A GLIMPSE OF THE LIFE AND TIMES OF RICHARD "DICK" VERO
In June of 1954 Dick and his family joined the Wilmington Community Swimming Pool which would become the Wilmington Recreation Club. The entrance at that time was a wooden gate and dirt road that were down where the tennis courts were. The road ended by the boat ramp. People camped in the picnic area which was sand and sand burrs (ouch!) and boats would just pull up on the sandy shore. Eventually a dirt road was built to the other areas and as this road was close to the water, people pitched their tents near the shoreline - there were not too many accidents from people rolling down the shore at night.
Dick was chairman of the operating Committee which helped build the Club; rebuilding the beach house, big pavilion, new entrance, trap range, turning old outhouses to block washrooms, development of new camp areas, as just an example of what these men and volunteers accomplished.
Dick joined the Board of Directors in 1967, became Chairman of the Board in 1982, and was head of camping for many years. He was fair to everyone and treated people like family, as that's how he viewed the Club. after his love for his family and friends, the Club was always in his heart.
Forever a proud man, Dick wore his heart and his compassion on his sleeve. Following is an article published in our Happy Daze August 14, 1998 in Dick's own words.
A GLIMPSE OF AN INCREDIBLE COUPLE
John, "Bernie", and Bonnie Southall
On February 10th, 1962 John Burnell, "Bernie",and Bonnie Ruth (Davis) were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Illinois.
Together, they had 3 Sons. Brent, Brad and Barry and 8 grand children. All are current WRC Members.
Together, they Managed the Wilmington Recreation Club for 50 years !
Bernie was born September 24th, 1939 in Muscatine, Iowa.
He attended Illinois State University and earned his degree in Education.
During College he played 4 years of baseball. Upon Graduation he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds but was unable to play professional ball due to an arm injury.
He loved playing horseshoes, loved horse racing, and was a true man of God. He loved his faith and his church as well.
Bernie became a Teacher and later the Principal at Stevens Middle School in Wilmington.
Bernie was the second Manager of the Wilmington Recreation Club. He served from 1962 until his death April 3, 1977.
John Burnell "Bernie" Southall
September 24, 1939
April 3, 1977
Bonnie Ruth (Davis) Southall
October 22, 1941
October 21, 2019
Upon Bernie's passing, Bonnie took over as Manager of the Wilmington Recreation Club.
Bonnie loved designing flowers and decorating. She opened the Flower Loft in Wilmington soon after Bernie's death. She provided many beautiful flower arrangements for many various occasions, specializing in wedding arrangements.
Bonnie managed the Wilmington Recreation Club for nearly 35 years before retiring and passing the reins onto her son Brad, who is our current Manager today.
A nice day for a boat ride. Bernie, Brent Bonnie and Brad July 1966
As if She were saying;
Here's to you my friends, I wish you good health and happiness. May you enjoy and protect our Club so that it will be here for generations to come. May God keep you safe and grant you long life.
Rest in peace Bonnie and thank you for all you have done for our club.