Posted by Steve Lettau on Aug 29, 2019

I was born and raised on a family farm settled by ancestors in 1725 in Massachusetts, only 45 minutes away from where the Revolutionary War was launched for the independence of this country. Farm life in that place taught me the importance of both independence and responsibility for the common good of all the people around me. 

I came to Wisconsin as a bride in 1965 after my husband Cliff enrolled in a UW Masters program, settled in Mequon shortly thereafter, and had opportunities to work in service to others that have made my life both challenging and fulfilling. For over 25 years, I worked for the Association for Retarded Citizens, serving as Executive Director, developing programs and collaborating with others to draft state and federal legislation that allowed individuals with developmental disabilities to receive schooling, job training and housing in their home communities rather than institutions. I “retired” from that career to work nearly 15 years for Wisconsin’s Housing and Economic Development Authority, helping communities all around the state to improve or produce quality new housing for people with low to moderate income.

My most satisfying years with WHEDA were spent engaging with residents in Milwaukee’s Central City to help them revitalize their own neighborhoods, forge caring relationships with each other to create an atmosphere of ‘community,’ refurbish their homes or build new ones where old houses had been. My avocation after settling in Mequon was and has continued to be serving our City through elected offices (Alderman, Mayor) or volunteer activities.

Rotary became part of my life when the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club invited me to join as its first female member in the mid-1980’s. After I retired from employment and Cliff died, I joined our M-T Sunrise Rotary Club in 2009, and continue to be challenged by its call for service above self.