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Irene Rita (Long) May

Irene Rita (Long) May, 94, of Sturgeon Bay, passed away peacefully at her Cardinal Ridge Home.  She was quick to remind everyone, “age is just a number!”  She often said time was a gift, after a long and full life her time ran out and she has now begun her new journey.  

Renie was the youngest of 6 children born to Fred and Anna Kohlbeck Long in Sturgeon Bay, August 27, 1928.  I can only imagine the reunion they must be having.  She loved to share stories of growing up with her siblings on Thompson St. (Pennsylvania St.) and all the friends they made and the great times they had.  She was a proud graduate of Sturgeon Bay High School, class of 1946.  She looked forward to the reunions over the years.  Her friends and classmates were very important to her.

One of her first jobs was working as an assistant for Reynold’s Photography and she loved working for “Uncle Herb” She then passed her civil service exam and started her career as a clerk/typist working in the Navy Office in Sturgeon Bay.  She was eventually promoted and moved to Bay City, Michigan.  She again was promoted and transferred to Illinois where she became the Director of Civilian Personnel at Great Lakes Naval Hospital.  It is there she met and married Cmdr. Carl R. May in 1972.  Renie and Carl retired to Door County building a home in the country on the west side and she became a member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church.

Renie came out of retirement for a short time to again work at the Sturgeon Bay Naval Office eventually retiring from the office in which she started her career.  In 1995, they moved back to town, building a house on the east side.  Renie then returned to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church where she had been baptized and grew up. Her favorite holiday was Christmas, she decorated every room in her house.  Aunt Renie was a spunky gal.  She had a kind and generous heart.  She loved people.  

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Carl in 1996; siblings and spouses:  Marie and Bob Schauer, Helen and Gordon Small, Fritz and Dot Long, Shirley Kerscher Long, Tracy and Fritz Brunswick, John and Carol Long, and her nephew and godson John Brunswick.  She is survived by her step-son, John (Laura) May; and step-daughter, Pat Lane; and 19 very special nieces and nephews and their spouses.  She especially looked forward to their visits over the years, including Kathy Brunswick Peterson, who was more like a daughter to her and Kathy’s husband Larry, her brother Fritz’s sons, Ken and Sandi and Tom and Holly, her sister Helen’s daughter Barbara and Kevin Levasseur, her sister Marie’s family, the Schauer Kids, and her brother John’s family.  She is also survived by her great nieces and nephews, David and Heather Peterson, Shane Peterson, Jen, Zak, and Minda Peterson, and her great-great- nephews and nieces, Isaac Peterson, Audend, Ashton, Averick, Alaurah, and Arlee Peterson, and Maddie, Annika, and Kiera Nelson, all who will really miss GG Renie.  They were all very special to her as she was to them.  She is also survived by her dear friends Kay Heist and Carol Hobson.  

Many, many thanks to her nephew Kenny and niece Barbara for all of their help and support.  The family would also like to give a sincere and heartfelt thank you to “her boys”, Dr. Reitz and Todd, and Michelle, Lucy, Amber, and Edward for your excellent and compassionate care.  Renie always looked forward to her visits and getting all those hugs.  Also, many thanks to DCMC Staff.  Sue Tauscher and Katie Graf for their guidance and help, to the nurses and doctors in ER and ICU, the Door County Emergency Rescue Services, Green Bay Cardiology, and most recently Unity Hospice for their precious care.  A very special thank you to the wonderfully fabulous staff at Cardinal Ridge, for your love, patience, and kindness.  You gave her personal care and treated Aunt Renie like family, and she loved you all.  We are also grateful for the many new friends she made there.  

A high light of her week was her visits from “Father” Bill Graf, and the ladies from St. Joe’s and Corpus Christi who brought her so much comfort and peace.  She especially enjoyed the family stories Bill would share with her.  Thank you to the staff at Unity Hospice who helped bring her final journey to a peaceful end.  We must also remember to thank all of her very thoughtful and caring neighbors on Delaware who were so good to her, she appreciated all the prayers.  She said, “I think they’ve all got me covered!”  And finally, we can’t forget to thank Hughie and the Wednesday Gang at Valmy’s Happy Hour for all the conversation and fun times.  Cremation has taken place.  A private memorial service will take place at Forbes Funeral Home, Bill Graf presiding with inurnment at St. Joseph Cemetery.  As Aunt Renie always said, “Every day’s a good day, some are better than others!  And so on, and so forth….”

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