Hi-Life Celebrations

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The seven original employees at the start of business, December 1, 1964, at Hi-Rubber Products, 110 Lincoln Street, Johnson Creek, WI:

Wilbur Almo "Bill" Larson (June 14, 1913 - October 19, 1996)

Reed Allan Larson (September 25, 1942)

Joseph Frank Nesius (June 3, 1919 - June 30, 1973)

Lloyd Harley Vernon Quamme (March 11, 1920 - May 2, 2019)

Elmer Bernard Kreiziger (April 4, 1912 - June 16, 1980)

Charles Harold Halverson (September 2, 1907 - July 23, 1975)

Dwight Kohn "Skip" Kruwell: (October 25, 1936 - November 28, 2012)

The first part-time trimmer:

Alice Elizabeth (Geissler) Baneck: (August 23, 1909 - February 21, 1990)

A celebration at Leigh Rex Larson's house in the Town of Milford, Jefferson Co., WI, about 1980.


Eleven new members in the Hi-Life Rubber Inc. 10 Year Club. Years accumulated at year-end 1988. Probably held at Donny's Supper Club, Pipersville, Jefferson Co., WI.

Back row, left to right: James Sellnow (06/07/1976); Ethyl Brunk (08/29/1977); and Dennis Sellnow (03/01/1977).

Front row, left to right: Debra Werner (08/02/1977); Helen Agathen (08/09/1978); and Constance Milbrath (07/08/1977).

Not attending: Diane Zepke (07/31/1978); and Roman Uselman (08/07/1978); Dale Allen (08/14/1978); David Madison (08/14/1978); and Beverly Uselman (10/02/1978).

Former and new members in the 1988 Hi-Life Rubber Inc. 10 Year Club.

Back row, left to right: Leigh Larson (09/01/1965); Reed Larson (12/01/1964); Jon Sellnow (06/10/1974); Wilbur Larson (12/01/1964); Kenneth Schumann (12/23/1975); and Dennis Sellnow (03/01/1977).

Middle row, left to right: Helen Agathen (08/09/1978); Constance Milbrath (07/08/1977); Patricia Sellnow (10/20/1975); and James Sellnow (06/07/1976).

Front row, left to right: Debra Werner (08/02/1977); Ethyl Brunk (08/29/1977); Angeline Lange (10/19/1966); and Dolora Kleinsteiber (09/08/1971).

Two new members in the Hi-Life Rubber Inc. 10 Year Club. Years accumulated at year-end 1989.

Judith Mueller (08/27/1979); and Keith Dillin (08/30/1979).

Five new members in the Hi-Life Rubber Inc. 10 Year Club. Years accumulated at year-end 1990.

Robert Feuling (01/01/1980); Lori Gerth (07/08/1980); Mark Brunk (08/13/1980); Mark Schmuhl (10/13/1980); and Patricia Bern (11/03/1980).

Six new members in the Hi-Life Rubber Inc. 10 Year Club. Years accumulated at year-end 1991.

Anita Vest (02/04/1981); Wanda Walters (04/04/1981); Robert Larson (03/06/1981); Thomas Novotny (07/14/1981); Stella Gaugert (07/20/1981); and Weslie Jagow (09/11/1981).

Two new members in the Hi-Life Rubber Inc. 10 Year Club. Years accumulated at year-end 1992. Held November 22, 1992, at Watertown Country Club.

Donald Gosdeck (02/01/1982); and Linda Harland (01/1980 to 05/83 and 06/17/1985).

Six new members in the Hi-Life Rubber Inc. 10 Year Club. Years accumulated at year-end 1993. Held November 2, 1993, at Watertown Country Club.

Ray Madison (02/28/1983); Shari Schumann (03/30/1983); Julie Gosdeck (05/23/1983); Steve Pirtle (09/06/1983); Robert Orval (02/07/1980 to 01/07/1982, and 11/05/1984); and Patti Biefeld (08/31/1981 to 10/18/1985 and 03/30/1987).

Three new members in the Hi-Life Rubber Inc. 10 Year Club. Years accumulated at year-end 1994. Held November 6, 1994, at Windwood Country Club.

Franklin Ward (08/30/1984); Sandra Theder (10/22/1984); and Thomas Zimmerman (11/26/1984).


Eight new members in the Hi-Life Rubber Inc. 10 Year Club. Years accumulated at year-end 1995. Held October 6, 1995, at Windwood Country Club.

William Nick (03/19/1985); Dennis Berg (03/31/1985); Edgar Uselman (06/21/1985); Scott Lischka (07/30/1985); Paul Smits (07/31/1985); Clyde Filas (08/05/1985); Judith Kuykendall (08/12/1985); and Christine Lischka (10/21/1985). Patricia Sellnow (10/20/1975) is also shown.

Five new members in the Hi-Life Rubber Inc. 10 Year Club. Years accumulated at year-end 1996. Held November 3, 1996, at Windwood Country Club.

Dale Kramer (03/19/1986); Elizabeth Smith (03/31/1986); Kenneth Uselman (08/06/1986); Paul Oestreich (09/02/1986); and Sharon Sellnow (09/02/1986).

Four new members in the Hi-Life Rubber Inc. 10 Year Club. Years accumulated at year-end 1997. Held October 26, 1997, at Windwood Country Club.

Doreen Dunn (01/26/1987); Wendy Schmidt (02/20/1987); Paul Miller (10/20/1987); and Cindy Wolfgram (10/28/1987).

December 1, 1989

Something very special is happening to us this year. We're celebrating our 25th year in business. It doesn't seem so long ago that, on December 1, 1964, I founded HI-LIFE RUBBER PRODUCTS as a sole proprietorship. The business started up in the former Hawthorn-Melody milk plant in Johnson Creek. Our ten-acre property lacked suitable electrical and plumbing services, but the main building was structurally sound, and the price was right. Let's just call it a "diamond-in-the-rough," with the emphasis on "rough." We served a small nucleus of customers with industrial molded goods and rubber office supply products. Setting the stage for the future, however, were a smattering of specialty milker inflations we made in our own-design transfer molding presses. I was the owner, salesman, office manager, chemist, payroll clerk and bill collector. I'm sure I left out some more, too. Let's just say I was very busy.

I was also very fortunate to have my son Reed in the business from the very beginning. He was in charge of production as well as maintenance and shipping. His unique abilities, enthusiasm and hard work enabled us to get-the very most out of our limited budget. We started with a grand total of just seven employees, of which two were Larsons. As I look back, those early days were frightening, yet very challenging and exciting. Here I was, fifty years old and just starting out. I had no way of realizing the many good things that would eventually come our way. As we struggled to get on our feet we felt our best hope for growth was to specialize. We decided to make the products with the most sales potential - milker inflations. We learned the basics of inflation manufacturing with the help of a consultant, but were still lacking in several key areas. I was again fortunate when my son Leigh joined us in the fall of 1965, even though he had been helping right along in his spare time. As a mechanical engineer he brought us the needed skills of product and equipment design and mold making. We then made a company commitment to produce the very finest inflations found anywhere.

Times can be tough for a "new kid on the block." We had few inflation customers and no established reputation for quality or delivery of these products. In fact, we had very few products, and you know a salesman can't sell out of an empty wagon. The decision to have our own line of unbranded inflations helped open the door to our farm store customers. As we made more molds our product line became more desirable, and HI-LIFE began to be more widely recognized as a legitimate source for inflations. We made steady gains in sales which required more people, equipment and building space. Our inflations were now being included in the supply programs of large dairy cooperatives. Our expertise was getting the attention of the milking machine manufacturers, too. Our product design assistance, tooling capabilities, excellent product quality and fast delivery (and favorable prices, too) helped us eventually become the largest inflation manufacturer in the United States.

Along the way we've gained new customers and friends, and attained a level of prosperity so we could share more with our employees. We have enjoyed a stable and growing workforce over the past twenty-five years, and now comprise a company of one hundred employees. We've had our share of heartaches along the way, too, but that's a part of life which is unavoidable over such a span of time. These years have seen great things happen for our company, but it couldn't have been possible without our customers, suppliers, fellow employees and most of all, my family. People are what life is really all about, and I've been blessed to have been surrounded with talented individuals who have helped make our success possible.

They say a generation is about twenty-five years long. I'm truly fortunate that my sons chose to join me in the business, and am particularly pleased that my grandson Robert has now joined us, too. My goal was to create a company that would be committed to the ideals of honesty, hard work, fairness and competence, and one that would perpetuate itself. I believe I've succeeded on all points, and fondly look back upon these last twenty-five years as just the beginning. We're certainly off to a great start! Just imagine what good things the next twenty-five years have in store for all of us! Thank you one and all for making it possible.



JOYCE LARSON & JUDY KUYKENDALL - For putting this party all together


MR & MRS ROLLAND FREITAG - Virchow Krause & Co., Certified Public Accountants & Financial Business Services


MR & MRS FRANCIS ORVAL - Village President, Johnson Creek

MR & MRS STEVE MELOY - President of F & M Bank of Johnson Creek (formerly Mansfield State Bank)

MR & MRS TOM SCHNEIDER - Owner of Bob Schneider Printing Co.

MR & MRS BERNIE MOTL - Owner and operator of Motl Plumbing Heating. Successor to his father, Barney Motl

MR & MRS CHUCK SCHROEDER - Owner & Operator of SCHROEDER'S FILLING Station & auto Services

MR & MRS JOHN HADY - Owners of Hady Electrical Contractors and Electrical Fixtures Store

MR & MRS VERN WEGNER - MANAGER of Oliver Construction Co, Oconomowoc, Commercial Builders

MR & MRS JOHN LANE - Technician at American Roller, Union Grove, WI

MR & MRS LLOYD QUAMME - First Full-time employee to retire from HI-LIFE

MR & MRS BILL NELSON - Denise was first office employee of HI-LIFE and was office manager when to left to pursue further education leading to a degree in accounting. She and her husband, Bill, also own a cottage industry specializing in miniature gift products with national distribution

MR & MRS KENNETH C. KIRBY - Spent many years with HI-LIFE in the education of dealer and field man on machine function and sanitary practice as they relate to inflations. Currently represents a national company.

MR & MRS ERVIN LANGE - Angeline was our first full-time female employee, and who has faithfully served with us for 23 years. Currently she is forelady of the finishing department.