Distinguished Graduates

As part of Catholic Schools Week celebrations, there was a special presentation at the 11:00am Mass. Holy Angels School presented the National Catholic Educational Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award to Carl and Ethel Groth.

Carl graduated from Holy Angels in 1936 and Ethel in 1939.  In her career, Ethel played an important role in the manufacturing firm known around the world as the West Bend Company where she was the administrative assistant to the president and executive vice president of the company.  In fact, when she retired Ethel was the longest working employee the company ever had with over 57 years of service.  Principal Mike Sternig commented, “No wonder the West Bend Company was so successful!” Ethel passed away in 2011.

Carl’s career was put on hold when, working for the West Bend Lithia Company and studying for the priesthood at St. Francis Seminary, he was drafted into the service in 1945 during World War II.  He served the country in the area of counter intelligence and ended up as the Chief Investigator of war crimes in Europe as a result of his fluency in German, Latin, Greek and French. On his return after the war, Carl was one of the authors of Wisconsin’s Civil Defense Plan.  Eventually, Carl made his mark in the business world as a salesman for Peter Pirsch Fire Trucks.  He has also served the Town of Trenton on one of its Boards.

Carl and Ethel had one child who died at two months, but their interest in children, especially the children of our parish, was always apparent.  Sternig recalled, “Many Sunday mornings as a young teacher and then as a new principal, I was greeted after Mass by Carl and Ethel, eager to see the newest Sternig son or to offer support for a special need for our school.  I have to say that I truly appreciated every encouraging comment that Carl and Ethel would offer.”

Their support has taken on a whole new dimension with the establishment of the Carl and Ethel Groth Trust.  Carl noted that it was Ethel’s idea to do something special to support Holy Angels School financially and Ethel knew how to get things done! Not only have the Groths given encouragement and intangible support, but their generosity will provide tuition assistance for future students of Holy Angels School as well as support for parish needs.

Sternig concluded his presentation comments: “For all they have given to the community as role models of a job well done; as well as our parish and our school by their example of interest, care and support, it is with humble gratitude that I announce this year’s NCEA Distinguished Graduates…Carl and Ethel Groth.”  




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