Fred Kuebker receives 2017 good neighbor award
As festivities for the 2017 Good Neighbor Days celebration began ramping up Thursday afternoon, 94-year-old Fred Kuebker had a sneaky suspicion he might be headed over to the big top for something special and he was right.
"I think he suspected something. Both of his daughters were out of town, so I was spending extra time with him over the weekend. He brought it up every time I saw him. He said, 'I know my name went into the box. I'm curious to see what happens,'" said Fred's granddaughter, Deidre Johnson.
Thursday night, June 1, surrounded by friends and family, Fred Kuebker's name came out of the box and he was awarded the 2017 Good Neighbor Award.
Fred lost his wife, Helen, to Alzheimer's in 2010. His loss was the community's gain.
"At that time, he decided he needed to meet more people, so he joined the Lions Club," said Deidre.
He didn't stop at the Lions Club; he also became a volunteer driver chauffeuring "seniors" to medical appointments and other destinations for the county. He's also been a speaker at WITC sharing his experiences as a caregiver and served as the Honorary Chairman of the 2009 St. Croix Memory Walk.
"He'd rather care for people than be taken care of," said Deidre.
Fred married Helen Seng in 1947. Together they raised three children, Nancy, Patty and Rick. Fred is a grandfather to eight and great grandfather to five.
Initially, Fred was a dairy farmer in Kenosha County where he was also active in 4-H and the Farm Bureau. He's always been a supporter of public education and served on the school board of a one-room school in Randall Township, Kenosha County.
In 1980, Fred and Helen followed their children to St. Croix County where he began working at the Johnson & Cowles Lumberyard. He continued working in the lumber business for various outfits until Helen required his help at home. He retired from the lumberyard to care for Helen when he was 84.
Fred reads the paper daily to keep up with what's going on locally and nationally. He believes in snail mail and visits the post office regularly. He has traveled to all but two states, his most recent trip taking him to Hawaii for his granddaughters wedding.
Fred is a regular at the Roberts Café and Barnboard Restaurant and has been known to make a trip or two to the Dairy Queen for a banana split.
Fred still lives independently at home and considers himself a pretty sharp dresser. Check the out the dapper blue plaid shirt he was sporting the night he received his award.