fact, I think what victims were really looking for—are looking for—is a pastoral response. A human response,” Hying said.

Erica Jones’ work on this story was sponsored by the Ann Devroy Fellowship at the UW-Eau Claire. Bram Sable-Smith from Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Watch reporter Francisco Velazquez contributed to this story. The nonprofit Wisconsin Watch (www.WisconsinWatch.org) collaborates with WPR, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by Wisconsin Watch do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

Fernando Llano 

In this Oct. 12, 2019 photo, migrants grouped by families line up for a photo prior to their interviews with U.S. immigration officials, at a migrant shelter in Reynosa, Mexico. In years past, migrants seeking asylum in the United States moved quickly through this violent territory on their way to the U.S., but now due to Trump administration policies, they remain here for weeks and sometimes months as they await their U.S. court dates, often in the hands of gangsters who hold Tamaulipas state in a vice-like grip. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)