Lucy Sohner (Staack) Perez, age 83, Appleton, passed away on Monday, September 21, 2020 surrounded by her family. She was born on June 4, 1937 in Moline, IL to the late Julius Arthur Staack and Elizabeth (Sohner) Staack. Lucy married her beloved husband, Joseph Perez, on August 22, 1959. They were married for 59 years before his passing in 2018.
Lucy graduated from Moline High School where she was the editor of the yearbook, and member of the National Honor Society, Quill and Scroll, and Rainbow Girls. She went on to receive a BFA from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, where she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority. After graduating, Lucy pursued her passion for teaching. She taught Art and English, first as a traveling teacher in De Pere, WI and then at Little Chute High School. After teaching, Lucy stayed close to her teaching roots and worked in the Admissions Office at her Alma Mater, Lawrence University. Lucy also believed in giving back to her community through service. She was a volunteer guardian ad litem for senior citizens in the Fox Valley for over 30 years. In addition to being a loving mother to her own two children, Lucy opened her home and her heart to many others over the years. She was an ABC Host “Mom” for several years and also became a “Second Mom” to some of the students she met through her work at Lawrence, especially Tom Brown, who became a beloved member of her family. Over the years she added other special people to her family including, Joe Kaphiem, Taylor Wardell, Steve Barnett, Bill and John Van Den Brandt, Mike Fitzpatrick, John Shubert and many, many more through her cherished role as the “Unofficial Assistant Coach” and “Second Mom” to the hundreds of student athletes that ran Cross County for her husband, “Coach” Perez, at Appleton East for over 50 years.
Lucy is the loving mother of Julie (Greg) Soper, John (Mary Lou) Perez, dear grandma of Carrissa (Sam) Siefkes, Lexie (Josh) Huebner, Lauren (Andrew) Hartinger, Allison Bailey and great grandma of Charly, Ruth and John. She is also survived by her brother John (Susan) Staack, sister Betsy (Staack) Vittinghoff, and brother-law Richard (Jean) Perez. She was the proud aunt to Hilary (Todd) Armstrong, Jeff (Janeen) Staack, Hans (Amy) Vittinghoff, Betsy (Ricardo) Gomez, Maggie (Michael) Moninski, Katy (Travis) Schroeder, Tim Staack, Chad Gill, Patrick (Elissa) Perez, Steven (Julie) Perez, Pam (Dave) Beay, Paula Perez, Lisa Perez and Teresa (Paul) Perez. Further survived by her great nieces and nephews; John, Bridget, Kara, Evelyn, Patrick, Jack, Stella, Zizi, Mars, Abigail, Rebecca, Alison, Josephine, and Jessica along with many close friends
Lucy was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Joseph A. Perez; father, Julius Staack; mother, “Betty” Elizabeth (Sohner) Staack; sisters Susan (Staack) Gill and Sarah (Staack) Roll; and brother-in-law, Karl Vittinghoff.
A visitation for Lucy will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Friday, September 25, 2020 at BRETTSCHNEIDER TRETTIN NICKEL FUNERAL CHAPEL, 606 N Oneida Street, Appleton. Burial will follow at HIGHLAND MEMORIAL PARK, Appleton.
It is Lucy’s wish that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Joe Perez Scholarship Fund which is awarded to two deserving Appleton East Cross Country runners each year. Donations can be sent to:
The Joe Perez Scholarship Fund
Appleton Education Foundation
122 E College Avenue, Suite 1-B
Appleton, WI 54911
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