Cover photo for Audrey Janice Sinnott's Obituary
Audrey Janice Sinnott Profile Photo
1928 Audrey 2023

Audrey Janice Sinnott

July 14, 1928 — July 10, 2023

Priarie du Sac/Kenosha

Audrey Janice Sinnott, 94, passed away on July 10, 2023, surrounded by family and friends at her beloved home. As we mourn this immeasurable loss, we also celebrate a life truly well lived. She was an amazing woman, loving and kind, tender and compassionate towards all things. She was an artist, a poet, a teacher, but most of all she was present. She found endless joy and adoration every day in the beauty surrounding her and our amazing universe.

Born in Kenosha, WI, on July 14, 1928, Audrey was big sister to Bob, Joanne, Betty, and Danny. She loved her siblings and would often take her little sisters along on dates to get ice cream. She cared for little Danny like a second mom. Audrey graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School in Kenosha and then taking the wise advice of her friend, Jean Forrest, she enrolled at the UW Extension. Fate stepped in when Audrey met her future husband as their eyes locked through shelves of books in the university library. They married in 1951 and moved to Madison to continue their studies at the University of Wisconsin.

In her new life at college with Dickinson, Audrey felt her world widening. She had a life-long fascination with art and culture, science and nature, and humanity’s understanding of the universe. Audrey graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in art and returned later to earn her Master’s in art education. With her outgoing husband as her agent, soft-spoken Audrey landed art jobs ranging from an industry newsletter to book covers for the University Press and illustrations for children’s stories. One of these is the well-loved “Once Upon A Time - A Wonder-Story Book” which continues to be cherished by the family.

In 1959, after nine years of marriage, their own personal universe expanded as they welcomed the surprise of their first child, Lauren. In 1960, their second daughter Lisa was born. With a growing family, Audrey and Dickinson moved to Prairie du Sac, purchasing their forever home, the historic Tripp/Waterbury house. Audrey delighted in the large yard stretching from Water St. in the front to 7th the back. It became more wooded over the years and Audrey treasured each season, especially the lush green warmth of summer. Audrey’s life was full of love, joy and art. In 1964, they welcomed their third daughter, Katy, making the family complete.

Audrey was a creative and resourceful person, sewing her family’s clothes - learned from her mother - baking whole-wheat bread (aka “leadbread”) with flour ground at home, tending a big vegetable garden and making mulberry jam. Her three “beautiful girls” would climb the mulberry tree to shake it and she would catch the berries on a sheet. Summers were spent lazing in the hammock, playing under the wondrous catalpa tree and spending Friday nights at Devil’s Lake. Audrey frequently invited her sisters for extended stays, which strengthened family ties. Her family was very important to her and niece, Shareen Martin, would also spend summers at the house. Audrey and Dickinson had a special bond with their nephew, Brian Schroeder, and welcomed him to stay with them often, especially as he was also a book-lover and student of the arts. Audrey supported her family doing artwork in her home studio, surrounded by sunshine and the beauty of her yard. She and Dick became part of Sauk Prairie’s progressive and intellectual community, whose members ranged from farmers to artists to authors, and just general characters.

In 1974 Audrey became an art teacher at Sauk Prairie High School, inspiring many students with her gentle approach and delight in visual display. She let her students listen to the radio while they worked, which many remember to this day. If students left work behind at the end of the year, Audrey brought it home. She remained lifelong friends with many of those she taught.

Audrey was an avid reader, a joy which she instilled in her children. She read books of every subject and type: art, poetry, fiction and nonfiction. She was especially inspired by the forming of the universe and the question of how and why we exist. She wrote beautiful poetry, delighting in haiku. Audrey became part of a group of woman friends who created a book club, did meditation, and dropped in for 4 o’clock gin-and-tonics. Her neighbors formed a supportive network that lasted decades. Audrey was engaged in civic life and voted in every election. She read magazines on science, nature, current events, education, and of course the daily newspaper front to back. She was always eager to exchange thoughts on the politics of the day. She was informed and never stopped learning.

Audrey continued to create art into her 90’s. She loved making cards for family and friends, intricate works of art containing pictures and beautiful colored paper shapes, along with a wonderful message in calligraphy. Most of these masterpieces were 3-dimensional and remain treasured to this day by all lucky enough to receive one. After retirement, she loved to travel to visit her grown girls, going for long stays in Hong Kong, France, California and Beijing.

Audrey was very frugal and made the most of what she had, desiring always to waste nothing. Her home was full (perhaps to a fault) of everything one someday might need. She had a great sense of humor, loved to laugh and play Scrabble, at which she excelled. She was positive, forgiving and above all, loving. She was especially supportive of her daughters in their studies, careers, parenthood and home ownership. She cherished her own home, where she lived independently until the end. After a large ischemic stroke and a week in the hospital, she came back to the house, staying with loved ones for another week, giving friends, family and neighbors time to be with her, before passing away as the sun rose in the early morning, just four days shy of her 95th birthday.

Audrey is survived by her daughters: Lauren Sinnott, Lisa Brandt, and Katy Sinnott (Eric Costantino); grandchildren: Ian Sinnott (Emma), Adrian Sinnott, and Andreas Costantino; great-grand-children, Audrina Sendelbach and Ramsay Sinnott; and her siblings: Joanne Eggebraaten, Elizabeth Balk, and Daniel Balk Sr. (Pam).

Audrey was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Janette (Jacobson) Balk; brother, Robert Balk; husband, Dickinson Sinnott; brother-in-law, Dave Eggebraaten; and grandchildren, Colin Brandt and Samantha Brandt.

The family would like to thank the staff at the Sauk Prairie hospital who provided loving and tender care to Audrey and her family. We are also extremely grateful for the Agrace team, as with their help, Audrey was able to achieve her last wish, to come home.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, October 12 from 4 to 8pm, at the Freethinkers’ Hall at 309 Polk St. in Sauk City, WI. Refreshments provided, but feel free to bring a dish if you choose, or a card that she made to display. Most of all, join us as we honor the life of this fascinating woman, Audrey Janice Sinnott. For more information, call 707-684-9948.

In lieu of flowers, Audrey would like you to do any of the following: donate to the art department of Sauk Prairie High School, vote in the next election, purchase something from a working artist, plant a tree, talk to the quiet person in the room, and/or be in awe of the life we share on this beautiful blue planet.

Morning dew on grass,

ephemeral jewelry box,

vanishing by noon.

Haiku by Audrey Sinnott

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Audrey Janice Sinnott, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Thursday, October 12, 2023

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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