Decatur, Illinois

Decatur, Illinois
Curve-In, Fairview Avenue

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Patricia Kaler Passes Away

Patricia Kaler was a member of the Science Research Club as a Freshman; Student Council 1; Junior Red Cross 1, 2; FHA 1, 2, 4; YFC 2, 3; and JA 3, 4.

Her sister Penny Smeltzer (nee Kaler, MacArthur High School, Class of 1965) announced on Facebook that Patricia Michaels (nee Kaler, MacArthur High School, Class of 1965) of Decatur, Illinois, passed away the morning of May 2, 2018. Pat was born on August 22, 1947, and married Arthur Michaels, MacArthur High School, Class of 1964.

Pat worked in the regional office at the Adolf Meyer Mental Health Center from 1968 to 1974. She always was a supporter of projects for understanding and acceptance of autism.

Patricia Kaler is in this photo, from February 1957.

Picture of Pat Michaels taking kids for a walk in Sept 2005, at Brush Creek.

Arthur and Pat.

The Michaels Family.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Staley Building

Gary Blackburn passes along a well-illustrated article, "Inside the 'Castle in the Cornfields,' the office of A.E. Staley remains frozen in time. Take a look" by Tony Reid, from the Herald & Review, about the Staley Building. The Decatur "skyscraper" is now called the Tate & Lyle Building, named after the British firm that bought Staley's.

If a dramatic building could ever transmute into limestone, marble, bronze, glass, wood and steel the essence of the man who inspired it, Decatur industrial baron Augustus Eugene Staley's former corporate headquarters is the place.

Completed for him 88 years ago in April 1930, the building at 2200 E. Eldorado St. was more than a mere head office for the founder of the former A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company. Staley wanted a capitalistic ode to joy sung in soaring architecture that would rise to a height of 217 feet and stretch to 263 wide and 103 feet deep.

Faced in gleaming white limestone and built in the avant garde style of the time — Art Deco — everything about this $1.7 million architectural confection was in-your-face. Staley, who started selling corn starch more than 30 years earlier from the back of a wagon and fought endless battles against ruthless competitors to carve out a corn and soybean processing business empire, had finally arrived at the top of the heap. And he wanted the world to know it, building a citadel for his company that would set him back $24,955,400 in today’s inflated prices, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. 
Rest of the article, see here.

These four frames of the same angle show some of the colors of the lights on the Tate & Lyle building. The lights, first installed on what was then the headquarters of the A.E. Staley Mfg. Co. in 1930, have been restored. Photographer Jim Bowling, Herald & Review.

The article is about a tour that served as "a fundraiser for the Staley Museum, which preserves the founder’s memory and his family’s history in the grand Decatur Arts & Crafts style home he lived in.
The Staley building is now owned by London-based Tate & Lyle, and opening it up for its first public tour is a gift from the company to the public and the museum, which opened two years ago. Last year, the company delighted Decatur residents when it restored the colored floodlights on the building, allowing for mesmerizing displays of vivid color in the Decatur skyline.

Staley Museum director Laura Jahr sits in front of a display featuring some of the many products by Staley Mfg. Co. The museum features the history of the company, family and athletic teams. Photographer Lisa Morrison, Herald & Review. Source of the photos of the Staley Museum.

So, a question I have: Does the Staley Museum sell miniature collectible replicas of the Staley Building for all of us former Decaturites who want to obtain a souvenir of our youthful hometown's skyscraper? 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Ken McGlade Dies

Kenneth R. McGlade, 70, of Decatur, Illinois, passed away on Thursday, March 29, 2018, in his home.
Ken was born July 28, 1947 in Decatur, Illinois, the son of Roy and Clara (Avis) McGlade. He retired from Caterpillar. Ken enjoyed fishing, hunting, and bowling. He married Elizabeth Graine on June 14, 1985. She preceded him in death on February 22, 2013.
Ken is survived by his son Kenneth R. McGlade and wife Michelle.
He is preceded in death by his parents, wife, and sister Karen.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

David Glover Passed Away

Millicent Smith has learned this evening that David Glover of Decatur, Illinois, died a few years ago.

Linda Law-Mahon sends the information that David Eugene Glover passed away on August 29, 2012.

David in 7th Grade, Roosevelt Junior High School, Decatur, Illinois.

David in 8th Grade, Roosevelt Junior High School, Decatur, Illinois.

His formal obituary shared the following:

Obituary for David Eugene Glover

David Eugene Glover, 65, of Decatur, passed away Wednesday, August 29, 2012 in Decatur Memorial Hospital.
David was born September 2, 1946 in Decatur, IL, the son of William Glover and Jacquline (Rokash) Brown. He served in the Navy for 12 years, and completed six tours in Vietnam.
David is survived by his wife of 40 years, Darlene; son, David (Reagan) Glover of Scotts Valley, CA; daughter, Diana (Benjamin) Sanders of Perryville, MO; brother-in-law, Lonnie (Judy) Blankenship of Decatur; sisters-in-law, Linda (Lonny) Forbes of Decatur; Kay (Richard) Goad of Jacksonville, IL; and uncle, Larry (Nancy) Rokash of Forsyth.
He was preceded in death by his parents and three sisters, Sandy, Carol and Jodi.
Services to celebrate David's life will be at Glad Tidings Church on Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 2 pm. Memorial contributions may be directed to SAIL (Soyland Access to Independent Living).
The family of David Eugene Glover is being served by Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Delbert Stout Passes Away

Sandy Seitz Medina has forwarded a note, via Millie McCaddon, that Delbert F. Stout, a member of our MacArthur High School Class of 1965, died last Friday, December 15, 2017.

Stout lived in Ontario, California. He reportedly fell, hit his head, and died of his injuries.

Delbert Stout will be coming back to Decatur, Illinois, for his burial.

A detailed obituary will probably be published in Decatur in January, and it will be posted here.

Our condolences to his family and friends.

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.


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 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 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 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.