The ones we lost in 2021
When a tragic explosion devastated Ellison Bay in July 2006, the only solace for the community was to see Carol Newman emerge from the rubble of the Pioneer Store alive and intact. For 53 years, seven days a week, Newman has kept the store light on – a touchstone for a small town in good times and bad. Newman died in October at the age of 83.
Bill Boettcher rose to prominence as the owner of Boettcher Automotive in Sturgeon Bay for over 40 years and then took the opportunity to make a difference in his community. He has been active with Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary, Baileys Harbor and Sturgeon Bay Lions clubs, the Door County Community Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Club of Door County. He still shared his knowledge of golf until his last days, when he passed away in November at the age of 91.
The art scene lost one of its great mentors and most dynamic minds when Franne Dickinson passed away at 94 in October. Margaret Lockwood described her as “the heart and soul of the women artists of Door County” – a person who not only made her own mark, but who also nurtured many future generations of designers. peninsula.
Together with his wife Jane, Don Wienke turned a vegetable garden into one of Door County’s best-known businesses. Wienke Market has become a staple for thousands of tourists to Southern Door County in search of canned goods, fruit, and gifts. Wienke was 82 when he died in October.
World War II veteran Lester Berns returned home to Sister Bay after his release to help run the Berns Brothers’ Lumber Company. After his wife passed away in 2011, he started playing the piano in local bars and restaurants to get tips and then donated all of those 18,000 tips to the Christian Services Fund at St. Joseph. Berns died aged 103 in September.
Hastings was 72 when he died in January – 25 years after building a reputation for pushing boundaries and pushing buttons as CEO of the Door County Chamber of Commerce. He fought to ban billboards, helped make the county a leader in digital travel marketing, started the Festival of Blossoms, and personally installed signs for the county’s bike path. He left the House in 1997 to found the late Door County Magazine.
For 24 years Don Buchholz and his wife Louise were the face of the Clearing Folk School, running the organization from 1975 to 1999. He died in September at the age of 87.
Door County lost an agrotourism pioneer when Bob Lautenbach passed away in July at the age of 72. He established Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery and Market in Fish Creek. voice of the state fruit industry.
In the monochromatic, buttoned up village of Ephraim, Karsten Topelmann was a splash of bright color. Part of the wave of artists who came to the peninsula in the 1970s, he operated the Hanseatic Gallery with his wife, Ellen Sprogø-Topelmann, for 50 years. He last put down his brush just days before he died in February at the age of 91.
Distinguished journalist, poet and teacher, Tom Torinus was a wise voice and mentor to many in Door County. He was a reporter, editor and editor, then news director and general manager of Channel 11 in Green Bay. In retirement, he was an officer of the Door County Community Foundation. He was 82 when he died in January with his wife, Mary.
Léon “Mouth” Jacques
A native of Forestville, Butch Jacques was known to almost everyone involved in youth athletics in northeastern Wisconsin, where he spent more than 30 years as one of the most respected high school officials. of State. He was 81 when he died in June.
Tim Fuerst spent nearly 30 years in the Door County Sheriff’s Office before he died aged 55 in June. He was known for his compassion and connection to the community and his love for coaching youth sports, especially baseball.
Philanthropist Bill Guenzel was a quiet supporter of causes and organizations spanning the spectrum. The man who avoided the limelight was a driving force or contributor to Write On, Door County; School of Art of the Peninsula; the Sturgeon Bay skatepark; and many other organizations. He died in May at the age of 74.
In 1980 Robert Pence returned to Door County and opened his first gallery in Ephraim. After several years he moved to Egg Harbor, where he ran a very successful gallery for 20 years. He was 84 when he died in March.
For decades, Donna Jorns has hosted guests at Jorns’ Sugar Bush, the little cabin next to the farm in the woods she shared with her husband, Roland. There, she sold their famous maple syrup, harvested from the trees of the farm, with a good dose of conversation. She died in April at the age of 87.
U.S. Air Force Sergeant Will Gonzales, 26, died in a motorcycle crash in March while serving with the 36th Security Forces Squadron at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Known for his broad smile and love of life, he graduated in 2013 from Gibraltar High School.
A tireless storyteller, John Kenneavy left his mark on Sister Bay as the owner of Kenneavy’s Kitchen for almost 20 years. The Korean War veteran has also been a teacher at Gibraltar School and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and as a volunteer for several community organizations. He died in February in Port Charlotte, Florida at the age of 74.
When Cy Turnbladh opened Hands On Art School at a former farmhouse on Peninsula Players Road, he aimed to make art accessible and fun. But he’s also created a destination for families, couples, and friends who’ve gone out to paint pottery, create in many other media, and show off a bit of artistic muscle. He was 68 when he died in February.