Marie Ruhe (Altmann) Netzow

Oct. 31, 1940 – Dec. 30, 2012

Marie Ruhe (Altmann) Netzow was born Oct. 31, 1940, to adoring parents Richard Ruhe and Kathleen Wood Ruhe in Tampa, Fla. She entered into eternal life Saturday, Dec. 30, 2012. Marie entertained hotel guests all over the country until her parents bought the Hotel Chilton in Chilton. Hotel Chilton was a favorite stop for Packers fans on game weekends and it was here that Marie began her lifelong devotion to the Green Bay Packers. Marie attended Chilton High School (Class of 1958), where she made lifelong friends. She met and married Robert Altmann in 1963 and they proceeded to pack a trailer with their two beloved horses and moved cross country to southern California in 1964. Bob and Marie lived in southern California for eight years, where their three children, John, Lynn and Bill, were born. While in California, they became very active in the program. Marie also began her love affair with Sweet Adeline’s at this time and joined several choruses.

In 1972, Bob & Marie returned to their roots, and settled in Waukesha. Marie worked a number of jobs, most notably as head of human resources for Aldrich Chemical. She also spent many years doing HR for Manpower Inc. and Centrifugal Corp. Marie joined Badger Bells chorus in ’73 and was involved in many award-winning barbershop quartets: Just Desserts, Bright Idea, Milwaukee Express and Company Best, to name a few. She sang for most of her Sweet Adeline career with Crosstown Harmony chorus. Marie traveled the country with Sweet Adeline’s and attended almost every international competition with her friends, and in later years, with her daughter, Lynn.

Additionally, Marie was active in community theater productions, including leading roles in South Pacific, Damn Yankees and Quilters. Marie was an exceptional mother to her children and attended every football and soccer game, and BMX and ski race. Their family created thousands of fantastic and fun memories on Lake Superior skiing at the Porcupine Mountains each winter. Bob and Marie divorced amicably in 1986 and Marie met her love Paul Netzow in 1988.

Paul and Marie enjoyed many great RV adventures, silly mystery weekends and traveled the world together. Paul and Marie spent years building their home-awayfrom- home, “the cabin,” on Lake Ellen in the U.P. They hosted an incredible number of family and friends at their little piece of paradise. In 2001, Marie’s life was enriched when she was reunited with her adopted son, Dan Nehmer. They quickly made up for lost time and were instant family; they enjoyed many karaoke nights and shared a love of music. Paul and Marie were in the process of building their dream home in Stillpoint on Lake Glenville in Cashiers, N.C., when Paul died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2002. Mom missed Paul’s companionship desperately but exhibited her positive and resilient nature beautifully by enjoying many “Girls Get Away” weekends at Lake Ellen, her chorus events, and fun with her friends and family, as well as numerous trips to Seattle and Sweet Adeline International competitions. Marie also got very active in her Saint Luke’s Church community and took several volunteer mission trips to New Orleans to help NoLa citizens rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Marie began to succumb to early onset frontal lobe dementia in her final years and moved from her home in Brookfield to Avalon in Waukesha, and finally The Fountains in Crystal Lake, Ill., to be closer to Bill and Alli and their kids. Though Marie only spent a few years in her new homes, she made many friends quickly, as this was her usual way. To know Marie was to love Marie, and to be loved by Marie was a blessing and a gift. We are all so saddened by her passing, but know that she had a very full, rich and satisfying life. Marie eeked every ounce of joy and laughter out of her too brief 72 years on the planet.

Marie is survived by a countless number of friends and by her adoring and grateful family; her children, Dan Nehmer, John Altmann (Ashley Pryzbyl), Lynn Altmann (Derek Voss) and Bill (Allison) Altmann; and her sister, Nicki Eick-Smith. Marie is further survived by her beloved grandchildren, Katherine and Jacob Nehmer, Gabrielle and Mitchell Altmann, Zoe Altmann Voss, and Jackson and Bodie Altmann. She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews and cherished cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Kathleen Ruhe (1986) and Richard Ruhe (1996), and her husband, Paul Netzow (2002).

Marie loved her animals – be assured that her German shepherd, Chief, is happy as a clam in Seattle and her cat, Phredd, is enjoying retirement with his brother, Dorsey!

We plan to celebrate this magnanimous woman Thursday, Jan. 24, and all are welcome to come share in our joy and our grief. Please visit   /Marie-G-Ruhe- Altmann-Netzow-tribute for details about the celebration of Marie and to sign an online guest book.

We love you Mom. You were an amazing woman, friend, sister, wife, mother, aunt, cousin, Nana and role model. The world was a better place with you in it and will be a little less active without you. We will very much miss your gregarious energy and boundless zest for life.