Carol Buege

Buege, Carol

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. Carol met her future husband, Austin Michael (Mike) Buege in eighth grade. True high school sweethearts, they married on Aug. 29, 1959, sharing a loving marriage lasting 55 years.

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 Carol's 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.

Carol graduated in 1961 from Western Michigan University with a teaching degree and for the next 30 years passionately 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 had a talent for music, playing violin in the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and singing in the choir at Ascension Lutheran Church and 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. Carol and Mike loved traveling in their retirement years, especially to Norway and Scotland.

Carol and Mike raised three loving daughters. The first was born while Carol was still in college, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, working as a secretary and leading her sorority. She leaves behind her husband Mike, daughters Michelle, Karin (Paul) Lanser and Sharon (Jim) Stroschein, her brother Dick (Bonnie) Schmitt, sisters-in-law Barbara Richards and Jennifer (Bill) Blair, granddaughters Hannah and Hattie Lanser, and many cherished nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Bill.

Having Carol in our lives was a gift. She lived each day to its fullest. Her indomitable spirit inspired others to believe in themselves and to never give up, no matter the circumstances.

Visitation at Cotter Funeral Home, 860 North Webster Ave., De Pere from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Monday, May 12th. Visitation at Ascension Lutheran Church, 2911 Libal St., Allouez from 9:30 -10:45 a.m. May 13th. The Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. May 13th at the church with Rev. Luther Swenson presiding.

In lieu of flowers, a Memorial in Carol's name is being established at Ascension Lutheran Church for the purchase of an electronic grand piano.

The family extends their gratitude to the staff of Angel's Touch Assistant Living and Heartland Hospice Care for the loving care she received over the past year.


Funeral Home

Cotter Funeral Home and Crematory
860 North Webster Avenue De Pere, WI 54115

Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from May 10 to May 11, 2014