JANESVILLE — Thomas ‘TK’ ‘Tom’ Kuhlow, 83, who helped found Janesville’s Rock Aqua Jays show ski team in the 1960s, died Friday, May 31, 2024, at SSM St. Mary Hospital – Janesville.

He was 83.

“Tom, along with three others, had the incredible foresight in the early 1960s to establish our water ski team. Their vision laid the foundation for the thriving organization we are today,” read a post Monday on the Rock Aqua Jays Facebook page.

Kuhlow, along with Roger Sterk and Wayne and Billy Manthey founded the team in 1961 with about 25 skiers.

The team is considered the most successful water ski show teams in the world, with more than 60 tournament wins, including 21 national championships and 19 Wisconsin state championships. 

Kuhlow owned Riverside Sports Center, was a plant manager for Dana Corp and for the last 27 years owned and operated The Decoy in Edgerton.


There will be a short service at 11:30 AM on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at APFEL EHLERT FUNERAL HOME, 315 Lord St. (Hwy 51) Edgerton.