Renate (nee Grob) Petrie passed away Sunday, March 19, 2023, shortly after her 90th birthday.
Renate’s parents immigrated to the United States from Germany and Switzerland and settled in Grafton. Renatli was born in 1933 and grew up there with her younger brother and sister. During her childhood, she developed a love for travel while taking the Hamburg America steamship line to visit her relatives in Europe. Her grandfather was often the ship’s Chief Engineer. This love for adventure continued throughout her life as she traveled within the United States, Europe and through the Panama Canal.
Renate also had a passion for learning. She attended Bradley University in Peoria and later transferred to UW-Madison where she graduated with a degree in Elementary Education in 1955. She enjoyed teaching various grade levels at many local schools, including Lake Geneva and Sunnyside in Burlington. She later became a substitute teacher for the area.
While attending UW-Madison, Renate met her future husband, Paul Petrie, at the Brathaus on State Street. They were married that same year. As teachers, they would spend the school year at an apartment near the school and summers at the family log cabin on Browns Lake. They later moved to Browns Lake full time where they raised their children, Kim and Kurt.
Renate had a zest for life that stayed with her until the end. She loved to try new things and meet new people. She made friends easily and loved to host parties and dinners. She spent time with her grandchildren near the water, putting together the annual lunch on the lake raft, and doing crafts. She always had a few crafts in the works from candle making to reverse glass painting and everything in between. She also tap danced with the Happy Tappers senior group while wintering in Florida, participated in social events with the Browns Lake Yacht Club and even attended Clown College in La Crosse, where she graduated with flying colors.
You could almost always find Renate at the water. She loved boating and swimming in Browns Lake as late into the season as possible before heading to her happy place in Florida where she enjoyed the pool, the Gulf of Mexico and tending to her tropical flowering plants. Her favorite times were when the whole family was in Florida together. Renate will make one last trip to her favorite place in Florida for a private family gathering.
Renate will be incredibly missed by her children Kim (Marc) Dériaz and Kurt (Julie) Petrie; her grandchildren Lauren Dériaz, André (Brittni) Dériaz, Austin Petrie, and Ellie Petrie as well as many friends and neighbors.