Watertown High School

Class of 1956 ~ 55 Years of Ripening


Donna for Senate

Some things are just fun to know.  The internet has taken much of our privacy away, but at the same time brought more information into our home. The city, as well as some of our classmates has made news throughout the years.  Here are some links to internet resources that you may find interesting.  Let me know if you have some more ideas for adding here.  Wes

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Watertown Area Community Foundation

Another classmate has made the news at the Watertown Area Foundation.  The Watertown Community Foundation invests in the vitality and future of Watertown by awarding grants to support community priorities, respond to human service needs and enhance recreation, education, arts and culture.

Mary Rueb Conner has established the Sister Hyacinth Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of a teacher at Immaculate Conception School in Watertown that she will never forget. "Sister Hyacinth was one of the best teachers I ever had," she said. "When I was young, I had trouble pronouncing words. She made the class quit laughing at me. When she did that I knew I had someone in my corner."

You can read the entire article here.

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Eight chosen for 2014 SDSU Distinguished Alums

September 9, 2014

Eight alums from five decades will be honored as the 2014 class of Distinguished Alumni at South Dakota State University prior to Hobo Day.

Those to be honored are:

·         Jake Krull, class of 1960, Watertown;

Jacob J. Krull

Service to South Dakota

Krull left an impact on his university, his state and his profession. Krull joined the SDSU Foundation board in 2003 and served as chairman of the board of governors in 2009 and 2010. He was vice chair when the group approved a six-year, $200 million fundraising campaign. Krull kept the board moving ahead despite a severe economic downturn that hit in 2009. He also had a 26-year career in the South Dakota Army National Guard, retiring as brigadier general in 1989. Also a leader in the insurance business, Krull eventually became president of National Farmers Union Insurance in Denver. He entered the insurance business in 1963 after spending two years in the U.S. Army. His father had sold the family farm a couple of years earlier and Krull returned home to Watertown to work with his father, J.E., in the Farmers Union Insurance Agency. He sold policies and worked with customers for 21 years, always qualifying for the incentive-based trips, except for 1972, when he first ran for the state Senate. Krull served five terms before deciding not to seek re-election in 1982. In 1984, Krull was promoted to state manager. For the next five years, he dramatically increased the professionalism of the agents with many going from part-time to full-time agents, resulting in increased production and better service for the policyholders. From 1989 to 2001, he served as president of Denver-based National Farmers Union Insurance, turning a financially stressed company into a consistently profitable one with a "AA" rating from A.M. Best Company. He and his wife, Phyllis (Skillman) returned to Watertown to retire in 2001. They have two sons, Kevin and Tom.


 Brigadier General Jake Krull

Brigadier General Jacob J. Krull was born in Watertown, South Dakota on December 23, 1938. Brigadier General Krull received his commission as a Second Lieutenant, Artillery branch on June 6, 1960. He was ordered to active duty on February 27, 1961 and assigned to Battery C, 7th Guided Missile Training Battalion, Air Defense Training Command, Fort Bliss, Texas. He served as a platoon leader until August 1, 1962 when he was assigned as Battery Commander, Battery C, 1st Guided Missile Training Battalion. He was promoted to First Lieutenant on August 27, 1962. In November 1962, he was assigned as Liaison Officer to the United States Air Force Air Defense Command, Key West, Florida, to monitor foreign air traffic during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was discharged from active duty on February 26, 1963.0n July 23, 1963, BG Krull was appointed in the South Dakota Army National Guard. He was assigned as Executive Officer to Battery B 2nd Battalion 147th Field Artillery until August 15, 1965 when he assumed command of the unit. He was promoted to Captain on November 18, 1965. He was transferred to Headquarters and Headquarters 2nd battalion 147th Field Artillery on December 15, 1970 and assigned as Liasion Officer. In August 1972, BG Krull was assigned as the Assistant S-3 for the 2nd Battalion. He was transferred to Battery a 2nd Battalion 147th Field Artillery on April 19, 1974 and assigned as Commanding Officer. Brigadier General Krull returned to Headquarters 2nd Battalion 147th Field Artillery in June of 1974.

He was promoted to Major on June 11, 1974. His principal duty was S-3 Officer, which he held until February 1, 1977. During this period he laid the groundwork for improving readiness throughout the Battalion and formulated the operations and training policies which attributed to the 2nd Battalion winning the Milton A. Record Trophy for Outstanding Battalion, Region Vlll, Sixth U.S. Army for training years 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1982. In February 1977, Brigadier General Krull was reassigned to the Executive Officer position in the 2nd Battalion. He was transferred as Executive Officer to the 1st Battalion 147th Field Artillery and served in that capacity until August 31, 1978. He was the transferred to Headquarters 147th Field Artillery Brigade on September 1, 1978 and assigned as S-3 Officer.

He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on November 17, 1978. He was reassigned on October 15, 1982 to Executive Officer for the Brigade. On January 1, 1984, he assumed command of the Brigade and was promoted to Colonel. Brigadier General Krull was appointed Assistant Adjutant General for the South Dakota Army National Guard effective September 1, 1986, and was promoted to Brigadier General on October 8, 1986.

Decorations and Awards:


Meritorious Service Medal


Army Commendation Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster


National Defense Service Medal


Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Hour Glass


Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters


Army Service Ribbon


Army Reserves Components Overseas Training Ribbon


South Dakota Unit Citation


South Dakota Five Year Perfect Attendance Ribbon with "XV device


Civic Affiliations, National Association Of Life Underwriters


Lions Club International


Elks Club


National Guard Association Of the United States


Served in the South Dakota State Legislature from 1973-1983


Served as Minority Leader Of the South Dakota State Senate from 1979-1983


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The Watertown Public Opinion ran the following article on November 11, 2016.  You may be able to see the article at this link: 

Three more enter Watertown Hall of Fame

Lew Raderschadt was a classmate of ours.  I am not sure when he dropped out of school but that, obviously, was not a deterrent to him.  Many of us remember him as a classmate at Immaculate Conception School.

In case the link is lost here is the story.

Three more Watertown icons were formally inducted into the Watertown Hall of Fame Thursday during the annual banquet. Selected by an 11-member committee, realtor Joy Nelson, retired Watertown School District Supt. Ernie Edwards, and the late businessman Lew Raderschadt were each honored for their decades of service to the Watertown community at the Event Center. As the first female member of the Hall of Fame, Nelson's distinction could be considered well deserved. A lifelong resident of the city, Nelson has served on a number of boards and made many additional contributions to the community.

For many who grew up in the Watertown area, the Fourth of July will always be associated with fond memories of Lew Raderschadt and his fireworks. Unfortunately, with Raderschadt having passed on July 28, that means those memories will remain just that. But, as Raderschadt's son, Dan, attested Thursday, his father made his impact outside of that annual summer holiday, owning the Elco Motel until 1979. The late Raderschadt also served as mayor of the Highway 212 Development Corp and was also a member of Ducks Unlimited and the United States Junior Chamber (commonly known as the JCs). As a businessman, Raderschadt had a knack for timing. According to Dan, Raderschadt had a habit of buying low through negotiating. "He seemed to understand very well what it took to be profitable in all his business dealings. He also understood the fact that good records will make you money," Dan Raderschadt recalled.

Even with that busy schedule between work and community involvement, Raderschadt always found time for his family, including, according to Dan, often telling his wife, Patricia, that "he loved her more than life itself." "Dad gave to others, many times denying himself," Dan Raderschadt said. While Lew Raderschadt was generous in giving to others, he always made sure whatever money he and the family earned went to good use. "Wasted money was very disturbing to my dad," Dan Raderschadt said. In life, Lew Raderschadt was generous in giving to widows and those who suffered from personal catastrophic events. Raderschadt was also a proponent of education. "Education was very important to him. He always looked for ways in which he could help young people with educational opportunities," Dan Raderschadt said. Raderschadt was also a conservationist. "He planted thousands of trees. He planted hundreds of acres of grassland, from nesting, wildlife and land that we're blessed with," Dan Raderschadt said. "We're going to continue with that." Raderschadt's reputation as a businessman and a conservationist earned him respect among local and state politicians, including being known on a first name basis with the late Gov. Bill Janklow. "You never had to wonder what Lew was thinking because he told you exactly what was on his mind and what he believed," Dan Raderschadt said. Even in death, Raderschadt's impact lives on for the community members and leaders who knew him. "We're all a little better because of Lew Raderschadt," Mayor Steve Thorson said in a statement included in Thursday's program. Each of the three newly inducted members were honored with a plaque. With the inductions, there are now 11 Watertown Hall of Fame members. The Hall of Fame began with the Class of 2013.

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July 17, 2010

It occurred to me today when I was updating Bruce William's mailing address that many of us are not taking retirement too seriously in spite of our advancing age. When I asked Bruce about his recent address change he came back with the following: 

Yes, began here in mid-June as interim senior pastor at First Lutheran Church, a congregation of 5100 baptized members and will most likely be here for about a year.  This is my fifth interim since retiring in 1999, the others being in Rochester, MN; Sioux Falls; Batavia, IL; and River Falls, WI.  It's been challenging, but a privilege to serve in this way.  Thanks for asking. 



That is no small task.  We wish Bruce the best.


Earlier this spring there was an article in the PO about Kathleen Bierne.  ABERDEEN On June 20 the Presentation Sisters installed a new leadership team that will serve from June 2010 through May 2014 Sister Kathleen Bierne was re-elected as Vice president of the congregation.  In addition to serving on the leadership team for the past four years, she served in the development office for the Presentation Sisters from 2004 to 2010.


Mary Rueb Conner sent me information on a big celebration she worked on this spring.  Mary has been a Court Appointed Juvenile Advocate (CAJA) volunteer for many years.


On April 10, 2010 Huntsville will experience a premier Yuri’s Night event at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration. The night will begin with a Dream Big VIP Reception and continue with a World Space Party.


The event will be hosted by CAJA Friends, Inc. CAJA () volunteers work to better the lives of abused, neglected and abandoned children, so they can grow up dreaming big dreams like all other kids. All children deserve enough security in their lives to feel they can dream big. Space exploration has always been one of humanity’s biggest dreams. So it is fitting that CAJA Friends, Inc will host this celebration of Space Exploration to benefit the local CAJA program.


And Wayne Snyder is heavily involved in the NWA History Center . He sent me the following information.

Happy Easter to you and your family from Joy and me.

I saw Howard Brady a couple of weeks ago, he looked healthy and is interested in volunteering at the NWA History center. I surely need people like him as there are new plans for the museum. I was at a conference a couple of weeks age about the economical development of East Bloomington---now called the South Loop! I guess because its on the South end of the light rail . The plans seem kind of pie-in-the-sky but the interest I had was about the MMAA. Which is the Minnesota Museum of Aviation and Aerospace. It is being pushed the the Air Guard. Our board of directors and their's have met and the NWAHC will be part of this new museum . Its exciting because we now will have a place to display an airplane. We are investigating the process of getting Delta to donate a DC-9 to us ,and they will, as the airplanes are retired. The air guard will store it for us until the building is built. So the next 5 years or so will be busy as the plans for the building are in the initial phase, we saw them that same time as the conference, and we need to start deciding about how to exhibit NWA material. NASA has committed to a Space Camp in the museum so they have a big stake in it getting built.

Joy and I are adding to our house we have initial plans but will meet with the architect to finalize the plans this week.

This along with new responsibilities with SkyWarn net control keep me busy. SkyWarn has really matured into a professional group where procedures and training are regulated to quite a high level here in Bloomington.



See the Mar 30 article below. Democrat Donna Fjelstad to challenge Republican Sen. Bob Gray (Updated)


Larry Wolff continues to "flip" houses in the Quad Cities area.

Earlier this year I received The Bishop's Medal for Service for service to our local parish.  I also had a successful fishing trip to the English River in Ontario.  You can see pictures here: http://picasaweb.google.com/WestonFE Enjoy, I did.

I know there are many others of you out there staying busy in our golden days.  Send me an email and let us know what you are doing. Wes

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Democrat Donna Fjelstad to challenge Republican Sen. Bob Gray Mar 30, 2010

Bill Gates visited Watertown recently.  He made news while in town.

Bill Gates visited the Watertown Library.


It's all over the internet.  Click for a Google Search


Lee Raymond is CEO of EXXON. Scroll through the Google hits for more information
Betty Kinney won a large law suit against a tobacco company.  Take a look at the Google Hits
Watertown residents hit it big with Powerball.  Google hits here.