Laurel and Donald Huibregtse, Madison (2012)
Huibregtse, Laurel and Donald
MADISON— Caring for her beloved spouse, Laurel Huibregtse, age 85, died unexpectedly early on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. Within hours, her husband, Donald Huibregtse, age 86, died after a long battle with cancer.
Both graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Don and Laurel met while they were UW students during summer employment at Dairyman's Country Club in Boulder Junction, Wis. They were married on April Fool's Day, 1950 and were the proud parents of four children, all UW graduates. They were equally proud of their children's spouses and their 12 grandchildren.
Born in Merrill, WI to Agnes and Alvin Karau, Laurel attended the one-room Pleasant View Grade School and was active in 4-H projects. She was a 1945 graduate of Merrill High School and class salutatorian. Although her father wanted her to quit school at age 16 and marry a farmer, Laurel attended the University of Wisconsin as a Knapp Scholar where she majored in food service administration. She was active in a number of campus affairs and honor societies including Phi Upsilon Omicron, Omicron Nu, Mortar Board and Phi Kappa Phi, and ultimately graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1949.
After Don and Laurel were married and living in Eau Claire, Laurel served as the Eau Claire County Home Economist with the University of Wisconsin Extension Service. Laurel also was the director of school food service for the Monona Grove school district from 1969 to 1989. All family members and countless friends considered Laurel to be the best cook they had ever encountered.
Laurel was a many year member of the Monona Branch of the American Association of University Women and served on its Board and as its President. An avid bridge player, she was proud to be a Life Master.
Born in Plymouth, Wis., to Corneal, a cheese maker, and Grace (Wolf) Huibregtse, Don, was a 1944 graduate of Thorp, Wisconsin High School. Don was an accomplished high school athlete and a leading basketball scorer in the Cloverbelt Conference. Surprisingly (to those who are familiar with his family's lack of musical ability), Don was the drum major for the Thorp High School Marching Band, primarily because he fit the suit. During high school, he worked as a caddy, cheese and butter-maker, in ice delivery and as a factory worker in defense plants. In college, he washed dishes at the YWCA and Memorial Union. He also worked at the Daily Cardinal student newspaper.
A 1949 graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism, he was employed as the State Editor of the daily Eau Claire Leader and as a reporter for the Winona Minnesota Daily News. In 1953, Don and Laurel purchased The Blair Press and moved to Blair, WI. While in Blair, Don helped to establish the Blair Lions Club and the Blair Credit Union. In 1966, Don and Laurel moved to Minnetonka, MN. There, Don worked for Miller Publishing Company as the editor of The Ice Cream Review and The Hog Farmers' Gazette, trade magazines published in Minneapolis.
When Don determined he wanted to work for himself again, Don and Laurel purchased The Monona Community Herald in 1968 and moved their family to Monona, WI. They later also purchased The McFarland Community Life.
Don and Laurel published community newspapers in Wisconsin from 1953 until their retirement in 1988. Don served in several board positions in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and as its President in 1986. He twice won Publisher of the Year awards for the small community weekly category in the Associations' Better Newspaper Contest. Active in the Optimists Club of East Madison/Monona since 1969, he was its President in 1975 and again in 2000. A member of the Lake Edge United Church of Christ, Don served on the Church Board of Trustees and a term as its President in the '70s.
Don was an avid hunter and fisherman until his later years when he devoted his recreational time to golf. He continued to walk his 18-hole rounds until he was 83 and carded a 78 six months after his 80th birthday. He scored an Ace in 1981.
Laurel and Don became avid world travelers as they neared retirement and visited more than 30 countries. Laurel and Don each learned each other's game - bridge and golf - so they could share each other's interests.
Don and Laurel's family were their pride and joy. Survivors include a daughter, Connie (Odin) Thorpe of Waukesha and grandchildren, Colin, Courtney and Christopher; twin sons, Bruce (Diana) of Fitchburg and granddaughters, Jamie (Craig Keisler), Brooke and Morgan, and Dr. David (Robyn) of Janesville and grandchildren, Jack, Carly and Quinn; and son, Don II "Ditto" (Azin) of Cottage Grove and grandsons, Don III, Thomas and Garret. Laurel is also survived by her brother, Keith (Betty) Karau of St. Louis, Mo.
Laurel was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Mark; and a sister, June. Don was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Wallace.
Don and Laurel requested that in lieu of other expressions of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made to Lake Edge United Church of Christ, Olbrich Botanical Gardens, 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin, 53704 or the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, 1901 Fish Hatchery Road, Madison, Wisconsin 53713-1255.
A joint celebration of the lives of Don and Laurel will be held at LAKE EDGE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, 4200 Buckeye Road, Madison, WI, 53716, at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012, with Pastor Lex Libertore presiding. Visitation will be held at the church from 9 a.m. until the time of service on Thursday. Please plan to share stories of their wonderful lives together. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.