Mary E. Koutsky, 80, of Lake Geneva, WI passed on peacefully surrounded by her family on Thursday, January 13, 2022.
Mary was born on October 15, 1941, daughter to the late Richard C. and Dora J. (Teal) Halsey.
Mary lived nearly all her life in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where she graduated from Badger High School. She studied biology, computer science and education at UW-Whitewater, and went on to become a beloved biology teacher.
On June 30, 1972 she married the love of her life, James L. Koutsky, who shared her love of animals, nature and plants. Together they explored the wonders of National Parks and nature throughout the United States.
Her entire life, Mary's greatest passion was nature. In her words, she “strived to inspire people to live in harmony with nature by fostering an increased awareness and understanding of our natural world.”
Mary spearheaded the efforts to establish Warbler Walkway (a.k.a. Duck Lake Nature Trail) and Four Seasons Nature Preserve Prairie Restoration, which she and her husband tirelessly devoted over 20 years to creating and maintaining. Mary helped develop the Prairie Dogs Project to help at-risk-youth learn more about nature, a program that received national attention and Presidential awards.
Mary was an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, loved birdwatching, being outdoors, and spent her time maintaining beautiful flower gardens around her home. She loved listening to Elvis, especially on Christmas morning.
She passed on her passion and devotion to nature, along with her avid love of reading to her children, grandchildren, and many of the children she knew and worked with throughout her life. She truly inspired many people to become who they are today.
Mary had a sharp mind, a strong, unwavering spirit, and a warm, generous personality. She was fiercely devoted to her family and friends. Loved by all she touched, Mary will be deeply missed and long remembered.
Mary is survived by her husband James L. Koutsky; children Thomas Christiansen, Neil (Micki) Christiansen, and Dawn Koutsky; and grandchildren Duncan, Nico, and Jake. She is also survived by siblings Jim Halsey, Neal (Linda) Halsey, Rich (Gail) Halsey, and Bill (Bonnie) Halsey. Mary is preceded in death by her parents and sister-in-law Linda Halsey.
A private family graveside service will take place on January 21, 2022, at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Lake Geneva, WI. A celebration of Mary's life will be held in the future.
In lieu of flowers please make memorials to the Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital (https://fellowmortals.org/help-wildlife/donate/) or the Lakeland Animal Shelter (https://lakelandanimalshelter.org/donate/). Lazarczyk Family Funeral Homes, Steinke Chapel of Lake Geneva, WI is proudly serving the family.