2003 Senior Hall of Fame

To read detailed biographies of all the 2003 senior hall of fame award winners scroll down the page


Kurt Buelow

Kurt "is known as Mr. Senior Citizen in Franklin, and his energy knows no bounds when it comes to serving not only the seniors of Franklin, but the entire community."

A retiree from Rexnord, Kurt spent several years as a volunteer teacher before joining the Franklin Senior Citizens organization.


Kurt has since been an officer of the Franklin Senior Citizens organization for over twelve years.  As financial administrator, he spends an enormous amount of time seeking, administering, and reporting grants.


The Director of Administration for the City of Franklin commends Kurt's conscientious work on funding administration.  Under Kurt's leadership, Franklin Senior Citizens has grown from a membership of 80 to over 300.


In addition to the Franklin Senior Citizens, Kurt also works with the Franklin Fourth of July Committee, Aurora Health Center-Franklin, Franklin Community Education/Recreation Department, Franklin Public Schools, Franklin High School, Franklin St. Francis Day Care Center, Franklin Chamber of Commerce, Franklin State Bank, and Harley Davidson Motor Company.


Kurt is a World War II veteran, and he has been an active member of the American Legion Post 192 for 25 years, acting as commander of the post for three years. 


Kurt is an outstanding volunteer and a real asset to his community.  One sponsor aptly quotes Kurt himself to describe his dedication to the Franklin community, especially its seniors.  "They are my people, and if I can help them, I'll do my best." 


Joel Martinez

"Joel Martinez knows the road to a stronger, healthier community lies in empowering area residents to help both themselves and others".


Joel's commitment to neighborhoods has been his passion for many years.  He has worked tirelessly to empower people to help their communities grow and remain strong, safe and vital. 


Joel's friendly, outgoing disposition has helped him build relationships that make the difference in development and implementation of many neighborhood-based initiatives.  As a past member of the South Side Organizing Committee, he has overseen neighborhood clean-ups, block watches, distributed information and raised funds that have supported a wide variety of community improvement projects.


He is a co-founder of Walker Square Neighborhood Association and has worked diligently to improve neighborhoods so that all residents can live safely.  His work to increase efforts in crime prevention on the near south side resulted in the establishment of a Milwaukee Police Department substation located in the Walker Square area.  The presence of the substation has had the effect of greatly reducing crime in the surrounding neighborhood. 


Joel is an active member of the Department on Aging's Latino Aging Network and shares his skills with all participants.  One of his recent efforts has been to help visiting nurses increase cultural competence.


Thirty years ago, Joel helped to establish the United Community Center. In that time UCC has grown to include recreation and education for all ages, a senior center, elementary school, housing and adult day care programs. Additionally UCC is a center for human services in the surrounding community and a resource of Hispanic cultural arts and traditions for all. 


Laura Mathews

"If there were ever a person that should be recommended to a more challenging position, she is such a person.  Whatever the situation, she can handle it with Godly Love and human finesse."


Laura has inspired many hearts and minds in our community and across the nation. Her commitment to help improve the quality of life for Milwaukee County residents has never wavered over her many years of activity in our community.

Her desire to help others is clearly evidenced by her volunteerism with the Milwaukee County, Department on Aging where she has served as a member of the Commission on Aging Advisory Council, Chairperson of the African American Aging Network and a member of the Service Delivery Committee.


As a Registered Nurse, Laura has promoted equity in service delivery for all residents of our county.  Her message is clear and her dedication is evident in her strong commitment to her work.


Laura is a founding member of the Milwaukee Chapter of National Black Nurses Incorporated. She received awards from this organization in 1980, 1992, 1998 and 2000.  She was also honored as a "Pioneer in Health Care" by the Black Women's Network in 1987.


Marquette University honored her contributions with awards as Outstanding Alumni in Nursing in 1989 and the Alumni Aruppe Awards for Leadership in Community Service in 1994.   



Beatrice Reinders

"Constancy is the characteristic that stands out.  Bea is not just a fair-weather friend.  If she decides to take on something, she keeps at it, does not allow obstacles to discourage her, and makes connections with people in whatever setting she finds herself." 


Beatrice, a founding member and current board member of the South Shore Park Watch, has taken part in all activities since the Park Watch was founded in 1996. She chaired the organization's annual National Night Out, assisted in organizing park clean up in coordination with Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful and currently serves on the organization's steering committee.


Beatrice has a passion for ecology and our natural resources.  She was instrumental in developing the Park Watch's Earth Day celebration in 1997.  Her involvement in the Earth Day celebrations has earned her many awards.  In 2002, she received a Women of Distinction Award from the Milwaukee Chapter of Seroptimist International.  Fernwood School also recognized her contributions in 1997-98.


Beatrice is also an asset to the Bay View Historical Society, of which she has been a member since 1992, a program chair since 1994 and Board member since 1999.  She received the Bay View Historical Society Award for Meritorious Service in 2002.

She has dedicated countless hours to the community to ensure that it remains a wonderful place to live and visit. 

Elmer Winter

"Mr. Elmer Winter is a great executive, a great artist, a great man."

Elmer  is a community volunteer, business man, author and artist.  At 91, he continues to provide volunteer services to Milwaukee County and the world community.   


As president of the Board of Directors for MCFI in the early 1940's, Elmer helped to create a model program of pre-induction counseling for men entering the military. He also established the first program in the state to diagnose problems with educational achievement and learning in public school children, which evolved into the Milwaukee Center for Independence School for Early Development and Achievement.            

Elmer's interest in education and youth continues. He has worked with superintendents of MPS to reduce dropout rates and student delinquency. He is also studying a program to help revitalize the Metcalfe Park area. 


Other local volunteer activities include the Milwaukee Volunteer Equal Employment Opportunity Council, the Housing Development Foundation for Greater Milwaukee, We-Milwaukee, and the Greater Milwaukee Committee. Internationally, Elmer serves as Chairman of the Committee for Economic Growth of Israel and Honorary National President of the American Jewish Committee, one of America's oldest Human relations organizations.


One of Elmer's most outstanding achievements is the creation of Manpower, Inc., which now operates thousands of offices in dozens of countries. Finally, it should be noted that Elmer has written thirteen books, and he is an amateur painter and sculptor. 


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