You are here

Hall of Fame

Guidelines for Nomination

Person nominated must have graduated from Sacred Heart Academy, Cathedral  Boys High School, Griffin High School or Sacred Heart-Griffin High School a minimum of 25 years ago.

Nominee should be an individual who has distinguished him/herself by sharing their time and talent for the benefit of others, and/or one who has excelled through their contributions to society beyond the scope of their chosen profession.

Nominations for the 2019 Hall of Fame induction are due by March 1, 2019.

Click here for Nomination Form

2017 SHG Hall of Fame Inductee
Chris Butler


 

Chris Butler, CFSP, was born in Springfield, and is a graduate of Christ the King Grade School, Griffin High School, Springfield College in Illinois, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Forest Park Mortuary Science Program and the National Foundation of Funeral Service School of Management.

Chris currently serves as the President and COO of the Butler Family of Organizations, which includes Kirlin-Egan & Butler Funeral Home; Butler Cremation Tribute Center and Butler Pet Services; Lincoln Land Cremation Society; Roselawn Memorial Park and Roselawn Pet Cemetery; and Boardman-Smith Funeral Home.

With more than 25 years of experience in the death care industry, Chris is currently responsible for the oversight of five facilities and more than 60 employees.  He is a forward-thinking business leader who consistently seeks improvement for himself and his staff, and as well as for the families he is privileged to serve each day.

Chris learned from his family the importance of community involvement and benevolence as part of the organization.  He took the organization’s community philanthropy to a new level by creating the Butler Community Endowment Fund as part of the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln.   A contribution to the fund is made in memory of each person served by the Butler Family Funeral Homes, as well as for each pet assisted through Butler Pet Services.  Each year, these funds are used to assist local charities working to improve the quality of life for the Springfield community. 

As a fervent believer in the importance of faith in grieving and funeral practices, Chris has dedicated much of his career to educating Catholics, and people of all faiths, in funeral practices and shepherding them along the grieving process.  The Butler Funeral Home Library serves as a wonderful community resource for grieving families. 

Chris also established the Continued Care Program, which includes presentations and workshops by nationally recognized grief therapists and authors, including the Holiday Help program, an annual grief seminar open at no charge to the entire community, designed to assist grieving families during the holidays.  He also created a Veterans Tribute Program, which offers special cost savings for veterans and their families.

Chris has served on numerous boards, councils, and committees within the Springfield community. He is a member of Christ the King Parish, where he was honored as the 2014 Distinguished Alumnus.  He serves on the CTK school board; is a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 4179 and the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Bishop Griffin Assembly.  Within the broader Springfield community, he is a member of Downtown Springfield, Inc.; The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce; and American Business Club, of which he is a past board member and past president.  Chris also is an ambassador for the Hope Institute for Children and Families, and serves on the advisory councils for St. Patrick’s Catholic School and the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln.  In 2013, Chris and Butler Funeral Homes were honored by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce with the Diamond Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Chris and his wife Val have two daughters, Camilla and Audra.

Sergio "Satch" Pacori, GHS 1968

(inducted 2016)

Sergio “Satch” Pecori was born in Italy. As an immigrant he faced many obstacles in life and is an exceptional example of what someone can achieve through Catholic education. He attended St. Joseph’s grade school and at the time of his enrollment knew little English. Even as Satch and his brother Claudio learned English, it was difficult because their parents didn’t speak English. One of his friends says that Satch is very proud of his background and is quick to point out buildings where his father laid the terrazzo flooring, which is still in excellent condition. Satch’s parents knew the importance of education. His father prohibited him from being involved in extracurricular activities, saying, “You go to school to get an education.” Satch was an exceptional student and excelled at St. Joseph’s before moving on to Griffin High School where he graduated in 1968. At the University of Illinois Champaign he earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1973 and Master’s in the same field in 1974. He obviously heeded his father’s advice that you go to school to get an education! Mr. Pecori was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and is a Distinguished Chapter Honor Member of the university’s Chi Epsilon, a national civil engineering honor society.

Satch joined Hanson Professional Services, Inc. and worked his way up to being its president and CEO. Under Stach’s leadership the employee owned Hanson, has become an award winning, national consulting firm providing engineering, planning and allied services. Aware of the inconvenience of the railroad cutting through the city, he worked with Senator Dick Durbin to relocate the railroad to Tenth Street, a project in which Hanson is deeply involved. Not surprisingly, Mr. Pecori is a strong proponent of educational and mentoring opportunities. He has been instrumental in Hanson’s development and implementation of the Grow Our Own Minority Participation Program—a local program designed to mentor minority youth in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. In 2011 Hanson received the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s Freedom Award—the U.S. Department of Defense’s highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the Guard and Reserve.

In spite of his frequent travels, Satch is very connected to the City of Springfield. He has served on several local boards: Memorial Medical Health System, the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, the Hope Institute Foundation, Network Knowledge- PBS TV, the American Red Cross and Sacred Heart-Griffin’s Advisory Board. He has been a director of the Illinois National Bank in Springfield since its inception. Satch was the recipient of the 2015 Trailblazer Award. His leadership in the community is well known and revered.

Satch and his wife Rosemary are the proud parents of Carlo and Anna both graduates of Christ the King grade school and Sacred Heart-Griffin High School. Satch is an outstanding example of how Catholic schools helped immigrant families in the middle of the 20 th century provide unlimited opportunities for their children.

Simon Cory, GHS 1966
(inducted 2015)

Simon Richard Cory graduated from Griffin High School in 1966 and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1971. Simon began his teaching career as a science teacher at Griffin High School immediately following graduation from SIU Carbondale.

During his tenure, Simon taught biology, health, theology, and later became the Dean of Students and Campus Minister. Simon was also active and instrumental in the Wilderness Adventure Club, SHG Works, JOSHUA (Journey of Service Helping Upper Appalachia) and the Kairos retreats. Simon was responsible for bringing the Kairos program to SHG. He served as a leader on 42 Kairos retreats, a retreat enabling the participants to know God, themselves and one another better. The Kairos program continues to be a highlight of students’ high school career at SHG.

Besides his involvement at SHG, he held many leadership roles at St. Joseph Parish in Springfield, St. Joseph’s Home, and the Habitat for Humanity. Simon Cory passed away after a courageous battle with cancer on June 5, 2014. Simon and his wife, Kathleen, were married for 44 years and raised five children: Colleen, Patrick, Bridget, Megan and Tommy, who all attended Sacred Heart-Griffin. His beloved wife Kathleen accepted this honor posthumously on Simon’s behalf. 

PJ Staab, GHS, 1976
(inducted 2015)

PJ Staab graduated from Griffin High School in 1976 and attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he received his associate degree in mortuary science.

Having worked in nearly every position at Staab Funeral Home, including grounds and maintenance, PJ currently is president of Staab Funeral Home. He and his family are dedicated to providing funeral services for the underserved in the Springfield area. Numerous times each year, Staab Funeral Home buries or cremates those who have no family or friends.
Staab is involved in many activities throughout the Springfield area. He assisted in the construction of the Spaulding Veterans Memorial and the New Berlin Area Veterans Memorial and now serves on both of their boards.  Having been a life-time member of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, he served on the executive committee for its restoration and helped with the campaign to fund this project. Staab has served on almost every committee and activity at Cathedral.
Most recently, he worked with combat veterans to recreate the funeral hearse that carried President Lincoln to his final resting place at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Staab was instrumental in the historical weekend when Springfield re-enacted the funeral procession of President Lincoln in honor of the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln’s Death.
Staab Funeral Home very generously participated in the SHG Internship program, sponsoring several interns at the funeral home which allowed students to gain experience in the work place while earning tuition assistance. Paul John Staab II has been married to Ruth for thirty years and they have six children, Elizabeth, Courtney, Paul John III, Lauren, Peter and Parker, who all attended SHG.

John Eck, Jr., GHS 1984
(inducted 2014)

John Eck, Jr. is a lifelong resident of Springfield and graduated from Griffin High School in 1984, and Marquette University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance.Eck is currently Vice President and Treasurer of R.W. Troxell & Company. He is involved in numerous activities to benefit the Springfield community, ranging from the Chamber of Commerce to local Catholic schools. Mr. Eck has served in leadership roles with the Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, having served as the Chair of Finance and Audit Committee, the Fundraising Committee, as well as the Chair of the Board of Directors. Through his community efforts, millions of dollars have been raised for Central Illinois charities including the United Way of Central Illinois, Friends of St. John's Hospital, the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, YMCA of Springfield, Goodwill Industries, Springfield Area Arts Council, Island Bay Yacht Club, and the steering committee for the Sangamon County Community Foundation's Young Philanthropists. For 17 years, John co-chaired two of the major fundraising efforts at SHG, including the Scholarhsip Scramble and the Mega Raffle. He is a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish and has twice co-chaired the Blessed Sacrament Auction. Beyond his work in the community and for Catholic education, Eck is dedicated husband and father. He and his wife, Lynn, have four children: Peter and Ryan, graduates of SHG, Ben, who will be a senior, and Cate who will be a freshman at SHG next year.  Paul Palazzolo, GHS 1984
(inducted 2014)
 Paul Palazzolo graduated from Griffin High School in 1984 and furthered his education at the University of Illinois Champaign where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. Paul is currently serving as Sangamon County Auditor, an elected position he has held for nearly a decade. He is also president of Kiwanis International, an organization he first connected with when he joined the Key Club at Griffin High School. He has maintained that connection with the school’s club by serving as the Kiwanis Advisor to the Sacred Heart-Griffin Key Club for more than 20 years. While serving as Kiwanis International President, Paul has circled the globe to promote the organization, grow its membership and assist its leaders as they attempt to serve the children of their communities. Under Paul’s leadership, Kiwanis International joined UNICEF in the fight to eliminate Maternal Neonatal Tetanus, a disease which takes the life of more than 50,000 newborn children and many new mothers each year.He is also an active supporter of the Salvation Army’s Tree of Lights Campaign and has been for many years. He and his entire family have been bell ringers, and he and his wife, Suanne, have twice served as chairpersons for the Tree of Lights Campaign which encourages bell ringingdonations and volunteers. He is also a supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central Illinois, helping to grant the last wishes of terminally ill children. Paul is also involved with the Springfield Urban League, Hoogland Center for the Arts, Senior Services Center, Springfield Airport Authority, Knights of Columbus, Cathedral Parish and the Springfield Park Board.Paul has also served as co-chair for Phase Two of the Sacred Heart-Griffin Generations Construction and Renovation Campaign and is the parent of a senior. Michele Reavy, SHG 1980
(inducted 2014)

Michele Brahler Reavy graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1980 and furthered her education at Lincoln Land Community College. She currently serves on the Sacred Heart-Griffin Governing Board, chairs the Facilities and Building Committee and serves on the Fine Arts Board. She is also a member of the Generation Construction and Renovation Campaign. Also, Michele, along with her sister-in-law, started the Dough for Dresses fundraiser which allows girls to buy gently used formal dresses for school dances. She has been involved with SHG athletics for the past 17 years. She has worked with the football, basketball, volleyball, baseball and track and field teams planning dinners, raising money for new uniforms and putting together team booklets. She is also the woman behind the flash mob dance routine that has become hugely popular at the City Tournament, she has organized six successful years of the All-City Food Drive for the St. Martin De Porres Center and started the Spirit of Giving Award. She is also very involved at Christ the King and has been for the past 25 years. She has served as a room mother, fundraiser and pep-rally organizer. She has planned graduation and confirmation celebrations as well as many food drives. She also organized the Children’s Raffle to raise money for playground equipment and classroom enrichment. For more than a decade, Michele has helped coordinate the Friend-in-Deed golf outing that benefits The State Journal-Register’s annual holiday charity that provides food and clothing to Springfield’s poor. She is also a dedicated volunteer and fundraiser at St. Martin de Porres Center. In addition to all of this, Michele is the mother of eight children, one who is a current sophomore, as well as a current senior.

Father Thomas von Behren, C.S.V., GHS 1971 
(inducted 2012) 

Father Thomas von Behren, C.S.V. graduated from Griffin High School in 1971 and furthered his education at Loyola University in Chicago, receiving a B. A. and later a Master of Divinity from Catholic Theological Union as well as an M.A. in education from the University of San Francisco.

Father Tom took his first vows in the Clerics of St. Viator on June 17, 1978 and was ordained to the priesthood and said his first Mass in his home parish of Blessed Sacrament in April 1983.  As a Clerics of St. Viator, he has dedicated his life to education and the service of others.  Some of his ministries were serving on the faculty of Griffin High School, President of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas and President of St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights.  

Throughout his priestly ministry, Father von Behren has been dedicated to providing resources and services for the elderly, mentally disabled and youth of the communities in which he lived.   Father Tom has been diligent in his service to retired priests and brothers, having founded and directed the outreach programs and hospice centers for retired members of the Viatorian Community.   As Vocation Director, he designed and directed the first house of discernment in the United States for men considering religious life as a priest or brother in the Clerics of St. Viator. 

In 2005, Father Tom was elected Provincial Superior of the Clerics of St. Viator, a position he holds presently.  During his time as Provincial, he has provided exceptional leadership and support for local ministries in Belize, Columbia and Mexico, which are dedicated to serving youth and the less fortunate in those countries.  He provides guidance, support and leadership to hundreds of Viatorian priests, brothers and the people with whom they minister and serve in almost every state in the Country.

Sr. Mary Pauletta Overbeck, O.P., SHA 1932 
(inducted 2011)

Sister Mary Pauletta Overbeck graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1932 and made profession as a Dominican Sister of Springfield, Illinois in 1935. Sister Pauletta began her teaching career at Cathedral Grade School in Springfield. After fourteen years at Cathedral Grade School, Sister Pauletta was assigned to the Church of the Little Flower where she was the founding principal and eighth grade teacher of their new parish school. Sister had a profound impact, not only on the students she taught and the faculties she led, but upon all of the families in the many parish schools and religious education centers in which she served.

Most recently, Sister Mary Pauletta ministered at Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems (ILLCAAP) by performing clerical work in their Springfield office and providing inspiration and guidance to all with whom she came in contact. Sister also served on ILLCAAP board and helped organize their annual meeting. 

SHG has $1.2 million in endowed scholarships in Sister Mary Pauletta’s honor given by some of her students. Each year several young men and women whose families could not afford SHG without financial assistance are able to attend SHG because they are awarded the Sister Mary Pauletta Overbeck Scholarship. During her 76 years as a Dominican Sister, Sister Pauletta has volunteered countless hours of service and received numerous awards. The Hall of Fame committee selected Sister Pauletta as this year’s inductee to recognize the impact she had on so many students and families.

Louise Phipps Senft, SHA 1979
(inducted 2010)

Louise Phipps Senft earned a B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1983 and a law degree from Washington and Lee University in 1988 where she was named “Most Outstanding Woman Law Student.”In 1993 Louise founded the Baltimore Mediation Center – the first in Maryland.  She was voted “Baltimore’s Best Mediator” by Baltimore Magazine and was honored with the “Most Enterprising Woman” award by the Baltimore Business Journal. 

Louise is known nationally for conflict resolution and transformation mediation skills.An adjunct Law Professor at the University of Maryland School of Law since 1998 and Johns Hopkins Carrey Business School in Baltimore, Louise is also a member of the faculty and teaches at Harvard Law School.The “Safe Haven Network” for children in Baltimore was established by Louise.  Her work in elder care mediation was the featured story on ABC news with Charles Gibson in 2007.  She is one of the founding members of Mediators Beyond Borders, a non-profit group offering conflict resolution aid and training to groups such as the Child Soldier Project in Ghana. 

In addition to her national and international mediation work, Louise is a prolific published author.Along with her husband Bill, Louise takes a very active role in her parish and in the Cathedral School attended by all five of their children.

Tom Suddes, GHS 1967
(inducted 2010)

Tom Suddes earned a B.A. from Notre Dame University in 1971 and then served in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Officer Airborne and Pathfinder.  Tom began his professional career in the Development Office at Notre Dame, eventually becoming the Director of Development.

An entrepreneur from the age of 16, he founded the Suddes Group in 1983 and has since managed more than 400 campaigns, raising over one billion dollars while helping generate three million new jobs in working with 125 Economic Development Organizations around the country.

While a student at Notre Dame, Tom became involved with the boxing program, twice earning the title of Welterweight Champion.  Their program, known as the Bengal Bouts, has for eighty years conducted an annual boxing competition to raise money for the Holy Cross Missions in Bangladesh.  For thirty-seven years, Tom has returned to the campus for a six-week “mini-sabbatical” to coach the boxing team which this year generated over $100,000 for the missions.  This puts the total given through Bengal Bouts to over $1 million.  Tom Suddes is the main reason the program continues to thrive.

Tom and his wife Trudy are the proud parents of five children.  Much of their life now centers on their seven grandchildren.

Terry Farmer, GHS, 1977
(inducted 2009)

Terry Farmer graduated from Griffin High School in 1977, received an associate degree from Springfield College in 1979 and went on to earn a BA in communications from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1981.

As a professional photographer, Terry has used his artistic expertise to help generate funds for countless not-for-profit organizations including Big Brothers, Big Sisters, American Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House, Henson Robinson Zoo, Southwind Park and Operation Smile. Recognized as the largest donor to the cause, in 2007 Terry was chosen to photograph Operation Smile surgical work in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. From the Children’s Miracle Network at St. John’s Hospital and from work for Brother James Court countless children have benefited from Terry’s compassionate concern. In 2008 alone, 50 different organizations benefited from Terry’s generosity.

Sacred Heart Griffin High School has a cherished ally in Terry Farmer. A great role model for our students, he has accompanied them for three summers on a missionary trip to upper Appalachia to assist low-income residents with home repair and maintenance. Inspired by this experience, he organized “SHG Works” to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sacred Heart-Griffin High school. On a single weekend with the help of 200 students, faculty members and parents, they completely transformed 20 rundown houses on the east side of Springfield.

For his dedication to charity and social justice, we are proud to name Terry a member of the Sacred Heart-Griffin Hall of Fame.

Sr. Dorthea Sondgeroth, SHA, 1954
(inducted 2009)

Sr. Dorothea Sondgeroth graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1954. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in education from Marycrest College, a Master of Science in dietetics and a Master of Health Administration from St. Louis University. Sister currently serves as President of St. Dominic Health Services and Chairperson of the Board of St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi.

In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Sr. Dorothea has been active in both professional and community affairs in Mississippi. She served as Chairperson of the Capital Fund Campaign for the Mississippi Blood Services, reaching the goal of five million dollars for the relocation of the Blood Services. Sister has served on the Boards of Directors of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Healthcare System and Public Education Forum, working to increase job opportunities and fostering active civic involvement in the social and economic development of Jackson. She has served as Chairperson of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and the United Way of the Capital Area. Sister currently serves on the United Way Board and is President for Rotary Club of Jackson. In 2000 Sister Dorothea was named the Business Woman of the Year and was recognized as one of the Goodwill Volunteers of the Year. In 2006 Sister was inducted into the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame.

For her many accomplishments that exemplify the values of Sacred Heart-Griffin and for her commitment to service, we proudly welcome Sister M. Dorothea into the Sacred Heart-Griffin Hall of Fame.

Michele Selvaggio Nevins , SHA 1975
(inducted 2008)

Michele Selvaggio Nevins graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1975. She received an associate degree from Springfield College and continued her education at Eastern Illinois University. Michele was a dynamic force in the family business, serving as President of MTM Metal Fabrications and as Secretary/Treasurer of Selvaggio Steel.

Michele’s role as wife and mother was the heart and soul of her life. Cherishing what Catholic education had meant in her own life, she worked tirelessly as a young mother in every volunteer position at Little Flower School. As a champion for Catholic education, Michele worked to perpetuate the opportunity for all children to have access to high quality Catholic education. As her children moved on to high school, she immersed herself in programs at that level, particularly by holding virtually every position on the SHG Booster Board. As a community leader, Michele was able to create networks of people who worked not only in the Catholic community, but in the greater Springfield community as well. She organized literally thousands of hours of volunteer efforts to support events that would benefit young people in particular. Her method for success, regardless of the situation, was to put on a big smile, get people together, and get to work.

Michele’s untimely death was a great loss to all of us who knew and loved her, but her love for life and dedication to worthwhile causes, especially on behalf of Catholic education, should inspire all of us to carry on the work she so nobly advanced.

In honor of the Dominican Sisters, and in memory of Helen Johnson-Selvaggio ’47 and her daughter Michele Selvaggio-Nevins ’75, this cross was dedicated in the spring of 2008, and resides in the courtyard of the Springfield Dominican Motherhouse.

Cynthia Pistorius Wieties-Ogren, SHA 1973
(inducted 2008)

Cynthia Pistorius Wieties-Ogren graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1973 and received a BA in communications from the University of Illinois in 1977. Currently she serves as Vice President of Business Development for American International Group, the leading international insurance organization in the world with operations in more than 130 countries.

Apart from her professional responsibilities, Cindy is recognized for making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. For the past 15 years she has organized volunteers, served on boards and for the past three years provided a holiday party for more than 300 homeless children and their families in Houston. Recently she founded a chapter of a nonprofit organization, Flashes of Hope, in partnership with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to create uplifting portraits of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. She has chaired United Way campaigns, recently spearheading a million dollar campaign. Active in both her parish and at her daughter’s high school, St. Pius X in Houston, Cindy lives out the values and virtues learned from her Catholic education.

Vicki Dhabalt Compton, SHA 1979
(inducted 2007)

Vicki Dhabalt Compton graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1979.  She earned a  degree in elementary education from Western Illinois University and later a master’s degree from the University of California.  In the interim, Vicki spent several  years teaching in area schools and then was accepted to teach children of military  personnel, first in Japan and later in Germany, an experience that gave her a broader world  view and respect for other cultures.After living in Haiti, Vicki became more concerned about poverty and hunger in developing countries.   Returning to the States, she was named Director for the Office of Missions in 2002 and has since returned to Haiti and traveled to India and Angola as the Catholic Relief Services Diocesan Director.  Her latest efforts are to raise awareness of the crisis in Darfur.

 

John Klemm, GHS 1964
(inducted 2007)

John Klemm graduated from Griffin High School in 1964.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Illinois State University in 1969 and a Masters of Business from Sangamon State in 1973.  Five years later, John started his own business and  subsequently developed four upscale subdivisions and two of the best golf courses in the area. In the early 70’s, John served as a teacher and coach at Griffin High School. Beginning in 1987, he coached girls’ basketball at SHA/SHG for four years.  His  commitment to youth sports programs included coaching at St. Agnes for sixteen years  and coaching T-ball and Khoury League softball for many years.  John is an active,  dedicated member of the SHG Booster Club and founding member of the Springfield  Sports Hall of Fame Board. For many years John has been a volunteer at the mostaccioli dinner and has  recently begun a long-term commitment to serve on a committee planning for the future  of West Campus.   Mayor Ossie Langfelder appointed John to the Public Building Commission on  which he served as chairman.  He recently completed his term on the Board of the Ronald  McDonald House.

Mary Jo Skube Wasser, SHA 1967
(inducted 2007)

Mary Jo Skube Wasser graduated from Sacred Heart Academy in 1967.  Influenced by her mother who was a registered nurse, Mary Jo volunteered as a candy striper at St. John’s Hospital and worked at a nursing home where she quickly learned as a young teenager how to help elderly people.

After graduating from St. John’s School of Nursing, Mary Jo worked for two years as a nurse in Boston and then took a position as director of nurses at a nursing home in Godfrey.  Recruited by St. John’s Hospital, she was the founding supervisor of their Adult Day Care, Hospice, Home Health Care and the Third-Age living programs.  She currently serves as Administrative Assistant for Mission Integration at St. John’s.

In addition to her professional duties, Mary Jo’s pioneering spirit led her to membership on the initial SHG Advisory Board and she is currently serving once again as a member of the SHG Advisory Board.  She has contributed to the Diocesan Office for Social Concerns and Catholics for Life of the Catholic Conference of Illinois.  She was a PSR teacher at Blessed Sacrament Parish and together with her husband Stanley assisted with Pre-Cana classes on the subject of mixed faiths.

Bishop Kevin Vann, GHS 1969
(inducted 2006)

Kevin Vann is a well known name in the city of Springfield. A 1969 graduate of Griffin High School, he was ordained a priest for the diocese of Springfield on May 30, 1981.  Before becoming Bishop of Fort Worth, Texas, on May 17, 2005,  Father Vann served as pastor of Blessed Sacrament from 2001-2005 where he worked with the parishioners to renovate the church. He ministered a total of ten years at Blessed Sacrament serving as parochial vicar from 1985-1990.

From 1981-1985 he studied at the Pontifical University in Rome to earn his doctorate in canon law. Along with his parish duties he ministered in the diocesan tribunal from 1985-1994. While pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, he served as Dean of the Decatur Deanery from 1996-2001.

The nominating committee used these words to describe Bishop Vann: “achievement, dedication, excellence, esteem, honor and prestige”.

His nominator noted this incident as characteristic of Bishop Kevin Vann: While he was pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Decatur, he frequently dined at a Mexican restaurant. One day he was approached by two workers who said they were Catholic but found it difficult to attend Sunday Mass in Decatur. Without hesitation, Father Vann offered to have a weekly Spanish Mass at his parish. For the next two summers Fr. Vann spent time in Mexico to become fluent in Spanish and minister more effectively with the Spanish speaking people in the Decatur area. It is no surprise that Bishop Vann served as Episcopal contact for Hispanic Ministry in the diocese from 1999-2005.

Bishop Kevin Vann was officially inducted into the Sacred Heart-Griffin Hall of Fame at the SHG graduation ceremony on May 21, 2006 at Sangamon Auditorium. Because of his pastoral duties in Texas, Bishop Vann was unable to accept this award. His sister Mary Therese Vann, a 1979 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy accepted the award on her brother’s behalf.

Jack and Peg (Senger) Coleman, CBHS 1945, SHA 1946
(inducted 2005)

Jack and Peg Coleman. You can’t say one’s name without the other. Jack is a 1945 graduate of Cathedral Boys High School and Peg (Senger) graduated in 1946 from Sacred Heart-Academy. They are the parents of Bernie (Griffin '69), Kathy, SHA '73) and Michelle, (SHA '87). They have eight grandchildren. They married in 1950 and have been a team, working side-by-side, devoted to each other and their family for 55 years.

Generous, Humble, Hard Working, Devoted, Caring, Christian are just a few words that describe the Colemans.As stated by one of their friends who nominated them for this award, they worked hard to be active, supportive parents. They have volunteered for numerous organizations throughout their lives and began volunteering at the Mostacciolli Dinner in 1966 – forty years ago, most notably by running the carry out line. In past years, Jack would bring in his own stoves and equipment and prepared the cooking area long before the other volunteers would get there to work.

For 41 years, they have run the concession stand for our home football games, they also manage the concessions for the basketball games as well as the State Boys Baseball Tournament, donating a percentage of their proceeds back to the school…..and for that, we are most grateful. They have been active members of St. Agnes parish for over fifty years. They were active scout leaders for many years. Peg bakes for funeral dinners and helps serve and clean up. Jack did plumbing work at the Rectory. Peg is active in the altar society. She purchased and wrapped the Christmas gifts for all the St. Agnes teachers for many years with money contributed by school families. Peg and her daughters bake all the cakes for the school’s annual chili dinner. They are always available when work needs to be done.

Their Nominator wrote: The legacy Peg and Jack are leaving is perhaps their largest and most important contribution to SHG and our community. Their three children, one daughter-in-law, two sons-in-law, and eight grandchildren are all following in their footsteps. They have learned from the masters how to enjoy giving and giving and giving.The Colemans learned long ago to serve God by serving others. May God continue to bless them and grant them good health, happiness, peace and joy for many years to come.

James“Jim” Brahler, CBHS, 1957
(Inducted 2004)  

Jim Brahler, the name is synonymous with generosity, kindness and concern for others.  Jim is a 1957 graduate of Cathedral Boys High School .  He pursued a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Illinois College in Jacksonville .  Certainly Brahler Tire Mart and Brahler Lube Centers are proof that Jim learned a great deal about running a good business.  His reputation tells the story of a successful businessman, as well as an understanding and compassionate employer.  What started as a small-scale tire mart has become one of Springfield ’s most successful locally owned businesses.  Brahler Tire Mart and Brahler Lube Centers employ 67 people, including four longtime employees who have been with Jim for 27 years.

Jim’s family have a father and grandfather to be proud of; they have a mentor and role model of a truly dedicated Christian, a selfless volunteer, a faithful friend and a committed steward. Consider his twelve year’s as chairperson of the Friend-in-Deed golf outing.  The event raised more than $800,000 in that time.  St. Martin de Porres center knows Jim as a dedicated and loyal volunteer.  In addition to working there 5-6 days a week, Jim has helped raise more than $115,000 for the Center; he provides two vans for the Center’s exclusive use and takes care of all expenses for the vans. 

Jim Brahler is a blessing.  He is a blessing to his family—three sons and two daughters; a blessing to Irene and Carol; a blessing to his many grandchildren; a blessing to the Springfield community and a blessing to the many persons who come to St. Martin ’s for food, clothing and daily necessities. Jim Brahler is a graduate of Catholic secondary education who integrated the values that Catholic schools endorse.  Jim knows the real meaning of  “Love God with your whole heart your whole mind and your whole soul and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Edmund Hull, GHS, 1967
(inducted 2004)

Edmund Hull is a 1967 graduate of Griffin High School .  In high school Edmund was active on the newspaper staff and student senate.  He was a National Merit Scholar and Marine Bank Student of the Year.  He has publicly attributed his success in life to his Catholic education at Blessed Sacrament and Griffin High School . Edmund is married to Amal Hull; they have two daughters. Lena is studying abroad this year at Oxford ; Leila, after graduating from Bryn Mawr, works with Human Rights Watch in New York City .

After spending two years with the Peace Corps in North Africa, Edmond received the Woodrow Wilson Scholarship of Public and International Affairs at Princeton , where he studied International Affairs, graduating with honors.

Having spent 33 years in the Middle East , Edmund has an in depth knowledge of the Arab culture.  During the Camp David period, he was assigned to Jerusalem , working primarily with the Palestinians. He is a career member of the US Foreign Service; his present assignment is United States Ambassador to Yemen .  He was sworn in for that position just five days ahead of the destruction of the Twin towers on 9-11.  He was willing to take this dangerous position in the front line of terrorism. During his stay in Yemen, there have been threats to destroy the Embassy; yet he remained in the center of the turmoil working in the face of terrorism. His efforts in Yemen have been directed toward training and supporting the Yemeni security services. Counter-terrorism efforts there have put considerable emphasis on economic development, especially in the remote, tribal areas where Al Qa’ ida had been able to establish operating space in the past.  Human rights and democracy have been key values during Edmund’s time as Ambassador. This past year the Embassy supported free and fair parliamentary elections along with supporting Yemen ’s human rights minister—a woman.  The Embassy, under the direction of Edmund, has cooperated in projects with many Yemeni non-governmental organizations.

Roy R. Gillespie CBHS 1946
(inducted 2003)

Mr. Roy Gillespie is a 1946 graduate of Cathedral Boys High School. Roy was called home to his God on February 5, 2002, at the age of 73. He was the kind of person that never met a stranger or passed up an opportunity to helped young people. His career began as a general news career for the former Illinois State Register. There he was a police reporter, a state editor and finally a sports editor before moving to Washington, PA. His career in Washington from 1958 until 1996 was with the Pony League Corporation. He was commissioner of the organization in the United States and later it’s international president.

Roy was associated with countless civic, service, social, church and other charitable organizations in the Washington, PA area. He and his wife, Rose, had eight children, whom roy loved and cared for tirelessly, according to his son Kevin. That devotion was mirrored in everything he did for the city of Washington, PA and its people.

Being a member of the Hall of Fame is not new to Roy Gillespie. He is a member of Bradley University’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Washington-Greene County Sports Hall of Fame and is a two-time inductee into the Springfield Sports Hall of fame for basketball and sports writing.

Mr. Hal Hildebrand, Roy’s classmate and longtime friend, nominated him for Sacred Heart-Griffin’s Hall of Fame. At the time of his death in 2002, one of Roy’s co-workers credited him with "....making Washington a better place to live." That very statement echoes the tradition of his alma mater, CBHS. Roy was one of the many who carried the ideals of their Catholic education beyond the city of Springfield and boundaries of Illinois. Just as so many of our graduates have gone on to make Springfield a better place, Roy took his spirit and dedication to another city. The skills he learned as a CBHS student served him well and he served well the traditions of Sacred Heart-Griffin High School.

Sister Mary Dominic Joerger, OP SHA 1943
(inducted 2003)

Sister Mary Dominic Joerger is a 1943 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy. She grew up on a farm in Mendota, Illinois, and has always been a friend to those in need. Kindness and concern for others is part of her very being.

After forty-seven years in the education field as a teacher and administrator, Sister Mary Dominic began a new career from the basement of St. Patrick Convent on East South Grand Avenue. She received and disbursed clothing and other items for the less fortunate in Springfield. Soon her ministry moved down the street to an old Hardee’s building, which had been donated to the parish by the Hardee’s restaurants in the Springfield area. Thus began St. Martin dePorres Center. Sister served as the administrator of the Center from 1992 to 2001. She enlisted the help of countless volunteers to assist her in distributing food, clothing, household items and whatever else that came her way to share. One of Sister Mary Dominic’s most faithful volunteers, Mr. Gene Humphrevillenominated Sister for the Sacred Heart-Griffin Hall of Fame. Gene worked at Sister’s side during her eleven years at St. Martin dePorres Center. He knows well Sister’s selfless service and dedication to others.

Whether it was food to give away, cleaning to be done at the Center, or ways to rehabilitate the building, Sister Mary Dominic was behind every effort. Today St. Martin dePorres Center is the largest food pantry in central and southern Illinois operated entirely by a staff of volunteers.

Sister Mary Dominic is the kind of person who never sought any kind of recognition. She quietly labored in the background to work a kind of miracle for the disadvantaged. "Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me," is a scripture that expresses the heart and mission of Sr. Mary Dominic Joerger.

Michael L. Carmody, CBHS 1947
(inducted 2002)

Michael Carmody is a 1949 graduate of CBHS and a  graduate of Milikin University.  His life commitment to helping others reflects the values that are part of the tradition of Catholic education.  Family, church, professional career and service to humanity have always been high priorities for Mr. Carmody.  Michael's management ability was responsible for bringing success to many facets of the Pillsbury Mills Company, among them, Total Quality Control.  His expertise at Pillsbury was felt not only in the United States, but in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.  Active involvement for Michael Carmody included serving his parish councils, and coaching students in the sciences as well as in athletics.  His awareness of human rights has taken him around the globe.  For the past 13 years he has worked with Third World countries as a member of the International Executive Services Corps.  The goal of his international involvement is helping others to improve their own lives.  Working to improve food quality he has traveled to Guatemala, Brazil, Kenya, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Bulgaria, Israel and the Ukraine, to mention a few!  Michael's wife, Patricia and his four children are extremely proud of his lifetime commitment to a better world.  And so are we!  With gratitude to you, Michael, for exemplifying and preaching Gospel values throughout your life, I present this 2002 Sacred Heart-Griffin Hall of Fame award.

David E. Humphreville, GHS 1974
 (inducted 2002)

David Humphreville is a 1974 graduate of Griffin High School and the salutatorian of that class.  He is a 1978 graduate of Yale University and a 1982 graduate of Virginia Law School.  Throughout his academic years he excelled in learning and athletics.  His interest in world affairs dates back to his grade school days at Blessed Sacrament Grade School.  David's career has taken him from a prestigious New York law firm to his work in political campaigns and elections in five continents.  Among his international activities, he has worked with elections in Greece, Cambodia, South Africa, Argentina and Mexico.  His efforts in these countries promoted fair access to voter registration, voter education and safe access to polling stations.  In Haiti he coordinated efforts to provide water, sanitary facilities and electricity to villages in the aftermath of violence and war.  In the United States he has served on positions in Senate races in New Jersey, Louisiana and Oregon, and assisted on specific projects and events for President Clinton's 1992 campaign.  He has been an advisor to the Stock Exchanges in Brazil, Columbia and Argentina.  Today David is a legislative liaison for a Wall Street trade association where he serves as the Executive Director and President of the National Specialist Association.  David's interests in world affairs have not overshadowed his awareness of local needs.  His generosity has extended to successful fundraisers for many charities, including the St. Martin de Porres Center in Springfield.  David Humphreville reflects the broad influence of graduates of the tradition of Catholic education in Springfield.  We are honored to induct him into the Sacred Heart-Griffin Hall of Fame.

Edward J. Mahoney, Jr., CBHS 1943
(inducted 2001)

Named the Best Radio Commercial Voice in Springfield by The State Journal-Register even after he "retired", Mahoney is known to many for his years in local broadcasting.  He has achieved remarkable success as a businessman, civic leader, conservationist-and most importantly-a dedicated family man.  Mahoney has spent 55 years in broadcasting.  He was general sales manager of WTAX and WDBR.  He made radio commercials and reported on sporting and news events around Springfield.  He has been an advocated for conservation and outdoor sports interests.  In 1968, he began "Sports Outdoors", a weekly program WTAX, and it has continued every Saturday morning since- for more than 33 years.  In 1998, he received the Native Sons and Daughters Award from the Illinois Conservation Foundation and in 2001 was named to the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame as a Friend of Sport.  In addition, he's a civic leader.  He's active in Kiwanis and past president of the Little Flower Men's Club.  He has been involved with the local Boy Scouts organization and with the alumni board of SHG.

And, he's dedicated to Catholic education, sending all six of his children to Little Flower Grade School, Sacred Heart Academy, Griffin High School and Springfield College in Illinois before going on to four year schools.

Mrs. Alvena Reiser, SHA 1927
(inducted 2001)

Alvena Reiser is recognized as a member of the SHG Hall of Fame, not for her worldly accomplishments or outstanding discoveries, but for the way she's lived her life on a daily basis.  As one of her nominators wrote of the 91 year old former Sacred Heart Academy boarder student, Mrs. Reiser "surely has risen to the highest level in her profession as mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, co-owner of Reiser grain, teacher, community volunteer and one of the greatest supporters ever of Sacred Heart Academy/Griffin High School both financially and behind the scenes."  The love she has shown to others shone brightly in the letters her five nominators wrote on her behalf.  One called her a "consistent example to her family and friends."  Yet one more said that Mrs. Reiser is "always so kind, thoughtful, full of wisdom and understanding. She always has time to listen to anyone and to give a kind word.  She is a gifted person in many ways."

 

Lacy Wright, Jr. CBHS 1958
(inducted 2001)

Lacy Wright has spent years in diplomatic service in Washington, D.C. and in eight foreign countries as an adviser on refugee policy and as a policy adviser to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington.  He is also founder of Wright International, Inc., a business consulting firm specializing in trade between the U.S. and Brazil.  In a long and varied career that began with teaching Latin, world history and English to students at St. Benedict's High School in Chicago, to an international businessman and consultant, Wright has shone.  After teaching at St. Benedict's, he went on to report political, economic and military events in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam to the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, and became an aide to the U.S. Embassy in London  where he promoted American exports to Britain.  He also worked as acting general and political officer in Saigon in the mid-1970's and as deputy consul general in Milan, Italy from 1976 to 1978.  He then became the officer in charge of Italian and Vatican affairs in Washington, D.C.  In 1979, he coordinated the first visit of Pope John Paul II to the U.S. and accompanied the trip throughout the country.  In 1980 he was named deputy director of the Office of U.N. Political Affairs in Washington, D.C. In 1985, Wright became the refugee section chief for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand.  In 1988, he began several stints serving as deputy ambassador for the United States at U.S. Embassies in Trinidad and Tobago, Kingston, Jamaica and Brasillia, Brazil.  Before starting his own company in 1998, he served as senior adviser for Latin America in the Caribbean to the United Nations.

Marcia Bullard, SHA 1970
(inducted 2000)

A 1970 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy, Marcia Bullard started her career at age 17 at theIllinois State Journal ( a predecessor to The State Journal-Register ) and worked her way to the top, now serving as chief executive officer and editor of USA Weekend Magazine. Bullard is a founding editor of USA Today, where she worked on the launch team as deputy managing editor. She has been with USA Weekend since 1985, first as managing editor, then as editor. In 1996, she became president and CEO. Under Bullard's direction, the Magazine created and sponsors the nation's largest day of volunteer action, Make A Difference Day, which is held on the fourth Saturday of October. In 1999, two million people spent time that day helping an estimated 14 million Americans in need. Bullard was named 1998 Revlon Business Woman of the Year and in 1999 was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for her leadership in the media and journalism education. She is a 1974 graduate of SIU-C. She also serves on the advisory board of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts at SIU, has taught college journalism and does regular volunteer work, speaking about First Amendment issues to high school students through the Close-Up Foundation.

Sister M. Diana Doyle, O.P., SHA 1948
(inducted 2000)

Born and raised in Beardstown, Sr. Diana first came to Sacred Heart Academy in 1944 as a boarding student and graduated four years later. She entered the Dominican Novitiate and took her final religious vows in the early 1950's. She taught at several schools before settling down at her alma mater. Since returning to her roots in Springfield, Sr. Diana has racked up 35 years of teaching, 10 years serving as Alumni Director, and so importantly to so many graduates within that time, developed the girls' athletic program.  Her insistence on excellence enabled many of her students to have the background to go on to careers in medicine, engineering, accounting, teaching and law. In the early days of athletics at SHA, Sr. Diana personally recruited the coaches, worked out the team schedules, arranged for parents to drive the students, and handled countless other details herself. "Her support for the students who participated is legendary, and the hundreds of girls who have attended college on sports scholarships, after graduating from SHA or SHG, owe her a debt of gratitude", a former student wrote. "Sr. Diana is dedicated to the principals of her community and lives a life of teaching and serving the young", one nominator wrote. When she is not teaching, she coaches her traveling math team and can be seen at most SHG sporting and fund-raising events. Her support for the continuation of Catholic education is undaunted.

H. Thomas McDermott, GHS 1968
(inducted 2000)

Fr. McDermott graduated from Griffin High School in 1968 as salutatorian of his class. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame four years later with a bachelor's degree in education and taught special education for a year in Buffalo, New York. He then returned to Notre Dame to enter the Moreau Seminary and in 1977 received his master's degree in theology. In August 1977, he was sent to Uganda as a missionary and teacher for a seminary and girls academy. In 1979, he was ordained a Holy Cross priest. He served as a parish priest for three years in Granger, Indiana before returning to Africa as a missionary priest. He has worked in a lower class housing borough outside Nairobi, Kenya called Dandora, where he assisted in the creation of a parish among thousands of poor who lived in the outskirts of Nairobi. He worked from 1990 - 1994 in campus ministry at Notre Dame where he was recognized for his spiritual involvement with students with the Greenville Clark Award. He also received the Rev. William A. Toohey Award honoring individuals whose preaching, writing and example embodied the social dimensions of the gospel in a remarkable way. Fr. McDermott was described at the awards ceremony as "a living example of faith in action, rarely at rest, constantly at work among people forging links, which strengthened and energized their faith." He currently serves as a rector at the Philosophy Center in Jinga, Uganda, serving both seminarians and religious students and also as pastor of a new Holy Cross Parish in Bugembe in Jinga, Uganda.

Sr. M. Blanche Barrett O.P., SHA 1918
(inducted 1999)

Sr. M. Blanche will long be remembered for her commitment to halls of Sacred Heart Academy and all of the 3,479 students who walked through them during her reign. Now deceased, Sr. Blanche first came to Sacred Heart at age 13 as a boarder. She entered the eighth grade class and remained a student through high school, eventually entering the novitiate and earning a Master of Arts degree from the University of Illinois in 1943. She taught school for 29 years and was named principal of Sacred Heart Academy in 1946, a position she served in until 1976. She then became assistant principal and served in that position until 1985. During her tenure, she helped foster a congenial relationship between the academy and Cathedral Boys High School as well as Griffin High School. She was not a closed-door administrator but assumed the responsibilities of guidance counselor, school nurse, comptroller, dean of discipline and receptionist. The Sacred Heart-Griffin alumni named a scholarship for her in 1992. August 9, 1991 was proclaimed Sr. M. Blanche Barrett Day in Springfield by the mayor.

 

Robert F. Comstock, CBHS 1954
(inducted 1999)

Robert Comstock, recently appointed director of the National Capital Bank of Washington, has had a long and distinguished career in banking and law. Not only was he an officer in the U.S. Air Force but also has practiced law since 1965 when he graduated from Catholic University of America in 1964 and currently shares in the law firm of Comstock & Reilly, L.L.P. in Washington, D.C. He was an organizer and chairman of the board of First Continental Bank of Maryland from 1983-86 and served as director and chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Federal Savings and Loan Association from 1986-87 and served in the same position of Baltimore Bancorp and Bank of Baltimore from 1988-91. In addition to those professional accomplishments, he also has been very involved with coaching track and field teams both in events here in the United States, and in leading American track and field teams to do battle across the globe. He is married to Jean Joyce Comstock and they have five children.

 

William D. Lochrie, Ph.D., CBHS 1957
(inducted 1999)

William D. Lochrie is an academic standout with academic degrees including a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of California, Irvine, but he may well go down in history for being the inventor of the Tomahawk Cruise Missile. The Tomahawk, a patented guidance missile system, was used in Operation Desert Storm by President George Bush and in Kosovo by President Bill Clinton. He currently serves as director of special programs in Information and Communications Systems for the Boeing Company in Seal Beach, CA. He was named the North American Rockwell Doctoral Fellow in 1967 and was awarded outstanding Engineering Alumnus of the Year in 1989 by the University of California, Irvine. He also served 12 years as an assistant scout master, four years as a youth soccer coach and 10 years as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Philip Benizi parish. He is married to Pat and they are parents of two children.

 

Veandra (Dee) Nelson, SHA 1952
(inducted 1999)

Dee Nelson is recognized in the Springfield area for her humanitarian efforts in helping the poor and needy. She managed Catholic Charities Clothing Store and organized it into a functioning business, offering affordable items to everyone who might need them. She also began PORA (Prostitutes' Options, Referrals and Alternatives) which was incorporated by the State of Illinois in 1993. PORA has established a safe house for women who want to turn their lives around and it provides opportunities for academic tutoring, job training and financial self-sufficiency. She was name the Humanitarian of the Year by the Greater Springfield Interfaith Association in 1995 and was given the Sertoma Clubs of Springfield's 1996 Service to Mankind Award.

 

 

James R. Cooney, CBHS 1951
(inducted 1998)

James R. Cooney, a 1951 graduate of Cathedral Boys High School, received a degree in accounting from the University of Illinois in 1955.  He has since gone on to establish the Sierra West Investment Group and has been its president for the past 27 years.  He continues today with a strong commitment of service to family, community and church, fulfilling many roles with enthusiasm and success.

    

John C. "Jack" Ensch, CBHS 1955 (Captain, USN ret.) 
(inducted 1998)

A 1955 graduate of Cathedral Boys High School, Captain John C. "Jack" Ensch, USN (Ret.) graduated from Illinois State University in 1964 and was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy the following year, following Aviation Officer Candidate training at NAS Pensacola, Florida.

During his long and illustrious career, Captain Ensch logged over 3000 flight hours and 800 carrier landings in both F-4 Phantoms and F-14 Tomcat fighters. He made 4 combat deployments to Southeast Asia, flew over 285 combat missions, and was credited with 2 confirmed MiG-17 shoot-downs. He was shot down over North Vietnam by a surface-to-air (SAM) missile in 1972 and held as a prisoner of war in Hanoi until he returned with the last group of repatriated officers in 1973.

He was awarded the Navy Cross, Legion of Merit (three awards), Bronze Star with Combat "V" (two awards), Purple Heart (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Air Medal (18 awards), Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" (three awards), Prisoner of War Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and various other individual, unit and service awards.

Captain Ensch served with distinction in a variety of high-level positions including Executive Officer of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN),  Commanding Officer of Fighter Squadron 114, Key West Naval Air Station, and the Naval Training Center at San Diego, plus others too numerous to mention.

While in the Navy, Captain Ensch received a Master’s Degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California and a diploma from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington, D.C.  He retired in 1995, and has since joined the San Diego Padres Baseball Club as Director of Military Marketing.

Captain Ensch is married to the former Kathryn Ubben of Pekin, Illinois. They have three daughters, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Christine and four grandchildren, Sydney, Ryan, Mathew and Emily.

John E. Franz, CBHS 1947 
(inducted 1998)

John E. Franz has developed his interest in science and mathematics into a highly successful career as a research chemist, which included his invention of the widely-used herbicide Roundup. He is a 1947 graduate of Cathedral Boys High School, received a B.S. degree from the University of Illinois in 1951, and pursued graduate education at the University of Minnesota, receiving a doctorate in 1955. He was an organic and agricultural research chemist at Monsanto Company and retired in 1991 with the title of Distinguished Fellow.

   

Rev. John E. Linnan, CSV, CBHS 1951
(inducted 1998)

Reverend John E. Linnan, CSV, a member of the Clerics of St. Viator religious community, graduated in 1951 from Cathedral Boys High School. He was ordained in April 1961. His varied education includes studies at Loyola University, Georgetown University, Northwestern and the Université de Grenoble, among others. Since then, Father Linnan has become one of America’s pre-eminent theologians. A distinguished career in the religious and academic field has also included a position as president of the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

   

Jeanne E. Scott, SHA 1966 
(inducted 1998)

The Honorable Jeanne E. Scott was the valedictorian of the 1966 graduating class at Sacred Heart Academy. She graduated magna cum laude with a BA from Bradley University and received her Juris Doctor from Northwestern School of Law in 1973. Thereafter she served five years as an Assistant State's Attorney in Sangamon County and then pursued her career in the private practice of law. Judge Scott was the first woman appointed to be a Judge in the six counties of the Seventh Judicial Circuit in the State of Illinois. She served first in the Illinois State Judiciary as an Associate Circuit Judge and then was elected as a Circuit Court Judge in 1988. From 1992-1994, she was the Chief Judge of the Circuit, with administrative authority over eleven judges, six county probation departments, and court reporters. In 1998, Judge Scott was nominated by President William J. Clinton and confirmed by the United States Senate, for a Federal District Court judgeship. She served as a United States District Court Judge for the Central District of Illinois from 1998-2010. She also served as a member of the SHA Advisory Board in the '80's.

 

Michael R. Skube, GHS 1961 
(inducted 1998)

Michael R. Skube is a 1961 graduate of Griffin High School who received an associate degree from Springfield Junior College and a B.S. in political science from Louisiana State University. Thinking he had lost his interest in pursuing a career in journalism, Skube found he couldn’t shake his desire to write and has had outstanding success in that field. Among his awards are a Pulitzer Prize in 1989 and a Distinguished Writing Award – American Society of Newspapers Editors in the same year. He presently is a featured columnist with the Atlanta Journal Constitution and a professor at Elon University in Chapel Hill, NC.

 

 

Mary Lynn Broe, SHA 1963 
(inducted 1997)

Mary Lynn Broe, a professor at Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, is an acknowledged expert in her field of Women’s Studies and English in a liberal arts curriculum. An honors graduate of Sacred Heart Academy, Mary Lynn was also an accomplished artist and earned a Gold Medal award in piano. In 1986, Dr. Broe received the Louise R. Noun Chair as Professor of Women’s Studies and Literature at Grinnell. Her goals in her position are to "introduce and incorporate gender and women’s studies into liberal arts curriculum through faculty reading/discussion groups on feminist scholarship." She is responsible for forums on faculty research curriculum revisions, grants, speakers, new courses and conferences. A prolific writer, researcher and lecturer, Mary Lynn has achieved remarkable distinction of academic excellence in her field of expertise.

 

Susan Morris, SHA 1955 
(inducted 1997)

Susan Morris of Springfield has been recognized over the years as a prominent and effective leader devoted to many civic and religious projects. A 1955 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy, she attended St. Mary’s College, South Bend. Susan was one of the founding members of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois’ Commission for Peace and Justice in 1984 and served as its chair for five years. Since its inception in 1990, Susan has served as associate director of the Springfield Diocesan Office of Social Concerns. Nationally she has been elected to serve as vice-chair of the board of directors of the Roundtable, the National Organization of Social Justice.  In 1977 with husband Jim, Susan created a program of retreats for adults named Koinonia. This program has expanded into a movement with more than 900 retreats in 23 states and the Bahamas.

 

Karen Hasara, SHA 1958
(inducted 1996)

A 1958 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy with bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Illinois at Springfield, Mayor Karen Hasara was a teacher and realtor before entering the political scene in 1975, when she was elected to the Sangamon County Board. Next were her elections as Sangamon County Circuit Clerk, State Representative, and State Senator, culminating in her election in 1995 as Springfield's first woman mayor. Over the years, Mayor Hasara has been honored by many state groups as "Outstanding Legislator," including the Illinois Primary Health Care Association, the Illinois Nurses Association, and the Illinois Education Association. In 1993, she received the Distinguished Service Award from UIS. Besides ably filling the role of mayor, she is involved in many community activities, including serving on the advisory committee at Brother James Court, the Gateway Foundation, and the personnel committee of the YWCA. Mayor Hasara has four children and is married to Jerry Gott.

 

Donald E. Mroscak, CBHS 1951 
(inducted 1996)

Don Mroscak is a 1951 graduate of Cathedral Boys High School who attended Notre Dame University and received his degree from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. He spent 33 years as a public school teacher in East Los Angeles, primarily working with Latino youth. In his years of teaching at Garfield High School, Don earned a well-deserved reputation for helping thousands of disadvantaged students to succeed, thereby enabling them to go to college. He has been and still remains actively involved in educational fund-raising. Don has raised a number of foster sons and daughters, and cares for his 94 year-old uncle while still opening his home to young people who have no other place to live. In 1993, he was honored by the National Council of LaRaza, a political and educational foundation based in Washington, D.C., with the MacLovio Barraza Leadership Award. Presently, although retired in 1993, Don continues to work in an outreach program, in fund-raising, and returns to Garfield two days a week as a volunteer counselor. In his own words to his kids, he reveals his priorities: "I want kids to know that the number one goal in life should be to be a good person and everything else will follow."

Sr. Josephine Therese Uhll, OP, SHA 1935
(inducted 1996)

After 50 years of dedication to the health care ministry, Sr. Josephine Therese Uhll recently retired as president and chairman of the board of St. Dominic Health Services, Inc., in Jackson, Mississippi. Following her graduation with honors from SHA, Sr. Josephine entered the religious life at age 16. Pursuing study in the fields of medical records and health care administration, Sister then worked in various hospitals in Texas, eventually joining the staff of St. Dominic Jackson Memorial Hospital where she spent 40 years. A short list of her achievements includes: senior vice-president of the National Epilepsy Foundation; civil service commissioner; member of the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce; president of the local United Way in 1985; and the first woman inducted into the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame. Sister Josephine was instrumental in St. Dominic's development of outreach services with free clinics and shelters for the underprivileged. She was presented with the Alexis de Tocqueville Award during the United Way's National Volunteer leadership conference in the 1980s.

 

Daniel W. Cadigan, CBHS 1957 
(inducted 1995)

Dan Cadigan is currently the managing partner in the accounting firm of Kerber, Eck and Braeckel. His community involvement has included serving as chairman of the United Way Campaign and serving on the Sangamon County Board. Dan has come forward repeatedly to support Sacred Heart-Griffin in leadership roles. He served as chairman of the SHG Task Force and the ensuing Capital Campaign. He and his wife, Peggy, chaired the 1994 First Class Auction for SHG and were team captains for the SHG Raffle. Dan and Peggy are the parents of Shannon, who graduated from SHG as a member of the Class of 1995.

 

 

Edward Fox, CBHS 1935
(inducted 1995)

Edward Fox chose to enter the Army Air Force in 1941 to train and become a pilot. His commitment and dedication to his country led him to service as a lieutenant in the 445th Bomb Group during World War II. The day his plane was shot down, Lt. Fox had taken the place of a sick crew member as co-pilot. He was told to bail out as the plane was going down, but would not quit his job until all the other members of the crew got out. He stayed with the plane all the way down. "For no greater love can a man have than to give up his life for another." Edward's heroic efforts earned him a Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart.

 

 

Thomas M. Horrigan, CBHS 1952
(inducted 1995)

Tom Horrigan has been in private practice in orthodontics since 1962. He has achieved national recognition while serving the profession in many positions of distinction, including past president of the Illinois Society of Orthodontics. Active as a leader in his parish in Arlington Heights, he served as school board president for several years. Tom and his wife, Barbara, have four daughters.

 

 

 

C. Vincent Moore, CBHS 1941 
(inducted 1995)

Vince Moore has retired as a postal worker, but hasn't quite managed to retire from volunteer service to Sacred Heart-Griffin. Vince is entering his 52nd year of volunteer service to the school. The name of the school has changed three times during that period, but Vince has been a regular at all athletic events. His involvement has been an example to many of what it means to give of oneself. His loyalty, dedication, and school spirit have led others to follow his example. Vince would be the first to recognize his wife, Nadine, their two children, Carol and Terry, and their two grandchildren, Amy and Jim, as supporters and co-workers in these endeavors.

  

 

Margaret Munn, SHA 1927
(inducted 1995)

Margaret Munn always lived life to its fullest. She distinguished herself in a career of government service that spanned the terms of ten governors and took her from the Illinois statehouse to our nation's Capitol. This included being secretary to Governor Adlai Stevenson and being instrumental in his campaign for President. Margaret's reputation as a dedicated volunteer is legendary. She spent half a century working on campaigns and founded the Central Illinois Democratic Women's Association. This group presented her with their Eleanor Roosevelt Award in 1991 for her years of service. Margaret, who died in August 1995, was a delightful storyteller, played piano by ear, and held precious the memories of her full life.

  

Marjorie Shea, SHA 1940 
(inducted 1995)

Marjorie Shea's teaching career spanned 28 years, combining service to both the public and private school systems. She is very involved in issues for the benefit of the elderly and retired teachers. Marjorie served on the Teachers Retirement System Board of Trustees for four years. As state legislative chairman of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association, she has been instrumental in drafting and obtaining passage of legislation to improve pension benefits for active and retired teachers. Her latest legislative effort was signed by Governor Jim Edgar in June, 1995. Her dedication to young people, their teachers, the elderly and disabled have led to a life of generous giving of herself. Marjorie is married to Lawrence Shea, a 1940 alum of CBHS. They are the parents of five sons and one daughter.