2015 Memorial

Zonta District 6 Memorial 2015 (slide show)

Zonta Memorial – 2015

Margaret “Billie” Brannon (Zonta Club of Lebanon)Margaret “Billie” Brannon passed away January 15, 2015.  She was a member of the Zonta Club of Lebanon for 41 years joining in 1974.She She held many offices and served on many committees including Conference co-chair.  She was a beloved member of Zonta and the community and she served them both very well.  Her wit and smile always lifted up anyone she encountered.


Nellie Kendrick (Milwaukee)

Nellie joined the Zonta Club of Milwaukee in the 1980’s and was a member for 30 years. She served on various committees, too numerous to count.  Nell holds the distinction of having served as the second African-American President of the Club from 1995-1997. Following that, she served on our Zonta Foundation Board and also as our Area 2 Director from 2002-2004.  One of the highlights for Nell was to attend the international conventions. Nellie and George attended 10 of Zonta’s International Conventions.  Those conventions took us to Hong Kong, Sweden, Australia, Germany, Holland, France as well as Detroit, Hawaii, San Antonio and New York.  Nell was always eager to meet new Zontians and reacquaint herself with familiar faces from prior conventions.  There was always some time to experience the local culture, including the cuisine.

She was a willing participant, attending and actively assisting in area workshops, district conferences and supporting our fundraising efforts and other international and club activities.

During her presidency the club celebrated its 70th anniversary. Nell presided at our  celebration at the Wisconsin Club in May, 1996.   Also during her presidency the Zonta Club of Milwaukee sponsored a Z club at North Division High School and Nell installed the officers and presented their charter to them in June of 1997. Nellie’s involvement was strong throughout the years.  In January she attended our meeting prior to leaving for St Thomas and was pleased to sponsor and participate in the installation ceremony of one our newest members.

Thank you, Nell for the example you set for us.


Karen LeSage (Milwaukee)

Karen LeSage, a native Milwaukeean, spent most of her career as the lead project director for chief executives at Milwaukee health care organizations including the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, John Doyne Hospital and Froedtert Hospital.  Since her retirement, she has remained actively engaged in the community, filling short to long-term temporary positions for an eclectic group of organizations including Froedtert Hospital, Pius XI High School, Milwaukee Department of Health and Fix Development.  She also served on the Board of Pius XI High School and is a founding member of Fund Milwaukee, a network that invests locally in businesses that produce a triple bottom line, i.e., economic, ecological and social.

In her social life, Karen enjoys walking, and biking in her eastside neighborhoods, fun-filled gatherings with family and friends and sharing adventures with her seven grandchildren.


Ruth Mayer Rosenberg (Alton Wood River)

Alton-Wood River Zonta Club’s oldest member, Ruth Mayer Rosenberg, died on September 16, 2015.

Ruth joined Zonta on February 14, 1976.  She was an active member for 39 ½ years.  She served as President of Alton-Wood River Club in 1981-1982.

Ruth was born on Dec. 24, 1920, in Germany. She immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1936, at age 15, in the wake of anti-Jewish sentiment. She graduated from Soldan High School at age 17. She married William Wolfgang Rosenberg in 1941, and they raised three children.

For 25 years, she owned and operated Lee Anne Shop, a women’s clothing shop in downtown Alton. Ruth took great pleasure in her years volunteering for multiple area service organizations, including: the Alton-Wood River Zonta Club, Beverly Farms and The Caravan Shop.

Ruth was an expert bridge player, theater enthusiast, accomplished baker, devoted mother, and a hands-on grandmother and great-grandmother.


Cindy Perkinson (St. Charles-Geneva-Batavia)

Cynthia J Perkinson, a beautiful soul born September 13, 1960 to Clifford and Celeste Engels, passed on November 16, 2014.

Cindy joined Zonta in 2003.  She served on many committees and the board as a director.

Zonta West – Illinois  and her family and friends established the Cindy Perkinson College Scholarship to support young women pursuing careers in music and the languages.  Cindy’s passions were business, languages, and music.


Mary Margaret Weeg (LaSalle-Peru)

Mary was born in LaSalle, Illinois the only child of Tony and Estelle (O’Rourke) Weeg.  Starting her educational journey at St. Patrick School in LaSalle she went on to receive her PhD in English from Indiana University.  Her admiration for her early teachers inspired her to become one.  She was, “delighted that someone would pay her to talk.”

Mary’s first teaching job was teaching English and remedial reading at LPHS in 1954.  She taught at LPO and IVCC from 1956 to 1989.   Her specialty was American literature and rhetoric.  She was the first women faculty member to hold a PhD and first woman to chair an academic division at IVCC, a position she held from 1965 to 1980.

In 1985 BPW named her Woman of the Year.  She is past president of the Zonta Club and the LaSalle County Retired Teachers Assn.  She has served on several local boards:  BPW, IVCC  Foundation, LaSalle County Historical Society, League of Women Voters, the Red Cross, and Catholic Social Services.

Mary retired early to enjoy traveling.  Always proud of her Irish and German heritage, she is known for her optimism and sense of humor. She regards as her greatest accomplishment and contribution that of being a teacher for 35 years.


Joan Williams (Indianapolis)

Joan was born on January 21, 1934 in New Castle, Indiana.  She graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and a Master of Divinity Degree from the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She was ordained into ministry in January of 1985.  She served as the Associate Minister at First Christian Church in Lafayette, Indiana from 1985 until her retirement in 1999.

Before entering ministry, Joan was an elementary and nursery school teacher.  She was a writer, retreat leader, and world traveler with the church.  She had traveled to 17 countries in her lifetime.  She worked with women in India, Nepal, and Africa through mission trips.  She held a passion for world peace and dignity of all persons.

When asked about the best piece of advice she’s ever received, Joan said, “You can choose to live or die.  I chose to live a wonderful life.”

The Zonta Club of Indianapolis misses Joan’s integrity and passion in everything she does.  We are grateful to have known her as a member, and as a friend.


Mae S. Glassbrenner (Evanston)

After a wonderful life, Mae S. Glassbrenner, age 94, passed away on Monday, May 4, 2015, at the Illinois Veterans Home in Manteno, Illinois. Mae joined the Zonta Club of Evanston in 1979 and served Zonta in many different capacities including Club President.

Mae was born on February 25, 1921, to Christian and Helen Glassbrenner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  After high school, she took the Civil Service Test and was hired by the Army Inspection Office in Berwick, Pennsylvania. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, she quit her job and, following the leads of her brothers who enlisted in the Army and the Navy, she joined the Marines.  After boot camp at Camp Lejeune, she was posted to Cherry Point Air Station, North Carolina and was given a top secret job.

Radar was an unknown factor in 1943, and her job was to train night fighters. After six months, she became a corporal and six months later became a sergeant. She was accepted for the September 1945 Officer Candidate Class, which was canceled because the war ended and, at that time, the Marine Corps did not think they would continue to have women in the Corps.

Mae taught school full time and attended DePaul University part time and received her B.A. in 1973. She received her Master of Education from Antioch College in Ohio in 1976. She continued to teach and oversee the Chicago College of Commerce as the Chairman of the Board until 1999 when she retired at the age of 78.

She was a member of the Women Marines Association, IL-2. From 1992-1994, she was the Secretary of the WMA IL-2, and in 1994, she became National Secretary.

Mae was an extraordinary woman who lived her life to the fullest. She was full of compassion and generosity. She was a pioneer for women in business and an inspiration to all. She will be missed.


Elaine Leslie Baker (Ottawa)

Elaine Baker, 71, of Ottawa, died on Monday, March 24, 2014 at her home just one month after her husband Charles passed away.  She joined Zonta in 2001 and served the club in many capacities.

She worked at the Community Hospital and Ottawa Medical Center for over 20 years. She also owned and operated Elaine’s Stauffer Figure Salon.

Elaine was active in her community. She was a past member of the Mental Health Center Board of LaSalle County, and the Youth Service Bureau where she was the first Board Chairperson. She chaired the Horizon House Human Rights Committee for many years.
She was active with the United Way of Eastern LaSalle County where she served as the Campaign Chair, President of the Board, and founder of the School Tools program.
Elaine Leslie Baker started the United Way’s School Tools program more than 15 years ago as a push for community involvement in the lives of underprivileged children.

United Way introduced Stuff the Bus as an annual event to commemorate Baker and help her legacy continue to enrich the lives of children.