Eighty-four years young, Darlene Mary Andre of Green Bay, Wisconsin, earned her eternal rest on December 3, 2021. Darlene was born on November 12, 1937, in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, the first child of Warren and Bernadine (Hitt) Andre. Because of the lack of a St. Darlene, the Rev. Anthony J. Koeferl at St. Joseph Church in Sturgeon Bay informed her parents that she "can be Darlene to you, but she's Mary to me" and she was baptized Mary Darlene Andre. Darlene moved to Milwaukee with her parents in August 1939. After World War II, the family moved to Algoma, Wisconsin.
Darlene completed grade school at St. Mary’s School in Algoma, graduated from Algoma High School in 1955, and attended the Door-Kewaunee Teacher Training School in Algoma for the two years necessary to obtain a teaching license, a profession her mother and maternal grandmother shared. Her first teaching assignment was in 1957 at Lincoln Graded School in Rosiere, Wisconsin, a school she had attended for part of fourth grade while the family home was built in Algoma. She liked to say it was the shortest teaching career on record, as Darlene married during the 1957 Thanksgiving break and became pregnant the next January. As it was then customary for mothers to stay home and raise their children, Darlene completed that single school year, and then remained a stay-at-home mother until her third child entered elementary school. By that time, the family was living in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In the early 1970s, the Green Bay Board of Education began hiring teacher aides, and Darlene served as an aide at Beaumont Elementary School for four and-one-half years. She then transferred to the Elementary Library Department for the next five years, after which time she joined the secretarial staff at the Board of Education offices, eventually achieving the position of Executive Secretary to the Executive Director of Special Education and secretary in the Personnel Office. Learning in the middle 1980s that her Door-Kewaunee Teacher Training School credits were still valid, Darlene enrolled at then Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, earning a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in Special Education/LD. She completed the degree at age 50 and, by age 55, added a Master of Arts degree in Education from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. As a teacher in Green Bay, Darlene taught LD classes at Washington, Franklin and Lombardi Junior High schools and Beaumont Elementary School and third grade at Christa McAuliffe Elementary School. She retired in 1999, although she returned to teaching in the early 2000s, working for two years at St. Louis School in Dyckesville, Wisconsin. Darlene also worked part-time at the Algoma Record Herald as a proofreader and wrote the popular this-week-in-local-history column.
Darlene is survived by her four siblings, David Andre, Dawn Holdorf, Diane DeCleene, and Dennis Andre, and three children, Gregory (Jeanine Gould) Kostka, Jeffrey Kostka and Andrea (Robert) Schuessler. She has four grandchildren, Erin (Adam) Wachtendonk, Anne (Greg) Lapinski, Stephen (Karen Mawdsley) Kostka, and Andrew Kostka, and two great-grandchildren, Ezekiel “Zeke” and Elizabeth Wachtendonk.
Family and friends are invited for a visitation, Friday, May 13, 2022 at St. Mary Catholic Church, Algoma, from 9:00 AM until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM with Father Alvan Amadi officiating. Burial will be in the Clay Banks Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted with Schinderle Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Algoma. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Darlene may be shared with her family through her tribute page at www.schinderlefuneralhome.com.
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