Whitewater loses an icon: Kachel a ‘giant’ in the community

David L. Kachel lived in Whitewater his entire life and after graduating from Whitewater State Teacher's College he built up DLK Enterprises, a housing and apartment industry.

David Kachel’s lasting impact on the community stretches much farther than UW-Whitewater.

The self-described “small-town businessman” found DLK Enterprises in 1957. Beginning with the Hawk Bowl in 1959, the company now own 24 apartment complexes in the city, according to the company’s website.

A resident of Whitewater for more than 80 years, Kachel attended College High School and Whitewater State Teacher’s College.

In addition to being highly involved with UW-Whitewater, he was also engaged in the Whitewater Unified School District, the Whitewater Fire and Rescue, the First United Methodist Church and the Whitewater Food Pantry.

Whitewater City Manager Kevin Brunner said Kachel was a “giant of a man” and his loss is tremendous.

“It is a huge void,” Brunner said. “It is impossible not to think of [Kachel] because he was involved in so much in the city. He truly is a Whitewater icon.”

Whitewater Food Pantry Marilyn Kienbaum said Kachel was very important to many parts of the community.

“[Kachel] was very generous with donations from day one,” Kienbaum said. “He often would tell his employees at DLK Enterprises run to [Daniel’s Sentry] to get cases of canned food to bring to us.”

Brunner and Kienbaum said Kachel always had ideas to improve the community.

“Kachel was involved with the new tech park,” Brunner said. “He also donated to the Fourth of July celebrations, among many other things.”