Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends

Friday, August 31, 2012

More Lovely Ladies from the Class the Stars Fell On

Kathy Stange, Kym Dennhardt, Barbara Dodd, Julie Thorngren, Barb Warfield.
Sherrie Perrine, Polly Brubaker, Deb Hallquist and Jorja Hepner.
A few comments about having a gathering turned into two events (at least) and a lot of fun for everyone.

I am happy to provide publicity for Moline reunion events. I link the blog post on my own page and the Moline Memories Facebook page.

It helps to connect on Facebook.

This blog does not discriminate against any other classes, except to mention regularly that MHS66 is

The Class the Stars Fell On.

An anonymous member of another class said we were way ahead of them in making connections.

MHS 66 Ladies

Captions will follow.
They plan on having several get-togethers per year. Many of them went to the show together the previous night.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Moline Gathering - Ladies Lunch at Lavender Crest Winery.
August 31st, 11 AM. RSVP.

The Ladies Lunch at Lavender Crest Winery will be at 11:00am Aug. 31st.

Please RSVP Kym Whatley on Facebook so they have an exact headcount.

Lavender Crest Winery 
5401 Us Highway 6, Colona, Illinois 61241-8617

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mr. Craig Francque Obituary - Keller, Texas -

Mr. Craig Francque
Craig Francque

Mr. Craig Francque Obituary - Keller, Texas -

Craig Francque beloved husband, treasured father and most special grandfather passed away on Saturday, August 4th, 2012 after an extended illness. A family graveside service will be held on Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 at Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park in Colleyville, Texas.

Craig was born in Moline, IL. on August 17th, 1948 to Stanley and Beverly Francque. He graduated from Moline Senior High School and was a U.S. Navy veteran. He attended the University of Illinois where he received a B.S in Electrical Engineering. Craig and his wife Linda were married on April 18, 1970 in Moline, IL. and lived many years with their daughters in Derby, Kansas.

Craig was employed as a senior engineer in electromagnetic technology for The Boeing Company in Wichita, Kansas for 32 years where he worked on many aircraft projects such as Air Force One and the B-52. He obtained 4 U.S. patents in his field.

He is survived by his wife, Linda, Keller, Texas, daughter, Gina Isbell (Danny), Euless, Texas, and daughter, Julie Nolting (Ryan), Justin, Texas; grandchildren, Jimmy, Jeff, Brady and Jennavieve; brother, Gary Francque (Margo), Moline, IL., sister, Tammy Ryker (Jerry), Spirit Lake, IA. And sister Diane Kohrs (Mark), Moline, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Craig was an ardent White Sox fan and he and Linda spent many special vacations in Florida at Spring Training games. He loved golf and was a master when it came to NCAA March Madness picks. He enjoyed many years coaching his daughters' youth T-ball, basketball, soccer or softball teams as well as other Derby Rec. teams. He loved his golden retrievers and enjoyed watching for cardinals with his grandchildren.

His quiet strength, gentleness of spirit and love and devotion to his family will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Cook Children's Hospital, Ft. Worth, TX.

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In Memory of Martha Getz Cogswell

This photo in the snow was taken at Kathy Wilcox's birthday party in 1963.
Left to right are: Jane Rosborough, Ann Paschall, and Marty Getz.

I am in Michigan and yesterday John and J were lucky enough to be able to drive 60 miles south to a celebration of Marty Getz Cogswell's life at her family's summer cottage.

Marty's sister Pam and brother John were there as were her three children, Sara, Katy and Tim. and so were Marty's grandchildren including 7 month old twins, whom she never got to meet.

Marty was quite the tennis player so the gathering was held next to the tennis courts. Tim Neally was one of the speakers as well as Pam, John and Marty's children.

It was very sad but also very uplifting. I am so glad that I happened to be at our family cottage and could attend this special service.

I also got to connect with Laurie Johnson Manis as her family has a cottage where the Getz family gathers every summer.

Such a tragic loss of life but Marty lived life to the fullest! It is just too bad her grandchildren won't be able to know her and to enjoy her lust for life.

RIP old friend!


Martha Getz Cogswell 

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Martha Getz Cogswell passed away suddenly but peacefully on November 22, 2011, after a very brief bout with cancer. She was born June 16, 1948, in Davenport, Iowa - the youngest child of the late William A. and Kaye S. Getz. Marty grew up in Moline, Illinois. 

She attended St. Katharine's School in Davenport, Iowa, before heading to Pine Manor College in Massachusetts and then onto the University of Colorado in Boulder. She graduated in 1970 and remained a Buffs fan for life. Marty moved to Colorado Springs in 1974 and has lived here happily ever since. 

She is survived by her children and their spouses, Katharine (Michael) Courtney of Saratoga, California; Sara (Michael) Baker of Shawnee, Kansas; and Timothy (McKinzie) Cogswell of Las Vegas, Nevada, and by her beloved grandchildren, Madison and Chayse Courtney, Cohen Baker, Paizley Cogswell, and twin grandsons due this winter. 

Marty will also be deeply missed by her siblings, Stephanie Sandell, Pamela (Rob) Garton and John Getz; her aunts and an uncle; dozens of lucky cousins, nieces and nephews; many cherished friends, and her good and faithful golden retriever, Bailey. Marty devoted generous energy to causes she cared about, including the Junior League, Penrose Hospital, the YMCA, the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Pikes Peak Library, the Olympic Training Center and, nationally, the Alzheimer's Association . 

In 2008, Marty retired from Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, where she'd provided years of care and service to Cheyenne students, parents, teachers and administrators from her post at the district and high school administrative offices. An avid athlete, Marty walked vigorously, skied beautifully, and played tennis with disarming strength and grace. Many of those games were played at Cheyenne Mountain Country Club - a home-away-from-home where she made some of her closest friends. 

Marty spent all the summers of her life on the shores of Lake Michigan. Her days there - with extended family, beach walks, sailboats, lucky glass, sunsets and thunderstorms - were among her happiest. She relished other travel, too - jaunts to visit pretty places and life-long pals and, most especially, to be with her children and grandchildren. They were her highest priority and greatest joy, and she leaves them awash in love and gratitude. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 26 at 5:00pm at Chapel of our Savior, 8 Fourth Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Penrose Cancer Center, 2222 North Nevada, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80907 or the Alzheimer's Association , Colorado Chapter, 455 Sherman Street, Suite 500, Denver, Colorado 80203.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Moline Teacher Robert Moore Dies

Robert Moore - Quad Cities Online:

Robert L. Moore, 78, of Moline, died Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, at Bickford Cottage of Moline.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at First Congregational Church, 2201 7th Ave., Moline. Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, 6601 38th Ave., Moline. Burial will be at Moline Memorial Park. Military honors to be conducted by the Moline American Legion Post No. 246. Memorials may be made to the family to be used as a memorial fund to be established at a later date.

Robert was born on June 5, 1934, in Moline, the son of Alma Gerken. In 1946, he was the Grant School spelling bee champion. He married Diann Bloome at First Congregational Church on June 12, 1971.

He graduated from Moline High School in 1952, Moline Community College in 1954 and Augustana College in 1956. Then he attended classes at Northern Illinois and University of Iowa. In 1972, he received his master's degree from Marycrest College. He started his teaching career in Lanark followed by Chadwick, Sterling and Glenview Middle School. In the fall of 1963 to the spring of 1990, he taught American history and geography at Moline High School. Bob was the MHS sophomore baseball coach from 1964 to 1983. From 1965 to 1990, Bob was "the voice of Wharton Field House," where he also announced football games for a 10-year period. From 1964 to 1982, he worked for the Moline Park Board and Dad's Club baseball and softball programs, where he scheduled all the games and umpires. He played slow pitch senior softball, and his 1974 team went to the National Senior Olympics in San Antonio, Texas. He umpired high school softball and baseball games until the age of 70 in both Iowa and Illinois. Bob was an avid Moline basketball fan and tennis player and, while he loved the golf courses, they were not so fond of him.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Diann Moore, and daughter, Ashley Moore.

He was preceded in death by his mother; aunts and uncles, Frances "Fanny" Gerken, Lillian Gerken, Ben Gerken and Ernest Gerken.

Online condolences may be left for the family by visiting his obituary at

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

How a Small Town in Missouri Became a Manufacturing Oasis - Forbes

Mayor Debbie Mitchell Gahan, MHS 66:
The Class the Stars Fell On.

How a Small Town in Missouri Became a Manufacturing Oasis - Forbes:

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a new special section called “Reinventing America.”

Ken Sweet and more than a dozen other Forbes contributors and staff writers are focusing on the challenges facing towns, cities and traditional industries across the nation–and highlight the growing number of surprising success stories we’re seeing, too. Over the coming months we’ll have stories, rankings of who’s doing it right (and wrong), and, we hope, great conversations with readers, so please join in.

Could the answer to America’s manufacturing problem be somewhere in the modest town of Perryville, Mo., population 8,225?

Located about 80 miles south of St. Louis, Perryville is a lot like many small towns in the Midwest.  There’s a turn-of-the-century county courthouse, large white water towers, several churches, a local hospital and, of course, a Wal-Mart.

But head to the northern part of Perryville, and you’ll see something that you don’t quite see in many small Midwestern towns these days: huge, active manufacturing complexes, employing thousands of workers.

With GE, Toyota, Nissan, Manufacturing Booms In Mississippi

Within this town, there’s a factory owned by Japanese company Toyoda Gosei that’s making plastic components for automobiles. A Sabreliner facility near the airport manufacturers aviation parts and refurbishes helicopters and airplanes; and down the street, the Gilster-Mary Lee factory is producing cake mixes and breakfast cereals.

There is even a factory — owned by French wine company Seguim Moreau — producing 300 white oak wine barrels a day, shipped to Napa Valley, Calif.

And those factories are expanding. Perryville boasts an unemployment rate hovering at roughly 5%, well below the 8.3% national unemployment rate and Missouri’s unemployment rate of 7.2%.

Roughly one out of three workers in Perryville work in manufacturing – a statistic that seems to be from 1962, not 2012. In Perry County, which Perryville is the county seat, the number working in manufacturing is roughly one in five.

What has Perryville been doing right to make this city stand out from the hundreds of other cities that have seen their manufacturing base shrink over the decades? What’s in Perryville’s economic special sauce?

Perryville’s fortunes seem to stem from its location, a competent economic development authority and decades of business-friendly elected representatives, said city officials, business leaders and local experts, in more than a dozen interviews. The city also benefits from being near the only Mississippi River crossing into Illinois for miles, and is also located on Interstate 55; making the city a regional transport hub for goods and materials.

There are also the people of Perryville and Perry County, officials said.

see photosPhoto Courtesy of the Bismarck-Mandan Convention & Visitors Bureau
Click for full photo gallery: Cities with the lowest unemployment rates

“A lot of our success comes from the workforce,” said Scott Sattler, executive director for Perry County Economic Development Authority.  “We’re an German heritage community rooted in a Catholic and Lutheran work ethic.”

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has visited Perryville five times in his term in office and repeatedly mentions Perryville when he talks about the Missouri economy in his State of the State Addresss, a fact that both City Administrator Brent Buerck and Mayor Debbie Gahan, MHS 66, said they are particularly proud of.

Tax rates are at a 25-year low as well, as the city’s growing tax base has more than offset lower rates.

“We’re a progressive community and our workforce is second-to-none,” Gahan said.

While Perryville is doing well now, it wasn’t always like this.

Fifty years ago, Perryville was basically a one-industry town with two struggling shoe factories and a modest poultry plant. The two shoe factories closed by the 1950s, in part because of overseas competition, taking hundreds of jobs with them.

An extremely-worried chamber of commerce and city hall came together to see what they could do to save Perryville. They created an autonomous regional economic development corporation, tasking it with the goal of bringing companies back to Perryville.

While a public-private partnership, the Perryville Development Corporation was given the ability to raise capital by selling stock, allowed strategically buy and sell land, develop infrastructure and work independently in marketing Perryville as a location separate, but in cooperation with, the local chamber of commerce. At the time, no cities in the region had anything similar.

“[This] progressive thinking [helped] move the community forward and provide the advantages we have today,” Sattler said.

The corporation’s first investment came in 1960, when a small-baked goods by the name of Gilster-Mary Lee moved into the area.

“When we first arrived, these old multistory shoe plants were just sitting there empty,” said Don Walge, CEO of Gilster-Mary Lee. “So with an investment from the economic development corporation, we converted one of the shoe factories to a cake-mix plant.”

With GE, Toyota, Nissan, Manufacturing Booms In Mississippi

The Perryville Development Corporation bought stock in Gilster-Mary Lee, effectively making the city a co-investor in Gilster Mary Lee’s move to Perryville.

What started as a business of 25 employees, privately-held Gilster-Mary Lee now employs 1,600 in at its four factories in the region, making store-brand cake mixes, cereals and popcorn. The company opened its latest expansion – a trucking and storage facility – last year.

The city employed other tactics that have become standard practice in cities across the nation. The city set up tax-increment financing districts (TIF Districts) for downtown and its industrial base. The city and county governments have employed tax abatements for expanding businesses as well as developed infrastructure at little-to-no cost to businesses to create incentives for expansion.

For example, the city and county spent more than$6 million to develop the infrastructure around its municipal airport to help Sabreliner, a company specializing in retrofitting and refurbishing airplanes and helicopters, expand into painting and service bigger aircraft. Sabreliner now employes 433 people in the region, most of them high-paying aeronautics manufacturing jobs.

“We have had a continual stream of investments from this community,” said Al Farless, vice president of program development with Sabreliner. “Those investments, coupled with increased business, has led us to where we are today.”

Gilster-Mary Lee's main mixing plant in Perryville, MO. Photo courtesy of Gilster-Mary Lee

When Toyoda Gosei, an auto parts manufacturer that Toyota has a financial interest in, looked for a location to build a US-based auto parts plant, the city and county offered to level and develop the infrastructure that Toyoda would need to locate to Perryville. The city also sent a delegation to Japan to lobby directly for the plant.

Toyoda was sold, and in 1987 a division of Toyoda was created called TG Missouri. TG now employs 1,200 at its manufacturing complex in Perryville, making steering wheels, airbags and other components.

The story of Perryville isn’t all that different than a lot of cities across the country that have attempted to keep their manufacturing base in the face of overseas competition and changing demographics. But it appears this modest Missouri town put together a mix of policies and investments that helped not only to keep their manufacturing base, but grow it. All three major employers have announced expansions or have expanded their factories in the past two years, even in this mediocre economy and that 5% unemployment rate isn’t something to ignore.

Compare this to the St. Louis region 80 miles north, with a 9% unemployment rate and constantly-shrinking manufacturing base. The St. Louis area lost two Chrysler plants in 2009, which resulted in 6,365 positions lost at the North and South Chrysler plants and 2,500 positions lost from regional suppliers.

Maybe big ol’ St. Louis (and other cities) can learn something from little Perryville.

Have thoughts on what cities can do to foster economic development? Feel free to write your thoughts in the comment section below. Feel free to follow me on Twitter as well. I’m at @kensweet.

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