The late Leona Doubek, longtime East Troy educator, visits with the first-grade students at her namesake school, Leona Doubek Elementary School, at Leona Doubek Day in October of 2013. Doubek died Nov. 19 at the age of 99. (Tracy Ouellette photo)

Leona Doubek is remembered for her kindness and compassion

By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

The East Troy community is mourning the death of former resident and longtime local educator Leona Doubek, who died Nov. 19 at the age of 99.

Doubek was a teacher at East Troy Elementary School for seven years before was named principal, a job she held for the next 22 years, before retiring in 1984. The school was renamed Doubek Elementary School in her honor after she retired.

At the Nov. 13 meeting of the East Troy Community School District Board of Education, the board members voted unanimously to keep Doubek’s name on the building as it transitions into the district’s offices this year. The District Offices of the East Troy Community School District at the Leona Doubek Building will be the official name.

“We want to continue to recognize and honor what Leona Doubek did for the School District,” District Administrator Chris Hibner told the board when he made the recommendation.

School Board President Ted Zess said Tuesday morning he had fond memories of Doubek.

“She was my principal for about six years, from kindergarten through fifth grade,” Zess said. “I remember she was a person who was always there for any kid who needed help. Her office was always open and you could sit and talk with her about anything. She was one of those open-type people who you were never afraid to talk to. She was just a cool lady.”

School Board member Martha Bresler, who taught in the district for more than 30 years, agreed.

“The kids had a genuine affection for her,” Bresler said. “Even if they got sent to the principal’s office and knew they were in trouble, they weren’t terrified. She was so calm and collected and she just wanted to help.”

Bresler shared a story from the time she took her son Sam Bresler to the school for kindergarten evaluation that she said she’s never forgotten.

“It’s one of my favorite memories of her,” she said. “I had taken Sam for his 5K evaluation and she was walking with me through the school and one of the classrooms had windows with wide ledges and Sam, he’s probably not going to like that I shared this, he crawled up on the ledge and was walking along it when she looked at me and said, ‘My, he’s all boy, isn’t he?’

“I was mortified but she was just very calm, cool and collected about it. It was just the way it was with her.”

Little Prairie Primary School Principal Lindsey Harris, who was the Doubek Elementary principal for four years, said much of what she knew about Doubek she heard from others, but did have the chance to meet her in October of 2013 when the district celebrated Leona Doubek Day.

“We were able to invite her back, and she at the time was well enough to come,” Harris said. “She enjoyed coming back and seeing the building and the kids. And the kids, they so enjoyed meeting the person the building was named after; it was a really positive day.”

Harris said she has heard nothing but positive things over the years about Doubek and was honored to have been principal at the school named after her.

“Everyone speaks so highly of her and she was so well respected,” she said. “It meant a lot for the kids to make that connection with the past and the woman their school was named after. They were so excited to meet her and she was so sweet, kind and appreciative of the invitation.”

Harris said over the years family members and friends of Doubek have reached out to the school and it always touched her how deeply people cared about Doubek.

“It means a lot that her name lives on in the district,” she said.

Donna Abell, of Delavan, worked in East Troy for more than 30 years and knew Doubek.

“She certainly deserves all the recognition you can give her,” she said. “She made such a difference and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to know her.”

Abell said she was always impressed with Doubek’s dedication to the schools and students and recalled how she took her roll in the scholarship committee seriously, always showing up in person to make the decision and encourage the next generation of educators.

“She was a professional educator and committed citizen of East Troy,” Abell said. “To personally commit yourself to the decision making process – not everyone does that – it’s not easy and she did it every year, year after year after year and used it as a moment to inspire the kids.”

Her funeral service will be at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25, at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 20813 Forest View Drive, Lannon. Visitation will be from 12:30 p.m. until time of service at the church. Private burial at Arlington Park Cemetery, Milwaukee.

Click HERE for her full obituary.



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