“She is Onalaska,” exclaimed Evelyn Pertzch about Orlene Hough, a 1952 graduate of Onalaska High School.
Orlene (Anderson) Hough’s parents moved to Onalaska when she was entering 8th grade. She became entwined in the city through her volunteerism, community support, and profession. Her talents for bookkeeping kept her busy in various organizations through the years. Orlene was treasurer of various organizations: the Onalaska Historical Society, the Women’s Guild for First Lutheran Church and the Elizabeth Circle. Secretary was another responsibility she assumed for the Onalaska Alumni Association and the Onalaska Historical Society. Being treasurer and secretary were not glamorous roles, but they suited her. She was a humble person and did not care to be in the spotlight. Instead, her preference was to keep people up-to-date and accurately informed from the passenger seat.
Orlene enjoyed being a part of the Onalaska Alumni Association. She demonstrated her Hilltopper Pride by the countless hours she put into organizing All-School Reunions, which was a time she could see every class come together as one.
Orlene also volunteered as an active member of Centering Onalaska. She wanted Onalaska to move forward but at the same time retain the “small town flavor and beauty.” Whether it was walking in parades to promote the organization or planting hanging baskets that line our Main Street, Orlene was there.
Orlene worked for the City of Onalaska from the mid-60s until 1998; first, as an administrative assistant, and then as the Onalaska City Clerk.
Induction Classification: Class of 1952
Induction Year: 2012