Nona L. Berray, age 78 of Arbor Vitae, WI died on Friday, November 13th at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton, WI surrounded by her loving family. Nona was born on August 18, 1937 in Milwaukee County the daughter of Layton and Antoinette (nee Raichle) Larson. Nona attended AV-W Grade School and graduated from AV-W High School. Nona continued her education by attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Nona also earned a Master’s Degree from Winona State University.
Nona began a teaching career at the one room Jargo School in Deerfield, WI. When the Jargo school merged with city schools, she returned to the AV-W School where she taught a variety of grades and subjects from 1960 to 2004. Nona developed the girls’ sports program in the 70’s with the passage of Title IX and coached girls’ sports for 30+ years. During her retirement years, she assisted with the junior high football program, and then became the coordinator for the Lakeland Youth Football Program.
Nona was a charter member of Calvary Lutheran Church, where she served as past President of the Congregation, was the choir director and organist. She also worked with music for the youth, was an officer for the Women of Calvary, and chairperson of the Vision Committee.
Nona was a member of the Alpha Eta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma where she served as president and treasurer for many years; board member of the Northern Chapter of Thrivent Financial, board member and volunteer for the Dr. Kate Museum, board member of the Lakeland Recreation Foundation in its beginning years as sports activities for area kids were being organized and offered in addition to school sports, Chairperson for the “Build a New AV-W School Referendum”, summer camp host at Lake Gogebic State Park, and Lakeland Area Schools Curriculum Team member.
Nona loved music, sports (especially football), T-Birds, Badgers, Packers, Brewers, fishing, hunting, xc skiing, animals (especially dogs), eagles, Sumach Lake, the Berray Farm, the fall season, trips to Alaska, family get-togethers and her many students during her years of teaching.
Nona was awarded Business and Professional Woman of the Year and CESA 1X Teacher of the Year.
Nona is survived by her children; Robert (Kristine) Berray of Arbor Vitae, WI; Brenda (Dave) Bant of Hazelhurst, WI; and Ben (Christina) Berray of Arbor Vitae, WI and by 10 grandchildren: Alicia, Justin, Brooke, Katy, Jessica, Blake, Madison, Kyle, Sydney and Colton and by 2 great grandchildren: Camdyn and Carstyn. Further survived by 2 sisters; Lois (Gil) Jung of Star Lake, WI and Nell Bateman of Missouri and by many nieces, nephews, friends and her beloved pets through the years; Jake, Tasha and Tucker. Nona was preceded in death by her parents and husband, John “Jack” Berray.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, November 19th from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Nimsgern Funeral Home Chapel in Woodruff, WI. Funeral Services will be on Friday, November 20th at 11:00 AM at Calvary Lutheran Church in Minocqua, WI with a visitation from 10:00 AM till time of service. Burial will take place at Forest Gardens Cemetery in Woodruff, WI.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to: Calvary Lutheran Church, Lakeland Youth Football or Dr. Kate Scholarship Fund in C/O the Berray Family, PO Box 1001, Minocqua, WI, 54548.