In Memory of Sybil L. Brakken
Sybil Lee Brakken, 73, of Cable, Wisconsin passed away quietly at home on July 1, 2023 following a long, valiant battle with cancer.
Sybil was predeceased by her parents, Bob and Meg Radlinger, lifelong residents of Marshfield, Wisconsin. She graduated from Marshfield’s Columbus High School in 1968.
Sybil will be lovingly remembered by James Brakken, her husband of 38 years. Together, they worked to protect the lakes and streams in Northern Wisconsin. Examples of their efforts include assisting with the formation of several lake associations, convincing our state lawmakers to establish a 100-foot from shore no-wake law, and establishing the annual Northwest Wisconsin Lakes Conference, now approaching its 26th year. Their book, Saving Our Lakes & Streams is a popular self-help guide for waterfront owners who want to protect our surface waters.
In their later years, Sybil and James devoted most of their time to researching, writing, and publishing 12 more books based on Northwest Wisconsin’s rich histories.
Sybil’s most recent publishing endeavor was the 1929 memoir of Myra Dietz, a public speaker and silent movie actress who was gunned down by corrupt county officials near Winter, Wisconsin in 1910. The only copy of Myra’s manuscript was rejected due to difficulties resulting from the Great Depression. It then became lost for decades before falling into Sybil Brakken’s hands in 2020. Now, after nearly a century, Myra’s memoir is published and will forever be in print—an indication of Sybil’s determination to save and share Wisconsin’s rich history.
At Sybil’s request, no service will be held. Instead, memorial donations may be made in her name to the Sawyer County Historical Society (P.O.Box 384, Hayward, WI 54843), or the Cable/Namakagon Historical Museum (P.O.Box 44, Cable, WI 54821).