FORMER BAND DIRECTOR
Duane Johnson came to Villisca in 1956 as the new band director and instrumental music instructor. During his nine-year tenure, he reshaped the Villisca band program into one of the best in the state.
Mr. Johnson was a 1954 graduate of the music program at the University of Nebraska. He brought to Villisca a new vision for teaching instrumental music and the youthful exuberance to achieve it.
His marching bands not only marched, they entertained with snappy music and intricate maneuvers. The audiences loved their shows. The band members were proud to be part of it and worked hard at it, including practicing early mornings before school started. They marched in many different towns and competitions. They won “1” ratings at the State Marching Contest in 1964 and again in 1965.
Mr. Johnson similarly transformed the concert band. His concert bands gained a reputation as one of the best in the state of Iowa, winning “1” ratings for four years in a row at the annual State Large Group Contest.
He also initiated a high school jazz band and a dance band called “Mr. J and The Jaynotes” in which he played the lead trumpet. He led a pep band and summer bands. His students also competed as solos, ensembles, trios, quartets, quintets, and won “1” ratings at all levels.
Mr. Johnson taught elementary students to appreciate instrumental music by introducing plastic flutes into a new program for those grades. As he identified those students with musical ability, he guided them to advance to another instrument and into the junior high band.
Under his guidance, the existing band parent organization evolved into the Villisca Band Mothers, which became a formidable fund-raising organization to help pay for band uniforms and expenses.
In 1965, he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where his exceptional career continued until he retired in 1993. In 1994, he received the Outstanding Bandmaster Award from the Nebraska Bandmasters’ Association, its highest honor.
Duane W. Johnson, a 2017 member of the Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, now lives in Bella Vista, Arkansas.
Elwin (“Bill”) Day was a “hard-hittin’ guard” on the 1925 undefeated football team and also participated in track at VHS.
After high school, Bill became a carpenter/contractor in Villisca. He built or remodeled many homes in the area. In the 1930s, he was the foreman on a WPA crew who built the Villisca swimming pool and the stone wall around the Villisca cemetery.
Bill was a member of the local Army National Guard unit, Company F, when in 1941 the unit was called into action in World War II. In February of 1943, he was captured by enemy soldiers in Tunisia, Africa. He spent the next 27 months in several prisoner of war camps in Italy and Germany until they were liberated, in May of 1945. During his imprisonment, Bill was a strong leader of his men. Because he was in charge of his barracks, he was punished for any infractions by his men but he never complained. On one occasion, the German captors ordered his men to turn over their uniforms. Bill knew that the Germans would use the uniforms to disguise themselves to infiltrate American troops. So instead, Bill reportedly ordered his men to give him their uniforms, which he then piled outside and burned. For this, he was severely punished.
After returning to America, Bill continued his carpenter/contractor work in Villisca. He remained in the National Guard and served on the Park Board, among other community roles. He was a quiet, unassuming man who was very generous, usually helping others behind the scenes. Although Bill and his wife, Lillian, had no children, he loved kids. If a young athlete couldn’t afford the proper shoes or equipment, Bill would quietly pay for it. During 1946-47, there was no bus to take the basketball team to games so Bill drove the starting five players to every game in his own car. After the games, they would always stop for food, which Bill said the school was buying. They later learned that Bill paid all those expenses personally. It was well known among local athletes that if they won a ball game, they could order a malt at the drug store and it would be charged to Bill.
Bill Day, a 2017 member of the Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, died in 1978.
At VHS, Linda was active in basketball, band, student publications, drama, student council and Y-Teens. She achieved all-conference recognition in basketball, earned numerous “1” ratings in instrumental music competitions, received the Outstanding Bandsman Award in 1966, and was editor of the Bluejay in 1966. During summers, she was a lifeguard and swim instructor at the Villisca pool.
Linda’s journalistic skills grew while at the University of Iowa, where she received her B.A. in Journalism in 1969. She was first a reporter for The Daily Iowan (the university newspaper) and then its City Editor.
Linda moved to New Jersey, where she worked as a daily newspaper reporter. She later became Public Information Director for the New Jersey Lottery and subsequently held similar positions for the New Jersey Department of Insurance and the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Her interest in public relations culminated in her establishing her own firm, Artlip Communications, which she still operates.
Her Villisca roots run deep. Linda is devoted to preserving Villisca’s history. In recent years, she co-founded the “Save the Volcano” campaign to locate and preserve all issues of the Villisca Volcano. With her brother, she co-founded VHSGRADS.com to digitize, among other memorabilia, the yearbooks of both Villisca’s and Nodaway’s schools; and for which effort the two shared the 2012 Loren Horton Community History Award from the State Historical Society of Iowa. Since 2013, her weekly column about local history for The Villisca Review/Stanton Viking has touched many lives. She is also the editor of the Villisca Historical Society newsletter. In 2016, as an administrator of the Forgotten Iowa Historical Society, a Facebook group of 30,000 members, she was instrumental in bringing Iowa History Day to Villisca.
Linda Artlip Weinstein, a 2017 member of the Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, lives in Moorestown, New Jersey.
At VHS, Dave lettered in both track and cross country all four years. He was undefeated in the half-mile and mile events his junior and senior years until the state meet. As a senior, he placed 4th at the state cross country meet. In addition to being a state officer of FFA, he received an “Iowa Farmer” award from the state FFA, and an “American Farmer” award from the national FFA. Dave was also president of the Page County 4-H Club.
In 1953, he graduated from Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) with a degree in animal science. In college, Dave was a class officer and three-year letter winner in both track and cross country. He was named outstanding senior by his college fraternity, Farmhouse.
After serving as an officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1953-1955, Dave returned to the family farm near Villisca. As a fourth generation family farmer, he is especially interested in good stewardship of our environment, involvement in church and community, and appreciation of nature. These are reflected in his involvement in many local, state and national organizations. Dave’s positions have included: an organizer and Executive Committee member of the Iowa Environmental Council; Advisory Board member of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University; Page County District Soil Commissioner; board member of Farmland Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 company; Villisca Methodist Church Sunday school teacher; an advocate and principal fund-raiser for the Wallace Research Farm near Atlantic; co-chairman of fund-raising to bring the Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home to Villisca; and a founding board member of Villisca Alumni and Friends Association.
Dave has received many awards in recognition of his passionate work, including: 1980 Iowa Master Farmer named by Wallaces Farmer magazine; 1986 Iowa Outstanding Soil Commissioner; 1996 Regional Environmental Stewardship Award by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; and, with his wife, Corrine, the 2016 Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture by the Leopold Center.
David L. Williams, a 2017 member of the Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, lives on the family farm near Villisca.
Overcoming a near fatal accident at the age of 13, Pat went on to distinguish himself graduating from VHS as an honor student and a member of the National Honor Society. He was the Class President in 1986. An outstanding student, Pat participated in chorus, science club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, marching band, stage band, jazz band, orchestra and many plays.
Pat excelled in sports, lettering in baseball, basketball, football and golf . He showed leadership skills as Team Captain in football, basketball and golf. In his senior year, the Bluejay basketball team was conference champions for the first time since 1967. Pat won the Tall Corn Conference championship in golf three times and finished 5th at the State tournament his senior year.
His honors in sports while at VHS included:
3-time Tall Corn Conference Individual Champion – Golf
4-time 1st Team All-Conference (Tall Corn) – Golf
1st Team All-Conference (Tall Corn) – Football (Defensive Back)
Honorable Mention All-Conference (Tall Corn) – Football (Quarterback)
2nd Team All-Conference (Tall Corn) – Basketball
1986 Tall Corn Conference Champions – Basketball
His honors in music included:
All-State Drummer – Iowa Jazz Championships
Top Drummer – SWCC Jazz Championships
His excellence continued in his college years at Central College. His honors in golf while at Central College included:
4-year Letterman in Golf – Central College
1st Team All-Iowa Conference – Golf – 1987, 1988, 1990
Central College Freshman Player of the Year – 1987
2-time Team Captain and Team MVP
NCAA Division III All-American selection – 1988
Iowa Conference Individual Champion – 1990
Iowa Conference Most Valuable Player – 1990
Central College – Iowa Conference Team Champions 1987, 1988, 1989 & 1990
4-year participant NCAA Division III National Championship
Pat took his love of sports into his professional life, receiving his membership to the PGA of America as a club professional in 1995. He has been the host professional to six LPGA Tour events. Currently Pat is the Director of Instruction at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tennessee. Pat will soon be releasing his first golf instructional video nationwide with the support of In His Grip ministry and LifeWay Christian stores, ministries where he shares his passion for teaching and reaching out to boys and men to grow their relationship with Christ through the avenue of golf.
Pat still actively plays the drums around the Nashville music scene.
His professional honors and awards include:
President – Middle Tennessee PGA 2002-2004
Golf Professional of the Year – Middle Tennessee PGA – 1999, 2000 & 2002
Golf Professional of the Year – Tennessee Section PGA – 2000
Middle Tennessee PGA Champion – 2008
The younger member of a sister act, Colleen Means Dempsey was a forward for the Villisca High School basketball team. In her junior year she helped lead Villisca to the Tall Corn Conference championship and then on to play in the Girls State Basketball Tournament. She holds the Villisca 3 on 3 scoring record of sixty five points in a single game. Colleen lettered in basketball and in softball for four years and in track for two years. She held the Conference track record in the Long Jump from 1969 until the early 1990s.
While in High School she also participated in Y-Teens, Drama Club, Lettermans Club, Student Council and was a National Merit Scholar Winner.
Colleen attended Northwest Missouri State University, graduating in 1973 with honors with a BS Degree in Education. While at Northwest Missouri she was instrumental in helping to organize the Women’s Sports Programs. Those were pre-Title IX years meaning that it was before sports scholarships were available for women in college.
While at Northwest Missouri State University Colleen played on the Women’s Basketball and Softball teams, and ran track all four years. In her junior year her basketball team won the State Tournament and they qualified for the first ever National Basketball Tournament. Years later that basketball team was ushered into the M-Club Athletic Hall of Fame at Northwest Missouri State University. She was named to the Women’s All School Basketball Team. She qualified in her Junior and Senior years for the National Track Meets in the Long Jump and as a 440 and 880 Relay Team Member.
After College she continued to champion girl’s and women’s sports, playing on and coaching travel teams in both softball and basketball until she was 48 years old. She relates that she also got to see two of her nieces play college softball on scholarships, which was a great thrill for her.
Colleen has worked for Pacific Gas and Electric for 26 years in Customer Field Services and hopes to retire in a couple of years. She lives 15 miles from Yosemite National Park and expects to “Hike the Sierras” in her retirement.
Colleen currently resides in Oakhurst, California
Part of a sister act that captured the hearts of Villisca basketball fans, Paula Means Lund was captain of the Villisca High School Basketball team which took the Tall Corn Conference title in 1968 and then went on to play in the Girls State Basketball Tournament. She was an All State guard. She still holds the 3 on 3 records for Villisca in rebounds, steals and blocked shots.
Paula was also an outstanding softball player with the VHS team winning the Tall Corn Conference title in 1968.
Paula lettered in Basketball 4 years, Softball 4 years, Track 1 year and Golf 1 year.
She worked and played professional basketball for Look Magazine in Des Moines in the AAU League from 1968 to 1969. Moving to California in May 1969, she worked for State Farm Insurance until she retired. While in California, she was offered a position on the Iowa Cornets, a professional ladies basketball team. She did not accept the offer which she says was a good because the league only lasted one season.
After moving to California, Paula continued playing lots of softball for recreation. She played on a amateur soccer team for 2 years and some golf. Since retirement Paula has serve her community through Habitat for Humanity and Elder Care. She enjoys housesitting, pet sitting, walking and traveling.
Paula currently resides in Northridge, California.
Called one of the best High School Athletes to come out of Southwest Iowa, Phil lettered in football, basketball, track and baseball all four years he was a student at Villisca High School. He also participated in golf his freshman year. Phil was a leader on and off the sports fields. He commanded the respect of those around him by his spirit of commitment, his timely application of knowledge with common sense, his courage to face new challenges and his mutual respect toward others.
All-conference four times, he was a member Tall Corn Conference Team Champions in football, basketball, track, and baseball in 1966-1967. In his freshman year, the football coach put Phil in as the “kicker”, giving Phil the nickname “The Toe”. In football, Phil received all-conference recognition three years and was Class B All Southwest Iowa quarterback his senior year. He also received All Southwest Iowa status in basketball as well as All-Conference honors.
He was a team member and leading scorer on the 1965 (Indoor), 1966, and 1967 VHS State Championship Track teams. In all he won six individual state titles as a sprinter and pole vaulter. He set the Class B State Record in 1966 and that record stands in 2009. In 1967 he placed 2nd in the National High School Meet setting an Iowa Interscholastic record of 14′ 10″ in the pole vault. He held that record in all classifications from 1966 to 1972. In 1966 he placed 6th in the pole vault in the National High School meets and 2nd in the 1967 season
The Omaha World Herald named him Southwest Iowa Athlete of the Year in 1967.
In addition to his accomplishments in sports Phil played the tuba in the VHS band, served as president of the Letterman’s Club, was a member of the Teen Haven council and was a member of a Montgomery County 4-H group, all this while helping out on his family’s dairy farm.
Upon graduation he entered the University of Iowa earning a letter in football and track his freshman year. He earned four consecutive letters in track and field and after numerous places in the Big Ten Conference, he was conference champion in 1971, setting a University of Iowa Pole Vault record as well as a Big Ten Record.
Phil’s career path has been as a high school coach, serving at Des Moines Hoover High School as a Teacher/Coach from1973 to 1977; Red Oak High School as a Teacher/Coach (head) from 1977 to 1979; and then at Fruita Monument High School Grand Junction, Colorado as Teacher/Coach from 1979 until he retired in 2005. In his coaching career he coached five Regional Championships; 10 State (Individual) Champions; and one two time Collegiate All American. He is a nationally certified track official. He carried the qualities he first displayed at Villisca High School into his coaching career, serving not only as a coach but a role model for his students.
Phil lives with his family in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Lee Gourley was the only student in his class in country school, Douglas #8, in Morton’s Mill, so he joined Villisca’s 8th graders for second semester. He already knew he wanted to attend the Air Force Academy. As a young person he could be found lying in the yard at night talking to his friends and looking at the stars. Lee would point out Sputnik or some space craft and say all he wanted to do was fly. He was a natural leader; he played basketball and track, lettered in baseball and football. He held offices in FFA, Chorus, Student Council, Hi-Y. He was Class President, National Honor Society, and Valedictorian of his VHS Class of 1962.
He received his appointment to the United States Air Force Academy, the first in the history of Villisca. He graduated with highest honors from USAFA in 1966 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. While at USAFA, Lee would hang the Villisca Review on the bulletin board for all to enjoy! Lee earned his Master’s Degree in Astronautics from Purdue University in only six months.
A story which illustrates who Lee was is shared by one of his friends: “During his second year at the Academy, he came home for Christmas break. The old gang was together and we were contemplating playing a joke on Policeman Jake Butler. It seems that all the Christmas lights were plugged into one outlet so some thought it would be fun to pull the plug. Being true to the Honor Code at the Academy, Lee said, ‘I want you to know that if we get caught and we get questioned, I’m not going to lie.’ We did not pull the prank, and he’s still my best friend, even now. He made a footprint right on my forehead.”
Lee went to Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona and earned the distinction of “Outstanding Graduate.” Upon completion of that training, he was selected to fly the F-100s and trained at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix.
By November, 1968, Lee was an F-100F (fighter) pilot based in South Vietnam for a one year tour of duty. He volunteered for a 90-day assignment as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) with the elite “Misty” unit. That was his mission when his plane went down over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos, August 9, 1969.
Lee was declared Missing in Action in 1969. In October, 2002 his remains were returned to Villisca for burial with full military honors. His awards and medals include one of the highest honors, the Silver Star, awarded for Gallantry in Action (July, ’69).
The efforts of patriotic Americans to determine the fate of those who were left in Vietnam at the end of the war, meant that Lee’s life influenced thousands of people who never met him.
Lee is remembered for his intellect and wit, sense of humor, loyalty, respect, integrity, his sense of duty and honor, and the simple belief in doing what was right. The legacy he left to Villisca was possible because Lee took advantage of the environment of the time and used it in the most positive way.
An outstanding student in high school Roger was involved in 4-H and FFA.
Roger farmed near Villisca all his adult life. He was a member and volunteered his time to many organizations, some of which include: Villisca E.M.T.s, Villisca United Methodist Men, Yard and Garden Club, Optimist Club, Rialto Theatre Board, Farm Bureau, Iowa Army National Guard Company F, 34th Infantry, Reno Smith FFA Alumni, 4-H, Villisca Athletic Boosters, and the Methodist Church.
Roger was on the team that helped bring the Good Samaritan Nursing Home to Villisca. He served many years as the East Township Clerk. He sat on review boards for area Boy Scouts as they pursed their Eagle Scout ranks. He was named “Citizen of the Year” in 1991. The 2007 Bluejay Year Book was dedicated to him. He was active in the formation of the Villisca Alumni and Friends (VAFA) organization and served on steering committees for several All School Reunions.
Roger was well known for his volunteer spirit, cheerful attitude, and caring heart and was always willing to help where needed. It was known sometimes he would leave his tractor sitting in the field and go on a field trip if he was needed. He transported Good Samaritan residents so they could worship in the various Villisca churches on Sunday mornings. He quietly went about making a difference in the lives of young people just by sharing his life with them. He helped with Homecoming parades, After Prom parties, working the concession stands at sports events, parking cars at football games, serving on ambulance calls at ball games, operating lights and doing other behind the scene things at the Rialto Theater.
Considered one of the finest athletes to come out of Villisca, Jerry lettered in football and track 4 years and baseball 2 years. In his junior and senior seasons he was named an all-Conference Hawkeye Seven half-back and selected to the Des Moines Register All-State Team for his class.
A sprinter in track, he qualified for the State Track Meet in 1948 and 1949 in the 100 yard dash and placed fourth in that event his junior year.
He boxed in the Iowa Golden Gloves while still in high-school, training under Villisca businessman Larry Farmer, a former boxer.
Jerry attended Omaha University on a football scholarship lettering in football for 4 years.
Upon graduation from Omaha University, Jerry was commissioned in the US Air Force. He completed flight training and was assigned to several operational units. He was a flight instructor. A former German Air Force officer who trained under Jerry stated how much the students respected him.
In 1968 Jerry was assigned to USAF-Viet Nam with the 460th Reconnaissance wing. On October 21, 1968 Jerry was killed during flight operations. He is buried at Offutt Air Base. His name is inscribed on the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, D.C.; Panel 40w, Line 017.
As a quarterback, Lynn King led the Villisca High School 1925 football team to an undefeated season. He was named to the All-State team his senior year. While at VHS from 1923-1926, he played football, basketball, track, and baseball.
Lynn attended Drake University, playing on their football, basketball and baseball teams and was the captain of the football and basketball teams for three seasons. He was the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs in 1928, 1929, 1930. He never played in a losing Missouri Valley Conference Game nor in one against Iowa State, then an arch-foe of the Bulldogs.. He was named all Missouri Valley three years in a row. In basketball, he made the All-Valley second team three consecutive years.
Two special honors he received were receiving the All time Drake football player award and being named by the Des Moines Register to the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame as the first greatest all around athlete in Iowa history.
In baseball, Lynn played all three outfield positions and was an outstanding hitter leading to his being signed by the St. Louis Cardinals farm system. He played one season with Springfield, MO, and later with Houston in the Texas League; with Kansas City and Columbus in the American Association; and with Des Moines in the Western League. In his second season with Houston, King tied a league record for stolen bases with 55 and set a league record for outfield putouts with 501. In 1935 he was brought up to the big league where he played with the famous Gas House Gang. After playing with the Cardinals he went to Sacramento in the Pacific League and then returned to the Kansas City Club. He managed the Sious Falls, S.D. Northern League club prior to retiring in 1946.
He retired to Atlantic, IA where he died in 1972.
Although never a student at Villisca schools, Dr. Anderson had a significant and lasting effect on VHS and many other schools nationally. No other Villisca teacher or administrator has ever contributed more to excellence in education.
Graduated as valedictorian of Coin High School in 1939. B.A. from Tarkio College, magna cum laude, was student body president and lettered in basketball and track. M.S. from Iowa State University. Ed.D. from University of Nebraska.
Began his career in public education at Villisca as science and math teacher, 1946-1948. Several former students said that Mr. Anderson was the most intelligent, professional and best-prepared teacher they ever had in high school or college. Became principal at VHS, 1948-1951. Served as superintendent of Villisca schools, 1951-1957. Completed the Villisca school reorganization, which was the first of its kind in Iowa. Completed the bond issue for the new high school gym.
Became superintendent of 5 other larger schools—4 in Iowa, including Des Moines, and one in Virginia. Adjunct Professor at Iowa State University. Named one of 100 Best School Managers in North America in 1984 and 1987. Iowa Superintendent of the Year, 1988. Demonstrated leadership in the field of education by serving on many boards and committees too numerous to mention, but including President of Iowa Association of School Administrators and President of Iowa State Education Association.
Actively involved in many organizations in the communities where he served, including Board of the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. Received honorary degrees from 4 Iowa colleges. Advised and mentored many school districts on strategic planning, reorganization and board/superintendent relationships.
Dr. William A. Anderson, a 2013 member of the Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, lives in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.
Tom played football, served as treasurer of his senior class and acted in a class play while at Villisca High School. After graduating, he regularly attended and usually organized his class reunions.
Staying close to his roots, Tom farmed the family farm and met his future bride in the halls of VHS when he was introduced to the new home economics teacher. He became a highly respected mechanic at a local implement dealership while still farming. When the dealership closed, he operated Villisca Insurance Agency until he retired at age 75.
Tom served the Villisca community and his school in many ways, including as a director of Villisca Alumni & Friends Association, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years, president and other offices for the Villisca Lions Club and as a member of Optimists. An active supporter of VHS athletics, he parked cars at football games into his 80s. He was an avid volunteer, organizing and cooking for many fundraising dinners, delivering Meals on Wheels, shooting off July 4th fireworks at the football field, working on local yard and garden projects and city beautification efforts as well as preserving Villisca’s heritage through photography and video. He helped neighbors with gardening and snow removal and trips to the hospital as needed. Tom was an advocate of buying locally in Villisca to support local businesses.
Tom Focht, a 2013 member of Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, died in 2011.
Bob was best known for his heroism during World War II, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest medal for valor. He joined the Iowa National Guard, Company F, in Villisca in 1922, prior to graduating from VHS. In 1935, he and his brother took over the family drugstore in Villisca after their father died. Moore’s Drug Store was a fixture in Villisca and a popular anchor for teenagers.
In early 1942, then-Captain Moore led Company F (assembled mostly from volunteers in the Villisca and Nodaway area) as some of the first American troops to land in England for training. His unit was sent to Algiers as a part of the Allied invasion force in North Africa. In February of 1943, with his battalion trapped behind enemy lines, the command was thrust upon Bob (then a junior-ranking Major) after the commander was wounded and the second in command was captured. He refused to surrender. Instead, he personally directed their successful escape from behind enemy lines by marching over 300 men under his command in organized columns to deceive the German lines that they passed through. His leadership saved many families in the Villisca area from the trauma of having a son killed or captured during the war.
After he was wounded in a mortar attack in April of 1943, he returned to Villisca on leave. His homecoming at the Villisca Depot is the well-known subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph that appeared in Life magazine. He then assumed new responsibilities for training officers in the U.S. He was among an elite group of military leaders who were asked to develop a course instructing other officers in small unit tactics. These operational procedures remain as the foundation of small unit tactics in today’s U.S. Army.
In 1946, Bob completed his active duty with the Army and returned to Villisca where he once again operated Moore’s Drug Store with his brother. He became involved in many community service organizations in Villisca and Montgomery County. He also remained in the Iowa National Guard until he retired in 1962 as a Brigadier General.
Robert R. Moore, Sr., a 2013 member of the Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, died in 1991.
At VHS, Susie was active in cheerleading, pep band, marching band, concert band, numerous vocal music groups, pep club, Y-Teens, drama, Volcano staff, “Annual” staff, and was a homecoming attendant.
Attended Northwest Missouri State College. Worked at a variety of jobs for several employers in Villisca. Continues to work as secretary of the Villisca United Methodist Church, where she also serves as lay leader and lay speaker.
Susie has always been actively involved in the Villisca community, serving on numerous boards and committees. Positions include: director, secretary, vice president and president of Villisca Alumni & Friends Association; trustee and president of the Villisca Public Library; member and president of Villisca School Board; mayor of Villisca for 12 years. Board member of Iowa Municipalities Workers Compensation Association, and elected vice-chairman. Appointed by Governor Branstad to serve on Iowa Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, and elected chairman.
While serving in many capacities in the community, Susie has tirelessly volunteered her time and talents. She has shown particular interest in numerous activities involving local youths—mentoring at the elementary school, mentoring confirmation students at church, helping with Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, Band Mothers, Sunday School and Youth Leader at church. With her husband, Tom, she enjoys supporting the Villisca students by going to many school events and activities.
Susie Enarson, a 2013 member of the Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, lives in Villisca.
Dick was valedictorian of his class at Villisca High School. Wrote for the Volcano, was active in FFA and 4-H and acted in the senior class play. Received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agronomy from Iowa State College (now University), and his Ph.D. in Crop Science from Oregon State University. Elected to scholastic honorary fraternities at both Iowa State and Oregon State.
Dick worked as a research agronomist and research rangeland scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 39 years until retiring in 2001. He became a world-renowned forage and range management scientist, and has been called “the most noted grazing management specialist in the world.” Published 311 research papers in scientific journals and popular farm and ranch magazines. Faculty member at University of Wyoming and Colorado State University. Guest lecturer at numerous other universities and dozens of meetings of ranchers and farmers. Named a Fellow of both the American Society of Agronomy and the Society for Range Management; received SRM’s top honor given annually to one member for research. A recognized poet, author and performer, he was named the Cheyenne (Wyoming) Poet Laureate in 2001.
Stayed connected to VHS. Presented the commencement address to the VHS Class of 1990. Presented his poetry at the 2005 All School Reunion. Actively involved in his VHS class reunions. When home inVillisca, he shared ideas about forage and grazing with local farmers. Richard H. (“Dick”) Hart, a 2013 member of the Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Dwight was active in FFA, basketball, track, Volcano staff, drama and chorus at VHS. Served as local and state officer of both FFA and 4-H. Received “Iowa Farmer” award by state FFA. Junior class president and senior class secretary. One of two senior boys to receive the “Josten Award” based on character, leadership and citizenship.
Elected student body president at Iowa Western College. Received B.S. degree in Ag Education at Iowa State College (now University) where he was elected to Phi Delta Kappa honorary fraternity.
Taught vocational agriculture in College Springs and Coin. Served 18 months in the U.S. Army in Korea. Returned to the family farm in Villisca where he has been continuously involved in grain and livestock farming. Recognized as an Iowa Master Lamb Producer. Served on the Iowa Sheep and Wool Growers board. After attending night classes to earn a master’s degree in guidance counseling from University of Omaha, he became the first guidance counselor at VHS.
Besides helping many VHS students as guidance counselor, Dwight has supported the Villisca schools and community in many ways. Served on numerous boards, including Villisca Alumni & Friends Association, Villisca School Board, 20 years as trustee of the Villisca Public Library, 26 years as a director of Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative board and member of Montgomery County Board of Review. Active in the Villisca Methodist Church, including serving on numerous committees and singing in the church choir for over 50 years. As a true
Bluejay fan, he continues to support the students by attending sports events and other school activities. Dwight H. Lewis, a 2013 member of the Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, lives in Villisca.
Fred participated in both vocal and instrumental music at Villisca High School. While attending school, he developed an early interest in agriculture by working for various farmers and helping mechanics at the local John Deere dealership.
Received a B.S. from Iowa State College (now University), an M.S. from Kansas State and a Ph.D. from Iowa State, all in agronomy. While at Kansas State, he pioneered research on using narrow (20- and 30-inch) rows and improved herbicides for growing grain sorghum. Authored or co-authored 56 publications and helped establish a research program at Kansas State sponsored by Deere & Co. Became Assistant Professor of Agronomy at Kansas State, and later Associate Professor.
As an agronomist at Deere & Co., he directed research on crop management systems for row crops, especially corn and soybeans, and their effect on machinery design. Later became responsible for planning and design of Deere tillage and planting equipment. Appointed Director of the Deere Technical Center where his staff of 130 conducted applied research to improve Deere products. Assisted in reorganizing the product planning function at Deere & Co. Appointed Director of Product and Market Planning for the North American Agricultural and Consumer Products Division of Deere & Co., a position he held for 7 years until he retired in 1987. After retiring, Fred continued to represent Deere & Co. in several key farm organizations.
Although active in various organizations in his local community of Moline, Illinois, he has maintained his ties to Villisca. When home in Villisca, he shared ideas about tillage and equipment with local farmers. He owns a farm near Grant and has written two articles for the Villisca Historical Society Newsletter.
Fred Stickler, a 2013 member of the Villisca Bluejay Hall of Fame, lives in Moline, Illinois.