Carnegie Hero Eugene Stamsta

From left, Oconto, Wis., City Administrator Sara Perrizo and Mayor Lloyd Heier congratulate Eugene Stamsta during the presentation of the Carnegie Medal during a city council meeting on March 12, 2019.

“It’s an honor to give you something this special,” Heier told Stamsta.

On July 18, 2017, Anne M. Nerenhausen, then 75, fell into the Oconto River while trying to jump onto an inner tube at the river bank near her Oconto home. Her neighbor, Stamsta, who was 65 at the time, heard calls for help and went to the scene. Although he removed his boots, Stamsta entered the river with a tool belt on. Stamsta swam to Nerenhausen and towed her back to the bank, where arriving firefighters helped to remove her from the water.

“I thank God for being able to save a loving person,” Stamsta said. “My joy is seeing her wave to me from across the street. That’s enough reward for me.”

Photo by Kent Tempus/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin


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