Dorene Arlene Dufek, 80, of Sturgeon Bay passed away at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay on February 26, 2022, after a short illness. She was born June 4, 1941, in Sturgeon Bay to George and Irene (Jeanquart) Dufek, Sr.
Dorene graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1959. She was an active leader in local and county 4-H programs and attended the National 4-H Leadership Congress in Washington, DC. She graduated from Door-Kewaunee County Teacher’s College in 1961 and was hired for her first teaching job at Morning Star School. In 1965 she spent seven months in France as part of the International 4-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) program where she fell in love with the French people and their culture.
Dorene received her Bachelor of Science Degree in 1966 and her Masters of Science Degree in 1968 from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. Shortly after, she was hired by the Oshkosh Area School District and taught at Lincoln and Read Elementary Schools. Her longest tenure as an educator began in 1971 in the Green Bay Area Public School District where she taught at Baird Elementary until her retirement in 2006.
Thousands of children were blessed to have “Miss Dufek” as their teacher and many went on to distinguish themselves in their community and careers. Throughout the years, parents would seek her out and share their appreciation for their children’s experiences in her classroom. The education profession was of great importance to Dorene, as she mentored new teachers, including several niece and nephew educators. She was a member of local teacher unions and had leadership roles with the Northeastern Wisconsin Education Association. She was also a lifetime member of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the National Education Association, IFYE, and Holy Name of Mary Church in Maplewood.
Dorene also loved everything about Door County and one of her great joys was sharing her favorite places with family and friends.
Survivors include nieces and nephews, Patti (Steve) Vickman, Jim (Lori) Marin, Bill Marin, Mary (Mike) Jacobson, Nancy (Chuck) Cherney, Lynn (Terry) Jerabek, Jean (Roland) Treml, Paul (Mary) Dufek, Lori (Dan) LeGrave, Larry (Patti) Dufek, nephew-in-law Randy Gigot, and many grand and great-grand nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers: Francis, George, Jr., Wallace, and Richard; a sister, Carolyn Marin; sisters- in-law, Patricia and Eleanor Dufek; a brother-in- law, Bob Marin; a nephew, Jerry Marin, and a niece, Mary Jo Gigot.
Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 5, 2022, at Holy Name of Mary Church, Maplewood officiated by Rev. Anthony Birdsall. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. at the church until the time of services on Saturday. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Masking is encouraged. Memorial donations may be made in Dorene’s name to Holy Name of Mary Parish in Maplewood or any 4-H organization.
Dorene’s family extends a special thank you to the staff members at Door County Medical Center, St. Vincent Hospital, and Unity Hospice for their wonderful care and support.