Meet Judy Wetzel and Karen Casteel-Schlise


Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent

Photo by Carol Wagner Judy Wetzel, left, and Karen Casteel-Schlise prepare the Thanksgiving meals that are delivered by First Presbyterian Church in Shawano.

Judy Wetzel, left, and Karen Casteel-Schlise prepare the Thanksgiving meals that are delivered by First Presbyterian Church in Shawano.

Wetzel was born and raised in Gresham, graduating from Gresham High School. She became a registered nurse at St. Joseph’s in Marshfield and worked for a year at the Shawano Hospital. Wetzel moved to Milwaukee and was a company nurse. In 1991, she moved to Shawano with her husband of 44 years, Glenn Wille. They have two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Wetzel is a member of First Presbyterian Church where she is on Session, Mission Commission, and helps with Kids Klub, the Nativity Walk, and the community dinners. She is volunteer at Shawano Area Matthew 25 and a member of the Shawano Woman’s Club.

Casteel-Schlise was born in San Clemente, California, moving to Sturgeon Bay when she was 14. She graduated from Southern Door High School and got an associate’s degree in administrative assistant/professional from NWTC. Casteel-Schlise worked at the library in Sturgeon Bay before marrying and moving to Marquette, Michigan, where she worked at a real estate office.

In 1991, Casteel-Schlise moved to Shawano and is now a judicial assistant for Judge William Kussel. She and her husband, David, who works for the post office, have been married 29 years and have two children.

Q How long have you been helping with the Thanksgiving dinners?

A Karen: “Last year was my first year. I am the chairperson.”

Judy: “For 10 years. Jo Ann Graser and I are co-chairs.”

Q When do you start?

A Judy: “Prep work starts Wednesday at 9 a.m.”

Karen: “We peel potatoes, make the dressing and cut the vegetables. We get the turkeys from Reinhardts through Charlie’s County Market. Perkins is donating 16 pumpkin pies.”

Q How does it work?

A Karen: “The reason we deliver is because there’s no Meals on Wheels on Thanksgiving Day. Paige Dreier gets the addresses and makes the route.”

Judy: “This is for the homebound. It’s restricted to the city of Shawano. They get a cold box and a hot box.”

Q How many people are involved?

A Judy: “We prepare for 100 people and deliver from 11-1.”

Karen: “Around 30 people volunteer to help on Wednesday and Thursday. People donate butter, green beans, half and half, onions, fruit salad, celery, cranberry sauce, and aluminum foil.”

Q Why do you volunteer?

A Judy: “Because the people need it and they have the opportunity of having a Thanksgiving Dinner.”

Karen: “Because Judy and Jo Ann were looking for someone to take over. It was an outreach of the church for so many years. I wanted it to continue.”


WHAT: Thanksgiving Dinner

WHEN: Noon Thursday

WHERE: Zion Lutheran Church, 1254 S. Lincoln St., Shawano. Parking on the Union Street side.

FYI: Meal delivery available by calling First Presbyterian Church by Monday at 715-526-3329.