Read Robert and Marlene Hartzman's tribute to their mothers- Frieda Brier Hartzman and Annette Chemerinsky Tobe.
Read Jill Lundberg's letter honoring Nora Ogden White and Evelyn Powers Bakula.
Read Joy Picus's tribute honoring her mother, Daisy Katzin.
Read Kathryn Richardson's letter honoring her family of Richardson women.
Read Doris Weisberg's tribute to Golda Meir and Miss Klovstad.
In Her Honor Champions help promote this giving program by making unique contributions on behalf of the women they have chosen to honor. These contributions include several projects in the Hamel Family Browsing Library such as two book collections, a photo exhibit, and a women’s table; as well as several meaningful tributes that they have shared with friends and family. If you would like to learn more or you are interested in becoming a champion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Marlene and Bob Hartzman
Marlene and Robert Hartzman honored their mothers, Frieda Brier Hartzman and Annette Chemerinsky Tobe, by sponsoring a book collection in their names. Click here to learn more about the book collection and other In Her Honor projects.
“Robert’s mother, Frieda Brier Hartzman, was raised in Columbus and Milwaukee, and my mother, Annette Chemerinsky Tobe, was raised on the Southside of Chicago. Though these two remarkable women never met, they shared the same love of family and learning. Both were born to immigrant parents, raised during the Depression and impacted by World War II. In the 1950’s they were married with young children, yet worked outside the home daily to support their husbands’ businesses. They typified first generation Americans as they were decent, hard-working, smart, resourceful, and humble. Family and community were everything to them. Circumstances limited their formal education, but they knew how important that education would be for a better life. Books were everywhere and libraries were visited weekly. Frieda and Annette were determined that their children – my husband and me – would be the first in each family to go to college. Although they passed away very young, I know they would be proud of Robert and me for our work and accomplishments.” – Marlene and Robert Hartzman
Robert and Marlene met at the University of Wisconsin as first year students in 1966. He was in medical school and she was an undergraduate in the School of Education. They return to Madison regularly from their home in Washington, D.C., to maintain the personal and professional ties they’ve established over the last 50 plus years; Robert with colleagues in Medical Genetics, Biotechnology, and the Medical Scientists Training Program and Marlene as a member and past Chair of the School of Education’s Board of Visitors, a member of the Women’s Philanthropy Council, and a member of the 4W Initiative Board of Advisors.
Joy Picus chose to honor her mother, Daisy Katzin. Read Joy’s tribute to her mother below.
“The program has given me a chance for some deep reflection on the life of Daisy Katzin, my mother.
She was a single mother at a time when there were few. When my fathered died, Daisy was only 25, a widow with a 5-year-old son and an infant daughter. Still, she forged new paths and overcame many obstacles, giving my brother and me a beloved childhood.
In the mid-thirties, Daisy decided, against all advice, to buy an apartment building that was in foreclosure. It was located in an underdeveloped part of Chicago. She managed the building, which supported our small family for years but became the source of much aggravation. The basement apartment flooded when it rained, and the very powerful Janitors Union put pickets around the building when Mom refused to hire the janitor they assigned her–hiring one who did better work, instead! She joined the local neighbors and planted her own Victory Garden, from which she discovered zucchini. It grew abundantly, and soon all our friends and relatives were eating zucchini, which came with a recipe my mother gave them.
My life was immeasurably enriched by the great city of Chicago, and all the treasures within it that my mom took me to explore. I saw museums, concerts, and the theater. I heard the famous classical artists of the day at the free concerts at downtown Grant Park. Mom took me to concerts at Ravinia and together we picnicked on the lawn. We went to the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo when I was 10, and that launched my lifelong passion for dance. I also loved the Adler Planetarium, and insisted that Mom take me each month to learn more about the glorious heavens. We’d go to Saturday afternoon travelogues at the Field Museum of Natural History. I loved exploring that magical space while Mom took virtual visits to exotic destinations. These are just some of the many adventures I enjoyed with my mother.
Though she had little formal education, my mother never stopped learning, setting a fine example for her children. She took a course in nutrition when no one knew the word. She took a Red Cross course and practiced slings on me. She briefly studied economics at the Henry George School of Social Studies. She learned some Spanish and traveled to a few Latin American countries. She took a 3 mile walk every evening, her “constitutional,” as she called it. No one told her walking was the best exercise! She sent my brother and me to summer sleep away camp, and made sure we read good books and visited the local library regularly. Mom became active politically, which no doubt influenced my brother Shel and me. Shel served as an Alderman in Evanston, Illinois, and I served as a Los Angeles City Councilmember for 16 years. I know we did my mom proud.
My mom had incredible warmth, beauty, and charm; qualities that made her a great pleasure to be around. When she moved to Los Angeles to be near me and her grandchildren, it added immeasurably to the quality of our lives. Mom became a loving and generous grandmother to my brother’s 4 babyboom children and my 3. As of now, she has 37 direct descendants! I hope they all get to learn about her through this letter.
I am so grateful to have this opportunity to recognize and celebrate my mother, a remarkable woman who fashioned her own unique path to personal and intellectual achievement. Mom invested in the education of her children and taught them, by example, the importance of philanthropy and generosity of spirit. She communicated an awareness of the world around us and the importance of this knowledge. She was ahead of her time and defied conventional wisdom, and I am proud to share even a fragment of this wisdom today. I marvel at the woman my mom was, and at the way she continues to inspire us.” – Joy Picus, Class of 1951
Joy Picus (B.A. ’51) is a politician who served as a Los Angeles, California City Council member for 16 years, from 1977 to 1993, and was a Ms. Magazine “Woman of the Year” in 1985.
Jill Lundberg chose to honor her great-grandmother, Nora Ogden White, and her grandmother, Evelyn Powers Bakula. Read her tributes below.
“I have chosen to honor and remember two women. Both of these women did not attend college but helped support and pave the way for future generations. I was the first woman to attend college on my mother’s side of the family. By remembering these strong women and telling their stories, I have gained a sense of strength myself.
Nora Ogden White was born in 1873 in Illinois. She was my great-grandmother. Her life was spent caring for her two daughters, Pearl and Estaline. Estaline was my grandmother. Nora also helped manage a farm with her husband. When Estaline’s husband died when her children were quite young, Nora supported Estaline’s efforts to go back to school to become a teacher so that she could better care for her family. Nora also helped deliver babies in her rural community. She was a fierce proponent of women’s reproductive control. She was a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. She would have been considered a radical in her time by advocating for a women’s right to vote. She died the year after I was born.
Evelyn Powers Bakula was a grandmother I knew well. She was born in 1911. Although she never had the opportunity to attend college, she had a love of books and reading that she passed on to me. Evelyn spent most of her childhood in an “orphanage asylum” due to a family tragedy and the lack of a social safety net. She attended high school through her junior year and then began working in a bookstore, which taught her the importance of education. She instilled this love of learning in me and supported my efforts to go to college. Evelyn died in 1992, four years after I received my B.A. from UW-Madison. “ – Jill Lundberg, Class of 1988
Jill Lundberg, B.A. 1988,
4W Initiative Board of Advisors Co-Chair
For Kathryn, the 150th anniversary of women graduating from UW served as a special invitation to remember how UW-Madison shaped the lives of women in her family for three generations! You may read the story of the Richardson women below.
“Janet Richardson Rich received her degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Janet was born with patience and a desire to help others. Teaching was in her nature. As her younger sister, I was a recipient of this gift. She encouraged and rejoiced in my accomplishments. Through life’s twists and turns, Janet always gave back to her community. Whether it be a classroom, swimming pool, National Ski Patrol, church, or YMCA, she gives of herself and shares with others to help wherever possible. Her heart is full of love. One saying is, ‘Today I will Choose Joy’ and Janet does.
Kathryn (Kate) Woods Richardson has been there for me on my life journey. Kate graduated from UW with a BA in English and a MBA. Her life embodies the values of perseverance, strength, intelligence, and, most of all, care. As complicated life issues arose, her quiet strength was a guide for processing solutions. As a young woman I could rely on her to encourage me in my studies, give me words of advice, and occasionally read and edit my term papers. She was the person in my life who, no matter what her own responsibilities were, made sure that my special moments – birthdays, graduation, even my recent retirement – were acknowledged. I am so grateful and blessed to have a relationship with her at this time in my adult life!
May Holmes Richardson grew up in Evansville. She lost her father during childhood and was raised by her mother, who worked very hard so that her daughter could have an education. My grandmother chose to pursue study of Greek and Latin, graduating from UW in 1907. Instead of marrying my grandfather right after college, as so many did in her day, she chose to teach in Manitowoc and Boscobel. She eventually joined the Ringling Brothers in Baraboo as a teacher and traveled the country for two years before returning to Evansville to marry and start a family. She instilled a desire for education in me, and showed me that women can and should make interesting and self-affirming choices. ‘When you hear a knock on the door, open it,’ she used to say. ‘You never know what is going to be there.’
My mother Ruth Kesauer Richardson, born and raised in New York, was always proud of her degree from Syracuse. As a young woman faced with the realities of the Depression, earning a degree in 1935 required perseverance. She became a social worker. She was a social activist in her own way. After meeting my father, she moved to Monroe, Wisconsin to follow his career. The newcomer in a rural town, she sought out a circle of women who shared her interests. She was thirsty for knowledge and attended lectures, musical performances, and theater throughout her life. She instilled these passions in me. In Mom’s later years, she asked just one thing of me: ‘Help me to keep my faith.’ And keep her faith she did by attending church each week where she would stand to pass the peace and share an embrace with people she had known for over 60 years. Her motto was ‘Don’t just live…Shine.’
Eventually I earned a UW degree also, a PhD in Education. I owe this achievement in no small part to these women who were there for me in so many ways. As a proud UW alumna, I am grateful to share their stories with the UW-Madison community through the In Her Honor Fund. I hope my story encourages you to take a moment to remember who was there for you, and to consider joining me in honoring them at this time. It is a great way to say ‘On, Wisconsin Women!'”
Doris Weisberg helped to establish the In Her Honor Fund as a meaningful way to celebrate women and, at the same time, support UW-Madison. Read Doris’ tribute to Golda Meir and her grade school teacher, Miss Klovstad below.
“‘Greatness’ can mean a large public life of professional accomplishment and global leadership. When I think of the word in that sense, the life of Golda Meir comes to mind. Golda spent much
of her youth in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she trained to be a teacher at what is now the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She went on to be elected Prime Minister of Israel and a role model for all women. Her accomplishments spoke to me, particularly as a young Jewish woman. She made me proud and conveyed the message that a woman could do anything.
On a quieter side, “greatness” can mean impacting lives with care and kindness in family and community. Miss Klovstad, my second grade teacher at Winslow Elementary School in Racine, demonstrated this kind of greatness. She touched me in ways that changed my life. She paid special attention to me, providing extra challenges by giving me books like The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, as well as advanced math work. Her belief in me gave me confidence in myself and initiated a lifelong love of school.
These women exemplified greatness and I’m proud to establish them as the first honorees in the In Her Honor Fund. I hope you will join me in honoring a special woman in your life too. On, Wisconsin!” – Doris Weisberg, Class of 1958
Doris Weisberg (’58) is currently on the board of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, and is a member of the UW Foundation’s Women’s Philanthropy Council and the Department of Political Science’s Board of Visitors. We are indebted to her for helping us establish the In Her Honor Fund.
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