Bill’s legacy continues at Kustom Machine

Moe Bohannon
The Oakes Times
April 28, 2005

It has been nearly a year since the tragic death of Bill Ptacek, owner and operator of Kustom
Machine in Oakes. On April 4, 2005, his brother, Jim Ptacek, was named the General Manager of
the operation. Jim says, “We cannot give enough credit to our employees, they pulled together
and took over and enabled us to survive the loss of Bill and his leadership.” Bill began
Kustom Machine in 1978, following his graduation of NDSSS with a degree in Machine Tooling,
and six months at Engine Rebuilders under Woody Gulsvig. The business has grown to
twenty employees. They manufacture components and assemblies for original equipment
manufacturers. As Jim stated, “Bill believed in Oakes and never once thought about leaving
here.” The employees and Ptacek family also want to give credit to Bill's sister-in-law,
Lorraine Ptacek, for all the time and energy she gave to Kustom Machine. The business will
remain owned and operated by the Ptacek family. Bill's legacy will live on with the William
Ptacek Scholarship Foundation; whereby each Spring two scholarships will be awarded: one to
a Senior in Oakes High School studying music, a lifelong interest of Bill's. The other to a
second year Machine Tooling student at NDSCS in Wahpeton.