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Obituaries

Irene E. Austin, 88, of Bordhead, WI, formerly of Port Washington, passed away on Feb. 3, 2006 at Parkside Villa, Middleburg Heights, OH. She was born on Nov. 14, 1917 in rural Brodhead, the daughter of Elmer and Grace (Klein) Reasa. She married Dr. Kent C. Austin on June 11, 1940 in Brodhead. He passed away on April 16, 1998.

Irene graduated from Whitewater Teachers College in 1938, received her master's degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her doctoral-equivalent from Queens College. She owned and operated a clothing store in Orfordville, WI in the 1940s, was a substitute teacher in Warren, IL from 1949 to 1951, was an elementary school teacher in Flossmoor and Park Forest, IL for five years while owning and operating a dress shop in Brodhead. In 1957 she moved to Port Washington, where she was an elementary school teacher until her retirement in 1972. She and Kent then moved to Brodhead and Pharr, TX. Irene was a member of the United Methodist Church, Brodhead, Congregational Church of Manhasset, a life member of NEA, a tutor for the Pharr School System and an avid reader.

She is survived by her daughter, K'rene (Dennis) Omlor of Berea, OH; nieces, Jeanne Jeffrey and Trish (Robert) Collins of Janesville, WI; many cousins; and special friends Robert and Marcia Walhagen and family of Carlisle, MA, Sally and Florence Uhlir of Estes Park, CO, Larry Wenzel of Pharr, Frank and Karen Beyrand of Yukon, PA, Chris Knight of Berea and her very special Parkside Villa family. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and stepfather Louis Mauermann.

Funeral services were held at the D.L. Newcomer Funeral Home, Brodhead, with Rev. Amos Shimko officiating. Burial Greenwood Cemetery, Brodhead. A memorial fund will be established. A springtime memorial is planned for family and friends in Berea.

Charlotte Stove died on Feb. 4, 2006 at the age of 98. She was born in Brooklyn on Jan. 17, 1908 to Charles and Grace Knapp Wackwitz, the fourth of five girls. She is survived by her sister Edna Thomas Dalton and nieces, Joyce Jacosen Wilson and Joan Gerken, and one nephew David Thomas.

The family moved to Port Washington in April 1909, lived for a few months on Bank Street and then moved to a newly build house on South Bayles Ave., where she lived until she married James Stove.

Charlotte attended the old Flower Hill School which was located where the P.W. Police Station stands on Port Washington Blvd. She went to junior and senior high school in the Main St. building which is now the Landmark. She was graduated from there with a Bogart Scholarship and attended NY Training School for Teachers near City College. There were no teaching positions available in New York City so she took a position in the American Museum of Natural History where she worked for over 33 years until her retirement in 1968.

Charlotte joined the First Baptist Church on Campus Drive in 1969. This is now known as The Bible Church. There she taught Sunday School and was a Deaconess and a faithful member. Services were conducted at the church by Dr. John Michael Thomas, pastor of The Bible Church.

Elizabeth A. Pennetti (AKA Nanny) was born on April 13, 1907. She passed away on Feb. 5, 2006; just two months shy of her 99th birthday. Elizabeth was predeceased by her husband, Virgilio Paul, three children; Mary (eight months), Mary Carmela and Albert, her brothers, Dominick, Augustine, and Salvatore Defeo, and her sister, Mary DeMeo. She leaves behind her sons, Paul Jr., and Joseph (Eileen), grandchildren; Dianna (Benita), Albert Jr., Joseph Jr. (Lisa), Dawn Cohen (Robert), great-grandchildren; Mary'Kai, Kamma, Stephanie, Kristina, Vincent, Hannah, and Hailey, her sister, Filomena (Fanny) Villani, and many nieces and nephews.

It is impossible to list all of those who Nanny left behind, because Elizabeth Pennetti was everyone's Nanny. A life long resident of Port Washington, she served in the School District at Weber and as Head Cook in Daily Elementary School for almost 30 years. Until her retirement at the age of 80, she was known as Nanny to every child she cooked for the woman with a warm smile and a hot plate of food. To every parent, teacher, school administrator, and Port Washington firefighter, she was known as Nanny. Her heart and home was welcome to all.

To many, Elizabeth represented a simple way of life steeped in tradition. She was the traditional Italian grandmother all of us wanted, an icon and a pioneer of her years. As a child, she played in what is now known as Standards Brook Park, exploring in the woods along with her brothers, following the stream to Manhasset Bay. She worked in her father's service station on Herbert Ave., where oil changes were performed from "the pit". She broke the mold of tradition when she attended secretarial school and would "sneak" into the city un-chaperoned.

As a young adult, she married and raised five children during the Depression. Her home was rented out to laborers for whom the provision of a home cooked meal was included. She was the first to attest to the benefits of the New Deal, and she was forever grateful to FDR for saving her home. She lost her husband early in their marriage, but continued to provide for and preserve her family.

Nanny was a free spirited girl who grew to become a strong, independent, and determined woman. She truly appreciated the value of education, accepted our differences, supported our choices, and encouraged the growth of us all. In recent months, her body grew weak, but her mind remained strong. It was her will to return home, home to the Sacred Heart and to her family who awaited her.

Nanny will be missed, but for all of those who knew her, for all that she touched, she will continue to live inside each of us. May we carry Nanny in our hearts forever and live our lives as honestly and as passionately as she.


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