Posted by Chris Swope
President Julie Pingston Rung the Bell bringing us to order. The invocation was given by Rich Schaberg followed by the patriotic song, America the Beautiful, performed by John Dale Smith.
Today is Loftus Day and many members will be visiting the gravesites of former Rotarians.
Terry Terry arranged for the special music which was Special music piece was called “Nataraja’s Footprints: Homage to Wayne Shorter” by Bobby Bringi and Elden Kelly – Elden Kelly (guitar), Liany Mateo (bass), Igor Howat (oud), Bobby Bringi (percussion)
Rich Schaberg introduced John Grettenberger, Jr. to honor John Grettenberger, Sr.
John Jr. gave a touching and heartfelt talk about his father. John Sr. was always on the move and so was family, moving every 2 years. They lived from one end of the country to another with two stints overseas. John Sr. climbed the ranks at Oldsmobile when they were huge, and a special assignment in Japan (where he was the tallest executive). He returned to the US to Opal, then moved to the Cadillac division at a time when the division was struggling. John Sr. was recognized as one of the best leaders in Cadillac history; they were awarded Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award under his tenure, which was presented to him by President George H. W. Bush. He was named Industry Leader of the Year during his Cadillac tenure. He was invited to join Lansing Rotary as an Honorary Rotarian shortly after his retirement; he was a Paul Harris Fellow. Each year the Rotary Christmas party would get him choked up. He enjoyed service with the Sparrow Foundation and was honored to serve alongside Jack Davis on Mayor Hollister’s Blue Ribbon Committee to Keep General Motors. John Jr. is very proud of his father’s lasting impact on others and the strong close-knit family he has left behind.
Rich Schaberg recognized Dave Trumpie to honor John Stephenson, he let us know that John’s daughters, Sue Stephenson, Mary Hutchins & Kathy Ward, are with us today.
Dave gave a great reminiscence of John Stephenson. John joined Rotary on January 29, 1971. His wife Betty Jean died 2008; they had over 60 years together. He was a Paul Harris Fellow four times over and had gotten one for his wife as well. He had four years of Rotary perfect attendance and would attend meetings of other clubs when on vacation. He had 4 daughters, 21 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren. He was a Marine Corps Sargeant, serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He worked for Lansing Lithographers for 40 years going from Intern to Company President. He was active with the Boy Scouts of America. Dave went over many of John’s volunteer activities. Dave first met John on Loftus Day, and they proceeded to spend 10 Loftus Days doing their cemetery visits together.
Rich Schaberg honored Jack Draper. We were joined by his daughter & son in law Carolyn & John Johnson. Jack was a Rotarian of 67 years. Grew up in a house along the Red Cedar. He attended MSU and graduated from Albion College. His wife, Jean, passed on 6 months before him. He had a history of working for Vandervoort’s, selling sporting equipment to many colleges, later becoming general manager; he was a sports lover. He brought the Adidas brand to Michigan and distributed them as the exclusive dealer for an 18 state area. He was kind-hearted, and caring about his employees. Rich worked at Vandervoort’s for a time, and he shared how kindly Jack had treated him. After retirement, Jack became an equipment manager at MSU. Jack was a gentleman in every sense of the word, an MSU fan, and proud to call himself a Rotarian.
Rich introduced Carmen Turner & Chris Holman to honor Jack Davis.
Carmen commented that Jack Davis has been a member of many non-profit boards, including hers. She acknowledged Jack’s wife, Sue, and son, Greg, are at the meeting. Carmen spoke personally about Jack, and how he was generous and was for the underdog. Her first lunch meeting with Jack lasted over two hours. He had high expectations of groups he was involved with. He was a great storyteller, and loved nostalgia. He valued education, diversity, and fairness. He always wanted to be the favorite grandparent, so he would compete against the kids’ other grandparents by taking them special places and treating them very well. Jack’s father, Martin S. Davis, had pushed for creation of the Boys & Girls Club as a former member of the United Way.
Chris talked about Jack’s love for Carmen and the Boys & Girls Club. Jack was a good friend to many of us. Jack’s leadership of the Blue Ribbon Committee was a key to keeping and expanding GM’s presence in Lansing. Service on the Lansing School Board, Lansing Promise exemplified his dedication to Lansing. He was a Harvard Law graduate, but chose to remain in Lansing. He committed his time and effort to many worthwhile programs. Many did not know that Jack did the DALMAC yearly; a commitment to staying fit so he could do more for this community. His year as Rotary President showed his leadership and great sense of humor. He will always be in our hearts and we will all miss his leadership.
President Julie thanked the family members for their participation in today’s meeting. Several of the family members stated appreciation for the recognitions and thanked Rotary for being part of their family members’ lives. Julie talked about how Loftus Day gives us an opportunity to grieve for those members we have lost, especially needed during this pandemic. We observed a moment of silence.
Next week we will meet via Zoom and our speaker will be Dan Wyant, President & COO of Edward Lowe Foundation.
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