1. Tell us a little about your background (where you grew up, your family, your career, etc.)
I grew up on Appleton’s south side. I attended local schools: graduated from Xavier High, attended UW Fox Valley and Fox Valley Technical College. I started working at Kimberly-Clark in ’76 as a design draftsman in an Engineering Department, eventually migrating to various process development and product development roles in several different K-C businesses. I retired in 2009, but continued to work part-time until 2011.
I met my wife (Jackie) on a ski trip to the Porcupine Mountains in the UP in 1979. She retired from Lawrence University and worked in both Admissions and Financial Aid Offices. We’ve been married for 36 years.
2. What made you decide to volunteer for Habitat?
I’ve always felt that I was pretty fortunate to grow up in a house where everything I needed was provided, and to live in a community with good educational and employment opportunities. But I knew not everyone is so fortunate. I always felt a bit guilty for not doing something to make my community a better place, but was always too busy to step up and do something about it. So when I retired, I wanted to make amends. My wife met Paul Riedon at K-C’s Health Center and they frequently walked together. She mentioned that I was interested in doing some volunteer work and Paul suggested Habitat. So I called Jodi and I’ve been volunteering since 2009.
3. When not volunteering with Habitat what do you do? (other volunteering, hobbies, work, etc.)
I do a lot of yard work, maintain our home, and do all of the cooking, often spending 2-3 hours a day in the kitchen. I have a large herb garden and start many herbs and tomatoes from seed in early April. I also am a reading tutor for a couple of 1st grade students in the Appleton Area School District’s United for Reading Success program, and am the coordinator for nine reading tutors and subs at Franklin Elementary School. I also help out with Habitat’s annual construction manual editing (see photo above) from mid-December to February. In March we take a break and go to Arizona to warm up for a month.
4. What do you enjoy most about Habitat? (what work do you like most, what keeps you coming back, etc.)
I enjoy working on a team, doing quality work, learning new things, and that slightly achy feeling you get from doing a hard days work. I like that Habitat helps to keep me in shape. I also like being a part of a community project that will have a positive impact on people’s lives. And of course there’s the food, which is usually pretty good.
5. What is something about you that might be a surprise to those with whom you volunteer?
My favorite thing to do is pack a picnic lunch, throw the canoe on top of the car and head north with my wife. We get out the gazatteer , find a small lake that looks promising and fish the shoreline for bass. I have an ideal situation: my wife does all the paddling and I just cast.