2019 Lifetime Ceremony

Seventh Annual Lifetime Achievement Ceremony, 2019


The 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award (LTA) program, as in the past, was presented this year to TAC members and the public Saturday afternoon, September 28, in the Camelot Room, at the “Holiday” in Olney, 1:00 to 3:00.


We enjoyed an outstanding ceremony with about 60 guests with several of them adding their praise to that of Smitty's.  


No empy chairs!


Clarence "Smitty" Smith, LTA Chair, Presided




Their "Winning" Attributes 

This year's seventh annual celebration adds four more "Doers" to the those we have honored in the past years.  All grew in their profession as they encountered problems and solved them.  Like all of us they were once young and, thus, inexperienced.  Somehow they all were gifted with a level of confidence that freed each to overcome any fear of failure. 


Additionally, and most importantly, they are/were people who loved people.  That meant that they welcomed others into their spirit, knowing that some comers would/will treat them badly, "stamping" on them like a doormat.  Much more importantly, these leaders focused/do focus on the tasks facing them, and not those 'stamping' people.  As some very bright person said long ago, "Doers get "IT" done, at times making obvious, but unimportant errors; the others just find fault."

Click on their name for more information



Dave Carmody, Teacher


Found in his obituary: "Everyone who knew Dave said 'he is one of the best guys you'll ever know'."

Dave was a driver's education teacher for 34 years, mainly at East Richland High School. His passion in life included his two boys but also included teaching and sports. Many of his years in education he coached football, golf and track. During high school he was a standout defensive back for Granite City and then went on to play college football at Illinois State. Dave was also an avid golfer and fisherman. No one knew the Current River better than Dave. He floated that river every summer with his family and friends for almost 50 years. He was a beloved father, brother, and friend.



Above, son Luke Carmody (Right), shown with his brother, accepted his father's certificate.


Guest Coach spoke of his career time with Dave Carmody when the latter served as a coach.  He said Dave Carmody was a man whom the boys loved; they would do anything for him. He gave examples of games that would have been lost without Dave's ability to motivate the best of the boys.  Later, when summing up, he said Dave Carmody was a sincere man.  A high complement.



John Fulk  (Class of 1987)



Colonel John Fulk, Joint Forces Commander IL Army National Guard Medical, is on active duty, currently serving in Japan and is not expected home until September 30th.  

Colonel Fulk "has more than 28 years of military service and has been a member of the Illinois Army National Guard since 998, serving as the Commander, Medical Detachment, Joint Force Headquarters, Springfield, IL."*

"He has commanded medical units at the company and battalion level and served as a medical officer on staff at battalion and brigade levels."*

* Note:  My thanks to Kellie Cook for sharing the quoted notes, orginally published in a Springfield, IL newspaper.

When asked what brought him joy, his reply was "serving his country, being with his troops, caring for the sick and mountain climbing."  Of course he is extremely proud of his family.  


Brother Britt, shown with mother, Kellie Cook, accepted the certificate.



Susanne Hahn, Principal, East Richland Elementary, Retired



Hahn served the children of East Richland close to 30 years, the last 16 as first principal of the East Richland Elementary School, established in 2000.



Marilyn Holt, shown with Suzanne Holt above, said "She put Richland County on the national map."  Retired Superintendent Holt was refering to when Suzanne was honored by inclusion in the 2011 Class Of National Distinguished Principals.

The National Association of Elementary School Principals, the Center for Innovative Leadership (NAESP) honors outstanding elementary and middle-level administrators for setting high standards for instruction, student achievement, character, and climate for the students, families, and staffs in their learning communities.


Above, Cris Edwards, Principal, RCES, shared the good years she enjoyed with Suzanne.


Major Dan Ragain (Class of 1958)


" ... deep connection and compassion for others."

Major Dan Ragain grew up along Olney's Vernor Lake, to which he returned yearly throughout his life.

He received his BA at Eastern Illinois University ('62), an MA at the University of Illinois ('63), and earned his PhD in Literature at Kent State University ('90). He is the author of seven chapbooks of poetry and five book-length collections, including "Clouds Pile Up in the North: New & Selected Poems," published by Press 53 last fall.

Maj began teaching at Kent State University in 1969 and taught continuously since the early 1980s, leading his last writing class in the fall of 2016. Maj served for thirty-five years as host to open poetry readings in Kent, hosting his last reading less than a week before his death.

He also hosted the annual Jawbone Open Reading.  And as part of the Wick Poetry Center Outreach, Maj weekly gathered a group of veterans who wrote to and for each other, an encouragement in the healing art of language. Maj's poems and his full-hearted work in the Kent community expressed his own deep connection and compassion for others.

From Tom Weber (Class of '64) . . ."Many of us who were not in school at the same time with Maj, might recognize his smooth and thoughtful voice emanating over the airwaves from WVLN/WSEI as the night DJ for a few years during the early to mid '70's."


Above, Professor Bill Tucker (Class of 1971), shown with TAC Adm Nancy Rumsey, accepted Major Dan Ragain’s certificate and read one of Maj's poems.



My thanks to Jean Blackburn Chandler (Class of 1957) (Left) for her leadership on our honoring Maj.  With her above are two who read Maj's poetry, Susan Stark (Class of 1971) and Bill Tucker.


Three guests spoke of their times with Maj.  (I didn't get all of their names.  Richard's note.)


First Speaker

One schoolmate guest stood and spoke of Maj's great heart.  He said something like (I'm trying to remember his expression which was emotional) Maj was a type of heroic athlete 'above his legs.'  What he could not do with legs, he could do with his great heart.


Second Speaker


Janet Dawson stood and talked about Maj's return visits home.  She said that he loved Olney and returned every year for a type of spiritual renewal.  She said they would sit on the porch, looking out over the water of Vernor Lake.   Such was the site for his poetic imagination.

She also responded to an event that our attorney Tom Weber shared with me.  I shared the time that Maj was a night DJ playing requested songs.  He had one fan, a senior citizen, lonely lady, who called weekly asking for a song, and while it played Maj would visit with her on the phone.  Then one night, when he was not working, he visited the lady bringing with him (not certain what and so I said) a beverage.  When speaking, our guest, Janet, reported that it was beer, "A Six Pack!," that Maj brought with him.  She also said that the elderly lady enjoyed her evening.  Thanks, for sharing Janet!


Third Speaker


Another guest spoke of thes when Maj was in an iron lung.  She said that the family and friends would gather around him in his iron lung and play cards with him.  (When she joins TAC, I'll get her name.)



 Your 2019 Tiger Alumni Center (TAC) Administrators

Richard Williams, Nancy Rumsey, Marilyn Holt, Nancy O' Connell, and Clarence "Smitty" Smith.

We love this program!  We remember them all  -- while planning for the 2020 Ceremony!