Peter and Laurie Kasuboski
Peter and Laurie Kasuboski

   The 6-year-old washed cow’s udders and cleaned their mangers.

   By age 11, his mother would yank his toe early in the morning so he’d crawl out of bed, climb on his horse and round up the cows for milking.

   At 13, despite working three hours before school and four hours afterwards, he made the honor roll.

   When most kids were sleeping in and then watching cartoons, Peter Kasuboski was learning about duty, responsibility and hard work.

   The youngest of rural Ripon residents Leonard and Margaret Kasuboskis’ brood of 14 may have been the baby of the family.

   But Peter wasn’t babied.

   “Because of farm work he was never able to participate in sports or other after-school activities,” wife Laurie said.

   Born on Feb. 3, 1953, the boy who grew up off Brandon Road used his work ethic and farm smarts to become a builder.
Peter built homes for customers but carved out time for 13 years to fly to Panama, where he organized and led volunteers constructing a church, school, bridges and a dam.

   Peter’s world’s largest cookie so impressed Guinness that it put Kasuboski’s creation on the cover of its book of world records.

   But most important, he helped build a community of people whom he taught by his example to look after each other with kindness, laughter and commitment.

   That’s why Peter the builder is the Commonwealth’s 2018 Person of the Year.

Read the full story, with many anecdotes from friends and family, in the Jan. 3, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.