From left: Gertrude Salzer Gordon, Janet Isler and Barbara Schroeder

She was the kind of person who liked “making someone’s life better when they least expected it. … Nothing made her happier than to help a student who needed a hug … (or someone who needed) to believe that somebody cared.”

— Mary Lund, describing her longtime friend Barbara Schroeder



The La Crosse Public Education Foundation has benefited from many estate gifts, including major donations from the estates of: Gertrude Salzer Gordon, a philanthropist and Central High graduate who passed away in 1998 and set up a private foundation to benefit LPEF; Janet Kircher Isler, who grew up in La Crosse during the Depression and died in 2010; and Barbara Schroeder, a Central High graduate who died in 2014.

Gifts from all three estates were unrestricted, allowing the LPEF Board of Directors the discretion to use annual distributions to meet the most pressing needs.