Sunday, June 23, 2013

Helen K. (Peterson) Groetzinger

Helen K. Groetzinger, 82, of Racine, passed away on Sunday, June 23, 2013, at her home.  Helen was born in Racine on July 19, 1930, to Ruby and Berger Peterson.  On December 23, 1950, Helen wed Donald C. Groetzinger.  Together, they raised six children and shared an adventurous life.

Helen will be long remembered for her remarkable achievements in industrial sales, as the founder and president of Perma, Inc. (now Power Lube Industrial), an importer and marketer of industrial lubrication equipment. Helen entered a field traditionally populated by men while introducing an entirely new concept in lubrication. She created a successful family business which thrives today with third generation family now entering the business. Her artistic talents extended from pottery to painting and she was generous in sharing her knowledge with others through the Wustum Museum. She greatly enjoyed photographing flowers and painting them.  No surface was safe from her colorful flowers.

Helen and Don sailed Lake Michigan for over 30 years, in a progression of ever-longer sailboats. They were 20-year  members of the Racine Yacht Club, former members of the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club and  are current members of the Harbor Light Yacht Club and  Deutscher Manner Verein. Their sailing led them to spending 12 happy years with a home in Sister Bay, Door County, Wisconsin, where they lived full time for five years. They loved to travel in Europe, ski in the Rockies and "wander" the roads of Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland on long drives. All of their travels were lovingly preserved in treasured photo albums.

While her children were growing up she served as Brownie Leader, Assistant Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Leader, home room mother many times and President of the Wind Point PTA. In 1969 she was elected to the position of President of the Racine County Republican Women, and that same year was the Vice Chairman of the Racine County Republican Party. During that time she was a delegate to a number of city and state party caucuses and on one occasion the national caucus in Washington, D.C.

Helen is survived by her husband of 63 years, Don; and her children, Randi Young (Terry) of South Fork, CO; Katie Kramer (Keith) of Le Claire, IA; Sarah Herr (Mark) of Brookfield, WI; Amy Dienberg (Don) of Racine; Eric Groetzinger (Shannon) of Ashland, OR; the “7th child” of the family, Barb Mizer (John); and  brother, Lee Peterson of Lansing, MI.  She is also survived and will be greatly missed by her thirteen grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.  Helen was preceded in death by her parents; eldest son, Charles; and sisters-in-law, Marjorie Caplin, Susan Lambert and Bernice Peterson.

A special thank-you to Barb Mizer, Nettie Mahoney and daughter, Amy, for their loving and compassionate care of Helen during the last two years of Helen’s life.

A memorial celebration will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 19, at Maresh-Meredith Funeral Home at 803 Main St., Racine. Relatives and friends may meet with the family on Friday, July 19, from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service at 11 a.m.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Helen's name may be made to The Foundation Fighting Blindness or Alzheimer's Association,

803 Main St., Racine   (262) 634-7888

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