The trouble with retirement, as someone once wrote, is that you never get a day off. This aphorism seems to hold true for several retired faculty who spent most of their careers in the College of Engineering & Technology. But theyre not just playing golf. Theyre traveling around the globe and staying active in their professions. In fact, theyre busier than ever.
Dick Kafonek retired from the construction management faculty in July 1993, but continues to be involved in both the construction profession and construction education. After retirement, he ran his own business doing home inspections for realtors and worked part-time doing construction inspection on bridges and highways. He served 20 years on the Board of Trustees for the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE) until he stepped down in June 2003. I figured it was time for the younger people to take over, he said. Kafonek still is active with the Nebraska Society of Professional Engineers, serving on the Eduacation Foundation Board, and serves on the board of the American Institute of Constructors (AIC), where he helps get the word out about the relatively new certification examination for professional constructors. Were trying to professionalize the construction industry, he said. People have to understand that the constructor is a professional, just as are the engineers and architects, involved in construction. For Kafonek, retirement isnt all business. He and his wife, Marilyn, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year, recently returned from a tour in Alaska. They travel frequently and spend time with their eight grandchildren. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Another retiree on the go is former BSE faculty member Darrell Watts, who just returned from a month-long trip to four countries in southern Africa. This trip was pure pleasure, Watts said. We spent time learning about the people and the culture and whats happening there. One of the interesting things is the development of eco-ranching, especially in Namibia. Eco-ranchers manage their own herds of cattle and hunting of wild game. Because foreigners are hunting the old trophy animals instead of the younger, productive ones, the number of game animals actually has increased. This is a great salvation for ranchersthey can have more people working for them, they feed these local people with meat from the hunt, which prevents poaching, and this greatly increases their income. Its a real win-win situation. Watts, who retired in 2001, is finishing up a couple of journal articles and working on an educational video on center pivot irrigation. Hes been back and forth to the University of Concepcion in Chile, an institution with long-term links to the BSE department. He and his wife, Lois, have entertained several groups of international visitors, and theyre looking forward to a couple of overseas trips next year. (email@example.com)
Lou Leviticus recently returned from a trip to England with his wife, Rose. They travel to England frequently to visit their children and grandchildren, but hes just as happy to be home in Lincoln. Leviticus is curator at the Larsen Tractor Test Museum and works at Barnes and Noble. Im one of their lowly booksellers, he said with a laugh. I enjoy it and I see all the books that come in. Its a nice job. Now 72, Leviticus said, Im keeping young by doing all kinds of things. He gives presentations at high schools on his experiences during the Holocaust. He is active in the Omaha-based Foundation for the Hidden Heroes of the Holocaust, and hes writing a book of memoirs. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ralph Marlettes family has traveled overseas a few times since his retirement from civil engineering in 1989. He went to Indonesia and Thailand to visit an exchange student they had hosted through the American Field Service program. He and his wife, Marj (now deceased), also traveled to Europe for the 50th anniversary of VE Day. Marlette also continued to teach at UNL after he retired. He and Richard Harnsberger from the Law College set up a seminar on water law and environmental issues that is still being taught today. We had both engineers and law students in the same class, he said. It was a real eye-opener for the engineers. Engineers have an exact answer for everything, and lawyers have whatever answer you want! At home in Lincoln, Marlette goes swimming with Jim Wolford (who is retired from ME and EM) and attends some of the ASCE and Chi Epsilon events. My health is holding up pretty well for my age, he said. He is 83 and has two children and four grandchildren.
Rollin Schnieder, retired from BSE (extension) in 1992, keeps busy with his children and grandchildren, many of whom live just two blocks away from him in Davy, Neb. He and his wife, Twyla, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in September 2004. I have a big garden and keep three families going with food, he said. Schnieder is on the color guard for the local VFW and American Legion posts. Hes been a Red Cross volunteer for 43 years and works with the First Aid team in the East Stadium at the Husker football games. Im not going to quit until I cant do it anymore, he said. Schnieder recently was named Red Cross Volunteer of the Year and was recognized by Pam Solich at this years Penn State football game. Eric Crouch reached in his pocket and came out with a watch for my 12-year-old grandson Jeff, Schnieder said. Eric sure made a little kid happy.
Harold Bud Robertson is happy to be spending more time on the golf courses around Lincoln. He retired in 1993 from the Department of Construction Management and keeps busy with a local archery club, church activities, traveling, and family activities with his children and five grandchildren. In retirement, Robertson has done some expert witness work and consulting for construction companies. Im on my computer a lot, he said. He and his wife, who is retired from the Lincoln Public School District, will celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary next July. (email@example.com)
In retirement, Roy Sneddon decided to put his civil engineering expertise to use by building a new house. He and his wife live in Providence, Utah, just south of Logan. The house has wood posts and beams supporting the structure, with exposed wooden floor joists, vaulted ceilings, cedar deck and a terrific view of the mountains. Sneddon, who retired in 2001, also is xeriscaping his yard. Interestingly enough, he said, I have some buffalo grass that I planted in my yard that came from Murdock, Nebraska. He runs on the mountain trails every morning and keeps busy with church activities and a den of Webelos Scouts. He and his wife, Kathleen, have 11 children and 10 grandchildren. As for retirement, who would have thought it would be so much work? Said Sneddon, People around here look at what Im doing and say, if this is retirement, I dont want to do it! (firstname.lastname@example.org)