Sister Isaac Jogues Rousseau, an educator at Mount Mary College from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a "Packer fan from birth" has been named as the sixth annual honoree to the Packers FAN Hall of Fame.
Nominated by a friend, Sister Rousseau becomes the second woman and teacher to win the honor in the six years the FAN Hall of Fame has been in existence.
Her nomination was endorsed in an accompanying essay by Sylvia Linton who wrote, "Marjorie Rousseau, later to become Sister I.J., claims to be a Packer fan from birth since she was born in Green Bay in 1921" - the year Green Bay obtained a franchise in the new national pro football league. "That gave her a head start, she likes to remind everyone. As a toddler, she learned to growl loudly when the Bears came into view, explaining to anyone who asked, 'Those are the bad guys! - Grrrowl!'
Linton went on to describe Sister I.J. as someone who is "soft-spoken, but can on occasion be persuaded to sing (with gusto) a song long forgotten by many, 'Go You Packers, Go and get 'em! Go you fighting fools, upset 'em.'
"Sister I.J. was a student at Catholic University in Washington, D.C." the essay continued. "She was so overjoyed at a Packer victory that she talked to the entire Classics department into celebrating with her. She later taught in both Chicago and St. Louis, but her loyalty never wavered; she always found other exiled Packer fans to share the joys of a win and commiserate over the (occasional) miseries of defeat. As she says, 'A Packers fan is never alone.'"
In recognition of being selected to represent all fans as the Packers FAN Hall of Fame's sixth honorary fan, Sister Rousseau will be saluted on the Lambeau Field videoboard during the Packers' final regular-season home game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Dec. 28.
She also will receive a $500 Packers Pro Shop gift certificate and a road trip for two to a 2004 Packers away game (including tickets, air fare and hotel accommodations).
In addition, she will attend and be recognized at the Packers Hall of Fame Induction Dinner next July and be permanently recognized in the Packers Hall of Fame.
In the election process, Packers fans were asked to vote on the 10 finalists - chosen by the Packers FAN Hall of Fame selection committee - whose stories best represented all Packers fans.
The finalists, in addition to Sister Rousseau, included Darla Davis, Milwaukee, Wis., Arnold Doepke, Rothchild, Wis., Dr. Harold Gross, Appleton, Wis., Amy Martin, Muskego, Wis., Graham McCue, Glasgow, Scotland, David Mellenthin, Oshkosh, Wis., Anne Olsen, Wauwatosa, Wis., Dr. Frank "Hank" Urban, Brookfield, Wis., and Steve Werner, Ofallon, Ill.
Balloting for the FAN Hall of Fame, international in scope, yielded thousands of votes from throughout the United States and countries around the world.
Previous FAN honorees are Mel Knoke of Appleton, Wis., 1998; Louis Gardipee of Black River Falls, Wis., 1999; Ed Jablonski of Wausau, Wis., 2000; Paul Mazzoleni of Green Bay, 2001; and Wanda Boggs of Brookfield, Wis., 2002.
The Packers FAN Hall of Fame, established by the Green Bay Packers and the Packers Hall of Fame, is exclusively sponsored by ShopKo, Stein Gardens and Gifts, Best Buy and Bielinski Builders.