Klimisch Family Legacy
Newman Catholic Schools is blessed with many legacy families. Families that span not only alumni generations but also through their support of Catholic education. The Klimisch Family is a strong example of such a legacy. One that includes the graduation of multiple alumni, multi-level volunteerism and significant financial support, all due to a deep belief that Catholic education must be an option for our local community.
Ron Klimisch is a lifelong product of Catholic education, from his early years at St. James elementary school through graduating with a Bachelor’s from the University of Notre Dame. Ron began his time with the Newman system while high school classes were still being held at St. Mary’s. His class finally entered the Newman building for their sophomore year, the fall of 1956. Though he describes his time at Newman High School as a “normal high school experience”, he is grateful for the foundation that a Catholic education provided him. A foundation that laid a strong path for a truly successful future.
Upon graduating in 1959, Ron went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance at the University of Notre Dame. While at Notre Dame, Ron was part of the ROTC program and upon graduating in 1963, he was commissioned into the Army at Fort Sell, Oklahoma. He spent the next two years stationed in Germany before being honorably discharged. After leaving the Army, Ron spent six months touring Europe until he ran out of money and had to come home to begin his career.
Wanting to get into banking, Ron took a job as a Financial Analyst with Globe Union in Milwaukee, WI. A position he held for a year and a half before moving back to Wausau in 1968 to buy into Wausau Supply, a company started by his brother, Conrad, in 1947. In 1970, Ron took over the family business, holding the president’s position until his retirement.
Ron met the love of his life, Janet, while living in Milwaukee. Jan, also a product of Catholic education, grew up in West Bend, attending Catholic schools during her formative years and again at Mount Mary College, an all-girls school in Milwaukee. The two married in August of 1968 and soon after began their lives in the Wausau area. Though it wasn’t where they expected to settle down, they soon came to find that it was a wonderful place to raise their family. A family that grew between 1969-1972 with the birth of their daughters, Kristin, Maggie, and Kathy (Newman Catholic High School classes of 1987, 1989, and 1990, respectively).
When choosing where their daughters would attend school, the choice between Catholic and public education was an easy one. Ron and Jan sought for their daughters the same structure and foundation they received through each of the Catholic schools they attended. The Klimischs believe strongly that a Christian-based education offers a challenging experience and strong foundation in which students can be held to high standards.
Support of the Newman Catholic Schools system began while their children were students in the system, as volunteers, leaders, and financial supporters. The Klimischs' acted as Chairpersons of the Night of Elegance during its early years and were part of the original planning group behind the system’s benefit auction which began in 1987. These two events eventually merged to become the Winter Wonderland event that we still celebrate 34 years later.
When their children graduated, Ron and Jan continued to volunteer and attend the events for several years but eventually stepped back until Ron chose to become the St. Therese Parish Representative on the system’s Finance Committee. For the last several years, Ron has shared of his significant knowledge in business and finance, helping ensure Newman Catholic Schools has a bright future. Financially, Ron and Jan have become the system’s strongest supporters, donating over $1,500,000 towards Catholic education. Their generosity has helped in so many ways; helping to improve instructional rigor and technological support, to complete capital projects, and to fill budgetary shortfalls. Newman Catholic Schools is truly blessed to have the Klimischs’ support for it is through generosity of many that ensures Catholic education continues to be an option in the Wausau community.
Ron and Jan Klimisch have truly lived the Newman Catholic Schools mission for they have shown what it is to live their faith and be disciples for Jesus Christ.