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We are saddened to inform you that Lucile Fessler, a member of the Lakeland College Board of Trustees for nearly three decades, former board chair, a board member emeritus and a great friend and supporter of the college, passed away Friday. She was 100.

Lucile Fessler

Lucile, a staunch supporter of liberal arts education and winner of numerous awards and honors for her service to the community, became a Lakeland trustee in 1973, and served as board chair from 1982 to 1986. She is the only female board chair in the college's history. She was named trustee emeritus when she retired from the board in 2003.

In 1999, she was named an honorary alumna by the Lakeland College Alumni Association, and in 2003 she was awarded a doctor of humane letters for her service to Lakeland and the community.

"Mrs. Fessler was a model for civic responsibility and contributing in any way possible to the common good," said Robert Melzer, chair of the Lakeland Board of Trustees. "Her considerable service to Lakeland was but a small part of her work that benefited all of Sheboygan. We are a better place for having been recipients of her leadership and her friendship."

In 2003, when she received the honorary degree, Lucile said, "It's wonderful to see the part Lakeland plays in the lives of so many people. There's a wonderful sense of community that you feel among the young people."

Lucile was a significant financial supporter of the college. She was a member of the college's 1862 Society, and longtime contributor to the Annual Fund for Excellence. In 1990, she was instrumental in establishing the Jacob and Lucile Fessler Professorship in Creative Writing. The position is held by Karl Elder.

Visitation will be between 5 and 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Grace Episcopal Church, 1011 N 7th Street, Sheboygan. Family and friends may gather at the Church on Friday, Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. until reflections by selected family members at 10 a.m. and a funeral mass at 10:30 a.m. See a complete obituary online at

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