UWO Love Stories
Gerald and Anita Carpenter
A shared love of nature and a passion for lifelong learning make alumni Anita MS '83 and Gerald Carpenter '65, of Oshkosh, a perfect pair. Already a pharmacist, Anita returned to graduate studies at UW Oshkosh to learn more about biology and the great outdoors. Gerald says he never really stopped going to school, as he served more than 40 years as a reference librarian at UWO, before retiring in 2010. Since marrying in 1974, the couple has watched their beloved campus grow and thousands of college students follow their own educational quests. Today, giving back to their alma mater comes naturally to the Carpenters ... a special way to say "thank you" for a lifetime of learning and new opportunities.
Michael and Sarah Garvey
The chemistry between alumni Sarah (Kieper) Garvey ’06, and Michael Garvey ’07, began in fall 2005. Soon after studying together for a physical chemistry laboratory test, Sarah and Michael began dating. They married in July 2008 and are both pursuing doctorates in chemistry. “It’s amazing to think how taking one class could change your life so drastically,” Sarah said. “We owe it all to UWO. It’s a wonderful school, and we are proud to be alumni.”
Joe and Maggie Jones
Cupid must have been on duty as Joe Jones '71, prepared for his first- ever college date back in 1967, with education major Maggie Bast, '68. "That evening we began a love and best friend relationship that has lasted for nearly 40 years," Joe said. Just as Wisconsin State University at Oshkosh was changing its name to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, "we were planning a name change of our own, and Maggie Bast became Maggie Jones in January 1969," he said. "In many ways, the college years were the best times of our lives, but now that we're in our 60s, we realize that every decade provides aspects that make that time the best."
Kevin and Katherine Karstedt
Kevin Karstedt '85 felt "love at first sight" when he spotted Katherine (Nimke) Karstedt '85 in his fall 1984 business class. Kevin made an effort to appear at Katherine's favorite study spots, and slowly was able to make conversation with her. Soon graduation was upon both of them, and their paths seemed to separate, only for a moment, as their paths crossed once again at Kevin's brothers commencement ceremony. Kevin says their first kiss still lingers in his mind, in July they celebrate 25 years together.
Connie and David Van Lieshout
Connie (Lescher) Van Lieshout ’69, and David Van Lieshout’s ’68 and MA ’70, lives intersected in a math class on campus in fall 1965. For their first Valentine’s Day together, David spelled out “I love you” in the snow on the tennis courts behind Dempsey Hall. The couple married in 1968 and started their long teaching careers in 1969.“Being teachers meant being involved in the lives of students, parents, faculty and staff. We think to touch young, developing minds is the most valuable work a person can do,” said the Green Bay couple.
Dean and Judith Moede
As freshmen in 1961, Dean Moede’65, and Judith (Marks) Moede’65 and MSE ’71, sat next to each other in ancient history class — thanks to the professor’s alphabetical seating chart. Later that afternoon, Dean told his house parents that he had met the girl he would marry. Their love blossomed during college. They enjoyed Greek life activities, long walks around Oshkosh and cheering on the Titans in a very crowded Albee Hall. “Our memories of campus are really quite special to us, because our hearts are there,” Dean said. This year, the Moedes celebrated 47 years together. All three of their children are UW Oshkosh graduates, too.
Julius and Stacy Stecker
Julius Stecker '02 and Stacy (Hoekstra) Stecker '02 meet while UWO. Julius majored in communications and Stacy in Spanish and international studies. Stacy is an English as a second language teacher for the Sun Prairie School District, and Julius works for Collette Vacations. They have a beautiful son, Elijah.