Quadracci, Betty Ewens Educator. Publisher. Philanthropist. Wife. Mother. Betty died peacefully in her Wisconsin home, surrounded by her children, siblings and close friends, on Monday, December 9, 2013, at age 75. She is survived by her children, Elizabeth (Chris) Quadracci Harned; Joel (Caran) Quadracci; Kathryn (Raja) Quadracci Flores; and Harry Richard (Emilio Cabrera) Quadracci; grandchildren Ellie, Kit, William and Alec Harned; Meghan, Halle and Danica Quadracci; and Isabella, Kaitlin and Harry Flores; brothers Jim (Pat) Ewens and Tom (Ellen) Ewens; sisters Jane (Dion Kempthorne) Ewens, Sue Ewens and Sister Mary Ewens; and many nephews and nieces. Betty was preceded in death by her husband and partner, Harry V. Quadracci, with whom she helped co-found Quad/Graphics in 1971. With very little money and big dreams, they launched Quad/Graphics in an abandoned factory in Pewaukee, WI, with 11 employees, a rented press and a borrowed binder. Undaunted by larger competitors and myriad challenges, the Quadraccis and their team persevered during the company's early, lean years to build one of the world's premier printing companies. Today Quad/Graphics is a leading global printer and media channel integrator with approximately 25,000 employees working from hundreds of print-production and other support locations in 8 countries on three continents. Betty was Quad/Graphics' matriarch and will long be revered for helping create and preserve Quad/Graphics oft-admired company culture. Hallmarks of the culture include taking better care of employees' needs, including providing education-centered onsite childcare, which Betty first championed in the mid-80s; treating employees with dignity and respect; empowering employees to make decisions and innovate solutions; and providing employees with opportunities to be more than they ever hoped to be through continuous training and education. A member of Quad/Graphics' board of directors since 2002, Betty played a pivotal role in the company's 2010 transition from a privately held company to a family controlled publicly traded company, which then enabled Quad/Graphics to acquire its next larger competitor and further secure its leadership position in the printing industry. For nearly 30 years, Betty served as president and publisher of Milwaukee Magazine, which Quad/Graphics acquired in 1983. During her tenure there, Milwaukee Magazine garnered more than 200 state and national awards, including a Best Editorial Gold Medal for a publisher's letter written by Betty entitled "The First Amendment Starts Here." In 2012 she was inducted into the Milwaukee Press Club's Media Hall of Fame. Betty's creative inclinations led her to found Quad/Creative, a graphic design firm, in 1985. Today the firm is known as Quad/Graphics Creative Solutions and serves many well-known publishers, retailers and direct marketers nationwide. Betty was well-known as a champion of the arts, serving on the Milwaukee Art Museum's Board of Trustees for many years. In 1997 she and Mr. Quadracci spearheaded a $10 million matching donation from Quad/Graphics to kick off fundraising for a major addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum - the Quadracci Pavilion. Designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava and completed in 2001, the pavilion has become a widely recognized symbol of Milwaukee. Betty also served on the board of Artists Working in Education, a Milwaukee non-profit organization that provides arts programs in the schools; the board of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, serving as co-chair of its Diversity Committee; and the board of Milwaukee Women Inc., an organization she founded. Additionally, Betty extended generosity through the Windhover Foundation, a philanthropic organization funded by the Quadracci family and of which she led as president. The Windhover Foundation seeks to give flight to organizations dedicated to meeting a pressing, unfilled social need - from women's centers to hospices, libraries, arts centers, playgrounds, parks, food pantries and more. Betty was one of the first trained Montessori teachers in the United States and helped establish the Waukesha Montessori School in 1964. She also helped launch the Waukesha Head Start program in 1968, now the oldest continually operating Head Start program in the United States. A native of Milwaukee, Betty earned a bachelor's degree from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., in 1961 and attended the University of Fribourg in Fribourg, Switzerland. Visitation was held at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church (formerly St. Clare's), W314 N7462 State Road 83, North Lake, WI, on Friday, December 13, from 3 PM to 7 PM and Saturday, December 14, from 9 AM until 10:45 AM. The Funeral Mass was followed by Saturday's visitation at 11 AM. Due to the small size of the sanctuary, the family has kindly asked that floral arrangements not be sent to the church. In lieu of flowers, expressions of condolence may be sent to Children's Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 1997 - MS3050, Milwaukee, WI 53201; the Women's Center of Waukesha, P.O. Box 554, Waukesha, WI 53187-0554; or the Waukesha Montessori School, Attention: Bill Walsh, 2600 Summit Ave., Waukesha, WI 53188. Children's Hospital saved Betty's life when she contracted polio as a young child. The Women's Center of Waukesha has long been a passion of Betty and her family. The Waukesha Montessori School was co-founded by Betty.
Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Dec. 11 to Dec. 15, 2013.