72 years and a cloud of smoke

Appleton Post Crescent

February 1951

Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Wundrow of Rt 4 Appleton, Wisconsin, announced the birth of their first born son at 2:25 AM on February 25th at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton. The baby boy named Kenneth, apparently by the attending nurse, weighed in at 8lbs 8 oz and joined the family previously ruled over by two earlier sisters, Karen, aka Peaches, and Kathleen, aka Kay also both named by same said nurse. Kenneth will now attempt to take his place on the family farm and attempt to survive the bossy nature of his two siblings.

As time passed, Ken, Kenny to his parents and absolutely no one else, was joined by another brother, Karl. Ken and Karl were to become fast friends and thick as thieves. There was no challenge that once thrown at one brother by the other wasn’t met by the other, no matter how great the danger. In time, mom and dad Wundrow would add two more brothers, apparently just to keep the two sisters in check.

Kenny would eventually become Ken, enter high school, and graduate summa cum average. Woodstock was in full swing that summer as was the Vietnam War. Ken wanted UW Madison, mom and dad, wanted Fox Valley Tech. A compromise was struck and Ken was off to Wisconsin State College at Oshkosh, later UW Oshkosh. He entered as a science major, apparently aiming to be a scientist, and left as a math teacher with a degree in education. Seems the counselor thought he’d make a better teacher than a scientist. That, or the fact that scientists didn’t get draft deferment status.

Loyal Middle School (Loyal, Wisconsin) needed an interim math teacher and four years later, Oregon School District (Oregon, Wisconsin) did as well. Twenty-five years later and an illustrious career in education coming to a close, Kenneth Wundrow, EA. sold his blossoming tax business to the highest bidder, left teaching, and entered what would be a tax and financial planning career.

Now entering his sixth year of semi-retirement, and because a reasonable number of people still feel he has a little bit of wisdom left to share, volunteers as a business mentor. When able to say no, he travels the “world” with his wife of forty-two years, Deb.

And that’s it. seventy-two years summed up in two or three paragraphs. Some where along the line I have grown a little over four feet and gained roughly 180 pounds. I’ve added two beautiful, incredibly bright daughters to this world (Bailey and Kathryn), inherited two well appreciated son-in-laws (John and Eli) and at last count, two incredibly sharp grandchildren (Jackson and Adela) with a future draft pick to be named in June.

Life IS good and on this day each year, I want to thank the countless number of friends who wish me happy birthday, support me in my endeavors, and generally make living so worth well. Age is just a number and whether or not I like mine being such a big one, I will savor all the years that have passed and wisely spend all the ones that remain.


  1. Beth · February 25

    Sent from my iPad


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