Richard Claire Beaman

Richard BeamanDick, as he was known, grew up on a dairy farm near Berlin. After graduation from Berlin High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy becoming a radar technician, based on his high aptitude in math and science, thanks to his well-rounded education at Berlin High School. He was stationed on the USS Coasters Harbor (AG 77) a support ship, in the Pacific Theater at the end of WWII. After discharge from the Navy, he enrolled in Ripon College and then transferred to U.W. Madison where he finished his BS in Mechanical Engineering. He graduated Cum Laude with membership in Tau Beta Pi, an honorary society for Mechanical Engineering students.

Post college, Dick was hired by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, his life-long employer, He was assigned as a facility design engineer at Goodyear Atomic in Portsmouth, Ohio, a producer of U235, a refined uranium product used in atomic bombs and the nuclear power industry. After Portsmouth, he later worked as a plant engineer in Topeka, Kansas, Akron, Ohio, Beaumont Texas, Luxembourg in Europe and a special assignment to Istanbul, Turkey, helping to build and maintain a lot of factories for Goodyear. He was promoted Chief Engineer working in Parmatta, NSW, Australia, Cumberland, Maryland, and Wolverhampton, England. His final Goodyear assignment was back in Akron as the Chief of Corporate Engineering for Goodyear.

Dick was noted for his volunteer activities while assigned in Cumberland, Maryland. He served as president of the Cumberland Lions Club and headed a project to build and operate Lions Manor, a Cumberland nursing home.

He was also involved with the Boy Scouts and placed in charge of refurbishing the Potomac Council’s summer camp, enlisting the help of the U.S. Navy Reserve Seabees for this project. For his efforts with the Boy Scouts he was awarded the ‘Silver Beaver Award’, the highest honor bestowed on adult members. Goodyear also recognized him with their ‘Spirit Award’ for his volunteer work.

Dick married Rita Weirtz in 1953 and together they raised five children. He retired from Goodyear in 1991, after an over 40-year career. He enjoyed fifteen years of retirement before passing away in February, 2006.

Dick’s tombstone reads: “May the work I’ve done speak for me.”

James Gurkowski

Jim Gurkowski Jim Gurkowski, a life-long resident of Berlin and a 1968 graduate of Berlin High School, has devoted many hours to the Berlin sportsmen’s community.

Trapshooting – and giving back to the sport through volunteer work – has been a true passion for Jim. It began at the Berlin Conservation Club, where he has served a number of years on the Board of Directors. He was a Hunter Education instructor for the youth of Berlin and surrounding communities, helping them learn the proper and safe way to handle guns while out in the woods or fields hunting. He served as tournament director of the annual Ironman Shoot held each year during Labor Day weekend. During his time he was able to bring in participants from across Wisconsin and Illinois, ultimately tripling the two-day event’s attendance to over 300 fellow sportsmen. This event is the second largest fundraiser for the Conservation Club and has resulted in additional funding for the Youth BB gun, Hunter Education, and Youth Trapshooting programs. His commitment and involvement with B.C.C. was honored with a Lifetime Membership Award.

Jim has traveled the United States making a name for himself in the trapshooting world, taking many titles – at state and national levels. In 2002 he was one of the Wisconsin State Gun Club Champions and in 2019 became a member of the All-State Trapshooting Team. His most memorable
shoot was in Tucson Az. where he was named the top shooter out of 512 competitors. He was again a member of the All-Star Team in 2020.

He is involved with the Wisconsin State Shooting complex, working with youth shooting and on the Board of Directors. He oversaw all the building projects at the complex and continues to work to improve and expand it.

Jim’s most recent accomplishment was the highest honor in the trapshooting world. In 2019 he was the first Berlin alumni to be inducted into the Wisconsin Trap Shooting Hall of Fame. He was chosen because of his hard work and dedication to the sport and its participants. Jim carries, pride, passion, and dedication for the sport every day. He overcame personal
challenges and continues to set goals for himself.

“Don’t worry about the target you miss. Focus on the next one out.”

Robert L. Seward M.D.

Robert SewardA member of the 1957 Berlin High School class, Robert L. Seward, M.D. graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1966 and has been a certified American Board Internal medicine member since 1978. He is the son of Dr. Lynn and Gladys Seward, and has a sister, Janet Jaecks. He is the lucky and proud dad to three wonderful children, Kristy Kottkey, Matt Seward, and Lori Campbell and has 4 grandsons, Andre, Henry, Sonni and Gus.

Robert learned numerous lessons from his father whose message to him was, If you see wrongs, you must stand up, speak out and take action.

Dr. Seward was an emergency room physician at Mount Vernon, Washington in1975 when he helped resuscitate his father-in-law who had been brought by ambulance. The lesson: Be prepared for all emergencies! In 1986, he had quadruple cardiac bypass himself and was back to work in six weeks being able to practice medicine vigorously for the next 19 years. The lesson: Science Works!

In 1989 he left private practice and spent 15 years in the VA, listening and learning about the vets who suffered from PTSD.

In 2009, Dr. Seward joined six other physicians and caregivers and after 42 townhalls from Oregon to Washington, formed an organization called Mad as Hell Doctors ( They advocate for health care for all Americans and believe that healthcare is a right, as in all other democracies.

Dr. Peter Johnson

Peter JohnsonPeter Johnson graduated from Berlin High School in 1978. He considered becoming a carpenter after high school, but was persuaded by his family physician to become a medical doctor. Johnson, however, didn’t think he was smart enough.

With encouragement from both parents he entered UW-Oshkosh. There he took lots of pre-med courses but initially struggled, given his lack of study skills. He ultimately did well, graduated in 1982 and applied to medical school….and wasn’t accepted. He enrolled at UW-Madison, got great grades and was ultimately accepted into both Wisconsin medical schools.

Following UW Medical School graduation in 1987, Dr. Johnson became an obstetrics and gynecology resident at University of Chicago Hospital from 1987 to 1991. He then completed epidemiology training at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta from 1991 to 1993. While at CDC, he performed cervical cancer epidemiological research in Africa. From 1993 until 1996, Dr. Johnson was a gynecologic oncology fellow at University of Minnesota.

In 1996, 18 years after graduating from Berlin High School, Dr. Johnson began his career as a gynecologic oncologist. He eventually became Director of Gynecologic Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Johnson is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, gynecologic oncology as well as hospice and palliative care. He is a fellow at the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Society of Gynecologic Oncology. He performed the first gynecologic oncology robotic surgery in Wisconsin, and taught robotic surgery throughout the United States.

Dr. Johnson continues to return to his roots on his farm west of Berlin, where he practices regenerative agriculture. Dr. Peter loves to learn and finds new excitement through his farm. “To challenge yourself is to grow, to improve is to change.” He knows that one must step outside their comfort zone because that is where real growth happens.

Robert (Bob) Malchetske

Robert MalchetskeBob Malchetske, a lifelong resident of Berlin, has devoted many hours to better and make a difference in the Berlin community. For this dedication, he is a 2019 Honoree for the ‘Be Proud, Be Inspired’ Inspiration Wall.

Malchetske’s participation in the Berlin community began in 1976 when he and his brother, Tom, opened Malchetske’s Liquor Store. Bob was only 17 at the time! Together they ran the store for 28 years. At the same time, Bob was also an active member of Berlin’s Fire Department to 1989 when his service as a fire fighter ended due to an injury.

Following his time on the Berlin Fire Department and managing his liquor store, Malchetske dedicated a significant amount of time supporting and working for sport programs for the youth, including the Berlin Bulldogs Football and Cheerleading teams and Berlin Basketball. Along with supporting youth programs, Malchetske is a member of the Berlin Athletic Booster’s Club, where he played an integral role in the formation of the Berlin High School Athletic Hall of Fame that began in 2017.

Not only has Malchetske volunteered his time to sport programs, but he has served the community by being a member of the Berlin City Council, Berlin’s Housing Task Force and the Green Lake County Board of Supervisors. He has spent time as a chairman for both the Green Lake County Finance Committee and Green Lake County’s Committee on Aging. By participating on several different committees, Malchetske was named Citizen of the Year by Berlin’s Chamber of Commerce in 2014.

Today, celebrating his 14th work anniversary at Farmer’s & Merchants Bank, Malchetske works as the Chief Investment Officer, where he shares his financial expertise with a number of clubs, organizations and with his church. Currently, he is also participating on the Boys & Girls Club of the Tri-County’s Financial Committee and sits on Berlin’s Library Board.

While Malchetske’s passion is to keep progressing the Berlin community, his top priority is spending time with his wife of 27 years, Elizabeth (Beth) Malchetske and his son, Patrick. By continuing to share his knowledge, his time, and silently donating to many projects and causes, Malchetske’s lifestyle displays his support for his motto:

“If it’s for the kids, do it!! They are our future.”

Luther S. Olsen

Luther S OlsenLuther S. Olsen was born in Berlin in 1951. He graduated from Berlin High School in 1969 and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1973. He completed the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program Group IV in1990-1992.

Senator Olsen was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 2004, after serving in the Wisconsin State Assembly for 10 years. He started his public service career as member of the Berlin Area School Board from 1976 to 1997, including holding the office of President of the Board from 1986 to 1995. This position gave him his dedication to the education of Wisconsin’s youth while serving in both of the Wisconsin State Legislature.

The statement “also serves” appears many times in his list of offices and assignments to date. Senator Olsen is not afraid to take a leadership role indicated by the number of “chair” or “co-chair” positions he has held on various Boards, Commissions and Committees.

Senator Olsen’s legislative interests have focused on education, local government, small businesses and children. He is considered one of the most knowledgeable people in the legislature when it comes to the school aid formula and has authored a number of bills making adjustments to the school funding system to better meet the needs of school districts around the state. He has authored laws related to special education, truancy and teacher licensure, among many others. He has advocated for businesses in his district by authoring laws relating to rental units, wineries, mobile homes and tourism. He was the author of the state’s Graduated Driver’s License law, which changed the way teenagers get their driver’s license.

The value the people of Wisconsin and beyond feel for his service is indicated by the number of awards presented to him including several “Legislator of the Year” awards.

His favorite saying: “Livin’ the dream!” indicates how much he enjoys working for the citizens of Wisconsin.