Generosity shines in Pennenberg memories

October 5, 2017

By Ed Byrne The Brillion News

WRIGHTSTOWN – There is no doubt about it. Friends and family members are making sure that Mike Pennenberg and his sons, Noah and Isaiah, are not alone on a tough journey that began when Becke and Raelia Pennenberg were struck and killed as they walked along a road north of Wrightstown.

It happened on August 17 on French Road, the east side frontage road along I-41, south of County S.

Mike lost his wife Becke and daughter Raelia. The boys lost their mother and sister.


There was a memorial fund account opened at the Unison Credit Union in Wrightstown, to benefit Mike and the boys.

Instead of quickly peaking and fading – as many memorial funds do – The Becke and Raelia Memorial Fund continues to grow, and last week the total was approaching $84,000.

“We started this for [Mike] … and maybe we’ll get a few more people who feel inclined to help out – which would be fantastic,” said Jeff Van Zeeland, one of the owners of Fox Valley Wood Products.

Mike, and his brother Brian, are long-time employees at Fox Valley Wood Products – between Kaukauna and Wrightstown – and the company took the lead in getting the fund going by matching the first $15,000 donated.

The company is owned by Dale, Jeff and Travis Van Zeeland. It’s a place where “family” counts and the umbrella shelters the employees.

The deaths of Becke and Raelia were tough hits for a lot of people at Fox Valley Wood Products and in the greater Wrightstown community.

“On one hand, I was surprised; on the other, I wasn’t,” Jeff Van Zeeland said. “You rarely hear about something as traumatic as this. We do have a real strong community, and just so many people wanted to reach out.”

Please see the complete story in the October 5, 2017 edition of The Brillion News.