Delourise ‘Dee’ Layman Trakel
Jan. 15, 1917 — Oct. 3, 2014
Delourise “Dee” Layman Trakel, born January 15, 1917, in Rock Island, Ill., to Harry Albert Layman and Abigail Salena Simes and died October 3, 2014, in Waukesha.
Mrs. Trakel, a proud Bucky Badger, received both her BA and MALS from UW- Madison. She was head of work with children in public libraries in Minot, N.D., Waukesha, Hamtramck, Mich., and Kenosha.
While working in Michigan during World War II, Dee enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve. She followed in her father’s footsteps, as he was a Spanish War veteran. Mrs.
Trakel served as a communications officer and cryptographer in Marine Corps bases at Parris Island, N.C., and Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.
She coded and decoded secret messages. In a Freeman article from May 28, 2005, Dee states, “I was their ‘top secret man.’ That meant I would be able to open up the top secret messages. Although it’s been more than 60 years, one message still stands out. A message did come through that President Roosevelt had died.”
Mrs. Trakel met the love of her life at the First United Methodist Church. Newell B. Trakel and Delourise Layman were later married there on September 13, 1947.
They were married 57 years.
Both had a keen interest in genealogy and enjoyed traveling throughout the world.
From 1958 to 1971, she was a librarian at Central campus in Waukesha.
From 1971 until her early retirement in 1980, she held the position of director of library/media K-12 with the Waukesha School District.
A member of the Board of Trustees of Waukesha Public Library for 37 years, Mrs. Trakel was named trustee emeritus upon her retirement from the board. She was also a member of the Friends of Waukesha Public Library. Being a librarian and a keen book lover, Dee and her husband commissioned an artist to create a huge wall mural of classic book characters in the old children’s library.
Mrs. Trakel was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, P.E.O. and Eastern Star. Dee was also very active in the First United Methodist Church, Waukesha. She was president of the Wisconsin Section of United Methodist Women.
Dee’s special talent was creating and delivering engaging speeches. At the age of 89 1/2, Mrs. Trakel stood up in front of over 150 of her younger professional peers at a University of Wisconsin-Madison function, and totally captivated her audience with her 10minute speech.
Delourise was preceded in death by her husband, Newell, and is survived by Ellen Gangnon, daughter (Patrick), grandchildren, Jennifer MacIntyre (George), Scott Vasko (Elisabeth), Deanna Vasko, Staci Growe (Bobby) and great grandchildren Michael and Matthew Ash, Julia and Anna MacIntyre, Noah and Kaia Vasko-Cabalce, Elise Vasko, and Elijah Corrales and Isabella Growe.
People of all ages were a delight to Dee. She was interested in everyone she met.
Dee cherished the family time spent with her daughter, son in law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Dee’s generosity, compassion and “foxy” spirit will always live in our hearts.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 8, from 5:00 until 6:45 PM with the funeral service to follow at 7:00PM, all to be held at First United Methodist Church, 121 Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha, WI 53186. Burial with full military honors will be held Thursday, October 9, at 11AM at Prairie Home Cemetery, Waukesha. Please meet at the cemetery.
Memorials in Delourise’s name are appreciated to the Waukesha Public Library or the First United Methodist Church, Waukesha.
Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral Home, Crematory and Preplanning Services is honored to serve the family. For further information, please call the funeral home at 262-547-4035 or visit our website at www.waukeshafunerals.com for directions or to leave the family an online tribute message.