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2006 Distinguished Alumni

Don & Shirley (Enabnit) McGhan
Class of 1952

After graduating from Osage High School, Don & Shirley proceeded directly to the University of Iowa where Don received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1956. They moved from Iowa City to Midland, Michigan to accept a position with Dow Corning Corporation. In 1963, Don designed the facilities and subsequently operated the Medical Products Business, a newly formed division of Dow Corning.

In 1970, they left Dow Corning and moved to Santa Barbara, California to jointly begin a series of entrepreneurial opportunities in the medical device, diagnostics and pharmaceutical areas: Heyer-Schulte Corp. (Baxter); Implens (Alcon); McGhan Medical Corp. (3M Company); Immulok (Johnson & Johnson); McGhan NuSil Corp. (Dow); PDT, Inc. (Miravant Medical Technologies); Inamed Corp. (Allergan); and Medical Device Alliance (ArthroCare).

Since 1992, they have lived in Las Vegas, Nevada where they started MediCor Ltd., a start-up medical device company which has grown to be the third largest developer, manufacturer and marketer of Aesthetic, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery products in the world with operating plants in the South of France, England, Scotland and the Isle of Man.

Their three adult children, Jim, Nikki and Lon, all live in Las Vegas. They have nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Being able to participate in raising funds to build the Osage Public Library is one of the many personally gratifying achievements they have experienced.

Don’s parents are the late Virgil and Cora McGhan. Shirley’s parents are the late Elgin and Clarice Enabnit. Elgin was a long time former mayor of Osage.

 


 

Mike Wiley
Class of 1956

In 1946, Mike’s parents, Jack and Helen Wiley, moved to Osage and he entered the Osage Public Schools. In the ensuing years he was privileged to receive an education in a community and school system that provided excellent educational and recreational opportunities. Many of his life’s values and attitudes were formed during that period.

After he graduated from OHS, Wiley entered the University of Iowa. Later he decided on a career of teaching and coaching and transferred to UNI, where he graduated in 1961. That fall, he started his teaching career as PE teacher at Washington Elementary School in Davenport, Iowa, and retired after forty years.

In those forty years, he was privileged to work for and with many people who guided and helped him enhance those qualities and values he had learned in his formative years at Osage.

In 1962, little leaguers asked Mike to coach a LL BB team. In 1975, the All Star- Team, which he coached, succeeded in reaching the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. They were the first Iowa LL team to achieve this honor and placed third.

The opportunity to be an Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach at Davenport Central came in 1988. Upon his retirement in 2000, his teams had participated in State Tournaments on four occasions. In 2000, he retired as eighth grade football coach at neighboring Sudlow Junior High. His team placed first in the city fifteen times.

During these forty years in Davenport, Mike was privileged to receive many recognitions. Among these were Jaycee’s Outstanding Young Educator, Davenport Distinguished Service Award, Williams Oney Human Relations Award, Don Taft Memorial Junior High Coaches Award and Golden Apple Award for Outstanding Teacher in Scott County.

Mike states that he was blessed and privileged to have caring parents and communities that provided opportunities to do those things which he has enjoyed doing. He sincerely appreciates the recognitions he has received.

Mike has a son who lives in Las Vegas and a daughter in Louisville, KY.

 



Joe Fox
Class of 1958

Joe, the seventh of eight children of Walter and Ruth Fox, lived on a farm near New Haven, Iowa until 1950, when his family moved to Osage. During his four years at Osage High School, he became president of the letterman’s club, vice president of the senior class and Homecoming king. He played football and baseball and won a 2nd and 3rd in State wrestling competitions.

In 1963, Joe graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA, and lettered two years in wrestling. He went to Kenosha, Wisconsin where he taught high school for three years and coached wrestling.

After earning a Masters Degree at the University of Northern Colorado in 1966, Joe joined Newport Mesa Unified School District in California teaching high school and coaching wrestling. In 1979, at the University of California, he earned a degree in School Administration. He remained with NMUSD for 38 years serving as a high school principal. During this time, he was California State Wrestling Official Instructional Chair.   

Among Joe’s awards was the Newport Harbor High School Serendipity Award given for fairness and deep concern for all students. He was recognized as one of the top five California wrestling referees. At age fifty-five, Joe ran his fastest of eleven LA Marathons in 3 hrs 18 minutes.

Retiring in 2002, Joe continues in the education field as supervisor of student teachers for three universities: Pepperdine, Concordia and Alliant International where he’s also an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Education.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Newport Beach Oasis Senior Center and for LaMonte Academie, Laguna Hills, CA, a special needs school. Among other Boards and volunteer activities, he owned and directed Treasure Island Day Camp (ages 5-15) for five summers.

Joe and his wife, Kathy, live in Newport Beach, CA, where he runs on the beach and cycles daily with a cycling group. They have two grown children, Eric and Tara.

 



Dale Hemingson
Class of 1961

Dale was born in San Jose, California, son of Dean and Elizabeth. His parents moved to a farm northeast of Osage in 1946 when he was three. He was raised there with his older brother Byron and his younger brother Jerry.

His first school experience was country school and he joined the Osage schools in the third grade and graduated with the class of 1961. He attended the University of Iowa and received a chemistry degree from the University of Northern Iowa. 

Dale and his wife Judy raised two daughters, Crystal and Carrie in Pleasant Hill, Iowa. He is now also the proud grandfather of three, Alex, Brent and Paige.

Dale’s first job as a Plant Chemist brought him to work for Iowa Power and Light in Des Moines, Iowa. He remained there until 1984 when he joined a subsidiary ENEREX, and then in 1996 Intercoast Power Marketing. Later in 1996, Dale started his own company called “Unique Signs of America.” His business continues today making three dimensional carved signs using a computer driven router.

As part of his class reunion in 1996, he and his classmates presented the Osage High School with a sign for the Sawyer Field. The quotation on the back of the sign was written by Dale and summed up his affection for all activities in high school. It reads, “Dedicated To The Young Men And Women Of Osage Community High School Who Strive To Excel and In So Doing Celebrate the Human Spirit.”

Dale continues to support his childhood community. He was inspired to do so after reading an article “My Reflections on Growing Up in Osage” written by Ken Moss (‘60). This article appeared in the Press News in 1995. It made him realize his own experiences and influences, even though different, were the same similar feelings of pride and joy. It was also this article that inspired him to realize that the time had now come full circle for him to give back to his boyhood home. By donating gifts in kind, he could contribute to the community that molded him, and be a part of the experiences of memories to the next generation of youth in Osage.

 


 

Steve Funk
Class of 1968


Dr. Steven Funk is the founder and Chairman of Grand Marais Investments Ltd., a private equity investment concern. He is chairman and major shareholder of Imperial Parking (Hong Kong) Ltd., Aspen Properties Ltd., and CML Global Capital Ltd. 

Dr. Funk was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa and grew up on a family farm just outside of Osage, Iowa. He is a member of the World President's Organization, a director of the WPO Foundation, and a founder, director, and officer of the President's Action Network Chapter (www.pannetwork.org). 

PAN is dedicated to empowering and leveraging the positive global difference in our world that can be made by the collaborative efforts of international corporate presidents and CEOs.  PAN initiatives today are of tremendous international importance in fostering peace and prosperity in areas of conflict and need. 

Dr. Funk is also a director of the highly acclaimed microcredit accelerator, Unitus (www.unitus.com). 

Dr. Funk and his wife, Elizabeth, recently founded the Dignity Fund (www.dignityfund.com) a microfinance debt fund. 

Dr. Funk holds an undergraduate degree with honors from Purdue University and a masters and doctorate degree from the University of Iowa. He is an avid pilot, fitness enthusiast, and student of piano, foreign language and golf.

Steve is the son of Lavern (Bud) and Shirley Funk of Osage.

 



Mike Johanns
Class of 1968

Mike Johanns grew up in Osage and graduated with the Osage High School class of 1968. As the son of John and Adeline Johanns, he grew up doing chores on his family’s dairy farm. He graduated from St. Mary’s University in Winona and then received a law degree from Creighton University in Omaha. Mike and his wife Stephanie have two children and three grandchildren.

Johanns was very active in Nebraska, serving on the Lancaster County Board and the Lincoln City Council. He was elected mayor of Lincoln in 1991 and held that position until successfully running for governor of Nebraska in 1998.

On January 21, 2005, Mike was sworn in as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His passion has been evident, as he tackles issues such as reopening foreign markets to U. S. beef, fighting obesity by launching a motivational and interactive food guidance system, and promoting the successful passage of the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement. To aid producers, he has promoted the use and promise of renewable fuels and he has supported conservation by expanding USDA’s conservation commitment. He is also working to educate and prepare the country for the potential onset of avian flu.

Secretary Johanns has said that as the son of a dairy farmer, he developed a deep respect for the land and the people who work it. He still describes himself as “a farmer’s son with an intense passion for agriculture.”

 


 

John Walker
Class of 1969

John Walker is a music writer, composer, instructor, conductor, and recording artist.  He holds a B.A. from Luther College where he graduated in 1974 with a major in music and a second interdisciplinary major in religion and Cultures. He received his Master of Arts (M.A.) from the University of Alabama in 1980.

Since 1995, Walker has operated Forest Refuge Music Studio, writing and producing original corporate and congregational motivational music. His most recent CD releases include: Heaven & Earth: Equinox in Eden and Heaven & Earth: Kaleidoscope.

In addition to his work as a recording artist and composer, he is a music instructor, conductor, clinician, and church musician. His work experience includes over 20 years experience in service to international schools in Latin America where he has served as a choral and orchestral conductor, head of music and fine arts departments.

From 1976 through 1989, Walker served as conductor of the Sacred Music Society of Santo Domingo.  He performed in the Sociedad de Musica Antigua of Santo Domingo and was chairperson of fourteen Carol Morgan International Music Festivals in the Dominican Republic.  He also coordinated the International Schools Festival for the Association of American Schools in South America in 1990 and 1991 and has organized numerous performances by professional and college touring music groups including annual tours by his own performing organizations throughout the Caribbean, North, Central, and South America.

Awards include: Excellence in Education Award (Dominican Republic 1989); Distinguished Service Award (Luther College 2004); John R. Walker Tribute (Carol Morgan School 2005); Reconocimiento de Mérito (Federación Coral del Caribe y Centroamérica 2005).

John has been active in community service as a scout master and church musician. He and his wife, Ann, live in Santiago Chile and recently celebrated their 10,000th day of marriage. They have two adult children,

Joshua Stuart Walker and Julia Ann Walker, both studying the creative arts in New England. John is the son of Stuart & Billie Walker.

 



Bruce Gast
Class of 1969

Bruce is the son of Dick and Lyla Gast, the second of four siblings. He grew up on farms near Mitchell and Osage and graduated with the Class of 1969.

Following graduation, he attended NIACC, graduating in 1971. In the summer of 1971, he married Cheryl Smith and they made their home in West Union while he attended Upper Iowa University. He graduated from Upper Iowa in 1973. In 1990, he earned his M.A. degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Northern Iowa.

Bruce’s first teaching job in 1973 was at Woodward Granger Schools where he taught and coached at the middle school level.  In 1977, he accepted a job at Osage as a sixth grade teacher. During the last 29 years at Osage, he has held various teaching positions, worked as guidance counselor, and coached football and wrestling.

While coaching high school wrestling, he was awarded IHSAA Assistant Coach of the Year, District Coach of the Year, and in 2002 was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Bruce and Cheryl have two married sons, who also teach and coach, and three grandchildren: Ben and wife Kristina with son Ethan; and Matt and wife Melanie with kids Macy and Maddux.

 


 

Todd McKinley
Class of 1981

After high school, Todd earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Minnesota and went to work for the McDonnell Aircraft Company in St. Louis. He met his wife, Sara Pappas, in St. Louis and they were married in 1988, the same year he started medical school.

Eleven years and three institutions later, he finished his training in Orthopaedic Traumatology. They had great experiences throughout training. Their two sons were born. They lived on both coasts (California and Maryland). Dr. McKinley was fortunate to train with the top Orthopaedic Trauma surgeons in the world. They moved back to Iowa in 1999, where Dr. McKinley joined the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Iowa.

Outside of work, Todd has stayed active in athletics. He competed in triathlons, eventually winning his age group at the United States Ironman Triathlon in Sunapee, New Hampshire. Todd has been involved with coaching multiple youth baseball teams and is currently running the youth wrestling program for Iowa City West School District. Dr. McKinley has also been active with NASA, as a finalist candidate for the Astronaut program, and currently as a medical consultant for the Mission to Mars.

Todd is the son of Keith and Adriane McKinley of Osage.




Joe Taets
Class of 1984

Joe Taets is a 1984 graduate of OCHS. He is the son of Kay & George Taets of Osage. Joe is married to Julie Marzen Taets, formerly of Stacyville, and they have four children (Peyton, Clemmie, Riley and Gavin).

Joe graduated from Iowa State University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business. He also received an MBA from Drake University in 1992. After graduation from ISU, Joe started his professional career as a commodity trader for Archer Daniels Midland Company of Decatur, Illinois. ADM is a Foutune 100 Company engaged in the processing of agricultural commodities. Joe has worked 18 years for ADM and has held numerous management positions related to commodity trading and processing. He is currently the President of ADM’s European Oilseeds Processing and Refining Divisions and is located in Hamburg, Germany. For the past 12½ years, the Taets family have lived as Expats in Europe (approximately 7 years in the Netherlands and the past 5½ years in Germany). Joe is a member of ADM’s European Senior Management team where he oversees 15 European locations ranging geographically from the United Kingdom to the Ukraine. He also serves on over 15 international management boards.

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