Four community leaders who died in 2018 will be honored by the city of Kenosha at an Arbor Day commemoration on Friday.
Thomas H. Laken Jr., Richard Loewen, Maureen B. Reed and Edward C. Werner will be honored.
The city will observe Arbor Day with the planting of:
River birch tree in honor of Werner at 9:30 a.m. at Simmons Island Park.
Beech tree in honor of Loewen at 10:30 a.m. at Pennoyer Park.
Maple tree in honor of Reed at 11:15 a.m. at Wolfenbuttel Park.
Oak tree in honor of Laken at noon at HarborPark near the Civil War Museum.
The public is welcome to attend the programs.
Laken died on May 24, 2018, at age 76. He was chairman of the board of Finishing and Plating Service Inc., a business he purchased from his father, Tom Laken, Sr., in 1980.
Laken was an active member and held leadership roles in several local organizations: Kenosha Area Business Alliance Board of Directors, the board of Kemper Center, Kemper Foundation, Hawthorn Hollow and the Kenosha Public Museum Board of Directors.
He was involved in efforts to build the Civil War Museum in Kenosha and supported the Kenosha Boys and Girls Club as well as the Kenosha YMCA.
Loewen died at age 87 on March 28, 2018.
A lifelong resident of Kenosha, he attended St. Thomas Aquinas Grade School and from there went on to St. Francis Seminary High School.
He spent many summers working for his father at Reindl and Loewen Excavating.
He founded Loewen and Fonk Excavating with his uncle, Earle Fonk.
Loewen loved the great outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fishing. Some of his best memories were made at Lake Namakagon and in Canada fishing.
Reed died Jan. 15, 2018, at age 85. A Kenosha resident since the late 1970s, she began her career at Northwestern Mutual Insurance Co. and later worked as a business skill instructor at Wisconsin Workshop for the Blind and Jewish Vocational Service.
She returned to school and earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in communication from UW-Parkside.
Reed was a member and served in leadership roles with the Kenosha Women’s Network and Pathways of Courage, which later became Women and Children’s Horizons.
Reed created Her Pages, a directory of businesses owned and co-owned by women in Kenosha County, and was the financial strategist for Women Investing in Profit.
From 1994 to 2002, Reed served on the Kenosha County Board. She served as a bailiff to the Kenosha County Circuit from 2005-06.
Werner died on Dec. 27, 2018, at the age of 90. A Kenosha native, he attended Milwaukee School of Engineering, Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Werner enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and was honorably discharged as an Electrician’s Mate Second Class in 1950. In 1960, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and retired as a lieutenant commander.
Werner was awarded the Coast Guard Achievement Medal for his service. He retired from Walker Manufacturing Co. in 1989.
Werner was a member of the Reserve Officers Association, Danish Brotherhood, Kenosha County Historical Society, U.S. Lighthouse Society and was a past commander of the Navy Club Ship 40. He served as past commodore and was a life member of Kenosha Yacht Club.
He was involved with the restoration and preservation of the Kenosha 1866 Southport light station.
Arbor Day has been celebrated in the United States since 1872. In Wisconsin it is celebrated on the last Friday in April.
This marks the 37th consecutive year that Kenosha has been recognized as a member of Tree City USA, through its progressive forestry policies and programs. The National Arbor Day Foundation sponsors the Tree City USA program.