Davis has contributed much to city over the years


Lorna Marquardt, Leader Columnist

To say that Norman (Woody) Davis cares about his community would be putting it mildly. Later this month, Woody will attend his last council meeting in an official capacity. Although he decided not to run again, those of you who know Woody realize he will always continue to do what he can for the city of Shawano and its residents.

Woody was first elected as alderperson in April 1999. He quickly earned the respect of his fellow alderpersons who elected him as council president in April 2003, a position he held for 13 years. He also served as the chairperson of the finance committee for more than a decade.

I enjoyed getting to know Woody on both a professional and personal basis. Over the years, we developed a great relationship. We laughed together and shared some difficult times, too. Losing Bill Guelzow brought our city family together, a bond we will always share.

Woody and his wife, Donna, enjoy walking, and City Hall was one of their frequent stops. During their visits, Woody would seek out those who were knowledgeable about agenda topics — the police chief, building inspector, administrator, etc. Woody believed in being prepared; he did his homework. He was always the voice of reason, carefully looking at all sides of an issue before placing his vote. He was low key, never trying to draw attention to himself. Woody was a team player and always took the high road.

Having a supportive spouse while in office is important. Residents approach elected officials at stores, restaurants, at church, wherever they have the opportunity. People call during mealtimes, in the evenings and on weekends. Donna is a warm and friendly person who understood the need for Woody to be easily accessible. She encouraged and supported his efforts.

Mayor Jeanne Cronce has high praise for Woody. She commented: “Woody has been a faithful and diligent council member since October of 1998, when the council appointed him to fill the position with the passing of my father, Oscar Reinholz. (Woody was then elected in April 1999) When I first congratulated him on the position, he said he knew he had big shoes to fill.”

Cronce joked: “I told him, ‘Yes, you do. Dad wore 13 A, which is like a long ski’! Woody laughed. … But in reality, he has done a phenomenal job representing the people in his district and the city of Shawano.”

Cronce added: “He will be missed by the council and myself. I sincerely wish him the very best.”

Mike Schuler, chairman for the town of Wescott, commented: “Woody was a good community leader who took his job of governing and serving the needs of his constituents very seriously. He has a great sense of humor. Now he will have a little more time to enjoy some warm weather days on the golf course. I wish him well.”

Fellow Alderperson Rhonda Strebel remarked: “It’s been a great privilege for me to sit next to Woody the past five years. When I was very new to the council and he was the president of the council, he put me on committees that gave me a great opportunity to learn about the city. Woody’s patience and experience helped me transition into my role as alderperson. For this I am very thankful.”

Woody was a part of the team that brought Eddie Sheppard to Shawano. Their admiration for one another is mutual. Sheppard commented: “Woody is the ultimate public servant. I have so much respect for him and how he worked with the council and staff. It is evident he cares so much for the city and growing the community in a positive way. His positive energy and enthusiasm will be missed.”

Woody served on many committees and commissions during his tenure. Thank you, Norman (Woody) Davis, for the role you played over the years in helping to make Shawano the best little city around. You can be so proud of your many accomplishments. You will be missed.

Answer to last week’s question: The first restaurant in Shawano to have a carport was Chef’s Inn. The restaurant was established in 1950; the founder was Robert Echter.

This week’s question: Who constructed the L & L Ranch, and in what year was it built?

Lorna Marquardt is a former mayor of Shawano.