Monday, December 19, 2011

John Dively

   In my years at the Ko-Op, John Dively the principal of Charleston Junior High was a frequent customer. He knew all of us student workers by name, would drop by for a quick cup of coffee or a late lunch, shoot the breeze with us guys, and chat with Larry Mizener. John was one of Mize's close friends. His recent death brought an outpouring of tributes, thanks, and memories from friends and former students. The following obituary was published in the Journal Gazette and Times Courier on Dec. 13, 2011.

CHARLESTON - John Arthur Dively, Sr., age 83 of Charleston, and a respected school administrator and community leader, passed away on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at his home and in the loving presence of his family. Visitation for family and friends will be held Friday (December 16) from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church, 411 Jackson Avenue in Charleston. Services honoring and celebrating his life will be held Saturday (December 17) at 1:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church with Pastor Mike Southards officiating. It is requested that memorial gifts in his honor be made to the EIU Foundation for the John and Joyce Dively Scholarship Fund. Gifts may be left on the memorial table at the visitation or service, or mailed to the EIU Foundation at 860 Lincoln Avenue, Charleston, IL 61920.
   John was born on September 24, 1928 in Paris, Illinois a son of the late James B. and Esther (Gleckler) Dively. He attended Paris public schools and, at age seventeen, joined the World War II efforts by enlisting in the United States Army. Following his service to his country, John enrolled at Eastern Illinois University, where he earned his bachelor, master's and specialist degrees. EIU is also where he met and fell in love with Joyce Elizabeth Reynolds, his wife of fifty-six years. John and Joyce made Charleston their home and were actively involved in the community, where they raised their four children.
   John became a respected public school educator and civic leader, serving in many roles and earning numerous awards. Most notably, he was principal of the Charleston Jr. High School for thirty-four years, and the school's gymnasium honorably bears his name. He served on numerous state visitation committees for the North Central Association, and his own school was one of the first junior highs in Illinois to receive accreditation. Beyond service to the public school community, John served as President of the EIU Alumni Association, was a charter member of the Coles County Historical Society, a long-time member of the Coles County Fair Board, Chairman of the Charleston Sesquicentennial Committee, President of the Charleston Civic Association and the only President of the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce to serve two terms. He also served on the Board of Directors of First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust. John was a member of First Christian Church and the Charleston Masonic Lodge 35 A.F. & A.M. Among his many awards, John received the Charleston Outstanding Citizen Award, was honored with the EIU Distinguished Alumnus Award and was selected as a member of the EIU Centennial 100 for his significant contributions to the university in its first one hundred years.
   John is survived by his loving wife Joyce; his son John and his wife, Ronda, of Effingham; his son Joe and his wife, Sheila, of Charleston, and their children, Jake and Emma; his daughter Laura Arney and her husband, Larry, of Effingham, and their children, Landon and Logan; his daughter Amy Wiesenmayer and her husband, Tom, of Elmhurst, and their children Jack, Anna and Grace; sister Helen Carpenter and husband, Bill, of Champaign; sister Margaret Davis of Washington; and sister Kathryn Seaman and her husband, Bob, of New York; brother Steve Dively and his wife, Pam, of California; brother Mike Dively of Champaign; and brother Tim Dively and his wife, Brenda, of Savoy. In addition to John's parents, two brothers, Jim and Paul Dively preceded him in death.

706 Lincoln Evolves

   In Feb. 2011 the former Ko-op Restaurant, located on the SE corner of Lincoln Ave. and Seventh St. in Charleston, IL, was for a short time “Georgie Boy’s.” Georgie Boy's was owned by a Mattoon family and served breakfast, lunch and dinner fare.
   From the late 40s through the 70s, the two-story red-brick building directly east of Old Main had housed a restaurant and been a place of employment for many EIU students. The second story that originally was housing for a number of students and student workers was later converted to apartments.
   The building was originally owned by Walt Warmoth, who also owned the famous eatery Walt’s (across the street from McAfee Gym, now called Marty’s) and later sold to Larry Mizener, a Phi Sig who had worked for Walt. Except for Old Main and the northeast corner of campus, for a few decades Larry Mizener controlled that area around Lincoln and Seventh. 
[Above excerpted from an article in the Spring 2011 Phi Sigma Epsilon Newsletter]

   By July of 2011 Georgie Boy's was closed and a 'For Lease' sign was placed out front. The Aug. 22, 2011 issue of the Eastern News printed the following: "While the abrupt closing of local diner Georgie Boy's surprised many Charleston residents, they can take comfort knowing the restaurant will soon reopen under new ownership as a sports bar." 
   An article in an early Oct. issue of the Eastern News announced plans for the new restaurant, Dirty's Bar & Grill:
   Eastern News followed up with the announcement that Dirty's Bar and Grill opened for business (Oct 30, 2011)

Thursday, February 24, 2011


     Tom Lowry worked at the Ko-Op and graduated from EIU in 1964. Like many teachers, he returned during summer terms to complete his Masters degree.
     Summer of 1965 was when I first met him; he rejoined the Ko-Op crew. Older student-workers like Kel Thrush, Carl Nosbisch, John 'E J' Ganley and Walt Stine knew Tom, and those of us who were newer soon got acquainted with a man who generally had a warm smile on his face.
     Summer of 1966, his younger brother, Kenny came to EIU as a freshman, worked at the Ko-Op and lived upstairs in the 'hall.' Tom finished his M.S degree in a few years; Kenny left college. I never saw Tom after that, occasionally wondered if he still was in education and where he lived?
     My father has lived in Shelbyville for several years. Every once in awhile, I scan the Shelby paper online and the other day, noticed a familiar name there. Four decades of visits back home to Shelby County to see my parents and siblings; I didn't know that Tom worked and lived in the area.

Donald Thomas 'Tom' Lowry, Jr.
Date: Thu, Feb 24, 2011
Donald Thomas “Tom” Lowry, Jr., 68, of Shelbyville, IL., died at 6:19 a.m. Wednesday, February 23, 2011, in Decatur Memorial Hospital.

     Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 26, 2011, in Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, with the Rev. Jim Whitaker officiating. Visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Friday. Memorials may be given to the National Niemann – Pick Disease Foundation or the American Cancer Society. Send condolences to
     Mr. Lowry was born on April 30, 1942, in Mattoon, IL., the son of Donald T. and Betty Haverstock Lowry, Sr.

     He graduated from Stewardson-Strasburg High School in the Class of 1960 and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
     He taught middle-school science and math for 37 years at Windsor, Stewardson-Strasburg and Central A and M.
     Tom was the Golf Pro at Sullivan Country Club for 30 years. He was a member of the Fourth Street United Methodist Church in Shelbyville, National Teacher’s Association, George Sentel Masonic Lodge #764, Sullivan, and Sullivan Country Club.
     He married Sandi Robbins Traxler in 1997. Surviving are his wife, Sandi; son, Justin Lowry of Decatur, IL.; step-son, Nick Traxler and wife, Kelli, of St. Louis, MO.; step-daughter, Callie Traxler of Shelbyville, IL.; mother, Betty Lowry Ellison of Mattoon, IL.; brothers: Kenny Lowry and wife, Mary, of Toledo, IL.; and Chuck Lowry and wife, Angela, of Newbern, TN.; sister, Carol Lowry of Mattoon, IL.; grandchildren: Andrew Lowry of Bloomington, IL., and Emma and Brynn Traxler, both of St. Louis, MO.; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Bob and Betty Robbins of Shelbyville; and several nieces and nephews.
     He was preceded in death by his father, Donald T. Lowry, Sr.; and daughter, Cori Lowry.