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‘It’s been wonderful': Janesville high school sweethearts celebrate 79th wedding anniversary

There’s a secret to a long and happy marriage: Say yes when you should, say no when you should, and know when to stand up or sit down.

That’s what Janesville resident Bud Strand swears by. And he should know—he and his bride, Helen, celebrated 79 years of marriage Saturday, June 25. Now both 97 years old, the two married just out of high school in 1943 while Bud was on leave from Navy boot camp.

“It has to be pretty good to hold on for that long,” Bud said during a party Friday, June 24, hosted by friends and family at Cedar Crest Senior Living where he and Helen have resided for six years.

“It’s been wonderful, really,” Helen agreed. “We’ve gotten along so well, and we’ve been happy together and we traveled a lot.”

Party attendees offered hugs, most saying Bud and Helen are the only couple they’ve ever known who have reached 79 years of marriage.

Bud and Helen are high school sweethearts, having met in 1938 and graduating from Hollandale High School in 1943. The blonde-haired girl (which Bud said first caught his eye) and the boy with black curly hair attended proms together before he was drafted to serve in World War II.

Right before leaving for boot camp, Bud made a promise to Helen: When I get back, we’re getting married.

Bud kept that promise. He and Helen were wed at her parents’ farmhouse between Mineral Point and Hollandale shortly after he returned home.

“He’s been a wonderful husband,” Helen said as she rested her hand upon Bud’s arm while they sat in Cedar Crest’s community room during their anniversary party. “He really has helped me. He only wants to help, and so that’s great.”

Bud was only on boot leave for 10 days, and was deployed with the Navy for nearly three years, spending time aboard a ship in the Pacific Ocean.

It was not the first time he tried to sign up.

Prior to being drafted, he and a few other boys from his high school had gone to sign up for the Navy after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. They were turned away and told to go home to finish their education.

Bud and Helen had one son, Richard. He and his wife, Sharon, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2018, the same year his parents marked their 75th.

Bud made his career as a tool maker after the service, and Helen spent more than three decades as the bookkeeper for the Janesville Country Club. After retirement, the two spent years wintering in Florida.

Helen has her own piece of advice for a happy marriage.

“I do the cooking, and he does the cleanup work,” she said.

Anthony Wahl 

Bud and Helen Strand are gifted a small plant during a celebration at Cedar Crest in Janesville on Friday for their 79th wedding anniversary. The two married in 1943 after Bud returned from basic training in the Navy during World War II.

Janesville, area communities set July 4 events

The July 4 holiday weekend is ahead, with many events across the area. Here’s a rundown of local fun.


Independence Day on the Rock: The Rock Aqua Jays Water Ski Show Team will return with its annual “Independence Day on the Rock” event from 7-10 p.m. Monday, July 4, at Traxler Park, 600 N. Main St, Janesville.

The event will include a performance by the team on the Rock River, live music, a beer tent and fireworks. The event is free to attend, but donations are welcome.

For more information, visit


Rhythm & Booms: Milton’s Rhythm & Booms festival will take place at Schilberg Park on West High Street in Milton from Friday, July 1 through Monday, July 4.

A brief opening ceremony with presentation of the flag and the singing of the national anthem will kick things off at 5 p.m. on Friday. Carnival rides, food, music and a beer tent will be available all weekend.

There will be a nominal charge for preferred parking in the Schilberg parking lot beginning at 5 p.m. each day. Parking at the high school remains free.

On Monday, Milton’s first Rhythm & Booms fireworks show begins at dark, coordinated with a musical soundtrack put together by Milton High School band director Nathan Czech and refined by WJVL Radio in Janesville. Diamond Assets is sponsoring the show.

Parade: Milton’s Fourth of July parade is Monday at 1 p.m. and will follow its traditional route along Madison Avenue and down Hilltop. Seating can be at a premium but this year, a grandstand with bleachers is available. Parade-goers can vote for the People’s Choice Award by texting Henze at 262-473-9585.

Other highlights: Other events include softball tournaments, a “Guns & Hoses” challenge between the Milton Police Department and Milton Fire Department, a car show, a wine tasting event, the Milton Community Days farmer’s market and craft show, and a motorcycle stunt show. On Saturday, you can “Lunch & Learn” during an interactive discussion on U.S. history and past presidents.

New for kids and families is the YMCA Kickball Tournament. To celebrate the YMCA’s 130th birthday, the team whose combined age adds up closest to 130 wins a special prize. The winning team will also receive a prize.

Other new additions for kids and families include the Milton Fire Department’s “Mobile Splash Pad” and tour of the fire trucks, a Milton Public Library story walk and arts and crafts station and a series of high energy interactive programs for kids on small stages throughout the weekend.

Independence Day run: The Milton Optimist Club will hold its annual Independence Day run starting at 8 a.m. Monday, July 4, at Milton High School, 114 W. High St., Milton.

Participants can choose from a 1-mile run, a 10K walk or a 10K run, with all proceeds going toward Optimist Club to support youth through scholarships, the library’s summer reading program and holiday events. The 10K walk will begin at 8 a.m., 10K runners will begin at 8:30 a.m. and 1-milers will start at 8:35 a.m.

Online registrations will be accepted through June 29, but participants can register on race day from 7 to 8:15 a.m.

For more information, visit and search for “Milton Optimists 2022 Independence Day Run.”


Kids Bike Parade: The annual Fourth of July Kids Bike Parade will be held at 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 4, at Riverside Park, South Riverside Drive, Beloit. Children are encouraged to bring non-motorized bikes and scooters to the parade, and the City of Beloit will provide decorations for them to deck out their wheels with patriotic spirit.

The parade will travel around the lagoon starting at 10 a.m.

The event is free to participate in, but registration is limited to the first 50 children. Registration is due by Thursday, June 30.

For more information, call the city’s Parks and Recreation department at (608) 364-2890.

Pops on the Rock: On Monday, July 4, ABC Supply Stadium in downtown Beloit will be the site of “Pops on the Rock.” The Beloit Sky Carp will host this Fourth of July celebration from 6-10 p.m. at ABC Supply Stadium, 217 Shirland Ave.

There will be bounce houses for kids, a showing of the movie “National Treasure,” and a concert by the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks will follow the concert around 9 p.m. Admission is free and the Sky Carp will have concessions available for purchase.

For more information, visit


Lions fireworks: The Edgerton Lions Club will brighten the night sky with fireworks on Sunday, July 3, at Racetrack Park, 900 Stoughton Road, Edgerton.

Starting at 4 p.m., the club’s fundraiser will include a petting zoo for children, chicken bingo and live music from bands Cactus Mother and Gas Can Alley.

Fireworks will be set off at dusk.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase.

For more information, visit


Lake Leota Fourth of July: The annual Lake Leota Fourth of July four-day event will return July 1-4 at the park, North Madison Street and Antes Drive, Evansville.

The festivities will start Friday, July 1, at 5 p.m., with southern Wisconsin-based country band Bree Morgan Reloaded performing from 8 p.m. to midnight.

On Saturday, June 2, the day will be kicked off with a kid’s fishing contest at 8 a.m. and kid’s activities from noon to 4 p.m.; the festival tent will run from noon to midnight. Rock band Titan Fun Key will perform from 2-6 p.m., and another rock band, Madison-based LUBE, will cap off the night with a return to the festival from 8 p.m. to midnight.

On Sunday, July 3, the day will begin with a car show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by a euchre tournament from 1-3 p.m. At 5 p.m., the Evansville Jays baseball team will take on Waterloo McKays.

The Fourth of July events will start with a 1-mile, 5K and 10K run starting at 7:30 a.m. Monday. A children’s parade will follow at 9:45 a.m., with the full parade just after at 10 a.m. The festival tent will be open from noon to 10 p.m., where attendees can partake in the Evansville Lions Club’s chicken barbeque meal and the Evansville United Methodist Church pie sale.

Madison-based blues group The Jimmys will perform from 1-4 p.m., with rock and roll band The Hounds from 5:30-9:30 p.m. The Jays will play against McFarland Muskies at 5 p.m. at the park.

The festival will be capped off with fireworks at dusk.

For more information, visit


Fireworks in Sunset Park: Elkhorn will start its Fourth of July celebration early with fireworks, live music and food on Friday, July 1.

Starting at 5 p.m. at Sunset Park, 200 Devendorf St., Elkhorn, the Holton-Elkhorn Band will perform in the park’s bandshell. Food will be available for purchase from the Elkhorn FFA and 4-H groups.

Fireworks are scheduled to start at dusk.

For more information, search “Elkhorn’s Star Spangled Celebration” on Facebook.


Fourth of July festival: Whitewater’s annual Fourth of July festival will return to Cravath Lakefront Park from July 1-4.

The four-day festival will include amusement rides and food vendors each day, as well as live music and fireworks throughout the weekend.

At 6 p.m. Friday, July 1, a pageant will be held to crown Miss Whitewater 2022. On Saturday, July 2, a car show will be held from 2-7 p.m. alongside live music from Burlington-based sister duo, Gebel Girls, at 2 p.m., and Amanecer Y Mas at 5 p.m. Hard rock band Kings of Radio will close out the night at 8 p.m. leading to fireworks at 10 p.m.

On Sunday, July 3, First United Methodist Church will host a church service at 10 a.m., and a free petting zoo will be held from noon to 4 p.m.

The festivities on Monday, July 4, will kick off with a one-mile race at 9:45 a.m. before the Fourth of July parade. At 2 p.m., Whitewater-based American polka musician Steve Meisner will take the stage, and rock band Titan Fun Key will follow at 5 p.m. Cold Sweat and the Brew City Horns will play at 8 p.m. prior to the fireworks show at 10 p.m.

For more information, visit

Independence Day parade: The city of Whitewater will host its annual Independence Day parade starting at 9:30 a.m. Monday, July 4.

The parade will start at Lincoln Elementary School, 242 S. Prince St., and head north to Main Street and end at Fremont Street.

Digital entry forms to participate in the parade are available online at


Fireworks will return at dusk on Monday, July 4, over Fontana Beach, located off of South Lake Shore Drive. The fireworks are set off from a barge in the middle of the lake, making them easy to watch from either the land or the water

East Troy

Lions Music Festival: The East Troy Music Festival will return for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The event will feature a carnival all three days, a dart tournament, a washer tournament, wrist wrestling and live music on three separate stages around Playmore Park, 3072 Graydon Ave.

A parade will take place at noon Sunday, July 3, starting on Main Street and ending at Playmore Park, and a fireworks show will start at dusk.

For more information, visit

Obituaries and death notices for June 28, 2022

Howard Bruce Clement

Leilani M. Fields

Kenneth “Kenny” Harris I

Genevieve P. Hoover

Dorothy Ann “Nibby” (Dean) Jordan

Barbara Walls Mixon

Cheral A. (Fennig) Sadler

Diana Wimberley

Alleged metals shop shooter pleads not guilty to homicide


An Evansville man has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting death of a coworker in April.

Lawyers for Kevin L. Todd, 23, entered a not guilty plea during a preliminary hearing held via video conference on Monday, June 27. Todd joined the conference virtually from the Rock County Jail, waived a preliminary hearing and stood mute as his lawyers entered the plea.

Todd was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, a Class A felony, and three counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, each a Class F felony, for allegedly fatally shooting Devon J. Hills, 30, at Precision Drawn Metals, 1345 Plainfield Ave., in Janesville, on April 26.

The maximum penalty for the homicide charge is life imprisonment. Fo each recklessly endangering safety charge, the maximum penalty is 12 and a half years imprisonment, a $25,000 fine, or both.

Todd is being held at the jail on a $1 million cash bond.

According to a criminal complaint filed April 29 in Rock County, Todd told Janesville police detective Chris Buescher he didn’t know Hills’ name and it “definitely” was his intention to kill him. Todd claimed Hills “just talked s— to me” starting the second day of his employment at Precision Drawn Metals.

Todd told police he had worked at the shop for about a week when he started taking a gun to work with him the day before the shooting. He said he had thought all the previous weekend about comments Hills had allegedly made, according to the complaint.

The day of the shooting, Todd told police Hills had threatened to run him over with a forklift if he didn’t get out of the way, a remark he said he did not hear but that was relayed to him by a co-worker, according to the complaint. Todd said he stewed over the supposed forklift comment at his workstation before taking the handgun he had in his pants pocket, finding Hills at a sink and shooting him in the back, the complaint stated.

After the shooting, Todd fled the scene and drove back to his home in Evansville, where he retrieved another gun and told his grandmother that he had killed someone, according to the complaint.

The case could go to a jury trial following the not-guilty plea. No dates have been set for jury selection or a trial, according to online court records.