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Kvam, Ingerid M. / The Skalet family : ancestors and descendants of Sever and Malla Skalet

[Thora Skalet Gillette and descendants],   pp. 50-54 PDF (1.4 MB)

Page 51

THORA attended grade school at the Helland School. Having such a desire to go to school,
she started the same year as her brother Grant, so that they were together in the same school
until they both graduated from Black Earth High School in 1927. Then she attended
Whitewater State Teachers College for two years, enrolled in an elementary course and
graduated at the age of 18 in 1929.
She taught three years in rural schools before her marriage to Welberne Gillette in 1932. She
continued teaching until their daughter Nitzy (Darlene) was born in 1934. Welberne's illness
made it necessary for her to continue teaching. He died in 1938 when Nitzy was four years
Her teaching career involved 8 years of teaching in rural schools, 5 years in the Black Earth
grades 1 and 2, and first grade teaching in Madison Schools, making a total of 42 years and
retiring in 1973.
Thora was Sunday School Superintendent at Vermont Lutheran Church for 13 years and
taught Sunday School there for 15 years, all of which she organized the children's Christmas
After retiring from teaching she has been involved in volunteer work at Bethel Lutheran
Church and at the Bethel Parish Shoppe. She has worked for the Madison School Supply for
ten years, going to teacher's conventions throughout the state both spring and fall, to exhibit
and sell school supplies. Many organizations pertaining to teaching and/or Bethel Church
activities have been a big part of her time, such as WREA (Wisconsin Retired Education
Association) and Delta Kappa Gamma, a group for active and retired teachers. XYZ Club, a
group of retired people that meets at Bethel once a month, and Blanket Workshop at Bethel
tying quilts.
In 1987 and 1993 Thora traveled overseas to visit the beautiful country of Norway.
WELBERNE was a barber having worked with his father in Black Earth and later worked in
the barber shop in the State Capitol Building in Madison. He was active in sports, basketball
and baseball. He was a pitcher for high school and town teams, and later pitched as a
professional baseball player for Sauk City, Burnett, and at a later time for the Madison Blues.
He enjoyed fishing and every year went deer hunting. He died in 1938 at the age of 29 years
after a two year illness with cancer. Welberne was also a very important person to the 6
Skalet boys. They all looked up to Welberne not only as an athlete, but as an extraordinary
person as well.
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