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    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Morenci Distinguished Alumni 04.07.10

Written by David Green.

Three Morenci alumni will be honored April 17 at the annual Morenci Education Foundation dinner. A graduate from the 1940s, one from the 1950s and one from the 1980s are in line to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.

William Van Arsdalen

1947 graduate William Van Arsdalen earned a degree in education from Albion College, then joined the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He later earned a master’s degree from Michigan State University.

His teaching career began at the Chesterfield school southeast of Morenci. Bill later taught in Brooklyn, Mich., and finished his 42-year career in Hillsdale.

He taught history, physical education and mathematics at the middle school level and also served as a boys and girls basketball coach.

He led the staff at Hillsdale’s Davis Middle School for 14 years as the school principal. In 1994 he was chosen by his colleagues as Teacher of the Year.

Upon retiring in 1994, Bill rejoined the Kiwanis Club and traveled throughout Michigan as a district governor and lieutenant governor.

Bill has been involved with the Hillsdale United Methodist Church, Hillsdale County Senior Citizen Board, United Way of Hillsdale County, Hillsdale County Fair Board and Hillsdale Community School Board of Education.

In 1956 he married Joan Guss from Hudson and they are the parents of a son and a daughter.

Glen Smith

Glen Smith was the valedictorian of the Class of 1954. He went on to earn a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate from the University of Michigan, studying chemical engineering.

Glen spent his career working as a research scientist with the Mead Paper Corporation in Chillicothe, Ohio. He developed national and international patents for paper pulp processing and traveled the world as a corporate consultant. He also served on several professional societies in his field.

Glen volunteers in a variety of civic and church organizations, ranging from the annual Gus Macker basketball tournament to community musical and theatrical performances. He recently began working with the Stephen Ministries which trains lay people to assist others in need.

Glen is also a skilled woodworker who has built items to benefit non-profit organizations.

Glen married Carolyn Boyers of Wauseon in 1959 and they are the parents of four children.

Janice Clelland Donnell

Janice Donnell earned a degree in geography/earth science from Central Michigan University following graduation from Morenci Area High School in 1983.

She also served with the National Guard signal battalion in Adrian. After her marriage in 1988, she served as a National Guard platoon leader with a maintenance battalion in Carthage, N.Y., earning second lieutenant rank as a reserve commissioned officer.

Annual training resulted in deployment to Germany and Italy. She earned a master’s degree in education in Hawaii.

While living in New York, she served as a community development coordinator with a county planning department. The Donnells now live in Virginia where Janice works as a substitute teacher.

At the many communities where the Donnells have lived, Janice has served as an elementary school volunteer, a Sunday School teacher, an Awana Kids leader and as a volunteer with Mothers of Preschoolers and Moms in Touch. She was formerly involved with a prison ministry project and her family still entertains residents of nursing homes.

Janice and her husband, Chuck, are the parents of two daughters.

Guests have until April 10 to sign up for dinner tickets. Tickets can now be purchased with a credit card at the foundation website (morencieducationfoundation.org).

The auction fund-raiser will begin around 7 p.m. The public is invited to the auction even if not attending the dinner.

 Adam and Gail

 Morenci graduates aren’t the only people to be honored at the April 17 Morenci Education Foundation dinner. A pair of distinguished transplants will also be commended.
Adam and Gail Johnson lived in Garden City, Mich., Springfield, Ill., and Washington, D.C., before taking the lead from Adam’s brother—a Gamble’s store owner in Chelsea—and purchasing the Gambles hardware store in Morenci in 1980.
Their immersion into Morenci life includes Adam’s role with the local and county United Way, the Kiwanis Club and the Rex Riley Scholarship project. He also served on the Morenci Board of Education.
Adam and Gail have both been active in the Morenci Business Association (now Chamber of Commerce) and Gail was instrumental in leading the annual community-wide garage sale effort.
Gail was also a member of the Morenci Child Study Club and taught mathematics at Siena Heights University.
The Johnsons’ children Ron and Jennifer are both Morenci graduates.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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