Tell us a little about your background (where you grew up, your family, your career, etc.)
I was born in Neenah and lived most of my life here except for a 4 years in the Navy and 4 years in Atlanta. My wife Lynn and I have been married for 36 years. We have 3 children and 3 grand children and one more on the way. I worked at KC for 30 years as a process engineer. I have been working with Habitat since the fall of 2008.
What made you decide to volunteer for Habitat?
I like building things and I like working with wood. And, I had 2 friends that were already doing Habitat ( Jim Parker and Craig Booher) and I didn’t want to miss all the fun!
When not volunteering with Habitat what do you do? (other volunteering, hobbies, work, etc.)
I like to make beer, I also like to drink beer. I first started brewing back in the mid 80’s and have been evolving my brewing skills ever since. Usually I make a couple of 5 gallon batches in the spring and then a couple more in the fall/early winter. The beer styles that I most recently made include pale ale, English bitter, brown ale, stout and Belgian dubbel.
Woodworking has been a hobby of mine since I was a teen (wow, that was a long time ago). I like to make furniture, jewelry boxes, toys, cutting boards, cribbage boards and signs. My youngest daughter lives in Flagstaff Arizona. She is always coming up with ideas for projects she wants me to make. Last summer I made a table for her using a large slab of (live edge) curly maple. Then a few months ago I made her a floor lamp, including the shade, made of birdseye maple. I am currently finishing up some cup holders for Habitat, and 7 sets of Tangram puzzles with each piece of the puzzle made from a different species of wood.
Because of my woodworking hobby and my desire to keep warm in the winter I added on a small heated workshop onto the back of my garage a year ago last fall which has made wintertime much more enjoyable.The first machine was made without formal plans. It worked well but was not as precise as I wanted. I built the second machine with some plans I bought online. This machine uses a router to carve projects and runs very nicely, precise and repeatable within a few thousandths of an inch. I use it to make boxes, signs, cribbage boards, and a wooden geared clock.
Lynn and I also like to hike and tent camp (although I think an RV or trailer may be in our future). We also like to visit our children and grand children. I like to bike ride and have completed several across state rides. Mostly across Wisconsin and one across Iowa.
What do you enjoy most about Habitat? (what work do you like most, what keeps you coming back, etc.)
I enjoy meeting, talking, and interacting with all the other senior crew members and Habitat volunteers. I enjoy the whole process of building a house (seeing it all come together). I always wanted to build my own house but life was just too busy. Now I can build a house whenever I volunteer at Habitat.
What is something about you that might be a surprise to those with whom you volunteer?
I have 17 patents.