Who was LuCille Vivian Tack?
- A native of Spencer and a 1920 graduate of Spencer High School, "Squealer" (as she was known by her friends) played on the inaugural girls' basketball team that had three consecutive winning seasons, sang in Glee Club, served as business manager of the yearbook (The Echo) and was secretary of the Literary Society, Class President ('20) and Salutatorian of her class. The Echo recalls LuCille with: "Gaze into her eyes and you will see an angel. Gaze a little longer and you will see an imp."
- She graduated from Normal School Oshkosh in 1923, then taught high school English and history until her marriage to Raymond J. (R.J.) Tack (SHS '22) in 1928.
- LuCille was a member of the Marathon County Historical Society, a charter member of the Spencer Woman’s Club and was instrumental in getting the Red Cross to use Spencer as a bandage-making location during World War II.
- In 1944 she was selected as a Wisconsin representative to attend the Young Republican Convention Committee meeting held in Chicago and in 1977 was named Spencer’s Outstanding Citizen.
- The philanthropic legacy of LuCille and R. J. Tack has been strongly felt across the Spencer community and beyond.
- Upon her passing, one of LuCille’s numerous financial gifts was $450,000 to construct either a fine arts center or a library. The Spencer School Board chose to proceed with a theatre and, later that year, the Spencer Community approved a $225,000 referendum to contribute to the new facility. The rest, as they say, is history!
From those who remember her best... her family.
- Aunt Ceil corresponded with a pen pal, as well as families in England and Italy. She also sent them "care boxes." She made lifetime friends near and far; her address book was a trip to behold!
- The American Beauty roses in her garden were particularly lovely and one of the many species she cared for and cherished.
- Her "from-scratch" Boston Cream Cake and other delicacies remain luscious memories.
- Aunt Ceil traveled the globe. Through the postcards she sent home, her family learned much about her and the world. Every year, she visited relatives in England and brought back souvenirs for the nieces and nephews.
- Sharing her stories and visiting with friends and family were among her many joys.
- Aunt Ceil was always amused by the antics of her nieces and nephews and enjoyed watching them play croquet in her backyard during the summer.
- A subscriber to state and local newspapers, she read each edition from front to back.
- She loved to watch any type of sport on TV and knew the stats. When visiting family in Denver during the early 80's, she was taken to a Denver Nuggets NBA game. It was a hoot to watch how engrossed she was in the action on the court. She had a BLAST!
- Every Christmas, LuCille would ask the parish priest for the name of a family in need. She then anonymously provided shoes for the entire family.
- Genuinely kind, family-loving, civic minded, caring, accepting, responsible and philanthropic – that is how LuCille Graves Tack is remembered by her family, her community and the theatre bearing her name.
Thank you to Laurie Graves, Bonnie Graves Atherton and Patricia Graves Graupner (nieces), Sarah Graves (grandniece), Jeff and Spencer Graves (grandnephews) and Erica Graves (great grandniece) for sharing some of their memories of this remarkable woman; and to Ron Draeger of Spencer Area Historical Society for additional information.