If, for some reason, things in heaven aren’t quite up to snuff these days, those in charge are about to learn the error of their ways. Ellen M. Dauplaise is coming home, and you can bet she will make her wishes known in short order.
A strong personality if there ever was one, Ellen had a positive impact on family as well as countless hospital patients, nursing home residents and coworkers. She successfully armed her children with solid values to pass on to the next generations, and her job here was complete. Ellen, 82, passed away January 5, 2022, after many years of declining health with her husband and longtime caregiver, Ron, at her side.
Ellen’s happy place was Edgewater Beach Road on the bay of Green Bay. Her favorite childhood
memories came at her parents’ cottage there, and in 1982 she and our dad purchased a home just down the road in which they lived for the next 38 years. She became the unofficial Edgewater Beach historian, compiling stories and photos from a century of the road’s residents.
Doing everything to the best of your ability was an expectation for Ellen and our entire family. She had a long career as a registered nurse, even earning recognition as Wisconsin Nurse of the Year in 1998 while caring for residents at Bornemann Nursing Home. A great illustration of the impact our mom had on those around her came during the final week of her life. The Unity Hospice CNA helping her was in tears as she realized she was caring for the person who had trained her how to be a good caregiver 30 years ago when they worked together at Bornemann Nursing Home. “This is my Ellen,” she said. “She made me who I am today.”
There was never any doubt whose values carried more weight in the Dauplaise household, never mind the fact most were anchored in the 1950s. Pushing back against our mom’s opinion meant you did so at your own peril. Our dad initially balked at her suggestion that our family take a five-week trip to the East Coast in 1976 for the Bicentennial festivities, and then head up to Montreal for the Summer Olympics. He said their “discussion” lasted about 15 seconds. But what a trip that was! She and our dad meticulously planned out every campground (we tented the whole way) and historical attraction. We found out later the 10-pound purse that she held in front of her at all times to protect from pickpockets contained all our Olympics tickets (four days of track and one of basketball).
They repeated the process two years later for a six-week RV adventure to the western states. It was our mom who fearlessly drove along narrow mountain roads, into downtown San Francisco, and even overnight through the desert when the air conditioning broke down. That RV became our family’s second vehicle for the next year, transporting Girl Scouts and serving as a social hub for the Preble High School cross country program. Thanks to our dad’s role as a coach, Ellen knew more about track and cross country than most moms. She even coordinated the finish line at the first Bellin Runs prior to electronic tracking.
Ellen and Ron made a point to attend virtually every sporting event, band concert, and any other extracurricular activity in which their kids participated. This unwavering support continued through our adult careers into further athletic, creative and professional endeavors.
As though being a highly respected RN wasn’t enough, Ellen decided to go back to school and earn a teaching degree in the late 1980s, attending UW-Green Bay at the same time as her younger son, Mark. One day, Ellen bought a plate of cookies at a campus bake sale and hoped to run into Mark at the locker they shared. However, Mark had already taken a seat in the middle of a large lecture hall when his mother decided this would be the perfect opportunity to create a lifetime memory. She took the stage, and with a gleam in her eye proclaimed, “Sweetheart, I have some cookies for you!” Mark lowered his head and hid behind his hand, causing his professor to remark, “Well, Sweetheart, are you going to come get your cookies?” Mark has never been the same since.
Ellen went on to work several years as a substitute teacher, but was never quite able to break through the age discrimination barrier that kept her from landing a full-time position. One job interviewer even told her she was too old to be a grade school teacher. She was 49 at the time. Caregiving truly was Ellen’s calling. She returned to patient care until retirement, and then accepted her mother into their home to care for her during a portion of her final years.
Ellen was born July 3, 1939, in Green Bay to Ronald and Eleanor Jaseph. She was a 1957 graduate of Green Bay West High School and earned her RN from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Oshkosh in 1960. She married Ron Dauplaise on April 22, 1961, at Annunciation Catholic Church in Green Bay. Ellen was a staunch Catholic and loved attending church, where she was known to unabashedly belt out hymns with her strong voice.
Ellen and Ron’s first adventure as a married couple had them living in a trailer near the end of a runway at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. They moved back to Green Bay just in time for the birth of their first child, Mike (Bonnie Groessl). A subsequent tubal pregnancy greatly reduced the chances for any more children, but Ron and Ellen then welcomed twins Renee (Robert Karp) and Denise, followed by Mark (Melanie) within 16 months of each other.
Ellen is further survived by Denise’s daughters, Mallory, Tatum and Brigid Eisenreich; Mark and Melanie’s children, Paige and Gaven; her sisters Ann (Bob) LaPlant, Mary (Jim) Nuthals, and Jean (Mike) Morgan; her brother, Ron (Mary) Jaseph; sister-in-law, Barb Jenkins; and many nieces and nephews.
Our family would like to thank the skilled caregivers at Oak Park Place and Unity Hospice for their patient and unwavering care during Ellen’s end of life journey.
Visitation will be Saturday, January 8, from 9-11 a.m. at St. Louis Catholic Church in Dyckesville, with Mass to follow at 11 a.m. There will also be a celebration of life event later this year on Edgewater Beach Road.
Malcore Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. To extend online
condolences, please visit