Dawn Marie (née Steudel) Kelm, age 70, died at her home in Pittsfield on Saturday, April 2, 2022. She was born to Robert and Mary Esther (Persons) Steudel on May 17, 1951, in Appleton. She attended Fox Valley Lutheran High School, graduating in 1969. She furthered her education at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee, Dr. Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN, and then UW Milwaukee, studying special education. Dawn worked at various locations in the Milwaukee area.
On May 19, 1979, she was united in marriage to Wayne Albert Kelm from Townsend, whom she met when she was 12 years old while on one of her family's many camping trips to Boot Lake. They were married at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Appleton. Soon after marriage, Wayne started teaching college at NWTC in Green Bay. They purchased their first home in Howard, and lived there 10 years before they built their home in Pittsfield on 22 acres. They did all their own construction and have shared their home with all the family throughout the years, making it a child's playground.
Dawn was active in politics. She served as chairman for the town of Pittsfield for 15 years and served on many county and state committees throughout the years. She served as secretary for the Wisconsin Towns Association, Brown County and was the first President for N.E.W. Paramedic Rescue, which she helped start. Dawn was passionate about genealogy and preserving family history. She spent countless hours over the last many decades researching, writing, combing through cemeteries, visiting old farms and homes, interviewing elderly relatives and recording their stories, connecting with distant relatives worldwide, and collecting the photographs and artifacts of previous generations. She proudly traced every line of her family back hundreds of years and helped many others research their families as well.
Dawn and Wayne enjoyed their pets, boating, motorcycling, water skiing, fishing, hunting, spending time on their property doing all sorts of outside projects, and above all, traveling, both domestically and overseas sharing many a back road and crazy adventure with husband Wayne.
Dawn is survived by her husband, Wayne Kelm; brother and sisters-in-law: Walter (Ellen) Kelm, Cynthia Kelm, Cathleen (Stephen Palazzolo); cousins who were considered brothers and sisters: Steve (Jean) Persons, Linda Persons, Terry Persons, Shirley (Steve) Lemke, Carol (Scott) Sauder, Ken Persons, Susan Persons, and Sandra Schapekahm, and cousins Sandy Steudel Buelow and James Steudel; nieces and nephews: Matthew (Kerry) Kelm, Timothy (Danielle) Kelm, Mariah (Brian) Singer-Brown, Yana Palazollo, and Kayla (Thom) Keehan; special friends: Barbara Rose, Diane Wright, and Charity Van Kampen; and many other cousins and friends.
Dawn was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents: William & Emma Steudel and Ronald & Esther Weber and Archie Persons; one nephew, Tyler Mertes.
Visitation will take place at Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1700 Cardinal Lane, Howard, from 9:00-10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 8, 2022. The funeral service will follow at 10:00 a.m., Pastor Piet Van Kampen officiating. Interment will take place at Highland Memorial Park in Appleton.
Muehl-Boettcher Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed to Dawn's family at www.muehlboettcher.com
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