To Marry or Not to Marry?

Conventional wisdom holds that married people live longer and are healthier than singles. And research suggests that may be true. Studies show that married people, particularly men, are less likely to die early and are less likely to die from heart disease or stroke. But why? And what about people who are in committed relationships but haven’t said “I do”? Or those who are happily single? Experts weigh in on long-term love and your well-being.

What’s So Healthy About Marriage?

Safer behavior. Christopher Fagundes, PhD, psychologist and researcher at The Ohio State University, says there is less risk-taking and substance abuse when couples marry — even less than if they just move in together.

Socially connected. “If you’re married, ideally that’s your closest relationship,” says Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, S. Robert Davis Chair of Medicine at The Ohio State University. “That means there’s a partner and close source of support readily available.”

On the other hand, says psychiatrist Sudeepta Varma, MD, of NYU Langone Medical Center, people who are alone and unhappy may run the risk of social isolation. That can lead to depression and neglecting one’s health.

Hometown Inspiration

Meet Bonnie and Larry Clark.  Both born and raised in Footville, Wisconsin, these two started dating when Bonnie was only 13 years old!!  Bonnie was living on a farm at the time and Larry (16) drove a 1940 convertible which she says “sure wish we had it now!”  Larry did a two-year tour in the Navy in 1956 and 1957 and came back to marry his sweetheart who tells me she “never had another boyfriend”.





Married September 27th, 1958, they will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this year!  My in-laws, Ron & Karen Akey (founders of Akey Manufacturing) are also celebrating 60 years in July 2018.  The benefits of long lasting marriages are many.  Married people live longer, are better off financially and many studies also support the idea that children living with married parents do better in a variety of ways than children living in any other living arrangement.





Bonnie and Larry have 2 sons, Todd (Carmen) & Lonnie (Margie).  Larry worked for Akey Manufacturing twice for 4 years and rode his motor bike to work and back every day!  Todd & Lonnie worked for us during summers before college doing construction when Akey added new Quanza Huts . And, Bonnie worked as a teacher’s aide for the Footville Elementary School for 34 years!


The couple have 6 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren and 1 on the way.





They enjoy traveling and camping with their family at the Milton KOA Family Campground.

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In Closing

The picture that inspired me to write this article….

Akey Picnic 2017 – Fun Time Bounces Frivolity!!





I was going through some photos for a display board for my dad’s 80th birthday party the other day and I was so glad I took a lot of pictures over the years!  Yes, it was an emotional roller coaster ride.  But, it brought back so many happy memories!

Moments are fleeting, time passes quickly before your eyes.  One of the most important elements for a successful photo is that it makes you feel something. What is it about a moment that moves someone enough to capture it? A wave will never crash against the shore in the same way; my dad will only turn 80 once; and the sun might never look like that again. It’s important to document and preserve that moment so that it can live and move you forever. Beauty and art are everywhere.  Pictures help you to hang on to memories a little longer.


Images can transport you to a different time and place. Photos of anything (the changing leaves of the season; your vacation; your family and friends) all can bring back the emotion you felt when they were taken.  Some of the following photos are just remarkable!  Anyone who knows me, knows I cry when I see a Kleenex commercial!  So, when I saw the photos from the picnic, I was moved and grateful that these moments were captured.  Thanks again to Kate Brown of Charly’s Studios!





Being a small business, one of our passions is supporting other small businesses.  This strengthens our entire community.  Customer Spotlight was designed to showcase other hardworking, community-oriented business owners who make up this Circle of Support. 


Consider this:  Since birth, we have been creating an intricate network of people in our lives; friends and/or family who are there for us in times of trouble, sorrow, and celebration. Those friends take an interest in us and our lives because we share common threads that bind us to one another. This group is called our Circle of Support or Friends. They are people we value in our lives who help us achieve our dreams or lend a hand when we are in need. We can count on them to be there for us. These relationships are formed in many ways, but generally come from meeting people in different places and environments. Meeting people, for most of us, occurs naturally and for the entirety of our lives.

This concept naturally flows into our business relationships as well.  We have built relationships with our fellow local business owners who have built relationships with their fellow business owners, etc.  Then there is the theory of 6 Degrees of Separation which is especially true when you live in a rural area!


Let me introduce you to this quiet, hardworking family man!

Bill married his high school sweetheart, Erin, in 2007.  They now have 3 beautiful children, Noah, Quinn, and Liam.  He enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.

He earned his HSED from Blackhawk Technical College in 1998, his Welding Degree in 2000 and a degree in Industrial Maintenance in 2008.  After purchasing his 1st portable welder at age 16, he then worked in Maintenance at Minhaus Brewery.  He subsequently built a customer base that ultimately allowed him to start Burchard Welding, LLC in 2009.


Boot Rack


  • Certified Any Position Unlimited Thickness
  • Crane Service 8600 lbs Up To 22′
  • Pipe Bending Up To 2″
  • 2 Fully Stocked Portable Welding Trucks

Bill’s work ethic and attention to detail are obvious when you read the reviews of his repeat customers.  Visit his Facebook Page At:



So, I think you can see where I am going with all of this!  Burchard Welding of Juda does business with Akey Manufacturing of Footville, we do business with McClaren Machine of Brodhead, who does business with us, and we do business with Burchard Welding! 🙂      

Akey’s Annual Company Picnic 2017!

Wow! What A Day!


What do you get when you add beautiful weather, food, fun, family & friends? Akey’s Annual Company Picnic! That’s what!

We had a great time and if you were unable to attend, you simply MUST come next year! Contact us to be added to our exclusive invitation list! 😉

Check out these AWESOME photos taken by Kate Brown of Charly’s Studios! This is a sneak peak and we will have more to come so you’ll have to stay tuned!


Please join us!!

What:  Akey Manufacturing’s Annual Company Picnic

When: Saturday, August 12th, 2017

1:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m.

Where: 319 Old Hwy 11S, Footville, WI 53537

Food, Fun, Friends, Music & More!!!

 Hope to See You There!!



This local couple was featured on our blog back in March of 2015.  Akey Manufacturing did some Custom Fabrication for their home.

Before that, Scott, along with another local contractor, was involved in a multi-faceted concrete project at our home.

And, I’ve had the pleasure of frequenting Kristin’s Salon on many occasions.

We are proud to know this hardworking duo and would like to introduce you!

Meet Kristin & Scott Marquis of Beloit, Wisconsin.

Striking out 2005

After 12 years of working with other contractors, Scott started Scott Marquis Construction in 2005.  His skills and services include: concrete counter tops, concrete flatwork, additions, remodeling, garages, windows, roofing and siding.


On Her Own 2003

After working 11 years for others, Kristin now owns and operates:

 About Hair; A full service salon, specializing in hair color and eye lash lifts(Est 2003)


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Painted Lady; re-finishing and re-purposing new and old furniture (Est 2013)


& Learn to Lash; teaching cosmetologists to apply lash extensions and perform lash lifts/perms as well as working part time at Madison College as a Cosmetology Instructor.



The purpose of  “Customer Spotlight” is to encourage people to recognize and support our local businesses.  Local farmers, craftsmen, antiques dealers, and other product providers, make items locally and sell on a smaller scale. Communities thrive when we work together.  Leading by example and teaching work ethics to our children, preserves our distinctive character.

Locally owned small businesses build strong communities by keeping dollars in the local economy.  They promote local decision making, create jobs and provide better wages and benefits.  Economics clearly show that when local businesses have more support the entire community is stronger.

Small business owners influence others in the community.  They demonstrate ingenuity, entrepreneurship, integrity, responsibility, & discipline.  They are the cornerstone to building partnerships.

You’re support is vital to a thriving community.  Local businesses hire local workers. In addition to staff for the stores, they hire architects and contractors for building and remodeling, accountants and insurance brokers to help them run the business, and ad agencies to promote it.

Contact Scott @ 608-290-1170 

and Kristin @ 608-289-6719



We here at Akey Manufacturing are big believers in supporting our community and local businesses.

Today I would like to tell you about a local businessman who just happens to be a loyal customer of ours as well!

Meet Scott Fredrickson of Twisted Wood, LLC.  In his years of experience he has done custom furniture, cabinetry, house building, remodeling and wood turning. He had been making custom pieces of furniture for 15 years, mostly as gifts and special requests. Then he started Twisted Wood, LLC in 2005 while working as a packaging designer and living in Evansville, WI.

My husband, Brad, and I recently commissioned our bedroom set to Scott and he did a beautiful job!  So much so, that I wanted to show it off to all of our customers, vendors & friends!

First, he took our queen size bed frame and converted it to a king size. Then, he built us each a nightstand.  And now, he is currently working on an armoire for us.

Just look at this beautiful craftsmanship and attention to detail!

More Projects….


St johns church2
nurse station left1
conf table side 1
union park bench 12

His brochure….


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 Thank you Scott!  We love our new Bedroom Set!

 Well worth the wait!

Call or Email today for a FREE quote:

Twisted Wood, LLC

 7839 N Robert Drive Evansville, WI 53536

608-576-WOOD (9663) or


Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl For Kids’ Sake

Dear Community Friend,


As the nation’s oldest, largest, and most effective donor supported youth mentoring network, Big Brothers Big Sisters helps vulnerable children beat the odds.  The children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters are often living in a single-parent household, growing up in poverty or coping with parental incarceration.

Big Brothers Big Sisters would like to invite you to support their 2017 Bowl For Kids’ Sake signature fundraiser.  Each year half a million people across America come together to have fun and raise money to support Big Brothers Big Sisters as we help children grow up positively.  By supporting your local agency, your contribution will help make a huge impact on the lives of children right here in our community!  Currently Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rock, Walworth and Jefferson Counties serves over 250 children and that number is growing continually.  THEY NEED YOUR HELP!

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships that help them make changes in their lives for the better, forever.  Independent research shows that after only a year in a Big/Little match, these children are twice as likely as their peers to avoid drug use, perform better in school and get along better at home and in the community.  This program works and is quickly growing! 


Where does the money go?

100% of the event’s net proceeds go directly into helping serve local children in the Tri-County area (Rock, Walworth and Jefferson Counties).  These funds make up over 20% of the annual budget for our Agency and are greatly needed and appreciated.  Big Brothers Big Sisters depends on donations to expand our programs, conduct background checks on volunteers to ensure child safety; and provide ongoing support for children, families and volunteers to build and sustain long-lasting on-to-one mentoring relationships.  In 2017 we will add three new programs to better serve children.  BBBS charges nothing to participate and be part of our program.

Your role in this effort to help local children cannot be over stated: We need your help to raise community awareness of the challenges faced by local children and to ask for the financial support needed to help change the trajectory of a child’s life.

This year’s Bowl For Kids’ Sake events are:


  • Friday, March 17th at 6:30p at Rock River Lanes in Fort Atkinson
  • Saturday, March 18th at 4p and 7p at Delavan Lanes in Delavan
  • Saturday, March 25th at 2p at Rivers Edge Bowl in Janesville


We hope your business will consider becoming a part of the local community businesses participating with a team of bowlers, being a Business Lane Sponsor or making a contribution to our Silent Auction…or maybe all three!!  Feel free to participate in any of the events; or all of them!  Please see my contact info below.

We look forward to partnering with you during our 2017 Bowl For Kids’ Sake Fundraiser!  Thank you for your consideration.




Mike  Gosenheimer, Bowl for Kids’ Sake Chair and Board Member

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rock, Walworth & Jefferson Counties

P.O. Box 655, Delavan WI  53115

262-728-8865 ~  ~  Federal Tax ID # 039-1132693

BBBS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization

Labyrinth Project

From time to time, Akey Manufacturing participates in special projects for our Rock County neighbors and community.  One such project was to fabricate a Labyrinth for the Evansville Peace Garden Project.

According to Wikipedia, in English, the term labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze. As a result of the long history of unicursal representation of the mythological Labyrinth, however, many contemporary scholars and enthusiasts observe a distinction between the two. In this specialized usage maze refers to a complex branching multicursal puzzle with choices of path and direction, while a unicursallabyrinth has only a single path to the center. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not difficult to navigate.

Unicursal labyrinths appeared as designs on pottery or basketry, as body art, and in etchings on walls of caves or churches. The Romans created many primarily decorative unicursal designs on walls and floors in tile or mosaic. Many labyrinths set in floors or on the ground are large enough that the path can be walked. Unicursal patterns have been used historically both in group ritual and for private meditation, and are increasingly found for therapeutic use in hospitals and hospices.

Here we have the labyrinth before being painted and put into place at the park.



And here we have it in place at the park.

Finger Labyrinth painted(2)


Finger Labyrinth painted (1)



Akey Manufacturing would like to thank all the volunteers who made this park possible.  Please visit Evansville Peace Park and enjoy this beautiful piece!

For more information visit: