Volunteer Profile

Meet Don Bublitz and Patty Pape
By: 

Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent


Photo by Carol Wagner Don Bublitz and Patty Pape, holding her dog, Jojo, are master gardeners who volunteer for many of their activities.

Don Bublitz and Patty Pape are master gardeners who volunteer for many of their activities.

Bublitz was born in Milwaukee, graduating from Milwaukee Lutheran High School. He earned a degree in elementary education from Concordia College in Illinois. Bublitz then taught in a two room school in Iowa and then in Detroit for five years. He earned a masters in elementary education from Wayne State University and moved to Shawano in 1969 where he taught at St. James Lutheran School for 30 years. Bublitz retired in 1999.

He and his wife, Joanne, have been married 59 years and have three children and six grandchildren. They live in Shawano with their toy poodle, Cookie. They like to garden and attend concerts and plays. Bublitz helps out at the Navarino Nature Center.

Pape was born and raised in Shawano, graduating from Shawano High School. She is a registered nurse, obtaining her bachelor of science and nursing degree from the Bellin School of Nursing and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Pape has worked at St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay for 31 years and during those years also worked at Maple Lane for five years. Pape and her husband of 20 years, Gaylord Katzbahn, live in the town of Wescott on the channel with their rat terrier, Jojo.

Pape enjoys gardening, biking, camping, fishing, and traveling. Pape is also a member of Shawano Pathways and Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.

Q How long have you been a master gardener?

A Pape: “I’m a new master gardener. Jamie Patton teaches the course in Shawano.”

Bublitz: “I’ve been a master gardener for eight years. The course comes out of Madison.”

Q Where do you volunteer?

A Pape: “We are co-chairs for the community dinner. This will be my first time. Previously I have been in charge of the Thanksgiving dinner.”

Bublitz: “We plan and prepare the whole meal. This is the first year I am co-chair.”

Q How do you prepare?

A Pape: “We will plan for about 100 people. We will have ham, baked potatoes, corn, peaches and desserts.”

Bublitz: “The master gardeners pay for the food.”

Q How many people help?

A Bublitz: “Most of the master gardeners help in the kitchen or at the tables. Karen Childs and Pat Gwidt always bring decorations.”

Q Where else do you volunteer?

A Bublitz: “At the Garden Walk, Huckleberry Harbor, and we maintain the gardens at the Shawano County Historical Society and the Work Release Center. Many individuals help out at their churches. We had the Apple Tasting and have a booth at the Farmer‘s Market.”

Pape: “We’re going to teach a course in March through Community Education. Every master gardener has to do 24 hours of community service a year and 10 hours of continuing education.”

Q Why do you volunteer?

A Bublitz: “I’ve been blessed. Also, I like to give back with things that I know and share those things. God has blessed me way more than I thought He would.”

Pape: “I feel very blessed and grateful for what I have. I feel like I should give back to the community and to others.”