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Meeting Minutes
Torch Club of the Fox Valley
13 November 2014
Atlas Coffee Mill & Café

Notes taken by: Jude Kuenn, secretary
Attendees:  Jim Baumbach, Nancy Bodway, Janet Wullner-Faiss Cloak, Dave Debbink, Marcia Debbink, Dwight Easty, Mary Flanagan, Jean Jepson, Barbara Kelly, Bill Kelly, Jude Kuenn, Mary Poulson, Richard Schoenbohm, Jan Smith, Bob Swain, Helen Thiel, Peter Thiel, Scott Valitchka, David Woods

Guests: Mary Flanagan, Cam Maurice, Helen Thiel


Meeting called to order at 6:35pm

  1. Guests:  Mary Flanagan and Helen Thiel were welcomed and accepted as new members. Cam Maurice was introduced and welcomed to the evening. Greetings were in conjunction with New Business (5a below).
  2. Minutes from 10/13/14 meeting were accepted, motioned and approved.
  3. Treasurer’s report: 11/06/14 balance was $1,995.68. IATC dues received totaled $795; IATC annual dues paid $(500). If anyone still needs to pay their annual dues, check is payable to Torch Club of the Fox Valley.
  4. Old Business:
    a. Not mentioned but still open for discussion: Where to move website and acceptable cost? With Focol dissolving 3/31/15, a new electronic residence is needed. There are currently ~500 hits per month, mostly from Club members. LWV pays ~$80 for their local website host. Immediate options: Google is free; Blogger is free and simpler to maintain than current site.  Please email Barb with other uses if more than bios, upcoming schedule of speakers, and minutes are referenced. Consensus: website is not a big recruiting tool. Barb is willing to build something less robust if everyone is agreeable to what components ought to be available online. Topic tabled for further discussion.    
    b. Mentioned: to maintain $70 as annual first member dues ($20 for our treasury) with second/third household member fee at $45 ($25 to IATC, $20 to the Club).
  5. New Business:
    a. Mary Flanagan, sponsored by Bill Kelly and Helen Thiel, sponsored by Peter Thiel were welcomed and accepted as new members. Nancy Bodway introduced her guest Cam Maurice, who provided an overview of her career and interests.
    Bob Swain’s wife Marge is at Bridgeport, recovering nicely. Richard passed a card around the table for everyone to send her well wishes.
    b. IATC interim Lt. Governor Frances Moul will be in Chicago 12/07-09/14 and offered to visit Appleton 12/08/14 to host an IATC sponsored lunch/reception for a potential new club (and its members). The goal is to create another WI Chapter, which we would encourage and mentor. Consensus: we are not in a position to sponsor a new Chapter, preferring to maintain our own growth and strength locally. Richard to provide possible contacts in Oshkosh and/or Madison for Frances Moul to contact directly. IATC’s 100th anniversary will be in 2024 (started 1924), their goal is to build membership between now and the centennial. Richard to email 12/08/14 lunch invitation to all members who would like to meet and talk with Frances Moul.
  6.  Announcements:
    Jan Smith – Bergstrom-Mahler Museum Third Thursday Event 11/20/14 from 6:30-8pm: Dr. Jason Mills, biologist, will discuss Paul Stankard’s work from a biological perspective, as well as talk about environmental conservation and fantasy glass weights on exhibit.
    Mary Poulson – Noonhour Philosophers 11/19/14 from noon-1pm: Financial Instabilities and Government Policies, presented by Corry Azzi, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Lawrence University.
  7. Business segment adjourned at 7:10pm for dinner.

Evening’s Round Table Topic: in 2-3 minutes, present a sketch of your favorite, most interesting or most notorious ancestor, and why.
Barb – Family members include Richard Warren, a passenger on the Mayflower; an ancestor from the late 19th century who was the Captain of the Royal Yacht (supposedly) during the time when the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, courted Lily Langtry; but Barb’s grandfather had the most influence, giving her the love of gardening and the outside world.
Janet – raised by foster parents; father’s family from Germany. She doesn’t know much blood-related heritage, except for a stonebuilder who worked for Kaiser Wilhem, who (possibly) helped build the Denkmal monument.
Cam – father was a democrat in the 1930s, back when politics were more partisan (than today). Cam has a Sherman Wade chest as a coffee table.
Mary – grandfather was a technological genius, built machines, some still in use today, came from Germany.
Bob – grandfather immigrated from England, traveled along the East Coast before heading to the Midwest; foresaw an issue between black and white folks while a passenger on a bus.
Jim – no one famous in his family, dad’s mother was a Domkey (spelling?), name changed upon arrival to America.
Dave – father taught him about building, from bridges and barns to dams; was in upper management in GM, but made a point to visit three workers on the production floor every day when plant manager. Dad was known for being smart and honest.
Marcia – never met her maternal grandmother who divorced in the 1930s, which was unusual. Marcia owns a box camera from one of her grandparents.
Jude – maternal grandmother was an independent woman and worked outside the home. She encouraged jude to be the same through her actions.
Dwight – family includes three lucky soldiers: one from 1846 migrated to Cleveland OH, second went “over the top” twice in World War I, third is Dwight’s son.
Jean – great, great grandfather was from Tracy family; moved from New England to WI in 1850; passed in the Civil War due to illness. Jean named her daughter Tracy in his honor.
Nancy – her mother was a strong, good person, a saint in word and deed; a true hausfrau. Priorities were children, church and cooking. She was an inert nurse, especially for Nancy’s sister, paralyzed at 20 for the balance of her life.
Bill – had a great, great uncle who didn’t think the horseless carriage was going to work, so he invested in horse-drawn hearses. When their demand dropped, the uncle made a great fire by burning them.
Jan – of Italian heritage, lived above her Italian grandparents while a young girl. They inspired her with their creativity, cooking and welcoming personality.
Scott – his mother’s family was from Austria, while dad’s family was from Czech Kingdom of Bohemia. Family members included several from the cloth, both nuns and priests. The grandmas always thought one of the grandchildren should have carried on the faith.
Mary – grandfather’s family immigrated from Russia in the 1890s, settled into Kansas farming. Part of the family moved to Chicago, unable to survive the dust bowl years. Relatives who stayed later found oil on their KS land.
Helen – most admired her father, a physician and surgeon, he was an exchange student in Basel, Switzerland, so spoke German at home. Dad was very patient with his daughter, and rode his bicycle into his 90s, preferring a red beret to a helmet.
Peter – as a genealogist, he is a 12th generation descendant of the Mayflower. His great, great grandfather born in 1790 and died in 1883, was the cross section of a pioneer and led a very colorful life.
Richard – shared his family tree, a framed ode to genealogy, dating back to Frisians, a Germanic ethnic group, native to coastal parts of Netherlands and Germany.
Al – emailed details of his ancestor Button Gwinnett, a British-born American (1732-1777). He voted in favor of the Declaration of Independence.     

The evening adjourned at 8:55pm.

Next meeting is 12/11/14.



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