Amy Sue Houtakker, 47, of Kalispell, Montana passed away on Friday afternoon June 16, 2017 from injuries in an automobile accident. She was born July 11, 1969, the fourth of six children born to John and Carol (McQuillen) Houtakker.
She spent her early Wisconsin childhood and youth on the family dairy and beef farm in the Benton area of Lafayette County. She exhibited an early love of traveling to different areas of the Midwest with the Benton Livewires 4-H club and her pony named Tricket. Amy graduated from Platteville High School in 1987 and then enrolled at UW-Platteville graduating in 1991 with a degree in Agricultural Business. While at UW-Platteville she played soccer for the newly organized women’s soccer team for four years, worked the Christmas Madrigal Dinners all four seasons and belonged to the International Student Club.
The summer of 1988 she participated in the Future Farmers of America work program to Switzerland for four months. She lived and worked with a Swiss family that milked Swiss cows in the adjoining barn and walked the cows to a mountain pasture every morning. The host family gave Amy a Swiss Cow bell as a memento which she treasured from her experiences with this family.
After her 1991 graduation from UW-Platteville, Amy traveled to the Central Africa Republic (CAR) as a Peace Corps volunteer for over two years. She became a fluent speaker of French and Sangho, the national language.
Amy was employed by the U.S. Forest Service in the Kaibab National Forest on the north rim of the Grand Canyon and Wenatchee National Forest in central Washington. In Wisconsin, she worked for the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) as a loan officer in Viroqua and Monroe. Moving to Oregon, Amy continued her employment with FSA in Hood River and Pendleton. At the time of her death, Amy was employed by USDA Rural Development in Kalispell, Montana.
In all the places where Amy lived, she was an avid participant in recreational sports. She loved hiking and biking, skate skiing and dancing, sailing on the Columbia River and mountain climbing. In May she climbed Mt. Adams with crampons and ice axe. She owned several mountain and road bikes; joined bike clubs and went on many century rides (100 miles) in a day. She traveled to France as a spectator of the Tour de France. On another trip to Holland she biked and helped Sr. Catherine research Houtakker genealogy and visited the village of Houtakker, Holland.
Amy is survived by her mother, Carol Houtakker, Metamora, IL; her sister and brother-in-laws Sheri (Thomas Olthafer), Cadott, WI; Brenda (Terry) Stalsberg, Metamora, IL; Janice (Rich) Fangman, New Vienna, IA; a brother Mike Houtakker, Benton, WI; and her aunt Sr. Catherine Houtakker, Sinsinawa, WI. Amy was especially proud of her nephew Jonathan Stalsberg.
She was preceded in death by her father John Houtakker (2006) and her brother Terry Joseph (1967).
A memorial service and praying of the rosary will take place at 1:00 p.m. July 22, 2017 at St Patrick’s Church in Benton, WI. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Visitation and refreshments will follow in the church hall. Online condolence messages may be shared at http://www.jgfuneralhome.com/tributes/Amy-Houtakker
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Nature Conservancy in her honor.