Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Celebration of life for Bob Gannon

There will be a Celebration of Bob’s life on Sunday, Oct. 15 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. at West Bend Mutual Prairie Center. A note regarding the celebration is being circulated and friends said this was Bob’s wish to forego a funeral.

On Wednesday neighbors in West Bend were shocked as news spreads about the death of Assembly Rep. Bob Gannon. Early word is around 9 p.m. Tuesday night the Allenton Fire and Rescue responded to a call for an unresponsive male in a vehicle at Gonring Drive and West Lake Drive. Washington County Sheriff said Gannon died of natural causes. The Sheriff responded to a 911 call at Gonring Boat Launch and found Gannon unresponsive behind the wheel.

Gannon was first elected as a representative in the 58th Assembly District on Nov. 4, 2014. He was extremely active in the community on boards such as Family Promise and the Washington County Youth Hockey League. Gannon had also been a member of the West Bend Sunrise Rotary.

Gannon owned Richards Insurance Agency and was previous owner of the AmericInn Hotel in West Bend.

West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow was shocked at the news. “He’s a one-of-a-kind guy, that’s for sure,” said Sadownikow. “His voracious appetite for all that is good about the state of Wisconsin will be missed.”

Jeff Szukalski is a close friend of the Gannon family and a member of the West Bend Sunrise Rotary. “It’s just a shock,” said Szukalski. “I saw him a week ago and he was in great spirits and great shape. No thought that he would have any problems right now so I’m guessing any health problems he may have had were undetectable.”

Gannon’s co-worker in the assembly office Tiffany Koehler said she didn’t want to believe it. “My heart and prayers go out to the Gannon family at this difficult time and to all our neighbors in Assembly District 58,” said Koehler.

Dan Martin worked with Gannon as a member of the West Bend Jaycees in the early 1990’s. “Bob was a guy with a lot of ideas and he knew how to work with people to get things done,” said Martin.

Former Dist. 58 Assembly Rep. Patty Strachota released a statement: I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of a friend and my successor in the 58th Assembly District. My sincere and deepest condolences go out to Kris, his family and friends.

Bob Gannon was a true fighter for the conservative cause and a passionate man who was dedicated to his family and country. His large personality was only matched by his generosity to the charities he believed in. Bob made a difference in the lives of many people in Washington County. He will be missed. . Pat Strachota

Fellow Assembly Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-59 Kewaskum) issued the following statement.

“I was deeply saddened to learn early this morning of Bob Gannon’s passing. While he and I may not always have seen eye-to-eye on how to achieve all of the conservative goals of Washington County constituents, Bob’s passion toward accomplishing those goals will be greatly missed. I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Bob’s family and friends, and most especially to his wife, Kris.”

Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg) released the following statement,

“My wife, Laura, and I offer our deepest condolences and prayers to Kris and the rest of the Gannon family. Bob was a friend and colleague who showed zeal for serving his community. Bob was committed to finding solutions to issues facing the urban areas of our state. Earlier this year he held hearings in cities around Wisconsin talking to people facing poverty.

Bob wore his passion on his sleeve. Rarely did a room of constituents not know where Bob stood on any issue. Bob was not interested in being a politician. He went to Madison to do the right thing and came back to the district to serve his neighbors. Bob served God, his family and his neighbors in that order.

Bob “gave em’ heck” and all that mattered was improving the lives of Wisconsinites. I will miss Bob’s jovial personality. There was not a day that Bob did not put a smile on someone’s face.”

West Bend alderman Christopher Jenkins said Gannon was a mentor to him and his family. “He gave us guidance and was always willing to point us in the right direction. I enjoyed working with him in the different facets and our family is mourning with the Gannon family for this sudden loss.”

Gannon was married with two children. He was a 1977 graduate of West Bend East High School.

Bob Gannon was 58 years old. Please keep the Bob Gannon family in your thoughts and prayers.

Washington County Veterans on the Oct. 14 Honor Flight

The next Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is Oct. 14 and veterans from Washington County on that flight include: Hilda Rasmussen who served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) in the 1950’s.

Tom Landvatter, West Bend, Korean War Army fire control repairman, Charles Sawyer, Germantown, Korean War Marines 1st Marine Div teletype operator, Ron Pollpeter, Germantown, Korean War Navy fireman, Norman Toll, Slinger, Korean War Marines teletype operator, Procopio “Nick” Sandoval, West Bend Vietnam War Army, Mark Cayner, Kewaskum, Vietnam War Army MP, Mike Orban, West Bend, Vietnam War Army, infantry, Bronze Star, PTSD speaker. This will be 42nd “mission” for the Honor Flight since 2008. There will be 90 Korean War vets on the Oct. 14 flight along with 10 WWII and 50 Vietnam War veterans.

Three local doctors to open private practice: West Bend Medical

Three popular local doctors from West Bend have moved to private practice and opened their own clinic.

Partners in family practice, Dr. Chad Tamez, Dr. Brian Wolter and Dr. Carey Cameron are starting West Bend Medical at W178 N9201 Water Tower Place Suite #200 in Menomonee Falls.  The phone number is 262-355-8010.

“We’ve been toying with the idea for over a year,” said Tamez. “We just wanted to make sure it’s viable and it is.”

Tamez, 42, and his business partners are excited about a number of new opportunities especially providing more personalized care.

“Being able to run our patient experience the way we think is best is important to us,” he said. “We want to try to make it a little more personal and bring back the feel of small-town medicine.”

Because Tamez and his business partners are leaving a current clinic, the no-compete contract stipulates they have to be 15 miles from their primary location for the next 18 months. A no-solicitation clause has also prevented the doctors from saying more, to this point.

Long term, Tamez believes the practice will eventually open a location closer to West Bend.

“The relationships I’ve developed and fostered with my patients for the past 12 years are deeply personal and important to me,” said Tamez. “And if I can do this in 12 years, working within the constraints of a large system, imagine what I can do in the next 20 while being able to customize every aspect of the care I choose to deliver.”

Dr. Tamez and Dr. Wolter trained together at the Medical College of Wisconsin both in medical school and residency. Tamez has been at the West Bend Clinic since 2005 with Wolter joining in 2008.  Dr Cameron has been with the clinic since 2003, spending most of that time in Jackson.

Tamez is a local product, graduating West Bend West High School in 1994.

West Bend Medical officially opened its phones Oct. 4 and doctors begin seeing patients Oct. 10.

 Plan Commission approves Kwik Trip No. 2 in West Bend

The West Bend Plan Commission voted 4-1 with two members absent to approve development of a Kwik Trip, 806 S. Main Street. The location is the former Walgreens site on the southwest corner of Decorah Road and Main Street.

This was the second time representatives from Kwik Trip appeared before the Plan Commission. During the Sept. 5 meeting the Plan Commission requested a traffic study be conducted.

Kwik Trip submitted two packets of information with the conclusion:  No intersection modifications are expected to be necessary to accommodate the proposed Kwik Trip development. All movements are expected to continue to operate desirably with the completion of Kwik Trip.

Several commission members had concerns about traffic patterns considering the two schools in the vicinity including St. John’s Lutheran and Badger Middle School.

There were also concerns about an outdoor speaker system. Kwik Trip said it amended its plan and the overhead speakers would be used only for emergency, no music would be played and the pumps would have speakers built in.

Plan Commission member Jed Dolnick had several questions about the traffic study including Exhibit 6 where there would be 3,260 driveway trips. Dolnick voted in opposition to the zoning change, indicating he still had concerns about “a lot of traffic at the corner during peak hours” and he was concerned about moving a driveway closer to Decorah.

“As I expressed last month I think we’re making a mistake,” he said.

The Plan Commission also talked to Kwik Trip real estate development manager Troy Mleziva about how semis would refrain from backing up onto Fifth Avenue or Main Street.

“We will provide those details in writing,” he said. “We can control the time we deliver during non-peak times.”

This would be the second Kwik Trip in West Bend. The plans detail a 7,316-square-foot building with 20 gas pumps on five pump islands.

The development must still be approved by the Common Council. That will likely be on the Oct. 16 agenda. If approved Mleziva said construction would start in 2018.

“Thank you for Kwik Trip to continue to do business in West Bend,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.

Children’s Hospital is moving to Cast Iron

The tower at the former West Bend Aluminum Company building on Veterans Avenue is going to have a new look. During Tuesday night’s Plan Commission meeting a sign for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin/West Bend Pediatrics was approved.

“Do you think people might think it’s a hospital?” asked commission member Sara Fleischman.

Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said, “I think it does give the appearance this is a hospital.”

The sign will be up above second floor. The clinic is on the first floor, currently undergoing a build out on the northeast corner. The sign is on the stair tower which is a full floor higher than the rest of the building.

Fleischman also expressed concern that people will want signs on different sides of tower.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin spokeswoman Maureen Goetz said the sign will help with direction and visibility. “Families come with a level of stress and anxiety and we want them to find us,” she said.

Originally the sign was proposed at a lower height but because of light emission the request was made to put it higher to reduce conflict with any adjacent residential window.

Commission member Bernie Newman asked it Children’s Hospital would also have signage at the entrance to the buildings on Highway 33 and N. Main Street. Goetz confirmed they would.

“This brings life to the side of the building,” said commission member Chris Schmidt. “The signage is good when done tastefully.”

The Plan Commission unanimously approved the sign. The clinic is relocating from its site on W. Washington Street and Shepherds Drive to the Cast Iron building. The new location will feature three doctors providing pediatric care.

Update & tidbits

The new pizza restaurant going into the old Heros Sandwich Shoppe, 140 Kettle Moraine Drive North in Slinger will be called Angelos Pizzaria. The sign will simply read Angelos Pizza. Update courtesy Ruth Marks.

-Interfaith Caregivers is holding its 2017 Campfire Tea fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Prairie Center at West Bend Mutual. This year’s event features celebrity waiters, an amazing silent auction, the popular purse auction, and a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $35.

– The annual VFW Essay contest is underway. The Patriot’s Pen Contest is for all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.  The theme is “America’s Gift to My Generation.” The Grand Prize is $5,000.  The Voice of Democracy Contest is for all high school students.  The theme is “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” The Grand Prize is a $30,000 scholarship.

– American Construction Services Inc. of West Bend is heading up development of the new Grafton Towne Place Suites hotel on Gateway Drive, just to the east of Highway 43 in neighboring Ozaukee County. The 4-story hotel is located south of Highway 60.

-Governor Scott Walker will be visiting Spiros Industries in Kohlsville on Monday, Oct. 9 from 12:45 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. Spiros is hosting a Manufacturing Day and the Gov. will be touring the facility and interacting with employees.

– The winner of Roots and Branches Business Beautification Award for 2017 is “The Red House” Creative Cuts, 530 Walnut Street. Verna Reindl accepted the award at Roots and Branches Garden Party in the Vineyard.

– Dress in your Halloween best and trick or treat in downtown West Bend during Fall Fest, Oct. 13. A new addition to Fall Fest is Pumpkin Bowling. Roll a hand-sized pumpkin, knock down pins and win prizes.

– The Kettle Moraine YMCA has partnered with United Way of Washington County and the West Bend School District to install a Born Learning Trail at the Y’s West Washington Street location. A ribbon cutting and grand-opening celebration will be held on Oct. 16 at 9:30 a.m. Born Learning is an initiative that uses research-based activities to build language and literacy.

Trick or treat times and locations

Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year; Oct. 31 but quite a few neighbors in Washington County are holding trick or treat on the weekend.

Barton, West Bend and Trenton will have trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Newburg and Richfield are also Saturday but from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Town of Farmington is also Saturday, Oct. 28 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

In the Village of Jackson the Jackson Area Community Center will host Ghoul Gala on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and then trick or treat is 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

The Village of Slinger will hold trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Afterward families are welcome to a free event as Spooky Slinger will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Slinger Community Park with music, pumpkin carving contest, costume contest, food and beverages.

The Village of Kewaskum will hold trick or treat Saturday, Oct. 28 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Allenton and Addison trick or treat is Sunday, Oct. 29 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.   Hartford is also Sunday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Germantown celebrates Halloween on Tuesday, Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Grimm’s Fairytales exhibit opens at MOWA

“We’ve never done an exhibit like this… and it’s pretty impressive,” said Laurie Winters, executive director at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, during a break Thursday while helping set up the new Gerit Grimm’s Fairytales exhibit.

“A lot of it is based on Grimm’s Fairytales which are known to be fairly graphic even though they’re read to children,” said Winters. “Some of it is based on classical mythology and a little bit of it is historical subjects.”

Winters describes Grimm’s as a pretty dramatic transformation.“Here is an artist who a decade ago was working in a former East German pottery factory making small, utilitarian teacups and plates and she comes to the United States and gradually evolves into making this life-size sculpture that’s kind of quirky and humorous and irresistible in its appeal,” she said.

Grimm has been living in Wisconsin for six years and teaches ceramics at UW-Madison.

“She has this remarkable ability to create personalities for her figures,” said Winters. “It’s almost as if she’s creating a motionless stage theater with these figures. They’re strong and powerful…. you almost feel like they’re human figures on a stage.” This is the first venue for Grimm’s exhibition.

Honoring last Civil War veteran buried in Washington County

An intimate military ceremony Sunday at the St. Lawrence Parish cemetery as the last Civil War veteran buried in Washington County was recognized.

Records show John Kauper, 91, the last of Hartford’s Civil War Veterans, died Feb. 21, 1939 at the home of his daughter in Harvey, Illinois.

Kauper is one of 16 names on a Civil War monument blessed by Rev. Davies Edassery. “It is a way to offer tribute and honor them with this monument,” said Edassery.  “We thank them for their service and pray for their eternal reward and we continue to support all other service men and women.”

The gathering of about 25 people then recited the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be to the Father and Edassery sprinkled the monument with holy water.

Tony Montag, co-chair of the Washington County American Legion, thanked the Knights of Columbus for making a donation to pay for the monument. Seven Legion veterans then fired a three-round volley followed by the playing of Taps.

Following the prayer there was a brief ceremony to recognize Kauper and his great grandson Jim Kauper gave a little history.

“John immigrated to the U.S. from Bavaria, Germany on March 17, 1848 when he was 7 years old,” said Jim Kauper.  “The family settled in St. Lawrence when he was 14 and because there were no computers, TVs I’m sure the war looked like a great adventure to the young man.”

John Kauper ran away when he was 17 to join the Union Army. His dad went down to Milwaukee and dragged him back. That lasted a couple weeks and Kauper ran away again to Fond du Lac County and joined the Union Army under the name John Herman so his dad couldn’t find him.

“This means quite a bit,” said Jim Kauper.

The names of the other Washington County Civil War veterans listed on the monument include: Wilhelm Blenker, George Derfuss, Simon Dressel, Bertram Floss, John Fohn, Michael Geheim, Henry Guenther, John Gutschenritter, Johann Mehringer, Gustave Schlageter, Joseph Schuh, Adam Schwabenlander, John Schweitzer, Lawrence Schwerbel, John Stoffel and Peter Stoffel.

A portion of the presentation read at the ceremony: “Therefore, we the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War gather at this memorial in sacred memory of our fathers and their sacrifices.” If I may be so bold as to quote from the epitaph from another time and place “Tell them of us and say, For their tomorrow we gave our today.”