Gift Honors a Devoted Teacher and Sister
Mildred H. Raasch ’45 devoted her entire life to teaching. Now, through a generous estate gift from Mildred’s younger brother, Chester A. Raasch, many future teachers and educational leaders at the UWM School of Education will be supported with undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships named in her memory.
Mildred was 10 years old when her youngest sibling, Chester, was born. Mildred, no doubt, served as one of Chester’s first teachers! Mildred’s teaching career began when she was 18 years old, in the 1893 red brick, one-room Denoon School near Muskego. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from the Milwaukee State Teacher’s College in 1945 and a master’s degree in education at UCLA. When she retired, she was a principal in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Mildred died in Milwaukee at age 97 after making a positive impact on the lives of many students.
Chester served in the U.S. Army during World War II, receiving the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service. He spent his career working at the New York Central Railroad and the Milwaukee Road, eventually rising to the position of chief clerk.
When he passed away in the fall of 2013 at age 93, Chester was the last living member of his immediate family. He wanted to use his estate plan to preserve and honor the memory of his sister and her accomplishments. His trust provided for 50 percent of the assets to permanently endow the Chester A. Raasch and Mildred H. Raasch ’45 Scholarship Fund.
School of Education Interim Dean Barbara Daley describes the tremendous value of this gift in attracting and retaining high-achieving students eager to become educational leaders. “The unrestricted nature of this scholarship fund permits us to offer support to those most likely to succeed in meeting the urgent challenges of our educational system. We are immensely grateful to Chester for generously remembering his sister’s alma mater and the role this institution played in her life’s work,” Barbara says. “Through his gift, we have a wonderful opportunity to keep alive the memory of a highly talented teacher who came before us, and a brother’s devotion to his older sister.”