If you have been viewing my Easter Bunny, Santa, and Princess Prom pictures over the last 15 years you may have wondered where all of the babies/kids are coming from.
One reason is that kids who grew up and went to school here - then went to college, found employment elsewhere, and then started families, soon realized that the boring little town they grew up in wasn't all that bad after all.
Fortunately some jobs were available here or in surrounding communities so young couples started moving back to Manning - without a job people can't move to a community to live in.
One business that has had a major impact on this return of young people is Puck Enterprises, started by Ben & Kathy (Willenborg) Puck...now joined by their children and dozens of employees of guess what??? Young People.
A very impressive achievement by 2 kids who grew up on family farms near Manning.
I don't have any baby pictures of Ben or Kathy and they will probably be glad about it - here are 2 from high school.
Ben Puck MHS 1977
1974 - 75 Basketball - JV (no girls' varsity yet)
2019 Puck Enterprises employee babies
Not pictured: Travis Baughman (IKM 2007), Steven Blackwell (IKM-M 2010), Ben Puck (1977 MHS), Kathy (1978 MHS) Puck, PUCK Enterprises, INC Owners.
"We are blessed to have a community that continues to evolve. Our communities have always been successful in exporting many talented students that have a
well-rounded education that benefits employers with their skill sets. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are supported by reaffirming their importance and
rededicating additional efforts for our students. This focus strengthens important skill sets...that bring added value to our students that many
students in other school systems may not be able to obtain. These skills are very important to our community as it fights to
survive and continue to be competitive in the world we live."
From the 2006 Manning Quasqui history book - family section
Benny Duane, is the son of Edward and Helen (Moeckl) Puck. Ben grew up on farms by Gray and Viola before moving to the family farm in 1967. His siblings are Ella (Lauritsen), Wanda (Johnson), Helen (Ernst), Garry, and Edward. Grandparents are William and Margaretha (Joens) Puck and Anton Gustave and Rachel Fern (Hineman) Moeckl.
Kathleen Jean, is the daughter of Leo and Darlene (Haberl) Willenborg. Kathy grew up on a farm near Aspinwall with her siblings: Dale, Ron, Linda (Wolf), Patty (Axman), Steve, Lori (Willenborg-Schreck), Kenny, and Theresa (Nash). Her grandparents are Bernard Frank and Genevieve Vivian (Daniel) Haberl, and Henry and Ida (Uhlenkamp) Willenborg.
Ben and Kathy are the parents of four children: Jeremy Benjamin, Nancy Kathleen, Mary Elizabeth, and Daniel Edward. All four children were born at St. Anthony Hospital in Carroll. Jeremy attended Iowa State University and is now working for Puck Custom Enterprises in Manning. Jeremy married Melissa Pfannkuch on September 3, 2005. Nancy is in college at the University of Northern Iowa. Mary is at the University of Iowa. Danny is a junior at Manning High School. Throughout their high school careers they played on the Bulldog athletic teams, broke many records, and loved to compete. Go Bulldogs! Ben and Kathy were, and still are, dedicated fans.
In 1979, Ben and Garry started Puck Brothers' Pumping. They applied liquid animal nutrient to farmland. From that original business, Ben and Kathy now own and operate Puck Custom Enterprises, Inc. The business today applies liquid nutrient to farmland and also does custom cutting, raking, and medium square baling of hay.
The Pucks are members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Manning where Kathy is a lector, teaches CCD, and is a member of the Catholic Daughters. For many years she also served as Bible School director. Ben has served as a church director with Pete Croghan for the past eleven years, is an usher, and a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Their children have been involved in the SHOUT youth group, CORE group, and have been mass servers.
Ben has served on many boards, including Iowa Forage and Grasslands Council, Aspinwall Coop, and Manning Betterment Foundation. He is also a founding partner of Farm Partners Supply Company.