This and That

This and That

April 7, 2021
This and That – Stockton Alumni, Part 2

The column this week continues with the stories of the oldest living Stockton High School Alumni. In the last column, Imogene Coppernoll Andrews was noted as the oldest at 103. Imogene, class of ’35, trained as a teacher. During her time teaching in Warren, she met and married R. Bruce Andrews. They traveled the next 40 years with Bruce’s diplomatic job, living in many places, including Germany, Malta, Singapore, and Malaysia, where she taught school, before retiring in Texas.

Burrill Coppernoll, class of ’38, with his brother John, flew planes out of the Stockton Airport from 1939 until the airport closed in 2020. He worked for the Department of Aviation Safety. Burrill was married to the love of his life, Della Mae Dossey, for 64 years.

Dayle Lyons, class of ’39, was from the Willow area. Dale tried working with his father at the Willow cheese factory, and also worked at Atwoods in Rockford until the Army called.  After his time in the service, he returned to work with his father and at Kraft Cheese where he met his wife Barbara. She passed away in January 2021. Dayle worked at Kelly-Springfield until retirement. Dayle’s family includes a daughter, Diana (who married Burrill’s nephew, Larry Coppernoll), two granddaughters and five great-grandchildren.

I also had conversations with 2 grads from the class of ’44, Elda Goodmiller and Richard Williams. I asked both what special memories they had from high school.

Elda said she needed to be good student for her parents. She was a quiet student and was in 4-H throughout high school.  She liked 4-H so much she continued in the program after high school. She began as a junior leader and continued as a leader for over 50 years! Such commitment!

Richard said he met his wife Carolyn Atz and they had three children. He started raising sheep in high school and continued throughout his farming career, ending up as President of the Continental Dorset Association. Richard’s farm is a Century Farm. Another memory from high school; he ended up driving the school bus the last day of school his senior year, as the bus driver was not available. When Elda was told of Richard’s story of driving the bus, she asked if Richard told me what the school bus was like. It was an old hearse converted with benches in the back for the students to sit on! Quite the adventure I am sure. Richard must have been a good driver!

The next column will share more stories of SHS alumni, who have been contributing members of the communities where they live. The prior column noted the first cousins who graduated from SHS.  Sadly, one of the cousins, Dean Coppernoll, passed away on March 15th. May he rest in peace.  Take care and stay safe.

Ann Coppernoll, Stockton Heritage Museum Board President

March 5, 2021
This and That – Stockton Alumni, Part 1

One of the latest projects started at the Stockton Heritage Museum involves identifying the oldest living Stockton High School alumni. We had several names, but there was an aspect of the project this researcher had not envisioned. The project has morphed into a remarkable family story. Out of the number of alumni names we had, five of the living alumni older than 90 are first cousins. The cousins are the grandchildren of Stockton residents Edward Cyrus and Nettie Carpenter Coppernoll. The oldest living alumna, at 103 years, is Imogene Coppernoll Andrews (married Bruce Andrews from Warren), a member of the class of ‘35. Next is Burrill Coppernoll, a member of the class of ‘38, who will celebrate his 100th birthday March 26th (married Della Mae Dosey).

Also included in the group of five are Dorothy Coppernoll Taylor (married Charles Taylor), from the class of ’42 and cousins from the class of ’46 – Dean Coppernoll (married Willie Fay (Sue) Kelly), and Helen Gothard Raab (married Marshall Raab). A 6th cousin who graduated in the class of 1950, Norm Coppernoll is only 89; (he married Donna Jean Vande Weerd). Just think, all cousins whose parents were siblings. Incredibly unique!

We are putting together stories of some of the graduates, stories they tell of their life since graduating from SHS. Imogene has traveled the world with her husband, who was a diplomat; Burrill worked for the State of Illinois Aviation division and ran the Stockton Airport. The cousins were housewives and farmers, insurance company agents, salespersons for a publishing company (my favorite publication was Pig American!) They have been spouses, parents, grand and great grandparents, and hardworking members of society. They talk of their bond with Stockton, their upbringing, and the memories they have of Stockton and the area. Stockton High School should be proud of their alumni.

There will be more stories to follow including: Dayle Lyons, 99 years old class of ’39, Edyth Wurster Larsen, class of ’48, and Clara Wurster Nieman, class of ’49 and others. We are looking forward to telling more stories about our alumni.

Thankful for great weather and great family! Take care and stay safe to all.

Ann Coppernoll, Stockton Heritage Museum Board President

February, 2021
This and That – Celebrations

Where did January go? Just remembering to put 2021 on checks (yes, this writer still uses checks!), but to be prepared to write February 2021 is just too amazing. Did time always go this fast? In the past, did the founders of Stockton say “hey, it is 1900 already, or can you believe the town is 25 years old?” We know they had celebrations of all sorts of events, from the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) to J.N. Klock’s book on the first 50 Years of Stockton, from the end of wars to Atwoods coming to town, from carnivals to celebrating local championship teams. But what do we celebrate now?

Carnival in Stockton in 1910, on West Front Avenue (street at the time)

Each of us celebrates individual experiences. Families celebrate milestones; we celebrate the lives of those who leave us to the new lives coming into our circles. We celebrate our health professionals, caregivers, and public safety personnel. We celebrate those who contribute to our food supply, from delivery people to our grocery store folks. We celebrate “meeting” with family, colleagues, and committee members through various electronic and technical sources.  And certainly, we celebrate our teachers and students who have maneuvered through the challenges of the pandemic. Even a snow day may be cause for celebration. Let us look forward to the celebrations in our futures, fairs and carnivals, family reunions, graduation parties, and so much more.

Carpenter Family Reunion – 2015

We at the Stockton Heritage Museum are celebrating the near completion of our new website. (If you are reading this online – we did it!) We thank the Freeport Community Partnership for their funding of this project, we appreciate the monetary support from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and of course, we give our gratitude to those who generously donate to the Stockton Heritage Museum. Take care and stay safe.

Ann Coppernoll, Stockton Heritage Museum Board President