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Thank you, Carol

Every memory I have of Carol Ratza brings a smile to my face.  I feel 
lucky to have known and worked with her, and luckier still to have 
called her a friend.  She was a constant source of ideas and 
inspiration, laughs and good cheer.

I met Carol in 1991 when I started an internship at the Great Lakes 
Commission.  We worked together on the air toxics project, and spent 
many afternoons brainstorming ideas (mostly hers) for how to make the 
project better.  In 1992, as my internship was coming to an end, Carol 
dragged me to a meeting of the air toxics steering committee and 
introduced me to everyone there.  One of the contacts I made that day 
was instrumental in my finding a full-time job with the Wisconsin 
Department of Natural Resources.

I wanted to keep working with Carol, so I did everything I could at 
WDNR to get myself assigned to the air toxics project.  It took a 
year.  Three times I took new assignments with new supervisors, and 
each time I insisted that they let me continue working on the air 
toxics project.  I was hooked on air toxics, hooked on the conference 
calls and the meetings and all the wonderful dedicated people working 
on that project.  Especially Carol.

I remember the way we laughed.  We laughed when the work was 
frustrating.  We laughed when the temperature dipped below zero.  We 
laughed when the food was bad.  I think Carol loved life and knew how 
to live.  She greatly enriched my life and I'm thankful for it.

I'm smiling through the tears.