Glee A. Keipe, 66, passed from this world Oct. 24, 2013, surrounded by her loving family at the Seasons of Life Hospice House in Woodruff. She left as she had lived; with grace, dignity and on her own terms.
Glee was born in Beaver Dam Dec. 23, 1946, to George and Joyce Vitek. The Vitek family relocated to the Neenah/Menasha area in 1948. She attended high school in Menasha and was involved in glee club, girls athletic association, choir, girls swim team, was co-chairman of the water pageant and wrote for the school paper. She graduated in 1965 and went on to school in Stevens Point for several years. That is where she first met John Keipe, the love of her life. They married in 1969. Glee and John settled into their first home in Waupun and there they welcomed their first daughter, Michelle, in 1971. They moved to Brandon a year or two later and in 1974 they welcomed their second daughter, April. In 1975, John and Glee moved north to Woodruff and in 1979 they built their forever home in Minocqua and welcomed their third daughter, Rachel, in 1983.
One of Glee’s greatest passions and joys was her career as a nurse. It had been a dream of her grandmother, Grace Wood, that Glee become a nurse. She began her medical career as a candy striper while she was in high school, then moved on to be a unit secretary at Theda Clark and then as a ward clerk at Waupun Memorial Hospital. She took several years off when Michelle was born, but then went back to work in 1975 as a nursing assistant at Howard Young Medical Center. In 1978, at age 32, she decided to fulfill her dream of getting her nursing degree and went back to school. She earned her ABN degree at Nicolet Technical College and continued on to get her BSN from UW-Green Bay. Both of these she accomplished while working full-time and raising three children. She worked at Howard Young Medical Center as a nurse in several locations over the years; on third floor ICU and as a night shift coordinator until her multiple sclerosis kept her from doing the patient care she loved so much. Never one to accept defeat she then moved to Howard Young’s business office and audited charts until she was forced to retire in 2007.
Glee’s other great passion in life were animals; especially cats much to her husband, John’s, dismay. Whether it was a kitten picked up on a visit to family in Ripon or a stray that came to the door or a rescue that was sneaked into the house while John was away, she loved them all. At one time having as many as nine after a stray mother cat was allowed into the house earning her the affectionate title of crazy cat lady in the family.
Glee enjoyed nature, going to the cottage in Princeton, and family. She enjoyed taking cruises with her mom and sisters once her children were grown and was able to experience the warmth of the tropics and the beauty of Europe.
Glee lived a full, colorful, passionate life that was a lesson to all on the strength of the human spirit. She was preceded in death by her father, George Vitek, who lovingly welcomed her to Heaven with open arms.
She is survived by her husband, John Keipe; her daughters, Michelle Mueller (Dylan), April LaMaide (Ed), and Rachel Clem (Scott); her mother, Joyce Vitek; her sisters, Darlene Tabbert (Dave), and Judy Swichtenberg (Bob); and her brother, Brian Vitek. She also leaves behind seven grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Glee’s family wishes to extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to Seasons of Life Hospice House and their staff, Ministry Hospice Care and their staff, Ascension Lutheran Church, Nimsgern Funeral Home and all the family and friends who have sent both love and prayers. Everyone’s support and care has made this difficult time one filled with blessings.
We will be celebrating her life on Nov. 9, at Ascension Lutheran Church in Minocqua. Gathering and visitation begins at 10 a.m., with the Celebration of Life service at 11 a.m.
Any donations made on behalf of Glee will be donated in her honor either to the National MS Society Wisconsin Chapter or the Seasons of Life Hospice House.
Online condolences may be shared at www.nimsgernfuneral.com.
Nimsgern Funeral & Cremation Services of Woodruff is handling the arrangements.