Senior Crew Spotlight | Kris LeCompte
Tell us a little about your background (where you grew up, your family, your career, etc.
I was born in Iron Mountain Michigan because there wasn’t a hospital in Niagara WI (where my parents lived at the time) so I suppose I can officially call myself natural born Yooper (even though I was only in there for 5 days). I can’t really say where I grew up because I was a KC (Kimberly Clark) kid and lived in 3 different places and attended 4 different schools. I graduated from UWO School of Nursing in 1975 and started my career at Theda Clark Memorial Hospital in the new born nursery. After 16 years of working in different units, I decided I needed a change and took a job with the Neenah Public Health Department. During this time I did both public health nursing and school nursing for the Neenah Joint School District. I retired 14 months ago, but I still think about the people I visited especially my elderly clients. I have been married to my husband Pete for almost 38 years and we have two sons, Sam and Russ. Sam and his wife Emilie have blessed us with 2 grandkids, Delia and Quinn.
What made you decide to volunteer for Habitat?
My first experience with Habitat was many years ago. I had heard there was a women’s build and I knew I wanted to take part in it. After that build I was kind of hooked and decided to sign up for other builds when I was able. I then became more deeply involved when a refugee family who I was very involved with both though my job and my church became a Habitat family. They would ask me Habitat questions and so I would contact Jodi or Tracy for help. That led to me becoming a member of the Partnership Committee for about 4 years. It was a great experience! I had to leave the group due to a decline in my mother’s health but that didn’t stop me from building.
When not volunteering with Habitat what do you do? (other volunteering, hobbies, work, etc.)
I am not one to sit still. I am a member and acting secretary of the Neenah Menasha Kiwanis and a board member of the Tri County Dental Clinic. During the school year, I volunteer for Neenah Joint School District’s Rally Round Reading Program and help kids who need extra reading support. Oh how they make me smile! I am a member of my church choir and was a member of three hand bell choirs. Unfortunately our director has taken another conducting job which really bums me out! I have been working on my golf game but let’s just put it this I can hit a nail much better than I can a golf ball. Pete retires at the end of June so our plan is to help Sam finish his basement…..Pete designs – I do the work (where’s the laugh emoji?)
What do you enjoy most about Habitat? (what work do you like most, what keeps you coming back, etc.)
I love working with all the people on the build sites especially the senior crew. Everyone is so very friendly and beyond helpful and I consider them my friends. I thank God that these Habitat families are going to have a wonderful home to raise their children. So many of the home owners come from war torn and poor countries and they will now have a place where they can go to bed feeling safe and secure.
What is something about you that might be a surprise to those with whom you volunteer?
This is not a surprise but more of an update. I know that some of you have heard about our adventure of walking 100 miles of the Shenandoah Valley section of the Appalachian Trial. Pete and I trained for months to get ourselves in shape and I learned how to tie knots in order to hang bear bags (thanks Mark!). Well, I just wanted to let you know that we were not able to do the entire trek due to an injury of a member of our group plus the weather kept getting more miserable. But we did complete 5 days and a little over 50 miles. The trails were a great challenge and there were times that we thought it would defeat us, but we stayed strong and held on as long as we could. The mountains are beautiful and the “thru trekkers” we met were so very friendly and their stories were unbelievable. Despite the occasional feeling like it was going to defeat us, we loved every minute of it and we learned many valuable lessons. We plan to go back to the trail but this time will be done setting up at a campground and doing day hikes so we can soak in more of the beauty of our United States of America. I also want to see a bear!!!!!