Elmer Thomas Perala
Elmer Thomas Perala, 71, of Ashwaubenon, Wis. died peacefully in his sleep at Bellin Hospital on Jan. 4, 2013, of complications after surgery. He was a beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and friend who excelled as an educator and genuinely enjoyed the social aspects of life. Elmer earned his Bachelor's and Master's degree from UW-Superior, later working as a teacher and school administrator until his retirement in 1997, from the Howard-Suamico School District.
His passions included his family, golf, the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers, education and politics. True to his Finnish roots, he hardly ever missed a day in the sauna -- the hotter the better! Elmer worked his way through college by taking jobs on giant Great Lakes ore boats. He spent time on the ill-fated Edmund Fitzgerald and knew some of the crew that went down in Lake Superior. Growing up on a dairy farm near Maple in far northern Wisconsin, he liked spending time at the family camp near the mouth of the Brule River and at the Blaisdell family cabin on Bass Lake near Danbury. He also appreciated sunshine and warm getaways. His favorite vacation spots included: Gulf Shores, Ala. and Fort Myers, Fla. He also treasured his golf trips to Scottsdale, Ariz. with the guys. Elmer was well known at Thornberry Creek Golf Course, where he and his wife were members. Dogs were always a special part of Elmer's life. He was known to bring stray puppies home on the school bus and raised three yellow labs in his Ashwaubenon, Wis. home: Golda, Libby, and Ellie. Elmer cherished time in his backyard swimming pool with his wife, daughters, grandchildren and dog. He lived a rich and full life.
Elmer is survived by his loving wife Barbara of 33 years; two daughters, Patty (Jeff) Mayers, Middleton, Chrissy (Brad) Richter, Waunakee; four grandchildren, Jack and Marie Mayers, Max and Samantha Richter. He is further survived by a brother, Jim (Jeanne) Perala, Turtle Lake; two sisters, Betty (Don) Aro, South Range and Julia (Gary) Blaisdell, Superior; two brothers-in-law, Bill (Martha) Klinner and David (Donna) Klinner; a sister-in-law, Ann (Jon) Anderson; his first wife, Helen McNamara as well as numerous nieces, nephews and other family and friends.
Visitation for Elmer will be held at Lyndahl Funeral Home, 1350 Lombardi Avenue, on Friday, Jan. 10 from 9:30 a.m. until the service held at 11 a.m. with Rev. Cindy Warmbier-Meyer officiating.
A memorial fund has been established in Elmer's name.
The family would like to express a special thank you to the staff of Bellin Hospital, Unity Hospice and Woodside Rehab for the compassionate care they gave Elmer and his family.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.lyndahl.com