Paul Arthur Natzke
Belleville / Fitchburg: Paul Arthur Natzke was born December 18, 2001 and died Saturday, August 19, 2017 at American Family Children’s Hospital.
Paul resided in Belleville and Fitchburg, and attended Belleville Elementary and Intermediate Schools and Verona High School.
Paul was active in sports, and was especially proud to be one of the first members of the Wisconsin youth sled hockey team, now known as the Wisconsin Skeeters. Paul did not let his lack of mobility slow him down, also participating on the Verona High School track team, swimming, skiing, bowling and waterskiing. He was always eager and willing to try new things, and his smile, red hair and his wheelchair opened many doors for him. Paul was an active member of the Spina Bifida Family Network, a group of families in the Madison area. He loved holding babies and playing with younger kids.
Paul was often the only person in the room, crowd or school in a wheelchair and he was able to change the way people thought about kids with disabilities. Anyone that met Paulie was his friend, and he had the ability to disarm people who were apprehensive about his disability. Somehow doors always opened and opportunities would present themselves. Paul would charge through the door and take the opportunities whenever he could.
He was a fan of all Badger athletics, but especially Women’s Hockey. Paul formed a special bond with members of this team while playing wheelchair hockey at the Shell in Madison, where the members of the Women’s team would push him. He was exceptional at needing help from the women in these situations. He was an avid Brewers fan that every single April knew that this was the year for them to go to the World Series and no one could tell him otherwise.
He enjoyed watching the Packers. For several years he was the ambassador for American Family Children’s Hospital at Mike McCarthy’s golf outing in Oregon, WI. He would sit at one of the par 3 holes and help coerce the golfers to pay to “beat the pro”. He was able to chat with many players and coaches, and took the opportunity to wear Super Bowl and All-Star rings from many alumni players.
Paul attended camp every summer, often more than one each year and loved the new people he met there. Over the years he enjoyed Baycliff Health Camp in Michigan, Spirit Camp in Minnesota, Camp Courage in Colorado, Camp Wawbeek in Wisconsin Dells and Grandma Camp with his crazy Grandma Sue.
Paul is survived by his parents, Jim and Kathie, his sister, Paige and his dog, Stella. He is further survived by his Grandparents, Ken and Sue Kiesau and Ken and Joyce Natzke, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
An informal celebration of Paul’s life will be held from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm, Sunday, August 27, 2017 at Cress Funeral Home, 6021 University Avenue, Madison. Sports attire is encouraged. Please bring your stories and photos about Paul to share.
Special thanks to Dr. Benny in Pediatric Neurosurgery, the amazing nurses, therapists, tutors, teachers, coaches, instructors, camp counselors, neighbors, friends, and medical doctors that have been with us every step of the way, and who helped Paulie live a very full life. There are hundreds of people that made Paul such an awesome person, and we hope his celebration is an honor to all of them, whether they can attend or not.
His parents ask that in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations will be directed to the Wisconsin Skeeters sled hockey team. An account is being set up at Oak Bank in Fitchburg, WI. Please share a memory at www.CressFuneralService.com.
6021 University Ave.
Madison, WI 53705
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