Paul Wagenaar was born in 1889, in Ritzville, one of the last children born in Adams County while Washington was a territory. The family homestead, which was acquired in 1888, was seven miles north of Ritzville. He married Louisa Seifert in 1911, in Yakima. Most of the events which had significant impact on the Wagenaar family, occurred after they moved to a rented wheat and cattle farm seven miles north of Washtucna in 1929, which they later purchased. Paul and Louisa moved to an irrigated farm seven miles east in 1944, from which they continued to operate the wheat farm.
Louisa was born in Germany in 1887. She immigrated, with her family, to a homestead in North Dakota around 1890. At age 19, she traveled from North Dakota to Yakima to be employed as a maid in the home of a doctor. Wheat farming on a small acreage was not very profitable during the Depression, so Paul and Louisa started milking cows to provide steady cash income. Louisa churned and packaged butter which she delivered to Ritzville every Saturday. At the peak she had customers for 70 pounds of butter, several quarts of plain cottage cheese, and many dozens of eggs. This venture pulled them through the hard times and initiated Raphael’s interest in Dairy Husbandry.
Their son, Raphael, was born in 1916, in Spokane. After graduating from high school in 1931, he worked with his parents on the Washtucna farm. In the 1930’s, he enrolled in the Adams County 4-H Club; he had projects with dairy animals and horses. In the fall of 1938, he enrolled at WSC, with the possibility that he would attend no more than one or two semesters. His current resume shows he never looked back: B.S. in Agriculture (Dairy Manufacturing), WSC 1942; M.S. in Agriculture (Diary Manufacturing), WSC 1947; Ph.D. (Dairy Bacteriology), University of Minnesota 1951. After earning his Ph.D, he conducted research on food poisoning projects at the Food Research Institute at the University of Chicago, for 5 ½ years. He started work as a Research Food Microbiologist in the Central Research Laboratory of General Mills, Inc. in Minnesota, in 1956. He retired in 1983. His research publications were on lactic starters for the manufacture of cheese as the cause of a flavor defect in butter, food poisoning and food irradiation. He is a member of Alpha Zeta, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, American Dairy Science Association, American Society for Microbiology and Institute of Food Technologists.
Marvel Wagenaar was born in Minnesota in 1916. She attended the University of Minnesota for a year and then completed the Secretarial Training course at the Minneapolis Business College. When Raphael and Marvel met in 1947, Marvel was the Senior Secretary in the office of the Division of Dairy Husbandry, University of Minnesota. They were married October 1951, in St. Paul. Marvel was supportive of Raphael’s work, and was a caring mother of their children. During their marriage, she was a willing volunteer worker, especially in their church and at an elementary school. She also participated in activities related to Girls Scouts and Boy Scouts. They have two children: Ann graduated from Luther College, Iowa (’74 Elementary Education); John graduated from Augsburg College, Minnesota (’80 Mathematics), and has a Certificate in Computer Programming from Brown Institu
The income from this undergraduate scholarship fund is to be used to recruit excellent students in Dairy Science.