Obituary: David Donald Murphy, 77

David Donald Murphy, 77, of Whitewater, Wisconsin, formerly of Dubuque, Iowa, has gone home to be with the Lord on December 17th, 2021.

He was resting peacefully surrounded by his wife, their children and immediate family when he passed away.

Dave, born December 26, 1943, was the oldest of seven children to Donald and Lucille (Knockel) Murphy of Dubuque, and the oldest of 44 grandchildren of William and Kate Knockel of St. Catherine’s, Iowa. David “Dave” and Karen “Kay” Pfohl were married in 1966, and they spent their life showing their children how to work hard and to love each other.

Dave was a graduate of Wahlert High School and DeVry University, Chicago. He enjoyed camping with his children, gardening and teaching his grandchildren about history, math and the solar system.

He is survived by his wife, Karen, of Whitewater, WI; his children Bill (Nicole) Murphy of Dubuque, Rob Murphy of Rockford, Illinois, Doug (Kara) Murphy of Dubuque, Scott Murphy of Island Lake, Illinois, Dana (Cory) Newmann of Whitewater, Wisconsin and Brian Murphy of Janesville, Wisconsin, 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by three sisters, two brothers and two aunts.

Dave is preceded in death by his parents, Don and Lucille Murphy, his brother Tom Murphy, his brother-in-law Mike Schmitt, his brother in-law Patrick Lansing, his in-laws Clarence and Gertrude (Ramaker) Pfohl, and Marty and Tootsie Kelly, his children’s adopted grandparents.

A private service will be held for immediate family due to COVID-19, and a celebration of life will be held at a later date for extended family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established and gifts will be made in Dave’s memory. 

Swimmers Continue to Improve Times

The Boys’ Swim Team was back in action Tuesday night, January 4, going against Jefferson/Cambridge and PSC after having a couple weeks off.

Tyler Arnett continues to put on strong performances in the 200 Freestyle, going a 2:08.88, and 500 Freestyle, going a 5:36.85, just seconds off of his season best time. Tyler won both of his individual events!

Jack Hefty won the 200 Individual Medley and had a 6 second time drop. He continues to swim fast in the 100 Freestyle, going a 1:00.02, so close to getting under a minute. Later, during the meet, he led off in the 400 Freestyle Relay, where he broke that minute mark and went a time of 59.55!

Miles Nickelsburg had a 4 second drop in the 50 Freestyle, going a 32.40 and had a nice swim in the 100 Backstroke going a 1:41.23.

Andrew O’Toole had a nice swim in the 100 Freestyle, going a 1:15.39! He also tried out the 100 Breaststroke for the first time, going a 1:59.88. Andrew also had an impressive relay split in the 200 Freestyle Relay going a 33.81.

Casey Schilling continues to improve his 50 Freestyle time, going a 36.78! He also had an impressive drop in the 100 Backstroke, going a 1:53.15.

Zach Tomomitsu swam a 100 Butterfly, going an impressive time of 2:13.98. Zach also continues to improve his 100 Breaststroke time, with a 14 second drop, going a 2:07.85!

The boys are up against Burlington and Edgerton/Evansville on Tuesday, January 11th, at Burlington Wellness Center starting at 5:30 pm.

Article and Photo Submitted by Sarah Reynolds
Whitewater High School Co-Head Boys’ Swim Coach

Boys’ Basketball Claims Victory Over Clinton

The Whitewater Boys’ Basketball Team made a successful trip to Clinton, Tuesday, January 4th, defeating the Cougars 64-49.

Jon Aron

The Whippets outscored Clinton 10 to 2 in the last four minutes to take a 33-23 halftime lead. A 12-point Whitewater advantage at the free throw line in the second half helped the Whippets hold off Clinton’s comeback attempts and win a hard fought, physical game.

Whitewater was led by Jon Aron’s 21 points, making 9 out of 15 shots. Sam Brown continued his steady all around play with 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. Jake Hintz and Ramon Wence chipped in with 13 and 10 points. The Whitewater boys next play at McFarland on Friday, January 7th.

Article Submitted by Dwayne Lange
File Photo Courtesy of Bob Mischka

Fort Atkinson Online Article: “[WHS] Teacher’s retirement fuels controversy; supporters look for reinstatement”

One of two large signs erected on properties owned by Whitewater resident Geoff Hale show support for Whitewater High School tech-ed teacher Mike Wintz. After an accident that occurred in his classroom late last year, Wintz was offered an option to retire. He submitted his retirement letter on Dec. 13. Supporters have asked school board members to reinstate him. (Photo and caption copied from Fort Atkinson Online, which states, “Contributed photo.”)

Per an article dated January 3, 2022 in Fort Atkinson Online, “While few details have been released by the Whitewater Unified School District regarding an accident occurring within the Whitewater High School’s tech-ed department late last year, the retirement of shop teacher Mike Wintz — which is related to the incident — has garnered disapproval from many of his supporters.”

“Efforts to reinstate him continue according to Geoff Hale, a Whitewater resident and one of Wintz’s supporters. Hale is the owner of Home Lumber, 499 W. Whitewater St., and a distribution facility, 960 E. Milwaukee St., both in Whitewater. He has erected plywood signs on both of his properties which state: “Save Wintz and tech ed please call school board.”  The signs went up just before Christmas, Hale said.”

The article later continues, “During a school board meeting held Dec. 20, some 20 members of the public addressed the school board, asking for its consideration in reinstating Wintz.”

To read the entire Fort Atkinson Online article, click here.

School Board & Common Council Candidates Announced

By Al Stanek
Whitewater Banner volunteer staff

School Board

Jaclyn Tueting, Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent & School Board Secretary, reported that as of the January 4 deadline the following four persons had filed as candidates for the School Board election on April 5. A spring primary is not required. The two newly elected School Board members will take office on April 25, 2022. 

Miguel Aranda
Jennifer Kienbaum (incumbent)
Joseph Kromholz (incumbent)
Andrea Svec

Common Council

Michele Smith, City Clerk, reported that as of the January 4 deadline the following persons had filed as candidates for the Common Council election on April 5. A spring primary is not required. The newly elected Council members will take office on April 19, 2022.

District 2 – Lukas Schreiber (incumbent), 375 N. Harmony La., # 125A
District 4 – Jill Gerber, 234 S. Pleasant St.
At Large – Jim Allen (incumbent), 215 E. Clay St., #42
At Large – Chuck Mills, 336 S. Whiton St.

Ice Age Trail Alliance Protects Ninth Property of 2021: “Most Successful Year of Land Protection in 30 years”

Editor’s note: The following information was provided by the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Whitewater is designated an Ice Age Trail Community.

Another 40.1 acres of land in Dane County has been permanently protected for the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

On December 22, the Ice Age Trail Alliance closed on a Town of Dane property, which is adjacent to the Lodi Marsh State Wildlife Area, near the Lodi Marsh Segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

The new property will provide at least one-half mile of new Ice Age Trail plus a loop trail, and much-needed area for camping.

“The mix of mature forest and open views make this property a wonderful addition to the Ice Age Trail,” says Kevin Thusius, Director of Land Conservation for the Alliance.

Funding for the $495,000 acquisition came from Alliance member support, the land fund of the Alliance’s Dane County Chapter, as well as the generosity of Prairie Springs: The Paul Fleckenstein Trust.

The Alliance will seek grant reimbursement for the land purchase from Dane County’s Conservation Fund and the Wisconsin Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund.

This acquisition is the ninth for the Alliance in 2021; making this its most successful year of land protection in 30 years.

Protecting land is the first step to creating—and ultimately completing—the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. 

“A number of elements aligned this year for the Alliance,” says Thusius. “Landowners looking to sell land combined with the financial support of our donors and supporters, enabled us to move quickly to protect significant property, which will help extend the Trail.”

In addition to the property in Dane County, the Alliance protected:

  • 3 properties in Langlade County
  • 1 property in each of the following counties: Polk, Waushara, Taylor, Washington, and Portage

Once land is protected, the Alliance develops a management plan, which determines property uses and future developments such as trail and camping locations. While planning is underway, state and federal reviews take place. Once approvals are received, construction can begin on trails and parking lots, boundaries are marked, and signage is put up.  

The Ice Age Trail Alliance continuously seeks opportunities to protect land within the up-to-three-mile-wide corridor identified by the National Park Service as the route for the National Scenic Trail. Currently, 675 miles of the nearly 1,200-mile Trail is blazed hiking trail, ready for use. The remainder of the route follows rural highways and backroads. 

About the Ice Age National Scenic Trail:

The Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a 1,200-mile footpath contained entirely within Wisconsin. It traverses the state from St. Croix Falls in the west, to Sturgeon Bay in the east, going as far south as Janesville. One of 11 National Scenic Trails, the Ice Age Trail highlights the landscapes that were carved out by ancient glaciers, which happen to be some of the most beautiful areas in the state. Approximately 60% of Wisconsin residents live within 20 miles of the Ice Age Trail.

About the Ice Age Trail Alliance:

The Ice Age Trail Alliance is a non-profit, member and volunteer-based organization which conserves, creates, maintains, and promotes the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. For more information on our work, visit

Obituary: Trudy A. Thatcher, 67

Trudy A. Thatcher, 67, of Whitewater passed away on December 11, 2021 at The Glenwood in Whitewater.

Trudy was born to Wilbur and Gertrude (Dietz) Thatcher on November, 27, 1954 in Waukegan, Illinois. 

She was an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers.

Trudy is survived by her sisters, Therese Fleming of Fort Atkinson, Celena (Doug) Gwaltney of Antioch, IL, Liz Thatcher of Milton, Chris (Paul) Trewyn of Whitewater; brother, Brian Thatcher of Whitewater; many nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Wilbur and Gertrude Thatcher; and brother, Thomas Thatcher.

A memorial mass will take place at 11 AM on January 8, 2021 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Whitewater.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Rainbow Hospice, Wisconsin American Cancer Society, or a charity of one’s choice.

Nitardy Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences can be made at

Whitewater Arts Alliance Seeks Members & Volunteers

We’re excited to invite you to join our remarkable cultural collective at The Whitewater Arts Alliance! It’s been an encouraging year for the WAA as we’ve continued programming for the community. As a paid Arts Alliance member, your benefits include:

  • Reduced fees to participate in our exhibits (including free Member Show Highlight in Nov/Dec)
  • Reduced prices on wonderful workshops
  • Announcements about exhibit/workshop opportunities from other artists and local organizations
  • Supporting community events like solo shows, group shows, community theatre, our annual Savory Sounds Concert Series, and more!

Membership is tax deductible and lasts through the calendar year – January through December.

We also thrive because of the work of our volunteers. Consider becoming a docent (a receptionist/guide at the Cultural Arts Center), or help us install a show. Perhaps you’re a great baker and could donate a few goodies for a reception. Let us know how you might be willing to help; no experience is required and it’s easy to learn. Any amount of time you have to give is greatly appreciated. For more information, contact To sign up as a member, you can go to

Join us as we work together as a community to support the arts and culture in Whitewater!

The WAA Board of Directors

Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.” – Bertolt Brecht

Whippet Boys Fall Twice Over Winter Break

The Whitewater Boys’ Basketball Team had a rough end to 2021 last week, losing to two non-conference opponents. On Tuesday, December 28, Monona Grove defeated the Whippets 77-55. Monona Grove took control of the game towards the end of the first half and never looked back. Their balanced scoring and 43-23 rebounding advantage were too much for Whippets to overcome. Whitewater was led by Wyatt Nickels (20 points), Sam Brown (11 points), and Jake Hintz (8 rebounds).

Wyatt Nickels drives for two against Elkhorn

On Thursday, December 30, Elkhorn outscored Whitewater 83-65. The end of the first half, again, was a problem time for the Whippets, as Elkhorn turned a back and forth game into a 16-point lead in the last six minutes. Wyatt Nickels again led Whitewater with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Jake Hintz chipped in 17 points on five 3-pointers, and Sam Brown added 10 points, but it wasn’t enough as Elkhorn maintained that lead throughout the second half, led by Drew Davey’s 41 points.

The Whippets next play at Clinton on Tuesday, January 4th, and Friday, January 7th, at McFarland.

Article Submitted by Dwayne Lange
Photo Courtesy of Peter Mischka