Distinguished alumni to be honored 4.22

Written by David Green.

Four Morenci Area High School graduates will be honored as Distinguished Alumni at the Morenci Education Foundation’s Dinner and Auction May 9 in the high school cafeteria.

Larry Gould

Larry Gould, the oldest son of Jay and Alberta Gould, graduated from Morenci High School in 1961 and from the Institute of Agricultural Technology program at Michigan State University in 1963. He is a partner in Gould Farms along with his father Jay, his brother Alan, and his son John.

Larry has been actively involved in 4-H as a community leader for many years and has earned numerous 4-H and FFA awards.

He has served the Cattleman’s Association in many different roles at the county, state and national level. He has been involved with the Lenawee County Farm Bureau and the International Farm Youth Exchange. He has served as chairman of the board of managers of Great Lakes Wind, LLC, and as an advisor to the Board of Managers for Great Lakes Ethanol.

Larry served on the Lenawee County Board of Commissioners from 1974 to 2006 and served as chairman of that board for a number of terms.

He enjoys gardening, fishing, hunting, traveling and collecting antique farm equipment. Larry and his wife Joan live on a multi-generation farm near Morenci. They have two children, Jennifer Wheeler and John, and five grandchildren.

Kathye Phelps-Hererra

Kathye, the daughter of Arlene and the late Mickey Phelps, graduated in 1967. She attended Western Michigan University and graduated from Adrian College in 1987 with a degree in business administration.

While at Adrian College, Kathye served as an intern with Catholic Social Services and upon graduation gained full-time employment with the agency. For many years she served as executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, now known as Big Buddies/Little Buddies. She is currently the program director for the organization which serves more than 150 children. Her primary responsibility is to match children with the appropriate adults.

Kathye has been a speaker for Mothers Against Drunk Driving for many years, and has been involved with Morenci’s Town & Country Festival committee. She is a member of Zonta and Adrian Morning Rotary, and serves as president of Adrian Noon Rotary.

She has served as director of the Adopt-A-Family County Christmas program for 15 years. She is a member of the Morenci American Legion Auxiliary and the Morenci United Methodist Church.

Kathye is married to Doug Herrera.

Dwight Mansfield

Dwight, the son of the late Basil and Hazel Mansfield, graduated in 1968. He attended the one-room Ontario School for the first two years of his education and once the new Morenci elementary school was constructed in 1957, transferred to Morenci.

In high school Dwight was active in the Bean Creek Valley 4-H Club and FFA. After graduation he enlisted in the Army National Guard and served for six years. After fulfilling his military duties, he returned to work with his father on the family farm. Besides managing the family farm, Dwight owns Tri-County Feeds in Fayette.

Dwight has been a member of the Lenawee County Holstein Association and a delegate to the Rupp Seed Company Dealer Council. He was awarded an Honorary Chapter Farmer degree by the Fayette FFA Chapter in appreciation of his generosity toward their efforts.

He is a past member of the Medina Township Zoning Board and is an active member of the Fayette Church of the Nazarene where he has served on many committees and boards.

Dwight has been a member of the Morenci Board of Education for 18 years. He served as president of the board for many years and is currently serving as treasurer.

He and his wife Ruth Ann have two sons, Jason and Christopher, and a daughter, Lesley.

Timothy Kruse

Tim Kruse, the son of Carl and Wanda Kruse, graduated in 1977.

In high school Tim participated in football, baseball and track. After graduation he was employed by May’s Body Shop and later worked for the Lenawee County Road Commission. In 1981 he began work in the appliance repair business for his father-in-law, Maurice Clark.

Tim was hired in 2000 by Morenci Area Schools to assist in the athletic department and the building and grounds maintenance departments. He is described as a quiet, humble, behind-the-scenes guy who has made a huge impact in dealing with the economic reductions the school district has faced.

With his diverse skills, Tim has helped the district through many challenges, from refrigeration problems to field preparation before athletic events.

He is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. He has been involved with the Morenci Athletic Boosters for many years and previously served on the Town and Country Festival committee.

Tim and his wife Julie have three children, Kyle, Travis and Valerie.


  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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