Bio: Lauscher, Ivan W. (Feted on Retirement - 1971)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Lauscher, Boettcher, Van Raalte, Lucey, Krall, John, Vandeberg, Mabie, Olson, Grap

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co, WI) 6/10/1971

Lauscher, Ivan W. (Feted on Retirement - 1971)

A two-year promise that extended on for another 27 years was feted at Bali Hai Supper Club east of Neillsville Sunday night; Ivan W. Lauscher, who was being honored at an event which attracted an overflow crowd, told about it:

When he brought Mrs. Lauscher to Neillsville after accepting the high school principal’s position here, the Lauschers came into town shortly before midnight. The trip down a deserted main street topped off a ride through the sparsely populated are along Highway 73 to the southeast, punctuated by (then) square corners along the little-improved road.

“As we drove along the main street -- and you know how the main street is at 11:30 at night,” Mr. Lauscher said, “Mrs. Lauscher said to me: “Ivan promise me you’ll not stay here more than two years.” “It has been a short two years,” he asserted.

The reminiscing came as Mr. Lauscher thanked all those who had taken part in the community’s tribute to him for service here of 29 years as an educator, neighbor and friend. Mr. Lauscher is retiring as Neillsville’s School Superintendent on July 1.

Extolling his virtues as an educator and a neighbor -- and sometimes kidding him about his prowess as a golfer -- were men from a wide spectrum of Life. Joe Boettcher, superintendent of the Colby Public Schools, represented other educators of Clark County. He recalled how, down through the years, the educators had come to look to Mr. Lauscher for leadership. He made a presentation of a putter and a dozen golf balls.

Also representing the educational community was Robert Van Raalte of Madison, assistant state superintendent of public instruction. Mr. Van Raalte presented Mr. Lauscher with a framed certificate of recognition for 43 years of service as a teacher and school administrator. The certificate was signed by Gov. Patrick J. Lucey and by the state superintendent of schools, William Krall.

In his brief eulogy, Mr. Van Raalte looked upon the retiring Neillsville superintendent as a man “who stands tall: tall among educator; tall among his neighbors.”

A bronze plaque which will be place on a small bell house on the north lawn of the new elementary school was presented by LeRoy John, president of the Neillsville Chamber of Commerce. The bell, he said, was salvaged by Mr. Lauscher from the old South Side Grade School when it was razed several years ago. The custodians of the school have cleaned it up, and it will be dedicated to Mr. Lauscher when it is hung in a recently completed bell house.

An error in the spelling of Mr. Lauscher’s name on the bronze cast - discovered at the time of presentation - will be corrected before the plaque is hung, it was stated.

A large silver bowl mounted on a wooden base and with a silver inscription was presented by Russel Vandeberg, Master of Neillsville Lodge 163, Free and Accepted Masons, in behalf of the three Masonic bodies in Neillsville of which Mr. Lauscher is a member.

Milo R. Mabie drew liberally from Masonic text in his presentation of a Bulova Accutron watch as a gift made possible by the friends who attended the banquet and by others. “I never thought I’d own such a watch,” was Mr. Lauscher’s comment.

And Mayor Kenneth Olson, a social worker at the Winnebago Children’s Home, expressed the appreciation of authorities at the Home for Mr. Lauscher’s cooperation, and presented him with a check.

Keeping the program moving and tying together the long list of speakers was Wayne Grap, a former student of Mr. Lauscher. He sketched briefly some of the background of the retiring superintendent. Mr. Grap recalled that Mr. Lauscher came from a family of Door County commercial fishermen and, as a youngster, had spent many hours salting the catch of his father and brothers. A brother still operates the commercial fishing enterprise, representing the fourth generation of commercial fishermen in the family.

He told, also, of Mr. Lauscher’s slow, but determined, progress in attaining the formal education which was to equip him for his lifelong profession. He largely financed his own education, receiving first a teacher’s certificate which permitted him to teach in Sevastopol High School, which he attended as a high school student; then his graduation with a Bachelor’s degree from what is no Wisconsin State university-Stevens Point; and then his earning of a master’s degree from Northwestern University at Evanston, Ill., while connected with the Neillsville District Schools.

During his active school career, Mr. Lauscher has served as a member of many professional organizations, local, state and national, and has served as an officer in several of them. At present he is serving as treasurer of the state hot lunch program supervisors, an organization of which he is a past president.



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