Audrey Reichert Lyke, age 87, of Ripon, WI, died peacefully on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, at Prairie Place in Ripon.
Audrey was born January 8, 1930, in Cook County, IL, the daughter of Carl and Leona Reichert. She graduated from Oak Park High School in 1948 and Carleton College in 1952.
Audrey married Doug Lyke on December 27, 1952, in Oak Park, IL, and together, they had four children.
Following Dougs service in the United States Navy, he and Audrey raised their family, first in Northbrook, IL and, beginning in 1962, in Ripon.
The Lykes moved to Ripon to own and operate The Ripon Commonwealth Press, but soon found themselves commercial printers. Audrey handled the companys bookkeeping, finances and other operations while Doug bid on jobs and ran the company, which grew from a workforce of 12 and $250,000 in sales to more than 300 with $40 million sales during their more than 30 years of leadership.
When not raising the children and helping Doug with the business, Audrey was active in church, many community events and organizations. In 1992, she founded, named and led a new community weekend event that endures today, Dickens of a Christmas. In addition, she served as the first female director of a Ripon bank, serving on the board of Valley First National Bank in 1975 and later, Valley Trust Co. With the merger of Valley Bancorp and M&I Corp., Audrey joined the board of M&I Central State Bank. From 1988 to 2007, she served on the Ripon College board of trustees. She also was a founding member of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation. In Ripon, Audrey chaired Girl Scout cookie sales, filling the family garage with Do-si-does and Thin Mints; co-chaired the successful Ripon Medical Center (RMC) expansion in 1995; served on the RMC board; was moderator and Sunday School superintendent of the First Congregational Church of Ripon; and was a member of PEO, Educational Club, Ripon Hospital Auxiliary and BZs.
Audrey and Doug quietly and regularly contributed to Ripon public schools, Ripon College, Ingalls Field projects and international hunger-relief and peacekeeping groups. Audrey and Doug Lyke are real treasures for the city of Ripon and for Ripon College, President Paul Ranslow said upon the couple receiving honorary degrees in 2001. They take their responsibilities and commitments seriously while avoiding taking themselves too seriously.
Audreys first love was her family. She also enjoyed tennis, travel and friends.
Audrey is survived by her four children, Kim (Steve) Augspurger of Houston, Sue (Joe Bock) Lyke of Atlanta, and Ripon residents, Tim (Mary) Lyke and Andy (Jeanne) Lyke; 10 grandchildren; Katie (Chris) Montes, Karl Augspurger, Nick Bock (special friend Marilyn Mangan), Jess Bock (fiancée Huck Sarin), Sam Augspurger, Andrea Lyke (fiancée Bryce Aul), Laura Lyke, John Lyke, Chris Lyke and David Lyke; 3 great-grandchildren; Alex and Alina Montes, Clark Bock-Mangan; and brother-in-law, John Lyke of Denver. Audrey was preceded in death by her parents, husband Doug and brother Carl.
Visitation for Audrey will be held on Friday, August 25, 2017, from 4 7:00 pm at Butzin-Marchant Funeral Home, 515 Mayparty Dr., Ripon, WI 54971 and also on Saturday, August 26, 2017, at the First Congregational Church of Ripon, 220 Ransom St., Ripon, WI 54971, from 1:00 pm until the time of the service.
Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm with the Reverend Joanna DAgostino officiating. A private inurnment will take place at Garden of the Cross Cemetery in the City of Ripon. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established for the First Congregational Church of Ripon.
Please visit www.butzinmarchant.com to send online condolences.