Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois
Curve-In, Fairview Avenue

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Penny Tennant Passes Away


Penny Joyce Tennant-Starkey, who would have been 70 on August 12, 2017, passed away quietly from cancer on July 24.

Penny's daughter Jennifer Starkey posted this on Facebook on Monday evening:
At 5:37 pm this evening surrounded by her loved ones and family and friends, my mother, the most amazing woman I know, Penny Joyce Tennant-Starkey, is now resting peacefully. She is no longer in any more pain from this horrible cancer. Rest In Peace momma! We love you so much!!!!
Once again, the entire Mac '65 community shares our condolences.




Penny Tennant was an active member of the Douglas MacArthur High School Class of 1965. As noted in the Senior Yearbook, she was a member of the Latin Club as a Freshman; Big Mac Day 1; Freshman Attendant; Homecoming Committee 2, 4; Student Council Representative 2; Alternate 4; Junior Talent Show; French Club 3, 4; Prom Committee 3; Freshman Orientation 4; Homecoming 4; Lakeview Exchange Assembly 4; Cadet Class Co-Editor 4; and C.D.A.S.C Convention Hostess 4.


Penny shared, for the 50th Reunion Book, that her first car was a 1963 blue Ford Falcon. She continued her education after graduation, and attended the University of Missouri. Then she went on to graduate school at Arizona State University, and became a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

Penny remained in the Phoenix, Arizona, area the rest of her life, living in Gilbert, Arizona, as her base of operations, from where she visited her family, and friends.



Penny loved her time with family, whether it was just visiting, or traveling to fun locations.








2013

Penny was a happy spirit and it seems appropriate to end with this photograph of Penny swimming with dolphins, a moment she appears to have enjoyed immensely.





Thanks for info and photos via Donna Maddox, Ginny Vaughn, and Mille Smith ~ Loren Coleman

Monday, June 26, 2017

Rita Jean Ooton Wall Dies


Rita Jean Ooton, who would have celebrated her 70th birthday on July 1, 2017, has passed away.

As a member of the Class of '65, the Senior Yearbook recognized her as a member of the American Friends Society as a freshman and sophomore; Girls' Glee Club 1; Girls Choir 2, 3; Pep Club 2, 3; FHA Club 2; Office Occupations 4; Office Assistant 3; Office Occupations Homecoming Co-Chair 4.

Rita lived in Decatur, Illinois, enjoyed her role as an aunt, and she was retired from working with the Decatur Public Schools.

Rita loved singing, and a friend, Connie Copeland, posted this on Rita's Facebook page in January 2017.
On Facebook, this was posted as "1958, girls city wide girls glee club. Found this picture in some old photo books I had. This is a group from Oak Grove." (That would have been 6th grade.)

Rita Ooton is shown in the back with a dark sweater. Connie Copeland is on the far right. The girl between Rita and Connie is Jane Dahl. Terri York is in the back row, far left.

Her sister shared the sad news on Facebook on June 26, 2017:
Because this is the easiest way to reach all of you, whom I love....my sister, Rita Ooton Wall, passed away during a Sunday afternoon nap [June 25, 2017] today. She was very peaceful, and she looked like she was still napping, when I arrived. We are shocked, but relieved for her. She got to attend both of my retirement parties, had a wonderful time, and got to see many family and friends. I talked to her a couple of days ago, and she had a great visit with so many of you. We had planned on a sister-dinner next week, to celebrate our birthdays...my 65th and her 70th. She had gone to the mall yesterday to get my birthday gift. I haven't opened it. I also have hers. Please keep us in your prayers, and include special prayers for her special friend and nurse Vernita. They were very special friends, and she is so sad. I talked to her about how this is one of the hardest things for a nurse, but you have to get attached to some of your patients. It is our calling. Thank God for you Vernita! Thank God for all of you. ~ Pamela Ooton Gustin Perryman
 
The following is Rita's obituary from Brintlinger's site:

Born: July 1, 1947
Place of Birth: Decatur, IL
Death: June 25, 2017
Place of Death: Decatur, IL
Rita Jean Wall, 69, of Decatur, IL, passed away Sunday, June 25, 2017, at Imboden Gardens, Decatur, IL.
Memorial services will be held at a later date.
Rita was born July 1, 1947, in Decatur, IL, the daughter of Scotty G. and Dorothy V. (Elliott) Ooton. She was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and a 1965 graduate of MacArthur H.S. Rita worked at Decatur Public Schools for 38 years as a bookkeeper. She was a former director and member of the South Illinois Association of Educational Office Personnel.
She is survived by her sister Pamela (Larry) Perryman of Decatur; nieces Jacqueline Ruscin of Hendersonville, TN, Tracy (Brian) Cole of Menasha, WI, Kimberly Beck of Sullivan, IL, Paulette Ooton of Springfield, IL; nephews Scotty G. Ooton III of Decatur, Brent Ooton of South Dakota, Paul Ooton of Morton, IL; several great nieces and nephews; and special friend at Imboden Gardens, Vernetta Perry.
She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Scotty G. Ooton, Jr.


Rita. 2013.

Rita, sitting, and her sister Pamela (Class of 1970) are pictured at the MacArthur Class of '65's 50th Year Reunion, 2015.

That's Rita in the middle among what has been called the "Mac Girls," there for a lunch together in Decatur, in August 2016.

"MHS, class of 65" girls.:):)" May 2014.


"Lunch with MacArthur classmates...at O'Charlies." November 2013.




H/T to Tracey Devore for the sad news. More info from Donna Maddox. Thank you all.


+++

As members of the Mac Class of '65 personally know, 2017 is a milestone year with most of us celebrating our 70th birthdays. May all of you have a happy one, and a moment of remembrance and salute to those we know who would have this year. 

To Rita, Happy Birthday on July 1st.




Monday, May 8, 2017

2017 Reunion Dinner Update / 70th Birthday Celebration

This is a followup and update to the previously published "2017 Reunion Dinner Planned."

Nan Walker Morrison & Millie McCaddon Smith have passed along the following letter to the class. This is the last notification for this event, according to this missive. Please respond to them via Millie's email address [millvanil@yahoo.com], by clicking the hyperlink here.

TapRoot Restaurant, Merchant Street, Decatur, Illinois. Second Floor, Saturday, 5:00 PM, September 9, 2017.



The following is their letter. CLICK ON THE TEXT OF EACH SECTION OF THE LETTER SO YOU CAN READ THE COMPLETE NOTE.






Sunday, March 19, 2017

2017 Reunion Dinner Planned

Nancy Walker Morrison has sent along the following letter to Mac '65 classmates. This dinner is going to happen in Decatur, Illinois. Please send a comment to the Mac '65 Facebook page if you think you might attend, so an estimate for seating can be made.


An Early Reminder
Hi and greetings Mac '65 Generals,
We are planning to gather for an enjoyable dinner and evening on Saturday, September 9, 2017. 
This is in response to many classmates who have requested that our class have more opportunities to get together in the next few years. This year would also be commemorating our 70th birthday. 
Good gracious can you believe that? 
If you're interested in attending, please save the above date on your calendars. More specific details to follow later. 
Thanks!
Nan Walker Morrison





A recent photograph of Nancy Walker Morrison, added by your moderator via Facebook. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Kay McCoy Passes Away


Kay Graham McCoy, a 1965 graduate of Douglas MacArthur High School, has been reported to have passed away on Friday, March 3, 2017.

Kay was a member of Class Council as a freshman, Future Homemakers of America (FHA) as a sophomore, Student Council Election Assembly as a sophomore, Girls' Athletic Association (GAA) as a sophomore and junior, Spanish Club as junior, Pep Club as a junior, Big Mac Day as a junior, Prom Committee as a junior, Homecoming Committees as a sophomore and senior, Dramatics Club as a junior and senior, and Senior Class Play.

In April 2011, Kay noted her married name was Althoff and she had recently moved back to Decatur.

Last year, Sue Evans passed along news that Kay McCoy was comatose and in a nursing home, since a stroke.


+++
Formal obituary

LINCOLN, ILLINOIS — Kay Marie (McCoy) Althoff, 69, formerly of Decatur, passed away March 3, 2017 at Symphony of Lincoln, Lincoln, Illinois. Kay was born Sept 11, 1947, in Waterloo, Iowa, the daughter of C. Gordon Graham and June (Larson) Graham. Kay's father died when she was two years old. Her mother later married J. Arnold McCoy who adopted Kay.
Kay was a 1965 graduate of MacArthur High School in Decatur, Illinois. She continued her education at William Jewel and Eastern Illinois University earning a B.S. in Education. She completed her education by receiving her Master of Arts degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Kay's love of special needs children led her to career in Special Education. She taught at South Shores School in Decatur and a suburb of Chicago before becoming Principal of Early Childhood Special Education in Alton, Illinois, and retired as Supervisor for Special Education in the Alton school system.
Kay was a lifetime member of First Baptist Church of Decatur and a member of the Illinois Education Association, where she held several offices. Kay's sisters in Alpha Delta Pi Sorority played a very special part in her life, maintaining many lifetime friendships that gave her much love, support and encouragement during her life and illness. Kay spent her retirement years at her home on Lake of the Ozarks until her health declined and she returned to Decatur to be closer to her family.
Kay is survived by her brothers, Gary J McCoy, Niantic, Illinois, and Thomas D McCoy (Ella DeWeese) Kearney, NE, sister-in-law Carol A McCoy, Argenta, Illinois, several nieces, nephews and a special friend, Cathy Elliott whom she mentored in the field of special education.
She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, David R McCoy.
Kay will be remembered by her family and friends as a fun loving and caring person who never met a stranger.
The family would like to thank the staff of Symphony of Lincoln for their exceptional care and kindness to Kay.
Memorial services will be held at a later date. Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Home, Decatur, is assisting the family with arrangements.


+++


Both Kay and Tom McCoy were in our class (1965); Tom lives in Kearney, Nebraska, and is a financial manager at Procter & Gamble.

Susan Evans shared on Facebook that Kay had died, noting, "Our beloved friend and classmate passed away."

Donna Camp Maddox said, "Bless her heart. Always a smile and light heart."

Tracy Devore seconded that with "She always had a smile and had a great sense of humor."

And Dan Cheatham said, "Lots of memories with the McCoy family, going back to the 50s."

Ginny Vaughn remembered, "Kay as the fun loving, sweet girl I knew in high school."

Susan Pilcher recalled, "Kay McCoy always added smiles and laughter everywhere she went. I'm so happy she's free to laugh out loud again."

Sue Matheny notes, "Your sparkling blue eyes will be missed."

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gary W. Deadmond Has Passed Away


Gary Deadmond was a member of the MacArthur High School Class of 1965, and was involved in Cadet Band 1; Concert Band 2, 3, 4; Ensemble 2, 3, 4; and Dance Band 2, 3, 4.




Sandy Deadmond, near Decatur, Illinois, posted this:

My baby, my Gary W. Deadmond is gone now and at complete peace 11:25 pm on 22nd [November 2016]. Nobody like him, he was the Best. I love him so much. No more dialysis, amputations, hospitals, tests, surgeries, he's FREE now!! I will always LOVE him ♡♡♡ He was my Cowboy!! Thank You everyone for all the prayers.

Gary's memories focussed on his loves and his music. We all will remember his spirit forever. Here are some photos that he had used to share how much he celebrated living.





Gary W. Deadmond's life was his family, his music, his memories of the band, and his many relationships - whether they be of relatives, friends, classmates, horses, dogs, or his cars. He enjoyed life, and his biggest recent wish was to be at 2015's MacArthur Class of 1965 50th Reunion. Gary was the topic of so many conversations that he were certainly there with us in our thoughts and in spirit.






In 2011, Gary sent this overview of his life along to me for the Reunion book:
I am married and have lived back in Decatur, since 1994. We returned from California due to illness of both my parents, who both have since passed.
I had to retire due to cancer [when] I was given four months to live in 2006, after a lung biopsy, which showed both large cell and small cell cancer.
I worked and lived in California for several years in the aerospace industry, as an engineer on such programs as the Space Shuttle, B1 Stealth Bombers and many missile projects.
I have been married to my wife Sandy since January 29, 1982, and together we have six children (all grown with their own families) from previous marriages (four children of mine) and (two of hers). We have 12 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
We enjoy times at the Moose Lodge and also kareokeing at various places.
Still play the trumpet some but am very restricted due to health issues. Used to play in church regularly in the past.
My passions are my wife Sandy and all of my grandchildren.
Just wanted to let you know that my wife Sandy and I also had a horse ranch while we were living in Lucerne Valley, California. We bought and sold several horses as well as my wife trained them.
I was also VIP of Equestrian Trails International, Chapter #70, for the High Desert. Also was a judge at many horse shows and events.







Gary attempted to get well for the 50th Reunion in 2015, but had a relapse, and was not able to make it to the dinner events. But, as mentioned, he was on the lips of everyone, and thus he was there in spirit. Afterward, he got better and his wife Sandy shared his recovery adventures on Facebook.


Gary with Stay Gold in California, 1990.


Gary was born on October 5, 1947. The day Gary was born, the 33rd President of the United States, Harry S. Truman made the first televised statement from the White House. Gary saw in the modern age, but slowed his life down with, for example, his Sandy, his music and his equine loves, not to mention his family too.

Gary had been sick for awhile, and passed away on the anniversary of the JFK assassination, on November 22, 2016. His physician, Dr. Richard H. Fritz, another member of the MacArthur High School Class of 1965, a little over a year ago, died on November 7, 2015.

Gary's now with his horses and more, in a peaceful place.