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Harold (Skip) William Thorpe

10/19/1937 - 01/06/2024
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10-19-1937 – 01-06-2024

Harold William Thorpe, lovingly known as Skip since he was a small child, was born on October 19, 1937, in Mineral Point, WI to Harold and Laura (Fitzsimons) Thorpe. Skip recalled many happy memories spending time with relatives on their family farms in Southwest Wisconsin, instilling a deep appreciation for the strong women that raised him and developed his uncompromising work ethic. Skip earned an education degree from UW-Platteville, working as a special education teacher, while earning his master’s degree in educational psychology from UW-Madison. He worked as a school psychologist in the public school system but felt that he could assist students more by being instrumental in helping guide teachers into being outstanding educators; this passion led him to Utah State University, where he earned a doctorate degree in education.

Skip married Lynn (Weinkauf) Thorpe on August 22, 1968, and the two settled in Butte des Morts, WI, where they raised their three children. Skip worked at UW-Oshkosh for 25 years, teaching classes, supervising undergraduate and graduate student teachers, and serving in administrative positions as a graduate program coordinator, a department chairperson, and a college associate dean. But his first love was conducting research that produced more than twenty-five publications in education and psychology journals. At the end of his professional career, he headed a research project that resulted in the return of fifty-two million dollars from the Federal Department of Education to Wisconsin schools.

Upon retirement, Skip decided to continue his learning journey and honed his craft of writing fiction books, publishing over eleven books and hundreds of short stories. But his greatest love was watching his grandchildren play sports, attending every game, celebrating the wins and commiserating in the losses. Skip was known for encouraging the whole team, not just his grandchildren. You would see him at games sitting in the shade, lathered up with sunscreen, or bundled up in layers of clothing. Skip never missed an opportunity to see his four grandchildren participate in all their activities. He said the greatest joy in his life was his grandchildren. Skip’s second biggest joy was building a family cabin in Door County, Wisconsin; he delighted in watching the people he loved as they enjoyed the beauty of Door County. He often invited family to visit and took pleasure in sitting in his recliner chatting about memories of his childhood.

Following a brief illness, Skip was at peace, knowing he had lived a good life and helped people when he could. He will be remembered for his love of education, his unwavering love for his wife, children, grandchildren, extended family, and a good ole’ fashioned fish fry with a Blue Moon beer.

Skip is survived by his wife of 55 years; their children: Lisa, Chris (Treva), Tim (Jodi); and grandchildren: Wyatt, Aubrey, Grayson, and Bellamy. Skip is survived by his cherished brothers and sisters, and many extended family members, all of whom he loved.

A visitation will be at Mueller Funeral Home, 904 E. Main Street, Winneconne, on Saturday, January 13, 2024, from 11 am – 1 pm. Service at 1 pm. Following the service, a celebration of life will be from 2 pm – 5 pm at the Fin and Feather, 22 W. Main Street, Winneconne.

In lieu of flowers, donations will go to the Winneconne Scholarship Fund in honor of Skip.

If you wish please submit online memories/condolences to muellerfh.net.

William Kitz wrote on January 12, 2024
Skip was a great friend and mentor to me at UW Oshkosh. We collaborated on several research projects and I learned so much from him. I will always remember him fondly and I know he will be missed by all who had the honor to know him.

Buzz O’Beirne wrote on January 12, 2024
So sorry for your loss. Skip was a wonderful person. It was great being his good friend as we both started out our careers in education. Then we got the brilliant idea to build a miniature golf course and driving range. What an experience that was! We enjoyed life together. He is at the top of the list of the best friends I’ve ever had, and best people I’ve ever known. It is awesome to think of the number of lives he enhanced. How lucky we all are to know him.

Amanda (Powell) Winslow wrote on January 11, 2024
My condolences to Skip’s family. He was a good cousin to the whole Fitzsimons clan. I know my Dad thought very highly of him and I always looked up to him. I wish we could come and celebrate his life with you, but this storm is going to prevent our coming. Our Sympathy to you all, Amanda Winslow Jerry Winslow Lois Powell

Greg and Karen Renning wrote on January 11, 2024
Lynn, this is a wonderful tribute. We send our sincerest condolences. We are praying for comfort and strength for you and your family. Love to you all, Greg and Karen Renning

Jim and Lorraine Morris wrote on January 10, 2024
We are deeply saddened by the loss of a dear colleague of 50 years and friend. I (Jim) have been fortunate to spend time with Skip as a proofreader, compassionate friend, and lover of humor. We are thankful we were able to have many luncheons together the past few years with our special education retired faculty and significant others. We hope his legacy of family first will continue forever as that was his wish. Our most sincere sympathy to Lynn and the entire family.

Lori Lewis wrote on January 10, 2024
I lived down the street from the Thorpes in Butte des Morts when I was in high school. He and his family welcomed us with open arms when we moved to North Harbour Drive from Texas. My parents enjoyed their hospitality along with so many others on our street. It was such a special neighborhood because of the Thorpes and all the other families. I have such good memories playing with Lisa and spending time with her family. Skip was so kind and such a great friend to my father. Sending my deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Sue and Joe Jarosh wrote on January 9, 2024
We extend our heartfelt condolences to Lynn and all the family. You will all be in our prayers at this sad time. Our love and hugs to you all.

Maribel Collens wrote on January 9, 2024
My condolences to your hole family, I had the great honor to meet a wonderful man, had a great conversation while we had breakfast and while he explained with joy the books that he give me, I read them all, we gonna miss you Skip and rest in peace ??

Judy Arnold wrote on January 9, 2024
Dear Lynn, I am so sorry for your loss. This was a very nice obituary and I know you're thankful for the wonderful life you had together and the children and grandchildren that resulted from your marriage. I will be praying for you and your family as you grieve his passing. May God and family and friends greatly comfort you at this time and in the days and months ahead. Much love, Judy

Mary Harper wrote on January 9, 2024
Lynn, you and your family have my deepest sympathy. Skip left a lasting, wonderful mark on many people. Mary

Lynn Kuhns wrote on January 9, 2024
Oh....let blessings flow to Lynn and other members of Skip's family, his many friends. Wrap yourselves in peace; be warmed by all those happy memories that are sure to pop-up over the years. Be comforted to know how many lives he touched...and left us each and all better, for his generous attention, warm humor and sharings. Tears... here on this wintery day , as I sigh an "Aloha!" to a special friend...so wise, talented... a dedicated writer, and yet down-to-earth... a happy-cabin creator. Rest now, Skip, in sweet peace.

Bill and Bridget Mundy wrote on January 9, 2024
Lynn, Lisa, Chris, and Tim, we are so very sorry to learn of your loss. We know your wonderful memories will be a comfort to you.

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