Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends






Sunday, March 27, 2022

Two Wedding Anniversaries - Kris Streed and Lawrence Eyre

 

 Paul and Kris Streed Crawford have been married 49 years.

Lawrence Eyre married Laurie 40 years ago.




Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Rest in Peace - Jay McFadyen MHS65, Married to Jeannine Lawson MHS 66


"Jay McFadyen, class of 1965, passed away on Dec. 24, 2021. We started dating in 1965 and were married for 52 years.
Jeannine Lawson McFadyen (1966)."


Monday, January 31, 2022

Rest In Peace - Guy Johnson - MHS 68


Guy L. Johnson, Jr., 72, of Coal Valley, IL, passed away January 29, 2022 at UnityPoint Trinity Rock Island.

Guy's full obituary is copied below.


Family and friends are invited to share memories and express condolences on his memory wall.


Guy's Own Obituary

Guy L. Johnson, Jr., 72, of Coal Valley, IL, passed away January 29, 2022 at UnityPoint-Trinity Rock Island. Visitation will be at Wendt Funeral Home, Moline, IL, Friday, February 4, 2022, 4-7 pm with a memorial service beginning at 7 pm.

My Life - The Beginning

I was born at the Moline Public Hospital on November 8 1949. My father was Guy Lyle Johnson Sr. and my mother was Naomi Grace (Margo) Johnson (Boone. While under five years of age we lived downtown Rock Island, near the old Ben’s Gourmet House. This is where I saw the ghost of my grandmother Minnie.

I attended Wells Grade School from kindergarten to the third grade. I loved playing outdoors. I had a beautiful collie named Lady. Lady had two puppies, Sam and Teddy. We sold Sam to another family and poor little Teddy was run over while sleeping under a neighbors car. Lady was later killed by a passing furniture delivery truck. At the time we lived just off 53rd street in Moline. I loved living in the country and playing outside. It was then that my mothers daughter, Connie, came to live with us. She played her father against my mother for several years. She stayed with us for 2-3 years off and on before leaving. We only saw her when she wanted something. We moved and I attended Garfield Grade School, repeating the third grade and graduating the sixth grade. I was an average student who loved to read. I had a mixed breed collie named Bullets (named after Roy Rogers dog on tv) who later ran away never to be seen again. I did not enjoy my time at Wells but Garfield was a good time. Mrs. Forsyth, my third grade teacher was my favorite. I was honored to be one of her pall bearers when she passed. I had a special girl friend, Jill Johnson whose fathers first name was also “Guy.”

While at Garfield, I was present when the old Browning Field bleachers burnt down and I watched 23rd avenue go from a brick paved street to a concrete surface. Living near Wharton Field House, I attended many pro-wrestling events and basketball games, including the Harlem Globetrotters. My interest in firearms, shooting and hunting began at this time; I bought my first firearm, an M1 carbine, through mail order for $66.

Since I lived just across the border for school districts I was able to attend Calvin Coolidge Junior High. My time there was very good. I did well in sports, wrestling and football being my favorites. I won the heavy weight (158 lbs) city championship in ninth grade. I threw the shot and disc but never enjoyed them. My best all-time girl friend was Tracy Le. I had a classmate who had some family issues and my parents offered to take him into our home, his name was Donald Palmer. However, it did not work out as he could not adjust to our lifestyle. I have no idea what happened to him.

I went to Moline Senior High where my time there was very good. I played football and wrestled all three years, lettered in both. I dated Susanne Sandler (class of 67) and later Kathy Gyngard (RI, class of 67). During my junior year, I moved out of the house, never to return. It was during my senior year that Kathy became pregnant with my son Michael. I tried to join the Army but my high blood pressure prevented me from doing so. It was also during this time another girl (Pam Thompson) became pregnant with my daughter Ronda. After graduating from MHS, I married Kathy. It ended in divorce four years later. At that time, due to me being married, I did not acknowledge the existence of Ronda. Her mother did send me photos and updates but I was never involved in her younger years, a decision that I regret.

Out of high school, married and with a young son, I had a job at K-Mart which I left to work at JI Case in Rock Island. I worked there for 18 years leaving to open my own business, Moline Munitions. After my divorce from Kathy, I dated until I married Rhonda Kay Starr from Galesburg. She was a nurse at the time and the former girlfriend of my buddy, Mark Edwards. She was a good person and always game to try new things and easy to laugh. It was during our marriage that I opened my own business, which caused me to work 80-120 hours a week which tore our marriage apart, we divorced after 12 years. I met Janet Cobert, a sister of a classmate. I loved her with all my heart, but due to some unforeseen family circumstances, we divorced after only four years; my heart was badly broken. It was during this time I began working for the Illinois Department of Corrections while still maintaining my business for three more years before finally closing it down. I retired after 21 years as a Lt. And relief shift commander. I was the senior trainer, tact team member, pistol & rifle team member and IDOC sniper. While I was with IDOC I met and married Svetlana Prokove, we divorced after nine years. She was a very good woman but her high maintenance desires emotionally wore me out. The end of the relationship was apparent when we were on a trip to St. Louis where we had a disagreement which resulted in her taking a bus back to Coal Valley.

I met Syndee Martin in Madison, WI at a dive shop during one of my ice dives. We hit it off and had a very good time together. We married and she relocated from Wisconsin to Illinois. We built a life together and had our ups and downs as it goes with any relationship, she has stuck it out the longest. Our shared enthusiasm and commitment to car restorations kept us together.

After retirement I did visit twice, France, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Poland and Germany on a WWII tour. It was a wonderful trip, one of the highlights of my life. My trips to Russia were also special. Over the years I have been an NRA firearms instructor and a Master scuba diver. I have enjoyed reading and collecting firearms. My life has been shared with many dogs; Rollo, Mollie, the Meatloaf and Sneakers being the best.

Those that survive me are my wife, Syndee Martin, my daughter, Ronda (David) Michell of Charleston, SC along with my granddaughters, Avari (Marshall) Wells, Charleston, SC and Ariana Mitchell of Lexington, KY.

I was preceded in death by my parents and my son, Michael.

If you wish to make a donation in my memory please let them be made to the Milan Rifle Club, 9221 51st St W, Milan, IL. 61264.

Share memories, post photos or videos and express condolences here on my memory wall.

Over the years I have had some great friends, wonderful times and adventures. I’ve had a life.

Service Details

  • Visitation

    When
    Friday, February 4th, 2022 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Location
    Wendt Funeral Home
    Address
    1811 15th Street Pl.
    Moline, IL 61265
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email





1. Our God, our Help in ages past,

Our Hope for years to come,

Our Shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal Home!


2. Under the shadow of Thy throne

Thy saints have dwelt secure;

Sufficient is Thine arm alone,

And our defense is sure.


3. Before the hills in order stood

Or earth received her frame,

From everlasting Thou art God,

To endless years the same.


4. A thousand ages in Thy sight

Are like an evening gone,

Short as the watch that ends the night

Before the rising sun.


5. Thy word commands our flesh to dust:

"Return ye sons of men!"

All nations rose from earth at first

And turn to earth again.


6. Time, like an ever-rolling stream,

Bears all its sons away;

They fly forgotten as a dream

Dies at the opening day.


7. Like flowery fields the nations stand,

Pleased with the morning light;

The flowers beneath the mower's hand

Lie withering ere 'tis night.


8. Our God, our Help in ages past,

Our Hope for years to come,

Be Thou our Guard while troubles last

And our eternal Home!


The Lutheran Hymnal

Hymn #123

Text: Psalm 90

Author: Isaac Watts, 1719, ab.

Composer: William Croft, 1708

Tune: "St. Anne"

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Happy 51st Wedding Anniversary - Garry and Barbara Temple Black


Happy Anniversary and God's Blessings,
Garry and Barbara.



Friday, January 21, 2022

A Big Dose of Nostalgia

 Guy Johnson, MHS 68, and I - MHS66 - posed outside of Lagomarcino's in downtown Moline, not far from the historic location of Melo Cream.
 I see Jeff Hall in the top row, first guy on the left.
I told Christina I wanted to go back in a time machine and say to Jane, next to Jeff, "You are going to marry the Boston Chief of Police!" - and similar improbable predictions that would happen.

Today I learned from Facebook that Guy was in the hospital on a respirator. And I heard from Patty Puck Hall, about how much she missed Jeff - both of them from Garfield Grade School, where my mother taught.

The walk to Garfield went by Guy's home, and we often went to school together, and read stacks of comics on Saturdays. My mother was a celebrity teacher, still talked about today, and my father was a famous donut shop owner. When he added peanut brittle and fudge, they were the best, too. 

Friends ask me to come back to Moline and re-start Melo Cream. I can understand. Today's donuts make me sick, they are so poorly made. My father made donuts from the best ingredients, which made him the quality expert before W. Edward Deming.


One Moline reunion met at Lago's, and I was ambushed for never taking Christina there on a date. I said, "Lago's came to US, to Melo Cream! I did not need to walk a few blocks for candy and treats."

I started this blog for family in 2010, because I did not know very much about how and where my parents grew up. I figured the scattered Jacksons might want to know. 

I doubt whether any relatives care about what has been recorded here in the last 11 years or so. Almost 400,000 views mean that quite a few others have stopped by. I enjoy or am saddened by the posts that appear on the left column for having more reads for the week. Obituaries appear again on the left column, but so do fun and famous moments and people I have known.  

I especially enjoy lining up the Golden Wedding Anniversaries separately as they developed - united on one page. I still do that when I know it is happening. Maybe a Jackson will notice one day.

The star of that page is Bonnie Bartlett, married to William Daniels in 1951. They are both alive and married 60 years! I used go by the Bartlett Insurance Agency when I was a young lad, never knowing it fostered a future star and record-setting celebrity marriage.


Mary Gail is our acrobatic and dance princess, who made it to Broadway. We saw her trying out her early performances at Garfield. 

On our last trip to Moline, we had two priorities - seeing Guy Johnson and Tobie McGriff. We also had the pleasure of dining with good friends at the reunion dinner, until the aging rock band began jamming and ruined all conversation. Everyone left the moment we were reminded - what the word cacophony means.

The newly lit bridge looks spectacular, but the John Baker Bridge honors the soldier who earned the Medal of Honor. We were in high school gym together. Yes, I would love to go back in time and say, "You will earn the Medal of Honor, the highest and rarest distinction."






Wednesday, January 5, 2022

The Giant Killer - Contributed by Steven Quick



The Giant Killer


At 5' 2" 105 lbs, Medal of Honor recipient, Sgt. John F. Baker Jr. certainly qualifies as a Giant Killer. He was also the recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.

Sgt. Baker made up for his diminutive stature by building up his physique. Inspired by his father’s work as a circus trapeze artist, he joined a gymnastics squad in high school and trained on the rings, learning to execute a perfect iron cross.

Accepted by the Army during the Vietnam War — the Marine Corps said he was an inch too short — Sgt. Baker’s impressive strength helped him save the lives of his fellow soldiers.

On Nov. 5, 1966, Sgt. Baker’s unit was tasked with reinforcing a group of American soldiers pinned down near Dau Tieng, close to the Cambodian border. About 3,000 Vietnamese had taken positions in the surrounding jungle, hiding in underground bunkers and roping themselves to tree branches.

As the U.S. soldiers advanced, the lead scout was shot in the face.

The jungle erupted in enemy fire. Camouflaged machine gun positions spit bullets that whizzed by Sgt. Baker’s head. Mortar rounds thumped the ground. Snipers in the trees picked off Americans hiding on the ground.

Sgt. Baker ran toward the front with another soldier and helped destroy two enemy bunkers. During the attack, the other soldier was mortally wounded. Sgt. Baker killed four enemy snipers before carrying his comrade away from the ambush.

Returning to the battle, Sgt. Baker was blown off his feet by an enemy grenade but recovered to make repeated trips through withering fire to evacuate wounded American soldiers much larger than himself. By the end of the two-hour conflict, Sgt. Baker’s uniform was soaked in the blood of his comrades.

In all, Sgt. Baker was credited with recovering eight fallen U.S. soldiers, destroying six bunkers and killing at least 10 enemies.

As his Medal of Honor nomination was considered, Sgt. Baker spent the rest of his tour as a “tunnel rat.” Armed with a flashlight and pistol, he explored the spider- and scorpion-infested subterranean network used by Viet Cong guerillas. During one mission, he discovered a full-scale hospital complete with surgical suites buried three stories below ground.

Returning home in August 1967, Sgt. Baker served as a drill instructor. One day, he was told he had an urgent phone call. It was President Lyndon B. Johnson on the line, inviting him to the White House to be awarded the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest decoration for valor.

According to his citation, “Sgt. Baker’s selfless heroism, indomitable fighting spirit, and extraordinary gallantry were directly responsible for saving the lives of several of his comrades, and inflicting serious damage on the enemy.”

Joining Sgt. Baker at the ceremony in the East Room was his company commander, then-Capt. Robert F. Foley, who also was awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery during the same battle that November day in 1966.

Foley, who retired from the Army as a lieutenant general in 2000, stood 6-foot-7 and played basketball at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Noticing the soldiers’ disparate heights, Johnson told Sgt. Baker and Foley that they reminded him of the cartoon characters Mutt and Jeff.

John Franklin Baker Jr. was born Oct. 30, 1945, in Davenport, Iowa, and was raised in Moline, Ill.

After being awarded the Medal of Honor, Sgt. Baker traveled the country as a recruiter. His repeated requests to be sent back to Vietnam for combat duty were denied. He retired from the military in 1989 and later worked at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Columbia, S.C.

The Giant Killer book & page honors these incredible war heroes making sure their stories of valor and sacrifice are never forgotten. The Giant Killer book is available now on Amazon & Walmart websites. God Bless our Vets!



 In 2010 the Interstate 2-80 bridge was named the Sgt. John F. Baker Jr. Bridge. Initiating the successful process through all its steps and organizing the dedication ceremony was the Quad Cities Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 299. Spearheaded by Ray Hamilton and William Albracht.





Saturday, December 25, 2021

Donuts at Christmas

 I was already working on my triceps, rolling out dough, and building a portfolio as a donut model for calendars. No royalties, except what I ate.

The origin of "O Holy Night" invoked memories, singing that beautiful song at our elementary school - Garfield. We were so backward, we called it a grade school then. Multi-syllables are the key to sophistication.

One of our teachers sang the obbligato to "O Holy Night", and she had the voice of an angel. One of her students became famous in the opera world, because of the influence of that teacher. My mother said of the teacher, in a hushed voice, "She was first soprano in the Augustana College Choir."

We were so backward, we had a Christmas program every year at Garfield. Each class would sing actual Christmas hymns and songs with parents and teachers in the audience. I would scan the audience for my mother, who was teaching there. She would always give me a big smile and I smiled back, could not help it.

Moline was a small town. When my father plugged in his electric shaver, the trolley car would slow down. 

We did not know that we were living in a peaceful paradise. Some bad things did intrude, but my mother always explained them to us:

  1. "None of your business."
  2. "You are not old enough."
Later, I was learning about nutrition at the Melo Cream Donut Shop. Germans have a tradition of eating jelly-filled bread donuts (no hole of course) for Christmas-New Year's. We had to have trays of them ready because once-a-year customers would come in to buy a dozen.

 This was Photoshopped by a Moline friend.


The tradition comes from Germany, so the donuts were called Berliners or Bismarcks, the first after the town where the baker came from, the second after the famous leader. People used both names in Moline.

Making them was not simple. The filling had to have the right texture, so two kinds were mixed together (my task). That gave me a permanent loathing for the finished product, except when I was especially hungry.

The filling was squirted into the donut by a pedal driven device, later by an electrical motor. I was given the opportunity to learn how. After several jelly blow-outs, I was retired from that task. As Marlon Brando said in "On the Waterfront" - I coulda been something, I coulda been a contender.

I was entrusted with icing the heavy donuts and waiting on the customers. Once a year we had customers with German accents. They grinned at the thought of enjoying those donuts. 

People complained they were the most expensive donuts. But these desserts - or the main course - started as yeast dough which had to rise in a huge bowl the first time. Then it was rolled out on a smooth wooden area and cut into little circles of raw dough, placed on wooden boards, finishing in a proofing cabinet. They did not go into the fryer until they were light and puffy with yeast at work. Then they were slid into the hot shortening vat (a great way to get burned) and turned over with wooden sticks. Next they were pulled out on a metal screen and set aside for cooling.

Left-over raw dough went downstairs into the cooler to be used in the next batch of bread dough. That was, according to legend, the best way to have great dough for bread donuts, based on the origins of sourdough bread, where a yeast culture is named and saved, passed from neighbor to neighbor. 

The trip taking the extra dough downstairs was not a chore, even though the wooden steps were worn and tricky, a cooling rack parked over half of it. Downstairs errands were the perfect way to nick a warm Danish on the way down, because they came out of the oven and could not be iced until cool.

 This was another calendar pose, which took place in an apple orchard.