From temporary job to 55-year career

When Richard Stuck took a job with KMC Stampings in 1966, he never imagined he would still be there more than a half-century later

KMC STAMPING EMPLOYEE Richard Stuck (front) posed with his co-workers at the firm’s Port Washington facility last week during a celebration of Stuck’s 55th anniversary with the company. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press Staff

On Sept. 19, 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson was resident of the United States, “The Sound of Music” was the number one movie in box offices, gasoline was 25 cents a gallon and Richard Stuck started working for KMC Stamping in Grafton.

Fresh out of high school, Stuck first tried to enlist in the military but found himself looking for a job after being turned away due to a failed eye exam.

He found an opening at KMC as the operator of a punch press machine, a device used to form and cut dies, and never left.

Little did Stuck know at the time that what he thought would be a temporary position would turn into a 55 year career with the company, which honored him last week on the 55th anniversary of his hiring.

“Even the first five 10 years I didn’t think I’d be here so long,” he said.

Stuck, 77, said it has been the friendly faces and opportunities to learn new things that have kept him at KMC for so long.

In his time there, Stuck has worked at both of the company’s Port Washington locations and its Milwaukee facility, doing an assortment of jobs in the die casting process.

From shipping to production to tool maintenance to working in the laser department, Stuck seems to have worked in every position there is at KMC at one point or another, outside of office duties.

If you ask him though, he prefers his time in the laser department, where he’s worked for the last 20 years, the most.

“I’m enjoying what I’m doing and the people I work with,” he said.

He added that he was intimidated by the laser machines at first but enjoys working with them now.

Stuck has been at KMC, which has been in business for about a century, longer than any other employee.

Having met his wife Miriam Peterson while working the punch press together, Stuck said KMC has been more than an employer to him. It’s been a place where he has grown, formed relationships and lived.

Stuck married Miriam nearly three years after beginning work at KMC on Sept. 17, 1969. The two went on to have three children — Tom, Jason and Jodi, as well as four grandchildren.

Throughout his career, Stuck has been involved with KMC outside of the workplace too. In the early 1970s he played on the KMC baseball team. Stuck said he also enjoys other company sponsored events like Brewers games, family zoo outings and Christmas parties.

In his time outside of work, Stuck enjoyed fishing and hunting with his father as a youth, and continues the tradition with his own children and grandchildren.

Still in good health despite a battle with colon cancer about 10 years ago, Stuck said he has no immediate plans to retire and that he’ll keep working as long as he can.

“As long as I can physically do the job, I’ll be here,” he said.




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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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