The family of the late Kent Joranlien of Poynette, Wis. has pledged $125,000 to the Kelch Aviation Museum at Brodhead Airport. The funds will be used to build the “Kent E. Joranlien Memorial Fellowship Hall in the new museum facility planned for construction in 2018.
Kent Joranlien was a founding member of Chapter 431 of the Experimental Aircraft Association at the airport and was also one of the original investors when the airport was purchased in 1973. He served as airport secretary and treasurer over the years and was an active volunteer at EAA Chapter 431 fly-in events until his death in March of this year.
“Kent was one of the key people who enabled Brodhead Airport to be what it is today,’ said Pat Weeden, Executive Director of the Kelch Aviation Museum. “Without his early leadership and guidance, we would not enjoy this world-renown airport that was created over the past 44 years and the sense of community that it brings to pilots all over the world.”
Sandra Joranlien, Kent’s wife, wanted to create a memorial for him at the airport that would properly honor his love of aviation and the Brodhead community. A gathering place for fellow pilots, aviation enthusiasts and the local citizens seemed a perfect fit, so plans were made to include a special area in the new museum for just this purpose. Kent’s son Ric helped coordinate the effort and the funding announcement was made in early October.
The museum’s capital campaign has now raised over half of the targeted $1 Million needed to start construction, which is slated for the fourth quarter of 2018.