Longtime public servant ‘Vic’ De Cleene dies at 90

Written by Doug Schneider Green Bay Press Gazette

In 2002 Vic received the American Red Cross Andrew Janssen Transportation Award for exceptional work in assisting the aging population and those with disabilities by providing quality transportation that helps individuals maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle.

DE PERE — Victor “Vic” De Cleene retired from public office in De Pere in the mid-1990s, but he continued to serve his community for more than a decade as a Red Cross bus driver, Meals on Wheels volunteer and secretary of the De Pere Men’s Club, among his other activities.

De Cleene died Thursday at his home after a brief battle with leukemia. He was 90.

“He was all about making life easier for someone else,” said one of his seven children, Larry De Cleene of De Pere. “He delivered Meals on Wheels to people 20 years his junior.”

De Cleene was a De Pere alderman from 1964 to 1976, and 1987 into 1995. He became acting mayor in September 1995 when Nancy Nusbaum was elected Brown County executive, serving until her term expired in 1996. He would joke with friends and family members that he did not seek a full term because his wife, the former Leona Patzke, told him another campaign would mean “he might as well keep on running.”

He received the Silver Knight Award from St. Norbert College in 1994, and initiated the Multiple Sclerosis Walk in Brown County in 1995 in honor of his daughter, Vicki. Among his community service activities, he was a member of the De Pere Men’s Club from 1987 to the present, and volunteered with Meals on Wheels from 1990 until three weeks before his death.

Visitation for De Cleene will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Ryan Funeral Home, 305 N. 10th St., De Pere. Visitation will continue at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 1305 Lourdes Ave., De Pere. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10:30 a.m.

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