History

TWA Seniors Club STL Gateway Chapter History
 
    During January of 1984 Correspondence between Opal Thomas, a St. Louis retiree and R.H. McCormick, who was President of the TWA Seniors Club at that time, resulted in a request to Ms. Thomas to form a Chapter here in St. Louis. Out of that request came a meeting of several retirees at Opals house to discuss the issues. Present were Bill McGroarty, Wilbur Lewis, Ed Ashenfelter, Bob Lorenz, John Brawley, Mary Ann Hecker, Opal Thomas, and Mary Shiell. After much discussion it was decided to go on with the plan and form a Chapter in St. Louis. It was concluded that the following would function in an acting capacity until the entire Chapter could vote. Opal Thomas as acting President; Mary Shiell as acting Secretary; and Winnie Dalton as Public Relations. The first elected Officers of the Chapter were: Opal Thomas – President; Andy Rahm – Vice President; Barney Groff – Treasurer; Winnie Dalton – Corresponding Secretary; Millie Doyle – Recording Secretary. Dues were initially set at $5.00 per year per member, later raised to $10.00. 

    The initial meeting of the newly formed Chapter was held on April 25, 1984, at the Lambert Field Terminal Building. It was at this meeting that the young Chapter was asked to take on the 1985 Annual General Meeting for the Seniors in St. Louis. St. Louis agreed to do so, but questions were raised later pertaining to the inexperience of the new chapter. However, it was too late to change to another city as commitments were already made for the hotel etc. The new Chapter went through with the plan, and the 1985 Annual General Meeting went off without any serious problems. A second was hosted in 1993.

   The St. Louis Gateway Chapter has always been very active. Right from the start they staffed the Operation Liftoff store in the TWA Training Center. They have regular business meetings, monthly social luncheons, regularly scheduled outings to special restaurants, boat rides, horse races, casinos, and on and on.

   The Chapter also has many trained members on the TWA Trauma Team, and during the flight 800 disaster many of the Chapter members worked steadily with the TWA Team in assisting those family members who were associated with the disaster.

   Since Opal Thomas took office as President in April of 1984, the order of the presidents has been: June Ingram, Irvin Swartley, Herb Griggs, Bob Carter, Bob Lorenz, John Thompson, Herb Griggs, Bob Lorenz, Dan McIntyre, Tom Monegan and Wayne Baumgarte as the current President.