On February 29, 2020 at age 84, I, Kenneth L. Seidel (Dr.) departed this troubled world on an eternal hunting expedition that tops mortal comprehension. Not to pursue small and large game in this instance, but to track down my two faithful canine hunting partners, Cooper and Hunter, as well as my lifelong hunting comrades who have already blazed the trail to Heaven ahead of me. Hopefully, to spend eternity with them relaxed around a perpetual Heavenly campfire, our faithful dogs sleeping at our feet, feasting on whatever food and brew our Lord has provided for us as we swap tales of our earthly hunting adventures where, even here in Paradise, an amused Lord will recognize our long-held hunter’s inalienable right to brag and exaggerate without judging us sinners and flushing us down the Heavenly commode to a stiflingly torrid reception by Satan in Hades.
I was born in Rock Falls, IL on January 18, 1936, to George and Lillian Seidel; the second youngest of six children. At age twelve, my family, excluding my married sister and oldest brother, relocated to a large farm near the Town of Pembine, in northeastern Wisconsin where, under the impatient, and punishment-prone, tutelage of my two older brothers I graduated from my Red Ryder BB gun to a lifelong knowledge of, respect for, and love of, hunting firearms. Assets that would, in retirement, drive me to become a federally licensed gunsmith/gun dealer.
I attended, and graduated from, the consolidated Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine High School in June, 1954 where I participated in baseball, basketball and football, winning varsity letters in both baseball and football as a freshman. Football, though, was my sports love. During my high school years I was named our football team’s most valuable player, team captain, selected to the M & O All-Conference football team in my junior and senior years, and as a senior, selected to a first-team honorable mention position on the Wisconsin All-State football team. In my junior year, the Marinette Eagle Star newspaper complimented me by writing “Ken Seidel was the most talked of player in the loop”.
Following my June, 1954, high school graduation, I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, completed my basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas and deployed to Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS where I was schooled in aircraft weapons control and warning. Upon completion of my Air Force specialty field training, I was selected to remain at Keesler AFB as an instructor.
In September, 1954, following a four years earlier smiling “yes” to my stuttering and stammering high school freshman first-date request to the most beautiful classmate in this entire world to allow me to escort her to our football homecoming dance, I married this same lady, Barbara Whicker, in Biloxi, MS. The lady I have loved beyond words, and shared an unforgettably happy and joyful life with to this day.
In 1955, I was deployed to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratories, Boston, MA, where I trained both officers and enlisted airmen in the operation of an advanced air-to-air/ground-to-air weapons system. Following that assignment, I was deployed to Alaska where I served as AIC of Operations at a radar weapons control installation until my release from active duty in November, 1957.
On September 12, 1956, Barb and I celebrated the birth of our daughter, Cindy, at the U.S Navy Hospital in Boston.
I enrolled in UW Whitewater in January, 1958, graduated June, 1961, with a Bachelor of Business Education degree, and accepted a teaching position with the Laona School District where, for three years, I taught business subjects and served as an assistant football coach.
On August 25, 1958, Barb and I celebrated the birth of our son, Terry, at the Fort Atkinson, WI hospital.
In August, 1964, I relocated my family to the village of Ashwaubenon where, through June, 1968, I taught business subjects at Bay Port and Ashwaubenon High Schools, was an assistant football coach at both schools, and Business Education Department Chairperson at Ashwaubenon High School.
Desiring to teach at the college level, in September, 1968, I accepted a teaching position with the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in its two-year college level program, where I taught Business Law and Advanced Accounting.
I attained my professional education goal in 1968, when I accepted a School Business Administrator position with the Green Bay School District, remaining with that district through 1977. During that period I earned my MBA degree from UW Oshkosh.
In 1977, Barb and I opened, and operated through 1984, a bathroom/kitchen remodeling center in the village of Ashwaubenon.
As a semi-retired private contractor from 1984 through 1996, I held a number of administrative and business consulting positions in both the public education and private business sectors, completed my PhD in School Business Administration, and, entered full retirement in June of that year.
I loved most recreational sports. For many years I participated on fast- and slow-pitch area softball teams, played basketball on school faculty teams, and was an accomplished downhill and cross country skier, snowshoer, and hunter well into my senior years. I loved harvesting small game over my two Brittany hunting partners, Cooper and Hunter, both now waiting for me to join them in Heaven, in addition to hunting big game from Alaska to Africa, and in most of the western continental big game states, as well as Wisconsin. I was also a long-standing member of the National Rifle Association and local Nicolet Rifle Club.
My political endeavors included twelve years as a Trustee on the Ashwaubenon Village Board, six years on the Brown County Board of Supervisors, Brown County Republican Party Chairperson, and interim 8th District Congressional in-state representative for Congressman Toby Roth. I was also proud to be selected a member of a 2015 Military Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Even more proud to have my son, Terry, accompany me as my chaperone.
Barb and I have been active members of the Bethany United Methodist Church since 1966 where I served on numerous committees.
My ever-abiding love, though, was for my wife, Barbara, my daughter Cindy and her family (husband Maurice, their daughter Sarah (Kelly) Broeren and their children Cole and Ashlyn; their son Ryan (Mandy) Pelkey and their children Olivia, Luke and Landen); my son, Terry and his family (wife Debbie, their son Daniel (Nicole) Seidel and their children Everly and Calen; their daughter Kelsey (Aaron) Blake and their children Owen and Bennett.
What cherished Heavenly memories I have of our family bashes. Chief among them, our Christmas Eve gatherings in our home where tons of food and beverages, delicious as they always seemed to be, were nonetheless rated considerably below the unabashed family love and togetherness shared on those evenings.
As an educator, I was immensely proud of my family’s collective educational and professional success, and in my late senior years, when aches and pains can become a distracting hazard in life, just being with them, and there for them, became my primary reason for living.
Along with my family, I am further survived by my brother Chet (Evelyn) Seidel and my brother-in-law Ben (Karen) Whicker, along with numerous nieces and nephews. I was preceded in death by my parents George and Lillian Seidel, brothers George Jr., Jack and Wesley Seidel and my sister Lois Melotte. Also preceding me in death are my in-laws, Harold and Beulah Whicker.
Visitation for Ken will be held Friday, March 6, 2020, from 9:00 am until the funeral service at 11:30 am at Bethany Methodist Church, 1110 Echo Lane, with the Rev. Robb McClintock officiating. Expressions of sympathy, memories and photos may be shared with Kenneth’s family on his tribute page at www.lyndahl.com.
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