Flynn honored as Resident of the Month

Woodland Village of Suring has selected Iva “Lorraine” Whitney Flynn as the October Resident of the Month.

Lorraine was born in Belvidere, Illinois, on Sept. 11, 1927, and graduated from the eighth grade at Reads Crossing Grade School. After graduation she moved with her parents and brother to Mountain, where the family had a small dairy farm just north of Mountain. She graduated from Mountain High School in 1945.

After graduating, Lorraine moved back to Belvidere to work at the U.S. Bottling Company for the next two years.

Coming back to Mountain, she married Louis “Corky” Flynn on Feb. 18, 1950. Her husband owned and operated Corky Flynn’s tavern for the next 40 years. She is remembered for her chili, great hamburgers and her Friday night fish fries.

Lorraine and Corky have four children, Carol Andrews, Dean (Kris) Flynn, Marie Blaser (friend Doug Kurek) and Sharon (Mike) Jansen; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.


Gillett native helps to preserve local history

Photo by Carol Wagner

Nancy Smith is a volunteer with the Gillett Area Historical Society and provides tours at the Gillett Area Historical Museum, which was formerly her grandparents’ home.

Nancy Smith volunteers for the Gillett Historical Society.

Smith was born in Gillett and graduated from Gillett High School. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point but decided it wasn’t for her and returned to Gillett to work at Linwood. She then went to airline school and worked answering phones for Northwest Airlines for 40 years, beginning in New York, then in Milwaukee, Chicago and finally Minneapolis-St. Paul before retiring.

Smith came back to her family home in Gillett, where she enjoys reading and working on the computer for the historical society.

Q How long have you volunteered at the historical society?

A “Since about 2000. I retired in 1999 and came back to live in my parents’ house.”

Q What do you do?


Maple Valley woman finds joy in the art of rosemaling

Dora Slang, of Danish descent, is an award-winning artist in the Norwegian art of rosemaling, the heritage of her late husband, Orvil.

She was introduced to the art in 1981 when Marion Wegner invited her to take a rosemaling class taught by Germaine Vincent in Gillett.

“I fell in love with the art,” Slang said, though initially, she could only find bits of time to devote to it.

Rosemaling is a Norwegian folk art that involves decorative painting of flowers and flowing patterns. It requires a steady hand, good quality brushes and a large variety of oil paints.

A wooden pail with a cover and handle was Slang’s first project, painted in Norwegian blue colors. In the Norwegian culture wooden pails and bowls are used daily.

Slang has also taken carving classes. She has carved bowls and a typical Norwegian chair, rosemaling them all. The chair is round, a portion of a tree, the seat lifts and the base is carved out, creating a small storage space.


Bird City reports successful year

Bird City Oconto numbers are in for birds raised in bluebird nest boxes this year.

Not just bluebirds like to call the boxes home on the 14 bluebird trails in and around Oconto. There were 111 bluebirds, 209 tree swallows, 11 black-capped chickadees and nine house wrens that fledged from the nest boxes this year.

The birds are helping to restore a healthy population of bluebirds to Wisconsin and helping other native species as well.

Gene Birr, the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin coordinator for the area, provided help and guidance to Bird City Oconto, and John Bostedt, park, recreation and forestry department director, helped set up the Oconto bluebird trails.

Individuals interested in monitoring a bluebird trail next year may contact Bird City Oconto at


Concert band to perform in Marinette

The Northeastern Wisconsin Concert Band will present its fall concert at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, in the W.J. Jones Auditorium at Marinette High School, 2135 Pierce Ave.

The 77-piece band is comprised of members from Brown, Marinette, Oconto and Shawano counties in Wisconsin and Menominee and Dickson counties in Michigan. The volunteer organization includes music educators and other musicians. There are no auditions or fees for membership.

The band at the fall concert will be under the direction of Glen Reinke and Robert Berndt. A variety of musical selections will be performed, culminating with a piece featuring the concert band’s Dixieland Combo.

The fall concert will open under the direction of Berndt with a piece by H.L. Booth titled “The Rambler,” a quickstep concert march fashioned after the excitement of being at a circus.

This will be followed by “Soar the Untamed Spirit,” a new, original work by Roland Barrett.


Volunteers to be recognized at banquet

In 1962 a committee was formed to honor longtime residents of Oconto County who had reached the age of 70 and had contributed many years of volunteer service to their communities.

On Oct. 17, 29 residents of Oconto County will be honored at a banquet at Romy’s Holiday Inn in Kelly Lake for their many years of volunteer service.

The honorees are Leonard Burns and Sharon and Howard Eslien, of Oconto Falls; Ronnie Carlson, Jim Hansen and Kathleen Kasten, of Gillett; Patricia Hansen and Jim Lacourciere, Diane and Lyle Nichols, and Margaret and Joseph Hornik, of Oconto; Frank Pomprowitz, Percy Knaub and Patricia and David Klopotek, of Sobieski; Sandra and Darrel Pagel and Thomas Kussow, of Little Suamico; Kathleen and Jon Marsh and Percy Knaub, of Townsend; Ned Lundquist, of Lakewood; Clarice Olsen, of Mountain; Karen Heimke, of Abrams; Joan and Ron Korzeniewski, of Krakow, Judy Peterson, of Lena; and Douglas McMcMahon, of Suring.


Gillett’s 3-phase renovation project completed

Photo by Anna Olson

Sally Ebenreiter, center, is surrounded by family members, the Gillett Public Library board of directors, Friends of the Library and library staff Saturday in Gillett. She posed with the group after being recognized for her family’s $150,000 contribution toward the completion of the Community Square at the library. The square will bear the family’s name.

The Gillett Public Library opened its new and expanded spaces to the community at an open house on Saturday.

A cool and rainy day didn’t keep the people away, said Kay Rankel, library director.

“Despite the weather, there was a wonderful turnout,” she said.

The library festivities included a grilling demonstration by Gary Merrill of Mad Dog and Merrill, vendors and crafters located in the Community Center and Community Square, a visit from Hums of Faith Suris Alpacas and fall activities for the whole family. Guests enjoyed caramel apple bowls and warmed up with hot apple cider.

The open house was a stop on the Oconto County Barn Quilt Trail Scenic Road Rally.

Amidst the festivities, the library recognized Sally Ebenreiter and her family for their donation to the library’s expansion project, which was carried out in three phases.


Rally riders search for barn quilts

The first road rally based on the barn quilt trail in Oconto County was held Saturday, and 28 teams participated. Teams came from as far away as Marquette, Michigan, and Sussex, and the ages of team members ranged from 6 months to 79 years.

“It was well worth the 120 miles we drove to participate,” said Bill Taves, of Sussex. “It was a fun day despite the weather, and we appreciated the raffle prizes we won for our effort. Made some new great friends today as a bonus. Looking forward to getting back to Oconto County again.

“We’ll be back for the second annual rally next year for sure and hope to recruit some teams from our part of the state to attend. Thanks to all of the sponsors and great volunteers that made this happen.”

Several special prizes were awarded, including prizes for the team that got lost the most, most miles traveled and most points earned.


Machickanee Players to present comedy

The Machickanee Players of Oconto announce the cast for “Murder Me, Murder Me Not,” the fall comedy that will mark the beginning of the 2016-2017 season.

Cast members are Dave Woosencraft, Mike Allard, Chris Weis, Pauline Grundman, Debi Wood and Kathy Campshure.

The play, written by Bill Springer and directed by Margaret Dakins and Kay Johnson, is a comedy in which Randolph Gaston has been murdered and everybody is after the insurance money. A series of double (and double-double) crosses, mistaken identities, fake accents, hidden bodies and phony mustaches all add up to a completely intriguing comedy.

The production dates are Oct. 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30.

For information, call 920-834-4353, visit BayShore Books LLC or


Scenic road rally is Saturday

The search begins Saturday for Pinwheel, Hummingbird Haven, Tumbling Blocks and Octagon Burst.

The first ever Oconto County Scenic Road Rally, based on the county barn quilt trail, will take place Saturday, coordinated by the Barn Quilts of Oconto County, New View Industries, Oconto County University of Wisconsin-Extension and Oconto County Economic Development Corporation.

The idea of a rally was conceived by a volunteer in the quilt project at New View Industries, where the gargantuan wooden art pieces are painted. In researching road rallies, organizers found only one other road rally linked to barn quilts in the U.S., quilt project co-coordinator Kay Rankel said.

“We’re trying to highlight the unique things in Oconto County,” she said. “We want to promote tourism and the preservation of barns.”


Subscribe to RSS - Community