Karen S. (Rygh) Baye, 68, Green Bay, passed away Saturday, May 16, 2020. She was born on February 23, 1952 in Oregon, WI to Roland and Darlene (Bavery) Rygh.
Karen was a 1970 graduate of Oregon High School and continued on to college at UW- Whitewater where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 1974.
She began her teaching career as an elementary teacher in the Richland Center School District. Karen continued her studies at UW-Madison. She achieved her Master’s in Studies in Behavioral Disabilities in 1981.
Karen then started her fulfilling career as a special education teacher with the Ashwaubenon School District. She taught at Pioneer Elementary and Parkview Middle School until her retirement in 2009. During Karen’s 30 years of teaching, she taught numerous students to believe in themselves and encouraged them to work hard. She truly loved watching her students flourish and achieve their goals. Karen also made many friends with her peers and enjoyed working with them each day.
Karen was a member of the Wisconsin Education Association, the National Education Association, the Wisconsin Association of Middle Level Educators, the Ashwaubenon Teacher’s Union and the Ashwaubenon Investment Club. She was honored with the Professional Educator of the Year Award for the Ashwaubenon School District in 2009. Karen was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church.
Karen had a zest for life. On July 21, 1990, Karen married Michael “Mike” Baye at Calvary Lutheran Church in Green Bay with Pastor Earl E. Vorpagel officiating. She loved planning get-togethers with her family and friends and she truly enjoyed hosting an annual Christmas party for them.
She and Mike enjoyed many trips to Door County to see the changing of the seasons, attending their family reunions and trips throughout the United States to attend Mike’s Air Force reunions. Karen looked forward to the times that she could spend with their children and adored taking care of their grandchildren. She could be found in the stands cheering on her grandchildren sporting events.
Karen enjoyed going to Lambeau Field to cheer on the Packers and spending time with her friends that she met throughout her teaching career. She had a knack for decorating her home for every holiday and tended her beautiful flower gardens and plants.
Karen will be missed by her loving husband, Michael J. Baye; four step-children; Andrew (Emma) Baye and their son, Luke; Kathy (Aaron) Hank and their children, Samantha, Casey and Jamie; William (Cheri) Baye and their children, Alex, Kaylee and Marcus; David Baye and his fiancé, Dacia Immel; her mother, Darlene (Bavery) Rygh; two brothers, Rich (Sheryl) Rygh, Randy (Kelly) Rygh; four sisters, Kathy (Dan) Stecklein, Julie (Lester) Green, Chari (Jay Nieman) Madrigal, Jodi (Greg) Crooks; her in-laws, Tom (Vonnie) Baye, Mary Anne (Ron) Mandich, Katy Hendricks, Carol Jones, Joe (Roberta) Baye; many friends and other relatives.
She was preceded in death by her father, Roland Rygh; grandparents, Theodore and Dina (Buvarp) Rygh, Francis and Rosa Bavery; parents-in-law, Wilfrid “Bill” and Leona (Rondou) Baye; sister-in-law, Nancy Mersereau; four brothers-in-law, John Mersereau, Nicolas Meeuwsen, William Hendricks Sr., Norris Jones; a nephew, James Hendricks and numerous relative and friends.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a public memorial service celebrating Karen will be planned at a later date. To send online condolences, please go to www.BlaneyFuneralHome.com.
The Baye family extends their deepest gratitude to the many wonderful Bellin Health doctors and staff for their care throughout the years. Also, to the compassionate and attentive care provided by the staffs of The Courtyard at Bellevue and Unity Hospice. Thank you to Karen’s family and friends, especially to Yvonne, Jeannie and Renae for all their help with Karen.