Anita Dahlke (1926 - 2013)

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Dahlke, Anita

Dr. Anita B. Dahlke, Professor Emeritus of Education, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, died on Friday, January 11, 2013. She was born on March 26, 1926, to Arnold and Bernice Dahlke, at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac, WI; she graduated from Neshkoro High School in 1943 and then attended Carleton College for one year. She transferred to the University of Wisconsin - Madison and graduated with a B.A. in Social Work. Her first position was a case aide worker at the Lutheran Childrens' Friend Society in Wauwatosa. She married Charles R. Stearns in June, 1950. They were divorced in 1955. She later moved to Madison and became a secretary to Oscar Mayer, Jr. She branched out into selling and was a supervisor for Relaxacizer in ten counties. When her father developed a serious illness, she moved back home and attended UW-Oshkosh to acquire her teaching credits. Following that achievement, she taught reading to seventh and eight graders in Wautoma Junior High School. Neenah then hired her to teach reading in their Junior High School. She loved learning and took a leave of absence to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville, getting a Master Degree in Counseling, with a specialization in reading in 1964. Whereupon, UW-Oshkosh hired her to found the Reading Center in 1964. When the Center was running smoothly, she retuned to the University of Florida and acquired her doctorate in Special Education, with an emphasis on Learning Disabilities. She was fortunate to study with Dr. George Spache, and internationally known reading professor. Her hand-picked staff at the Reading Center was enthusiastically student-oriented. They staffed many workshops, some in which eleven campuses participated. Being a "people person," she was also self-employed from 1975 to the last couple years of her life, and conducted numerous estate and household liquidation auctions and tag sales throughout the area. She became one of the first women auctioneers in the area, and a Realtor in 1975. In 1997 she earned the GPPA certification (Graduate Personal Property Appraiser) from the Auction Marketing Institute. She traveled extensively, visiting all 50 states and several countries in Europe. In 1994, Anita enrolled in the three Gemological Institute of America extension classes (diamond grading, colored stones and gem identification). Her heart surgery precluded her finishing the home study courses; she pursued further knowledge at the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers workshops in Tucson, Annapolis, and Hofstra University.

She was a volunteer and/or member in many Oshkosh organizations, as well as national historical and environmental groups. They included: First Congregational Church )served as moderator; Oshkosh Noon Kiwanis (past-president); P.E.O. (chapter BA); Alumni Association of Carleton College, UW-Madison, and UW-Oshkosh; Pain Art Center and Arboretum; Oshkosh Public Museum and Auxiliary; National Wildlife Federation; Nature Conservancy; Sierra Club: Ladies Benevolent Society: Evergreen Retirement Community; Smithsonian Institution: National Trust for Historical Preservation: Winnebago County Historical Society; Audubon Society. She served on the following boards; Evergreen Retirement Community (7 ½ years-2 years as Vice Chair); Ladies Benevolent Society (several years); White River Power Company (family-owned corporation) from 1961-1979 as secretary/treasurer.

She was predeceased by her mother and father and infant sibling; her brother, Dr. Norbert A. Dahlke; her sister, Shirley Erickson. She is survived by her brother Charles F. (Barbara) Dahlke of Wautoma; her sister, Sandra Van Rhyn Henderson, NV; nephews, Charles N. Dahlke, Oshkosh, Steven C. (Mari Fredorick) Dahlke, and Tom A. (Cindy) Dahlke of Wautoma, Gerald R. (Connie) Dahlke of Ohio, Mark T. (Shelly) Horel of Oshkosh, Don Erickson of Wautoma; nieces, Karyn Erickson of California, Elizabeth Erickson of Reinlander, and Wendy (Robert) Pretto of Las Vegas. Great nieces and nephews include; Michelle (Scott) Nickel, Amy (Nate) Ellsworth, Bryan (Christine) Dahlke, Joseph (Megan) Dahlke, Jacob (Iris) Dahlke and Chris (Diane) Dahlke; great great nieces and nephews, Bryan Jr., Anna, Maggie, Owen and Chris (Diane) Dahlke, Cora Schoofs, Max and Madison Ellsworth, Shannon Horel, Zachary, Josh and Ava Nickel.

Anita will be missed by many good friends and colleagues and her beloved family.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 11:00 am at the First Congregational Church (137 Algoma Ave, Oshkosh) with the Rev. Ralph and Rev. Carol DiBiasio-Snyder officiating. Family and friends may visit at the Konrad-Behlman Funeral Home (Eastside) on Wednesday from 5:00 to 8:00 pm and Thursday at the church from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Inurnment will be in Princeton Cemetery.

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Published in Oshkosh Northwestern on Jan. 13, 2013
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