Mr. Dale Weis, a 1967 Johnson Creek graduate, recently donated $150,000 as a tribute to the three generations of the Weis family who are attending and have attended the Johnson Creek School District. Mr. Weis’s story is one of perseverance and hard work. He moved to Johnson Creek when he was five years old in 1954 with his parents George and Martha Weis. By 1956, George Weis had built four new homes in the village and purchased a piece of equipment to start George Weis Excavating. Mr. Weis attended St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Grade School up through 8th grade and then attended Johnson Creek High School. In 1963 as a freshmen, Mr. Weis worked his way through the advanced classes and was elected class president. JCHS offered courses not available at St. Mary’s, such as Biology, Science, Chemistry, and Shop. While in high school, Mr. Weis participated in football and track. Mr. Weis continues to attend Johnson Creek athletic events and supports the programs. While in high school Biology class, Mr. Weis was partnered with a young lady named Linda. Their relationship grew beyond the lab partnership and they dated throughout high school despite her parents moving to Watertown, where she graduated. Mr. Weis and Linda particularly enjoyed going to dances together. In 1967, Mr. Weis graduated from Johnson Creek High School. One teacher in particular, Mr. Alwes, was very influential in the growth of Mr. Weis. Mr. Alwes was the advisor for the class for 1967 and taught Advanced Math. Mr. Alwes often would take the students to evening classes at UW-Milwaukee and UW-Whitewater for the “New Computer Technology” courses. This was the era of punch cards and mainframe computers. In between school, sports, and activities, Mr. Weis was always available to help his father with work and projects. In 1964 a fire destroyed his father’s business workshop, tools, and equipment. Zoning laws did not allow George Weis to rebuild within the village. This loss nearly put his father out of business, but he was able to secure some property where the current McDonald’s/BP gas station is located today.
Mr. Weis credits his desire to take pride in figuring things out, fixing things, and solving problems as the reason he pursued a college degree in Engineering at Milwaukee School of Engineering. Despite the difficult course load, Mr. Weis was able to graduate in 11 quarters. He was president of the SAE Chapter, president of a tutoring fraternity, and graduated top of his class. He was also able to earn his private pilot’s license while attending school. Mr. Weis married his high school sweetheart Linda in 1970 and gave the commencement speech on his father’s birthday in 1971.
After graduating from MSOE, Mr. Weis evaluated several job opportunities and decided it was in his and his wife’s best interest to stay in the family business. He felt it would be a natural transition since he had been involved in the business since he was an early teenager. Along with Linda, Mr. Weis acquired some land and began to build their first home. With help from their families, the home was completed in two years. It was in this home that they welcomed their first child, Jennifer in 1974. Christopher followed in 1978. Early on in the business, Mr. Weis learned that structured problem-solving skills, business law, communication skills, public speaking, and management were the subjects that would be of the most value in operating a business and interacting with the public. Mr. Weis believes math and science skills are important, but applying them with the skills above is what can make the difference in the success of a business. In the 1970’s the state prescribed a new state plumbing code. Mr. Weis credits his education in understanding the new codes. He then went on to attain his credentials as Master Plumber, Certified Soil Tester, Certified Maintainer, and Inspector and Designer. This understanding allowed the business to take advantage of installing septic systems, which became a profitable portion of their business. The company eventually developed a pre-cast concrete division. In 1980, due to health issues with his father, the company was incorporated so ownership could be transferred. This led to a new name, Weis Excavating Inc. Mr. Weis and Linda were responsible for operating the business and it became a well-respected company in the area. They prided themselves on handling difficult projects correctly and cost effectively. The company served approximately a 50-mile radius of Johnson Creek and always remembers the local customers who they have dealt with for generations. In 2007, Linda was involved in a fatal accident on their 37th wedding anniversary. The scars, though difficult to deal with, were healed by support from family, friends, and the community. The business regrouped and Jennifer and her husband Shawn took on a more prominent role and helped restore profitable operations. On March 1, 2011, Mr. Weis married his second wife Jean. In 2014, he decided it was time to retire and in the first quarter of 2015, the company assets were liquidated. Mr. Weis felt is was important to thank all of his past employees, customers, the community and friends for everything they have done. His family had successfully fulfilled his father’s dream. Mr. Weis’s generosity is a to tribute his father. “My father was my mentor and best friend. He was always fun loving and enjoyed life. He inspired me as the most intelligent person I have known despite only having a 6th-grade education. He was a man of vision. He was always supported by his wife, my mother.” Mr. Weis also asked to recognize the three generations that have attended/graduated from Johnson Creek: Dale Weis (1967), Barb (Weis) Schutten (1970), Jennifer (Weis) Budig (1993), Christopher Weis (1996,) Zach Budig (2017), Sam Budig (2020), Hannah Budig (2022), and Violet (Draeger) Mattrisch (1937).