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Schaetz honored for cooking, delivering homemade meals

By Lee Reinsch

DE PERE – Spaghetti with homemade meatballs is just one dish an employee of the West De Pere School District and her family cook up for those who find it tough to cook for themselves.

The West De Pere school district honored Stacy Schaetz, a secretary at the district’s main office, at the Monday, Aug. 19, meeting of the West De Pere school board.

“They enjoy bringing warmth and sense of brightness to people,” Superintendent Dennis Krueger said of Schaetz and her family, which includes her husband, John, and two kids, Sofia, 8, and Isaac, 6.

They, along with Schaetz’s parents, Gary and Patsy Owen, were in the audience to show their support.

Schaetz is the future administrative assistant to Krueger, taking the reins from Christie Thiesfeldt, who plans to retire at the end of the year.

Schaetz said she is just one on a roster of about 50 members of the meal ministry at her church, Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, who make and deliver home-cooked meals for those who need them.

Formerly that was limited to members of the parish.

The 2019-20 school year will be the first in which any families with students in the West De Pere School District are included, even if they’re not members of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Reasons people might request meals could include limited mobility for any reason, including age, physical challenges or having had a recent surgery. The chefs don’t ask why.

“We never know a reason or any personal information,” Schaetz said. “All we know is the person’s name and where to deliver the meal.”

Recipients love the delivery service and are always effusive in their thanks, she said.

“When you’re delivering, you never leave without plenty of conversation,” she said.

Schaetz estimates she makes meals for about four or five West De Pere families a month, more if she happens to be whipping up an especially large meal.

“We each cook, personally, from home,” she said, so a variety of different entrees go out on any given night.

Other Schaetz family specialties?

“Mini meatloaves and ham dinners,” she said.

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