I met Joyce Svatos on New Years Eve in 1959 and we were married in January 1961.
In June of 1963 I accepted a position with the Wisconsin Conservation Department as a Forest Ranger Dispatcher in Antigo where I worked for 4 years under Ed Fronek and Red Kirkpatrick.
In 1966 I transferred to a field Forest Ranger position in Nekoosa where I served another 4 years under Area Forest Rangers Ralph Plowman and then Don Jerabek.
In 1971 I promoted to the Brule Area Forest Ranger position where I worked under Area Supervisors Bill Waggoner and then Jerry Rieckoff. At Brule our family stopped growing at three boys and one girl.
In 1973 I promoted to the Bureau of Fire Control Staff Specialist position in the Madison office. At various times I worked under Chuck Rieck, Gordon Landphier, Tom Rausch and Milt Reinke. From 1988 to 1990 I served as the Budget Manager for the forestry program.
On November 18, 1990 I was promoted to the Chief of the Protection and Reforestation Section in the Bureau of Forestry and in that position the Chief Forest Ranger.
Some of my more important contributions to the Department while in Madison were to provide leadership to develop and implement a forestry project based budgeting system, serve as executive secretary for the forestry management team, present numerous training sessions both inside and outside of the DNR, contribute to the Gypsy Moth program, develop and implement Wisconsin's Forest Fire Effects Appraisal system, help create the Wisconsin Interagency Incident Command System (WIICS), form the Fire Department Advisory Council, help create the Great Lakes Forest Fire Compact, organize the forest fire command center, develop and establish the fire fighter physical fitness test battery, institute the National Fire Danger Rating System in Wisconsin and direct the most extensive study of the Forest Fire Management Program in Wisconsin's history.
I retired from the DNR on January 2, 1997 after over 33 years of service. Joyce also retired from her position as a sign language interpreter, at the elementary level, with the Madison school system after 25 years of service.
Our son David and his wife Paulette and their three children live in Madison. Our son Jim and his wife Debra and their three children live in McFarland. Our daughter Susan and her husband Graham and their two children live in Lake Geneva. Our son Bill and his wife Kathy and their three children live in Columbus, Ohio.
With eleven grandchildren and their parents there are many family activities that keep us all busy.
But we make time on our schedule for travel. Some of the countries we have visited include Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, France, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungry, Egypt, Slovenia, Russia, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico and numerous Caribbean Islands on 8 cruises, and counting.
Great Wall of China - 2000
Chiangmai, Thailand - 2003
Thailand - 2003
Great Pyramids of Ginza, Egypt - 2004
Activities I enjoy in retirement include family events, running, biking, sand and water volleyball, tennis, golf, bowling, triathlons and growing tall tomato plants.
Duane and his grandson, Archer, reap the harvest from his "tomato forest".
I still compete in about 10 running road races each year that range from 3 to 6 miles in length. Joyce and I spend some time in southern Texas each year.
Joyce and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in January 2011.