Obituary — Curtis Kleynenberg

October 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

Curtis Kleynenberg, age 37, of Sand Lake passed away on Friday, October 23, 2009, following injuries from an automobile accident. He was a 1990 graduate of Rockford High School, where he was a diver on the swim team, receiving several awards including being honored as an All State diver. He worked with his grandfather and father at Kleynenberg Well Drilling. Curtis had a great love for his family, his wife, Kari, and his sons who he liked to take golfing, fishing and hunting. He is survived by his loving wife, Kari; sons, Samuel and Elijah; father, Paul Kleynenberg; mother and step-father, Barbara and Robert Cain; grandparents, Richard and Sheila Hendricks, Arthur and Jane Kleynenberg; brother, Will Ragsdale, and sister-in-law, Melanie Ragsdale; aunts, uncles and cousins. The memorial service for Curtis will be Monday, October 26, 2009, at 5:00 p.m. at the Pederson Funeral Home with Pastor Bruce Wilson officiating. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the needs of the family. Relatives and friends may meet Curtis’ family from 4 p.m. until the time of service on Monday. Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.

Family turns tail on rat race for nine months

October 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Craig and Danielle Parrent had it all—a beautiful, 4,500 square foot home, their own business that employed 16 and was thriving, and three healthy young children. Yet the couple felt they were missing out. Craig felt he was putting the hours of his life into paying for the home and lifestyle, and spending all his time with customers instead of the people he loved most, his family. After a boat trip in Saugatuk, he had a conversation with his wife, who graduated Rockford in 1993 as Danielle Lewis. He wanted to get rid of it all and see the country with his family. “We knew it was the right thing to do and we never looked back,” Danielle said. Her husband, who has several heart conditions, was tired of missing out on his family’s life. “He felt he was working for the granite counter tops, large home, expensive cars. There had to be more to life than driving himself into a stressed workaholic,” Danielle said of her husband. When the couple married 13 years ago, they had only $1,000 between the two of them. Deciding to jump off the fast track and spend nine months touring the country by motor home and with a ten-foot dinghy was a prospect that did not scare them. “You get back to the basics of life,” Danielle said. The kids were home schooled during the trip, which lasted from September 2008 until May 2009. They are back now, with plans to live life to the fullest and are planning their next trip. “We were simple people who were not leading simple lives, until now,” Danielle said. She said living like this is something many people dream about, but never do. They may wait until retirement. “We knew we weren’t getting any younger. The older the kids get, the harder it is to home school them, and for them to leave their friends. Now was the time.” They went as far east as it is possible to get with their time in Maine. They went as far south as well, to the Florida Keys, where they went beachcombing and watched manatees swim under their small boat. They walked in the depths of Carlsbad Caverns and Death Valley. “We weren’t […]

Four inducted into Rockford Athletic Hall of Fame

October 22, 2009 // 0 Comments

Twently years ago, then Athletic Director Dave Price instituted the Rockford Athletic Hall of Fame. He believed Rockford should recognize some of the outstanding athletes, coaches and community members that make the athletic program the success it is. Now that elite membership includes 92 individuals, four of which joined the ranks on Wednesday, October 14, in a ceremony at Boulder Creek Golf Club. Rockford Athletic Director Tim Erickson opened the evening by reminding the audience that nominations are always welcome, and the distinction is open to athletes, coaches and community members. Athletes must be students who graduated at least ten years before they can be nominated, coaches must have coached at least five years, and all candidates must have made a significant contribution to the Rockford athletic program. First to be recognized was Fred Rowley, receiving the award posthumously. Presenter Terry Konkle said Rowley was one of the young men who graduated Rockford High School to join World War II. “He was a great athlete of his era,” stated Konkle. Konkle said he went through the old Rockford Registers and found Rowley’s name often from 1939 to 1941, when Rowley graduated. “I noticed in the ‘40s about every week there was mention of athletes who were going into war. Then I would see the write-ups about how they died,” Konkle said. Rowley’s obituary ran September 2, 1943 after he was killed in the south Pacific. Konkle said Rowley was All Conference for football in the 1940 season, which was the first season at the “new” stadium on Lewis Street. He was also known to hit homeruns that went on the roof of the school on Main Street, now the administration building. Multiple people mentioned he did this about ten times a year in baseball, often going right over the school into the road. Tammy (Staudacher) Daly was the next to be inducted. Daly was a three-sport athlete who graduated in 1993. Don Seifert said Daly was described by her teammates as a dedicated athlete. “The word dedicated came up over and over again,” Seifert said. She was four years in swim, track and volleyball while also participating in band and the honor society. She said at the time she wanted to pursue a career in […]

Herman’s Boy has reinvented, reinvested for success

October 22, 2009 // 0 Comments

Family business celebrates 30 years When Floyd Havemeier purchased his first building in downtown Rockford, he had no intention of opening up his own shop, much less starting a family dynasty in Herman’s Boy, a roastery, bakery, confectionery and smokehouse located at 220 Northland Drive. Now his store employs three generations of the family, has a total staff of 20 and is in the 30th year of operation. “It’s hard to talk about how good things are when so many people are having a hard time,” Havemeier said. “It’s not that we work hard, lots of people work hard and it doesn’t work out for them. It’s timing and blessings.” Havemeier said he was working in the insurance industry when he purchased the building at 63 Courtland, now Aunt Candy’s Toy Company, as an investment. As Havemeier became familiar with the town and its shops, he thought it might be nice to have a business where his wife Sharon and kids could work while he was away long hours at his job. Havemeier said he was often out of town Monday through late Friday and had to work from his office Saturdays. He didn’t see much of his family. He thought a little shop might be nice for them. It was 1979 and things in Rockford were different than today. Back then Harvest Festival was only one weekend and it was sponsored by the Squire’s Street merchants association. There were just as many stores, but more of the merchants made what they sold. Havemeier’s kids were young—Jeff, the oldest, was 17, Doug was 15, Heidi was ten or 11 and Brian was five or six. “People who want to have a business of their own think about what they are willing to put into it, not what it is necessary to put into it,” he said. “They think about what they owe their family, what they owe their children. I think one thing you owe them is to support them.” In the beginning, the business, then the Melting Pot, sold hand-made items such as children’s clothing and other small products. Havemeier had heard of a buisiness that was going under, the Coffee Ranch, and purchased it, so the shop sold coffee as well. “I kept […]

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