July 1, 2024 at 1:50 p.m.
Updated July 1, 2024 at 1:50 p.m.

Connell, Tracy Elizabeth Van Epps

Tracy Elizabeth Van Epps Connell, 54, of Dodgeville, WI, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, June 22, 2024, surrounded by her loving family.

Born on November 4, 1969, in Dodgeville, WI, Tracy was the daughter of Mark Arthur Van Epps and Deborah Ann Collins. She graduated from Dodgeville High School in 1988 and earned an Associate’s Degree in Tourism Recreation from Madison Area Technical College. After her graduation, Tracy moved to the Phoenix, AZ area, where she worked as a Concierge for Hilton for three years.

Tracy returned to Dodgeville and married her high school sweetheart, Talbert Connell, in the spring of 1994. The couple moved from Madison to Hilltop, near Spring Green, WI, where they welcomed their first son, Brodie Lee Connell. Two years later, their family grew with the birth of Cashton Ford Connell. Around this time, they bought their first country home outside Dodgeville. Tracy's love for her boys led her to prioritize her time with them, working nights at Lands’ End as a Customer Care Specialist and bartending at Jeffrey’s House of Foolishness. In June 2003, Tracy and Talbert were blessed with a great surprise when they welcomed their third (and self-proclaimed favorite) son, Gage Eli Connell.

Tracy had a gift and passion for helping others through naturopathic methods. She studied Reiki Therapy, Aromatherapy, Massage Therapy, and Reflexology at the Tibia Institute from 2006 to 2007. She then founded her own practice, The Balanced Touch, and started a successful Young Living Essential Oils business. Tracy was instrumental in guiding and inspiring many with her passion, wisdom, and dedication to both her practice and her clients... achieving a Gold Leadership rank within Young Living’s organization.

To know Tracy was to be loved by her. She made lasting connections everywhere she went and was known for her nurturing nature, beautiful smile, infectious laughter, and fun-loving spirit. Tracy enjoyed Captain and Diet Pepsi (with lime), dancing in the kitchen to Grease, lake days on the pontoon, late-night Jeep rides (which usually included ruining the nearby cornfield), dancing with friends, road trips, and heartfelt late-night conversations.

Tracy is survived by her three sons (the loves of her life): Brodie Connell (Celsey), Cashton Connell, and Gage Connell; her parents Deborah Collins and Mark Van Epps; her brother Alan Van Epps (Laura); her sisters Nicole Rock-Hottmann (Dillon, Sawyer, Ava, and Connor) and Erin Van Epps (Remy and Roman); and her special “sister-cousin” Courtney Schulte (Joel, Jade, Tyler, and Chase). She is also survived by all her extended “riffraff” family from Jeffrey’s House of Foolishness – you know who you are!

Tracy has shed this body and is being welcomed by her beloved bonus son Jasper Vatter in the afterlife. She is also preceded in death by her maternal grandparents Bernard and Marian Collins (Bumpa Bun and Nan), her paternal grandparents Bumpa Ted and Lois Van Epps, her stepmother Julie Van Epps, her brother-in-law Travis Connell, and her dear friend Derrick “Pablo” Lee.

“I would like it known that my family and I can never thank our friends and community enough for all their contributions which allowed me to pursue integrative and holistic care. I am so grateful for the extra time that I had. I will be with you always. I love you.” ~ Tracy

A private service and burial will be held for immediate family and close friends. Honorary pallbearers include Joel Schulte, Jason Olson, Paul Julson, Tyler Udelhoven, Morgan Rock, Dalton Thomas, and Ethan Thompson.

Please join us in honoring and celebrating the incredible life of Tracy Van Epps Connell at her Celebration of Life event. Tracy brought joy and contagious laughter wherever she went, and we invite you to share funny stories, favorite memories, light snacks, and adult beverages with us. The event will be held on Saturday, August 10, 2024, starting at 3:00 p.m. at Jeffrey’s House of Foolishness and The Red Room.

If ever there is tomorrow

When we’re not together

There is something you must always


You are braver than you believe,

Stronger than you seem

And smarter than you think.

But the most

Important thing is,

Even if we are apart…

I’ll always be with you.

   ~ A.A. Milne