THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Carol Jean Buege passed away from Alzheimer's May 8 at Angel's Touch Assisted Living, De Pere. She was born July 15, 1939 in Menominee, MI, the daughter of Emilie (Ellingson) and Walter George Schmitt. She met her future husband, Austin Michael (Mike) Buege in eighth grade and they were married on Aug. 29, 1959.
A "tomboy" from the U.P., "Smitty" was always up for a challenge - living in a garage while her father built their home and being a top shot on the high school rifle team. An excellent swimmer, she was a trained lifeguard, saving more than one person's life. She loved the woods around her family's cabin near Lake Superior, camp Kahagan. But her real strengths came from her Norwegian and German parents who expected only her best efforts in everything she did. She excelled in the classroom and music department while attending Menominee High School. Because of this she earned a full four year scholarship to college.
Graduating in 1961 from Western Michigan University with a teaching degree, for the next 30 years she shared her lifelong love of learning with elementary and middle school students in the Green Bay school system. Her mind was alive with creative ideas and activities for her students that helped make learning fun. As she raised her family, she earned her Master's degree from UW-Oshkosh and in her fifties, a Ph.D. from UW-Milwaukee in 1991, a lifelong ambition.
She reveled in her mother's Norwegian heritage, learning the crafts of rosemaling, ethnic baking and Norwegian folk singing. She was a longtime member of the Sons of Norway. Her travels to Norway cemented her links to her ancestors, and there relatives showered her with their warmth and hospitality.
She played violin in the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and sang in the choir at Ascension Lutheran Church. She was also in many musicals at St. Norbert College summer theatre. She taught violin and piano to many young people in her "spare" time after school. She was active with Christ Care and the library committee at her church. The couple loved traveling in their retirement years, especially to Norway and Scotland.
They raised three daughters. The first was born while Carol was still in college, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, working as a secretary and leading her sorority.
Survivors include her husband Mike; daughters Michelle, Karin (Paul) Lanser and Sharon (Jim) Stroschein; a brother Dick (Bonnie) Schmitt; sisters-in-law, Barbara Richards and Jennifer (Bill) Blair; two granddaughters; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and a brother, Bill.
Visitation was at Cotter Funeral Home, De Pere from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, May 12th. Visitation was at Ascension Lutheran Church, Allouez from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. May 13th with the funeral service at 11 a.m. at the church with Rev. Luther Swenson presiding.
In lieu of flowers, a Memorial in her name is being established at Ascension Lutheran Church for the purchase of an electronic grand piano.