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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.

Hundreds of people in the community stepped up to the plate for Mike and his sons – in two initiatives, one of which is a memorial fund.

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. 



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