Nadine Joseph Kovar passed away peacefully surrounded by her family at her home in Wilmette, Ill., May 1, 2012.
She was born May 19, 1927, in Chicago, Ill., to Harry and Augusta Joseph. She graduated in 1948 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Political Science. Nadine was an accomplished and awarded artist across a wide range of mediums.
She is survived by her loving husband, and third grade sweetheart, Donald Kovar, whom she married in1948. Don and Nadine built a wonderful life and family at the home they built in 1958 in Wilmette Ill.
Nadine loved to travel and had an extreme interest in experiencing cultures from around the world. She and Don traveled the world in their lifetime together: kayaking with whales in Alaska; boating the canals of France; witnessing the vast wildlife of Africa; and downhill skiing from Manitowish Mountain to the mountains of Colorado.
Nadine's legacy is her bottomless love of her family. She was preceded in death by her youngest daughter, Patty, in 1991, a loss that both devastated her and galvanized her resolve as the beacon of the family. She was also preceded in death by her loving son-in-law, Terry Lucht, in 2008.
She is survived by her loving children, Nancy Lucht of Burlington, Bob (Carolyn) Kovar of Manitowish Waters, and her son-in-law Bob Buchanan (Sue Hilgemann) of Madison.
Nadine was preceded in death by her siblings, Ira Joseph and Richard Joseph. She is survived by her loving sister, Suzanne (Larry) Sharken, and many loving nieces and nephews.
Nadine spent her entire life on the family property her father bought in her beloved Manitowish Waters. She spent her childhood summers in the house her father brought up from the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago and reassembled on the property in 1934. Nadine and Don built their own house on the property in 1949 and along with Nadine's siblings, built an idyllic family retreat that is the "centering place" for now the fourth generation of Nadine's family. She was an avid adventurist who loved the outdoors. Nadine spent many hours slowly paddling her little green canoe around the edges investigating every inch of Rest Lake during her lifetime. Wearing her floppy white hat and long white shirt, she was an icon on the lake.
The absolute light of Nadine's life were her six grandchildren, Scott (Amanda ) Sasse of Chicago, Ill., Sarah Sasse of Denver, Colo., Addy Kovar of Somerset, Sam Kovar of Minneapolis, Minn., Audrey Buchanan of Eden, Utah, and Andy Buchanan of New York, New York.
Each grandchild held a special place in "Grandma's" heart. She memorably used her art to show her love; from the intricate detail in the dollhouses she built tiny piece by tiny piece-from basement to attic for her granddaughters; to personalized quilts she designed and stitched; to the geclee prints of each city or environment that each of her "little chickens" lived in. She was a master not only of her craft, but of using her craft to reach the heart. Her grandchildren spent summers with grandma, exploring all of Nadine's favorite nooks and crannies of Rest Lake.
The family thanks all of Nadine's wonderful loving caregivers who enabled her to end her life with such peace and grace.
In lieu of flowers and because of Nadine's passion for education and social justice the family requests contributions to be made to:
The Patricia Buchanan Scholarship Fund, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Office of External Relations, School of Education, 181 Education Building, 1000 Bascom Hall, Madison, WI 53706-1326.