Moline Memories - MHS 66 Friends

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Liz Copeland's Christmas Cat - Clancy

Clancy is simply the most photogenic cat around. He clearly loves to wear costumes and to post for his staff.

Liz Copeland, MHS68, is an exceptional photographer. Her mother was a favorite teacher at Garfield Elementary School.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Rest in Peace, Toby McGriff. May the Angels Lead You to Paradise

Toby and Stephanie McGriff

Robert A. "Toby" McGriff, 68, of Moline, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, at Genesis Medical Center, Silvis.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Pius X Church, Rock Island. Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at Rafferty Funeral Home, 2111 1st St. A, Moline, with a Christian wake service at 3:30 p.m. Entombment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery, East Moline. A memorial fund has been established.
Toby was born July 27, 1948, in Watervliet, Mich., the son of Robert L. and Ann Lee McGriff. He married Stephanie K. Ybarra on Oct. 25, 1969, in Silvis.
Toby worked as the band director at Grand Ridge Elementary School, Grand Ridge, Ill., and a vice president at the former Ringle Express, Coal Valley. He retired as an admissions and career adviser at Partners in Job Training with Rock Island County.
Toby was a member of the Moline Jaycees, where he served as past president and a state vice president, as well as earning recognition as a United States Jaycee Senator. He was a member of the Bettendorf Park Band, was a former lector at St. Mary's Church, Moline, and a canter and choir member at Sacred Heart Church, Moline. He read for APRIS at WVIK Radio, was an avid Chicago Bears and NASCAR fan and loved his dog, Max.
Survivors include his wife, Stephanie; daughter, Heather Hamilton, Waterloo, Iowa; sister, Beth Ann (Tim) Leaf, Lutz, Fla.; 17 nieces and nephews; and 11 great-nieces and -nephews. He was preceded in death by son-in-law, Mike Hamilton; and sisters, Janet Hoag and Joette McGriff.
Condolences may be left at

When we were planning for the MHS 66 50th Reunion, seeing Toby was #1. My wife and I knew he had been in and out of the hospital and living at Rosewood Care. He told us our dog Sassy would be welcome at Rosewood, so that made it especially fun to take her for the visit. 
My wife and I had a long visit with Toby. We went back to 7th grade band at John Deere, as I recall, and MHS Band for another three years. He met my wife Chris when I took her to a concert at Blackhawk Community College. So Toby was a family friend, for 50 years.
Band friendships were a natural. We had an enormous room where people congregated after school. That bandroom was on the way out to the parking lot, so Toby often gave me a ride home, even when I forgot about driving my father's car to school. When I remembered, halfway home, Toby frowned and turned  around his little Corvair. He was great about it, but questioned me closely after that, when I needed a ride. "Are you sure you didn't drive today?"
Doubtless all of us have pleasant memories of Toby, always cheerful, enduring incredible suffering with his health problems, infections, and surgeries. Apart from relating some facts, nothing in his conversation suggested that his life was something other than ordinary. He loved to talk about his family and dog. It was difficult to leave.
 Toby is sitting in front of the tubas.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Rest in Peace, Susan Mathias Hargrave - MHS 66

Susan Mathias Hargrave

Susan Hargrave, 68, of Coal Valley, IL, died Thursday, December 8, 2016, at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf, IA.

Memorial services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, December 15, 2016, at Salem Lutheran Church, 1724 15th Street, Moline.  Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 14, 2016, at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory, Ltd., 6601 38th Avenue, Moline.  Per her wishes, cremation rites have been accorded.  Memorials may be made to Salem Lutheran Church.

Susan was born on March 17, 1948, in Moline, IL, the daughter of Charles and Betty Ashley Mathias.  She married Jeffrey Hargrave on May 13, 1972, in Moline, IL.  She worked for John Deere Industrial Midwest Sales.  She went on to work as the secretary to the superintendent of East Moline School District.

Susan was very active with Salem Lutheran Church and involved with Serenity Circle of the church.  Family meant everything to her.

Survivors include her husband, Jeff; daughter, Christine Hargrave, Bettendorf, IA; son, Brent (Meghan) Hargrave, Yorkville, IL; 3 grandchildren, Madison Woods, Mason Woods, and Kelly Hargrave; brother, Rick (Terry) Mathias, Coal Valley, IL.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Santa and the Moline Cuties - Kathy Wilcox and Jorja Beert

Santa and Kathy Wilcox.
Notice the mittens attached through the sleeves.

 Kathy Wilcox

Jorja Hepner

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

MHS 68.
Santa Mike Collins is coming to Moline

Well it is that time again ! Santa is coming to the Quad Cities the 16th 17th and 18th of Dec. would consider the 15th as well. Will do appearances for Children's Homes and Nursing Homes on the16th for just the boost in my spirit. Contact me here!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Happy 83rd Birthday - Moliner Ken Berry

Carol Burnett had the best variety show on TV,
and Ken Berry was a welcome guest.


  1. Christopher Korman says:
    I know Ken from his many years of his guest starring turns on Carol Burnett and Mama’s Family which my father Harvey Korman appeared on. Ken is a perfect example of an Artists getting type cast. Most people don’t know that Ken Started off as a dancer with the Billy Barnes revue along with Michelle Lee and Bert Convy. The fact is Ken Berry is one of the greatest song and dance men around and if he had been given the chance to prove that he would be mentioned with Astaire and Kelly Today.The only thing that supersedes his talents is his humility,grace,and integrity.Its been a privilege and honor to say I got to know the icon Ken Berry.

Video interviews with Ken Berry about the Carol Burnett Show, Mayberry RFD

In the Army, Spock got Berry to try Hollywood.

When I read about Ken Berry on his website, many details about Moline echoed what others have said and I have thought:

"Ken Berry was already five-eighths of the way to Mayberry when he was born in Moline, Ill., on November 3, 1933. Kenneth Ronald Berry was the second child (joining sister Dona Rae) of Bernice and Eugene Darrell Berry, who at the time of Ken’s birth was an accountant for John Deere Company."

Early career:
"When I got the job and it took me away from home, that must have been very hard for my parents," Ken says. "But they were very supportive and it was really a thrilling experience for me. After the Horace Heidt show, I came back and finished high school in Moline. I used to drive up to Chicago once a week and take a voice lesson and a tap lesson in the same studio. But that didn’t last very long. After graduation, I went back out to California to look for work. And I didn’t get much at all."

Mayberry as Brigadoon
About Mayberry, Ken says, "It’s a wonderful place to visit and people would fantasize about living there. It’s a place like Brigadoon that shows up every hundred years. It’s a place you dream about living, but you know it’s fantasy and you don’t care."

Mayberry Like Moline
He adds, "I grew up among people very much like that -- a bigger town, but not much bigger -- and the neighborhood was very much like that and the people were very much like those characters. And it was fun for me to visit, too. It was one of my favorite half hours ever on television and that was long before I met Andy."


GJ - My wife Chris and I talk about how much we enjoyed the 40th reunion of the MHS 66 class. She has always felt a part of my class, even though she met them after graduation, when we were at Augustana.

We have had a number of discussions with people on Facebook. The common theme is how pleasant people were to each other in Moline. It is no surprise that Ken Berry had the same experience earlier.

My father knew many people from work and from graduating from MHS. We had a lapboard where all his classmates inscribed their names with a woodburner. All his classmates seemed to be named Eric Johnson, John Ericson, Eric Ericson, John Johnson, Sven Svenson, Sven Ericson, Eric Svenson, John Svenson, etc.

Once we were discussing a local politician, and dad said, "I cannot believe he would be like that. His father was one of my teachers. His word was his bond."

With my mother in the Moline school system and my father in business, I was connected to everyone - one way or another. The kindly attitude was expressed in many different ways. When I went to Augustana College, a bike ride away, my mother's classmates were there.

The daughter of Dr. Andreen taught education at Augustana. "Are you going to be a teacher, too?" she asked. I said, "No, never."

Later I learned that Dr. Andreen left his position as a noted professor at Yale to become president of a threadbare college on the banks of the Mississippi. The little portable college, which barely survived, has become one of the best liberal arts colleges in America. Looking back, we can see how much people sacrificed to create a better life for future generations. I wonder if the same will be said about us Boomers.

I can imagine Ken Berry recognizing the fictional characters of Mayberry being so much like Moliners. I will have to write about them too.

Ken Berry had a hit show in Mayberry RFD in the late 1960s. He said Mayberry was just like the town he grew up in - Moline.
In Hollywood he is still known as the nicest guy in show business.

Andy Griffith launched the pilot of Mayberry RFD with Ken Berry.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Song for Cub Fans Tonight - Especially Those in Chicago

Homer Jackson was destined to be a baseball fan, with that first name -
sponsoring fast-pitch softball and always backing Cubs baseball.

A Song for Cubs Fans Walking by Wrigley Stadium.
Copyright 2016, Gregory L. Jackson
Apologies to “On the Street Where You Live” – My Fair Lady

I have often gone to Wrigley Stadium
But the critics always
Wondered what the Cubs had done.

All at once am I
Several stories high
Knowing I'm on the street where Cubs play.

Is the popcorn fresh
In the North of town?
Can you hear a blast in any other part of town?

Does Budweiser pour
Out of every door?
No, it's just in Chi-town where Cubs play.

And oh, the towering feeling
Just to know the trophy is near,
The overpowering feeling,
That any second the commish will soon appear.

People stop and stare
They don't bother me
For there's no team left on earth
That I would rather see.

Let the Indians sigh
I don't care if I
Can be here on the street where Cubs play.

People stop and stare
They don't bother me
For there's no team left on earth
That I would rather see.

Let the Indians play
I won't care if they
Can drop by on the street where Cubs play.
Let me stay on the street where Cubs play.

 Adam Jones, WQUA, told me about going on the fan-bus with Dad,
from Moline to the Cubs games.

Chicago Cubs Fans - One Day More

Growing up in Illinois, the only baseball team I knew about was the Cubs. My father was the ultimate Cubs fan, always waiting for his team to continue its winning ways through the summer. I went to games as a kid, even though we were on the opposite side of the state. When I served a parish in Sturgis, Michigan, our youth group went to Cubs games.

My favorite moment in baseball was early. I knew very little about it. I asked my father what grand slam was. He explained the bases loaded and a home run hit. I asked,"Could that happen now? The bases are loaded." He laughed, "That hardly ever happens." As soon as he said it, the player hit a home run and emptied the bases. That story was told around Moline for a long time.

Once the Cubs rain up a three-game deficit, I told Mrs. Ichabod, "One more loss and the Cubs lose the World Series." Instead, the Cubs began winning again. Last night must have been exciting for every Cubs fan in the world. A grand slam almost certified the win early, and the game ended 9-3.

One day more.

Watching baseball at the park is great, but baseball on TV has never intrigued me. I watch interesting games on the computer by calling up the scorecard and refreshing it every so often.

 Dad sponsored fast-pitch softball teams,
and we watched the King and His Court play locally.

My father was born in 1910 and experienced the drought of losses that plagued all Cubs fans. He would have needed to live to 106 to have watched these games. He would have sold his car to be at one of the games - that is certain.

 Cousin Dean posed for this picture.
We had tons of these hats to wear - and had to wear them
for cute calendar poses, no matter how old we were.

 Many years later, those paper hats were still
available for poses. Here is Little Ichabod previewing
how his son would look at the same age.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Daniel and Barbara (Dodd) Hawotte Celebrate Their 50th Wedding Anniversary

Daniel and Barbara (Dodd) Hawotte
elebrated their 50th anniversary.

Barbara and Daniel Hawotte, Moline, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands with their family in June.
Barbara Dodd and Mr. Hawotte, both of Moline, were married Oct. 22, 1966, at Plymouth-Gordon United Church of Christ, Moline.
Their children are Andrea (Greg Snow), Shorewood, Ill.; and Brian (Karla), Rock Island. Their three granddaughters are Casey, Riley and Reagan.
Mr. Hawotte is employed by the Greater Quad-City Auto Auction. He retired from the Rock Island Arsenal in 2007 after 29 years.
Mrs. Hawotte retired from the Rock Island Arsenal in 2003 after 32 years.
They are members of Hope United Church of Christ, Moline.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rest in Peace, Forest Wagner

 Forest Wagner

Forest L. Wagner, 75, of Tionesta passed away unexpectedly Monday, September 12, 2016 at the Clarion Hospital.

Born on January 14, 1941 on the Wagner Homestead and he was the son of Cecil C. and Alma Carll Wagner.

Forest attended the Shriver School and West Forest High School. He was a member of the local 4H club with many of his cousins and neighbors. He was also a member of the FFA.

He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Venus.

Forest was a dairy farmer in Red Brush area but always dreamed of seeing the United States. In 1989 he attended truck driving school so that he could see the country. His family members took bets that he would be home within 6 weeks but he went on to enjoy a 25 year driving career and logged over 2 million accident free miles.

After he retired from long hauls, Forest worked for Long Acres Potato Farm driving grain trucks and plowing fields.

Forest married Nancy Rhoades in July 1968 and she preceded him in death in April 2015. He is survived by his children Jodie Ellison and her husband Jim of Royal Oak, MI; and Stephen Wagner and his wife Jayme of Red Brush. Also surviving are five grandchildren, and a sister Doris Mills of Lake Lucy. Later in life Forest was remarried to Beverly Sorensen Wagner who also survives.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a brother Delbert Wagner and a sister Donna Thompson.

Friends will be received at the Faller Funeral Home, Inc. in Fryburg on Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 2-4pm and 7-9pm.

Funeral service will be held at Faller Funeral Home, Inc. in Fryburg on Friday, September 16, 2016 at 10am, with Rev. John A. Wood, Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church presiding.

Interment will be in the Venus Cemetery following the service.
Please visit to share your memories and photos and offer your condolences.

Apple canning day! My husband, Forest got put to work. We have a beautiful day to set on deck to peel apples
LikeShow more reactions

Rest in Peace, Jerry Lucas, MHS66

Jerry Lucas

Mr. Jerry S. Lucas, 68, of Pooler, passed away on Sunday, September 11, 2016 in his home.
Jerry was born in Moline, IL to the late Clifford & Esther Lucas. He served his country in the U.S. Navy, was on active duty from 1968-1972, and was a Purple Heart Recipient due to combat in Vietnam. Jerry graduated from Western Illinois University with a Bachelors of Science Degree and continued his post-graduate work in the field of Botany. He retired from both the CIA, and Lockheed Martin, where he received awards for innovative programs and initiatives with his work for the government.

Throughout his various career experiences, he combined his knowledge and enthusiasm for education, photography, technology, medicine, and anthropology. He also helped to map the Myan Ruins in Northern Yucatan and the wetlands of the Tennesee Tombigbee River. Jerry’s heart was in his faith, which he served through local, national, and international mission efforts, including his advocacy for Apple of His Eye ministries, and trips to Macau and Haiti. He was an avid naturalist, a wetlands guide at Huntley Meadows, and had recently begun volunteering at Oatland Island and the Ogeechee Canal. A serial hobbyist, Jerry loved any excuse to buy a new gadget. He was always present for encouragement and excited to share in family celebrations. Jerry had lived for the past 33 years in Alexandria, VA before moving to Pooler last summer.

Survivors include his wife, Lois Lucas; children and their spouses, Matthew Jason Lucas & Kendra, Justin Theodore Lucas, Gregory Paul Lucas & Catherine, and Andrea Marie Korb & Christopher; grandchildren, Evan Paul, Lianne-Maia, Logan Augustus, Levi Ellis, and Aiyanna. He is also survived by several cousins, nieces and nephews.

The memorial service will be on Friday, September 16th at Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 12391 Mercy Boulevard in Savannah. Visitation will begin at 11:00 a.m. with the memorial service beginning at 11:30 a.m. The graveside service and burial will follow at 2:30 p.m. at Hillcrest Abbey West Cemetery.

Donations to the following missions are welcomed in lieu of flowers: Trinity Lutheran Comfort Dog Minisitry of Savannah, GA, Tents of Mercy, Armed Forces Ministry of the LCMS, or Lutheran Hour Ministries.

Of course, what Jerry would have liked most is that you go out and share the Gospel.
Thomas C. Strickland & Sons Funeral Homes – West Chatham Chapel (912) 748-2444