Jeannine L. Gorsalitz, 81, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at Century Oaks Assisted Living of Appleton. She was born on September 22, 1939 in Appleton and lived most of her life in the area.
Education was an important theme in Jeannine’s life. She graduated from Trinity Lutheran School in Kaukauna and was a member of the first graduating class of Fox Valley Lutheran High School in 1957. She went on to earn degrees from Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN in 1961 and the Wisconsin State University at Oshkosh in 1969 in preparation for doing the work she loved, teaching Social Studies to elementary school students. The bulk of her career was spent teaching at Grace Lutheran School in Neenah, Butte des Morts Elementary School in Menasha, and Gegan Elementary School, also in Menasha, from where she eventually retired. Jeannine was ultimately honored and biographed in several editions of “Who’s Who in American Education.”
Jeannine’s love of learning and teaching remained in evidence throughout her life. She wrote a number of resources, including a walking history tour of the Menasha Canal, a fire prevention course for children at the request of the Neenah-Menasha Inter-Community Arson Task Force, and an educational series at the request of Ocean Spray Cranberries. In partnership with colleague Mary McAloon, she wrote the 384-page teaching aid on Wisconsin history entitled “Wisconsin History Units—1978.” She served as President of the Menasha Education Association in the mid-1980s, and throughout her career she earned many awards for excellence and distinguished contributions, including the Ameritech Foundation Fellowship. She was truly and literally an outstanding educator!
Jeannine’s love of learning included an unlimited appetite for travel. In addition to having spent time in almost all of the 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, Jeannine’s travels over the years carried her to countless foreign countries including Russia, China, Sweden, Norway, Finland, England, France, Peru, Kenya, and Australia. We cannot call to mind the many other countries to which she made journeys, sometimes as a participant in “teacher exchange” programs.
In short, Jeannine was an extraordinary woman who pursued life with zest, spent a lifetime serving others (including many years as a First Responder), and left a deep impression on so many, especially through her trademark good cheer and mischievous sense of humor. Having never married, she lived for decades with her dear friend Cecile Freese until Cec’s death in 2004. Jeannine was a dedicated and very active Wisconsin Synod Lutheran all the years of her life. She was a one-of-a-kind daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and colleague; as quoted from a popular movie, “a great light has gone out in the universe.”
Jeannine was preceded in death by father Gustave Gorsalitz, mother Viola (Wiedenhaupt) Gorsalitz, and lifetime friend and roommate Cecile Freese.
She is survived by her only sister, Karlyn Daus, and husband Bill Daus; niece Robyn Werner and her daughter, Lauren; nephews David (wife Amy, daughters Alayna and Savanna); Matthew (wife Johanna, daughter Sierra), Scott (wife Michelle, children Grace and Sam), and Michael Werner; step-family Mike and Kim Daus and their sons, Nathan and Aaron Daus.
The family would like to recognize and express their gratitude to the extraordinary staff and care provided by Century Oaks Assisted Living and Heartland Hospice.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, December 11, 2021 at Grace Lutheran Church, 1390 Breezewood Ln., Neenah. Visitation will be on Saturday at the church from 10:00 am until the time of the service. Inurnment will be at Highland Memorial Park in Appleton following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Grace Lutheran Church or the Fox Valley Lutheran Tuition Assistance Program.