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The Last Arrow
A Memorial page to WTA Members that have passed on

Earnest (Ernie) L. Appel
Born: November 9, 1926
Passed away January 16, 2015.  

Ernie Appel of Brookfield, Wisconsin age 88 years.Ernie was known as one of the finest crafters of reproduction Native American archery equipment.  His attention to every detail was exceptional.  Many have tried to duplicate the leather work, bead work, porcupine quill work, and bows and arrows of the North American Indian falling short of the superb artistic excellence that Ernie Appel achieved.  Often using natural materials instead of taking short cuts with moder

n man made materials, was Ernies passion.  Not only were the things Ernie created beautiful but very functional.  You could harvest any of the birds or animals archers today would pursue with the bows and arrows Ernie recreated.  Always would Ernie greet you with his big warm smile and pleasant demeanor. Ernie attended many archery shoots around the state.  He could often be seen with his life long chums John McDonald, the late Lamont Granger, the late Kenny Kopesel, and the late Bob Makosky, just to name a few of Ernies friends.

David (Dave) A. Lyon
Born: July 18, 1941 - Passed away  August 16, 2013


Dave was born in Waupun, Wisconsin. He attended Waupun schools. From 1960-1964 he served his country in the U.S. Airforce.

Dave worked for Wisconsin Department of Corrections as a correctional officer in many of the local correctional facilities and Central State Hospital.

Dave was a member NRA, Wisconsin Muzzleloaders Association, Wisconsin Traditional Archers, Rock River Archeology, Juneau Rod and Gun Club, American Legion Post 210, and the World Atlatl Association. Dave had many articles published in “Backwoodsman Magazine” and other magazines.

He always liked attending traditional archery shoots. He enjoyed the meetings and banquets of Wisconsin Traditional Archers. Dave always said he would never shoot a bow with training wheels.

Dave enjoyed creating things and even made his own handles for the knives he put together. He also made leather and beaded knife sheaths for his favorite ones.

Paul Edward Gorton

Born: June 21, 1945

Died: December 30, 2012

Age: 67


Paul Edward Gorton, 67, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Sunday, December 30, 2012, at St. Luke's Hospital, Cedar Rapids.

He married Marie Lentz on January 15, 1966, in Newport, Rhode Island. Paul was recently retired and was a former owner of Trace Machine and Tools in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. He served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War. Paul loved spending time with his grandchildren. He also enjoyed archery, building bows, hunting, the Green Bay Packers, going on walks and being in the woods.

Paul attended the annual WTA Fall Hunt for several years. He invented a small game head in his machine shop business. The solid steel head had a built in washer for a stopper, Paul shared his creation with several members of the Wisconsin Traditional Archers.

Kenneth A. (Kenny) Koepsel           

Muskego, Wisconsin  

Born November 24th 1928

Died November 25th 2012

84 years of age                                           

Ken and his wife Bev had three daughters, Vicky, Kim and Michele. Ken was a Korean War veteran, mason, cabinet maker, and life long bartender at Ray & Dots Tap in Greendale, Wi.         

Kenny was a man of honor and integrity. His word and a handshake was what he lived by. He was a true classic in the archery world. Often seen at many archery events around the country Ken would have a very impressive display of archery equipment   spread out for sale on several tables. If you eaves dropped in on the conversation between Kenny and a potential customer you might have heard, (“you’re killing me here, I’m not going to make a dime, I’ll be lucky if I have gas money to get home.”) Then a few moments later you might have seen Kenny Koepsel give a bow free of charge to some boy or girl who didn’t have money enough to purchase one for themselves. He truly had a soft side and a big heart. His impressive knowledge of archery equipment as well as the ability to teach proper archery skills to anyone in need of help will be missed. He loved the outdoors and hunting.

Alan (Al) G. Andersen        

Born April 5th 1948                                                          

Died February 1st 1998

49 years of age 
Friendship, Wisconsin

Al served his country during the Vietnam War as member of the United States Marine Corps. He was married to Nora Hallick and lived in Adams Friendship, Wisconsin at the time of his passing. Alan was Vice President of INX International Ink Co.  Al was a Rock and Roll singer and guitarist playing in his own local band. Camouflage toilet paper for sale was a patent that Al held and laughed about. He was also a master self bowyer, producing many excellent looking and shooting bows. Al sold his beautiful bows for a very reasonable fee so even the poorest man or woman could afford one. A impressive shop full of hundreds of arrows and many collectable bows from around the country and the world were some of Al’s archery holdings.His shop contained many machines used in the manufacturing of his self bows. He was a crack shot with the bow and arrow. Al was observed many times laughing and smiling while hitting the mark of whatever target he chose at distances that most archers would not attempt. Daily target practice for form was routine for Al. Several times Al put on a traditional three D shoot on his property in Adams Friendship, Wisconsin. He attended the WTA Annual Fall Hunt where he enjoyed camping and making friends. 

Lamont A. Granger

Born Dec. 5, 1947   Died September  2011

Resided in Rochester, MN


Lamont was the proprietor of The Footed Shaft, a traditional archery shop until January 2011, where he continued his lifelong passion of traditional bow hunting. Lamont was well known for his knowledge, passion, and dedication to traditional archery.


A memorial service was be held for Lamont A. Granger of Rochester on Friday, Sept. 23, 2011, at 4 p.m. at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes' Chapel in Rochester. A visitation was held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.


Survivors include his beloved wife, Denise (Young) Granger, of 43 years; his mother, Phyllis Granger of Viroqua, Wis.; brother, Wilbert Granger of Necedah, Wis.; his two daughters, Danika (Andy) Bridwell of Illinois and Danielle (William) Fenton of California; and son, Dane Granger of Rochester. He is also survived by his two grandchildren, Alexandra and Anderson Bridwell.

Robert (Bob) MaKosky

Born March 25, 1930   Died October 15, 2008  (age 78)

Resided in Wisconsin Rapids, WI, formerly of Escanaba, MI


Bob was a longbow shooter, prefering to shoot a bow made by his brother-in-law, John McDonald of Big River bows. Bob made his own cedar arrows. He was known for his fine arrow craftsmanship.


Bob attended most of the WTA shoots as well as few out of state. He shot on the Traditional League at Antlers Archers of Kellner, WI. Bob enjoyed a cup of coffee in the company of others at the clubhouse on traditional night. He was also active in setting up and removing the 3-D targets  for the club’s Annual Summer Traditional Shoot.


Bob collected Marble knives made in his hometown of Escanaba, MI.

He enjoyed camping with his brother-in-law, John McDonald, the late Lamont Granger and Ernie Appel and a few other friends on their annual Central Wisconin Fall Hunt.

Clemance B. Finstad Jr. of Red Wing passed away at 8:35 a.m. Thursday, July 28, 2011.

Clem was born in Ellsworth on Oct. 20, 1933, to Clemance B. and Bernardine S. (Schneider) Finstad. He married Frances E. Gordon on Nov. 20, 1959. Clem served in the Army and then the Air Force Reserve for a total of 8 years. He worked as an electrician until he retired in 1997.

Clem enjoyed hunting, fishing, and the shooting sports. He was a life member of the NRA and built traditional hunting arrows and hunting knives as a hobby.

Clem is survived by his wife, Fran ces E. Finstad, Red Wing; a daughter, Kathryn A. (Ron) Strusz; two sons, Clemance B. Finstad III (Bud), Goodhue, and Michael J. Finstad, Zumbrota; nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; a sister, Mary R. (Arthur) Drury, West Virginia.

A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, at the Zumbrota Rifle Range, 45440 200th Ave., Zumbrota, MN 55992, where Clem was a member

Clem died battling small cell cancer. He has donated himself to the Anatomy Bequest program at the University of Minnesota. Donations in his name can be sent to 3-005 Nils Hasselmo Hall, 312 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.


Dr. Fredrick W. Kasch  

Born April 16, 1913   Died  April 8, 2008  (age 94)

Resided at San Diego, CA and Lake Geneva, WI


Fred manufactured his own archery equipment. He helped anyone who had an interest in traditional archery to also manufacture their own bows, arrows, strings, etc.

Fred was not a stand hunter, rather prefering to roam the woods often practicing his skill with a bow on stumps as he wandered.

Fred exercised continually throughout his life, he was in excellent shape. He could do eleven pull-ups at the age of 89. 20 push-ups was just a warm up for Fred before hitting the field to target shoot or hunt.

Fred attended the WTA annual Fall Hunt on several occasions often teaching archery crafting in camp. Fred was famous for his bow strings and bow string making classes.

He taught bow making at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on one occasion.

Fred was also a featured speaker at one of our WTA banquets.

Fred was knows for his quick wit, followed by a wink of his eye.


A memorial was held for Fred at the WTA Fall Hunt following his death. A handcrafted all natural arrow was made by George Henrich, Sr., signed by all in attendance, and shot into the Great Northern Highlands State Forest out of a selfbow crafted by Phil Czjaka as his fellow WTA members looked on.

John F. Fletty

1938-2002 Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Died as the result of a boating accident.


No more information or picture available at this time.


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