The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Death under investigation

Nicole Robinson

Caring. Friendship. Laugh. Live. Love. Sing. These are a few of the words Bridgette Wegert’s friends are using to describe her on the memorial poster they plan to hang in the Towers South wing where she would have lived this semester.

“She was definitely a unique person,” said sophomore Laura Hudack, a college friend from Wegert’s hometown. “She didn’t want to be plain and ordinary. She wanted to

stand out.”

And based on all accounts from friends and family, that’s just what she did until her sudden unexplained death at home Aug. 13. While the Columbia County Coroner’s Office still is investigating the cause of death, friends and family prefer to focus on her life, which they said she lived with vigor.

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Wegert, 19, grew up in Wisconsin Dells and graduated from Wisconsin Dells High School in the spring of 2004. She would have been a sophomore this fall.

Already accepted into the nursing program, Wegert maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her freshman year, all while singing in the UW-Eau Claire Symphony Choir and tutoring Eau Claire area high school students.

School wasn’t the only area of life Wegert excelled in, friends and family said. They described her as sociable and accepting of others.

“She was friends with everybody,” said Wegert’s mother, Cynthia Ewig. “She just accepted everybody at face value.”

Sophomore Whitney Hay agreed, saying Wegert had an affable and uplifting personality.

“She had a positive outlook on everything,” she said. “She wouldn’t judge anyone before she got to know them, and she made people feel


In spite of her friendly disposition, Ewig said Wegert was highly opinionated and eager to speak her mind.

“You never had to guess what Bridgette was thinking,” she said. “You always knew where you stood.”

Hudack said Wegert’s desire to be a good friend while maintaining her convictions made her a great friend and confidant.

“You could talk to her about anything,” she said. “She was a great listener and gave great advice.”

Wegert’s father, Howard Wegert, emphasized how active his daughter was, referring to her passion for the outdoors.

He said he has fond memories of hiking and fishing with his daughter and mentioned she had just learned how to scuba dive.

“She liked to be out doing things,” he said.

Wegert also was a talented vocalist, her father said, and enjoyed singing in high school and college.

She also enjoyed traveling and hoped to combine that passion with her academic and professional goals by studying in Africa and offering medical assistance there, Ewig said.

But for all her accomplishments and future aspirations, her friends said it’s the little things they will remember the most.

“I’ll always remember going to the caf on Thursdays,” Hudack said with a smile. “And watching CSI. She loved CSI.”

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