Frater Dan biking the Sparta/Elroy trail
Frater Bothe was initiated into the Mu Nu Chapter as the fourth man to sign our scroll. While in school, he served as chapter Histor and had two little brothers in the fraternity. Danny came to Platteville from Watertown, WI for an engineering degree. He started in Civil Engineering but changed to Industrial Technology with a Visual Communication emphasis because that area was evolving and growing. Danny now lives in Horicon with Paulette, his wife of 48 years. They have 2 sons (Chad and Peter) and three grandchildren (Madelyn-11, Logan-10 and Avery-1 and 1/2). Frater Bothe retired from Broan in 2015 as a Manager of Advanced Manufacturing Engineering after 39 years with the company. He also worked for 5 years with Johnson Controls before accepting a position at Broan. Danny is enjoying every day of retirement and he occupies his time with activities such as hunting, fishing, playing guitar, singing and staying active. He also served in the Army National Guard from 1971-1977 and achieved the rank of Sergeant, E5.
Frater Dan with sons Peter and Chad
What brought you to Platteville? What drew you to our Greek fraternity?
I was looking to pursue an engineering degree. Madison was too large and MSOE was too expensive, so the choice came down to Stout and Platteville. I selected Platteville which turned out to be a good choice. I really enjoyed the size and location of the school, campus and the people.
Tom Metcalf was a friend to several of us on the Brockert dorm floor. He was already in the fraternity and convinced us to join. This turned out to be another good decision. I have many great experiences and relationships.
Danny W. Bothe, Army National Guard, 1971-1977
In your submission for our 50th anniversary commemorative book, you touched on the military draft assignment and listening to the draft numbers in the living room of the TKE house. How did the draft process work then? Can you describe how your military service has made a positive impact on you?
The military draft was very active during my college years in 1967-71. I recall us sitting around the TV at the TKE house listening to the live broadcast of the birthday lottery drawings. I believe it was in the fall of 1970. If your birthday was selected early, receiving a low number, you probably would be drafted. If your birthday was picked toward the end, receiving a high number, you probably did not have to worry. My birthday was picked 111th. If you were a full-time student and maintained a minimum grade point, you qualified for a "2S", Selective Service student deferment, exempt from the draft.
During Christmas break, I received my letter informing me that my deferment would end upon my graduation and I was to report for my physical. I passed and received a 1A rating effective June 1, 1971 qualifying me for the draft. Not wanting to leave things to chance as my number had already been called up and passed during 1970, I did some serious searching for alternatives. I found the Army did not have any options open that would further my 4 year degree. My fiance's father knew the First Sergeant of my local National Guard unit and suggested that I check them out. I found that I knew several of the members already and all things considered, it seemed a good choice. So I joined the Army National Guard in February 1971 for a six year commitment.
As three major life-changing events unfolded...I graduated on a Sunday and we got married the following Saturday after 4 years of dating. Then the following Friday, I was in Fort Ord, California reporting for 16 weeks of active Basic and Advanced Individual Training.
At the time, I felt I was only doing my duty and I was proud to be serving. Unfortunately during those years and for years after, military service was not viewed favorably. For example, servicemen returning from Vietnam would not wear their uniforms. I am glad attitudes have changed significantly. For me specifically, the most gratifying experiences happened in the last couple years at my granddaughter's elementary class military service recognition ceremonies. It has been so heartwarming to see this current generation have so much pride and gratitude for those who serve and have served. Now those six years of service almost 50 years ago seem totally worthwhile!
As an additional point regarding the selective service lottery and my choice with number 111 to join the Army National Guard for 6 years vs. chancing the possibility of being drafted...While I was still in basic training, they got up to the 90's and then suspended the draft! A few weeks later, they resumed the draft and went well beyond my number.
Paulette and Dan with granddaughter Maddy
Are there any other military service men or women in your family?
My father served in the US Army during WWII fighting in Europe.
After graduation and your military service, did you start your career in manufacturing engineering?
Fortunately, I was able to start my professional career about 2 months after my return from active Army training as an Industrial Engineer at Johnson Control's Watertown and Milwaukee facilities. I was at Johnson Controls for five years. My direct supervisor at Johnson Controls left the company and went to Broan Manufacturing in Hartford. When a position opened up at Broan, he hired me away from Johnson Controls which began my 39 year Broan career starting out as a Manufacturing Engineer. Then I moved on to Senior Manufacturing Engineer, Manufacturing Engineering Supervisor, Engineering (Product and Manufacturing) Manager and finally Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Manager.
Dan's Career Accomplishments
● Developed an automated bath fan manufacturing system: A bath fan completed every 5 seconds with a total manufacturing time, coil to carton of 2 minutes. Over 100 million products to date.
● Developed an automated range hood manufacturing system: One unique range hood completed every 8 seconds with a total product cycle time, coil to carton, of less than 2 hours with 300 variations capable of being produced in a batch size of one. Over 30 million products produced to date.
Achievement: These systems have kept and expanded jobs and the business in America.
● Taught many domestic and international employees and others, principles, techniques and processes of effective, simple and low cost continuous improvement.
Paulette and Dan on Charleston cruise
In your 50th RCB biography, you listed your hobbies and travel experiences. Are there any places you and your family would still like to see? Do have any memorable experiences from your travels?
We would like to see Utah's numerous national parks. Our memorable trips include Cocoa Beach, our son's wedding in Cancun, Yellowstone, Maui, Sparta-Elroy bike trail, and Devil's Lake State Park. These all hold memorable experiences, to name a few.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start traveling more?
You don't need to travel far nor spend a lot to see and experience new things. There are many points of interest to be found locally: Wisconsin's numerous state parks, bike rail-to-trails, small towns, diverse landscapes and changing seasons. All offer much adventure in our own backyard.
We can see that you enjoy hunting and fishing. Do you hunt for specific game? Do you prefer to fish for anything in particular?
My hunting adventures with both bow and gun have been for whitetail deer. We have been hunting almost 30 years outside of Mellen, WI near Ashland in the north woods. Last season I was lucky getting a buck with a bow and then a buck with a gun. It had been a long time since getting a deer in either season.
Occasionally in summer, I fish with a few retirees for bluegill but we do catch some bass too. I do a lot of ice fishing and target both panfish (bluegill, crappie and perch) and gamefish (northerns during the day and walleyes at night).
Frater Dan ice fishing with his granddaughter Maddy
Dan and Paulette with grandson Logan
How did you meet Paulette?
I had noticed Paulette in high school and wanted to meet her. A friend of mine knew Paulette's sister, so he set up a double date at a local bowling alley the summer of 1967. We had gone together for 4 years before we were married, now for 48 years!
Did you both go to high school in Watertown? Looking back, is there a particular life event that you two shared which sticks out in your mind?
I graduated from Watertown High School in 1967. Paulette also attended Watertown High School, graduating in 1968. I believe the proudest moments we share were the birth of our two sons and their weddings. Of course, we shared many great times before, during and after those. We also look forward to the many moments yet to come. I still joke about what I want to be when I grow up.
Paulette and Dan vacationing in St. Paul
Frater Dan with his youngest granddaughter Avery
How did you get involved with the Boy Scouts?
My oldest son joined Cub Scouts and they asked for volunteers. I started as a Webelos Den Leader, Assistant Cub Master, Committee Member and finally Scoutmaster for over 8 years while both of my sons were involved.
Dan's Daily Credos: "Do something different, be spontaneous, put a smile on someone's face and enjoy every day."
- Bluegill or walleye? Walleye
- Salt or pepper? Pepper
- Live bait or lure? Live bait
- Dance or sing? Sing
- Shoes or sandals? Sandals
- Snow or sun? Sun