Presidents of the Sussex Lions Club
At the 45th banquet of the Sussex Lions Club, a photo of the former presidents of the club was taken for the Lions history book. The 45th celebration was held in 1984, and 2014 marks the club’s 75th anniversary. From right, the former presidents are (front row): Bill Bierman, Ron Halquist, Paul Fleischmann, Al Halquist, Kurt Kneiske, Art Manke, Don Edmonds, Jerry Robinson, Bill Marx and Kim Kais. (Back row): Nick Wolfe, Jim Nettesheim, Jim Zindle, Larry Erdman, Bob Stier, Al Schroeder, Ray Semrow, Carl Klug, and Harry Hincliffe. Five of those pictured will be attending this year’s 75th anniversary celebration. Fourteen have passed away.
The Sussex Lions Club is having a monumental 75th anniversary year of celebration in 2014, having been founded in April 1939. In the 75 years, no president has ever served more than one year, which is a testament to the long success of the club. Many other such fraternal charity and community betterment clubs have a history of presidents serving for more than one year.
The club started with 20 members, and today, it has approximately 105 members. However, there are also side clubs affiliated with them, be it the Sussex Lioness Club or the now very successful Hamilton High-Templeton Middle School Leos Club, which collectively have nearly 150 members.
Probably the most notable member was its co-founder John Kraemer, who besides being something of a "father" of the Sussex Lions Club (with Winston Brown) is also accorded the honor of the Father of the Sussex Fire Department, Father of the Village of Sussex Park system, which has a jewel, the Sussex Village Park, where the annual Sussex Lions Daze Festival is held.
Of the presidents, the first, Dr. Erwin Van Valin, was a longtime Sussex-Lisbon community doctor who made house calls.
Two presidents served as Lisbon Town Chairman: Marv Burg Sr. and Art Manke.
Two served in World War I: Kraemer and Claude Kaderbek.
Hib Manke, Wilmer Marx, Ron Halquist, Joe Mudlitz, Tony Schumann and possibly a couple of others served in World War II.
Four served as Sussex fire chiefs: Kaderbek, George Podolske, Roy and Bob Stier, Fleichmann, Roy Stier and Paul Fleischmann served as President of the Village of Sussex.
Two Lions have served for many years on the Hamilton School Board: James Long and Gabe Kolesari.
Local banking leaders were Eugene Acketz and Harry Rogers.
Serving on the Sussex Village Board as trustees were Hib Manke, Wilmer Marx, Joe Mudlitz, Herb Beier, Kurt Knieske, Roy and Bob Stier, Milton Manz, Kraemer, Glenn Moody, Podolske, Wilmer Marx, Fleischmann and Ray Semrow (and possibly others).
Milo Hardiman served for more than a quarter century as the elected clerk of Sussex.
Brothers Albin (Al) and Ron Halquist served as president with Al's grandson Tom also serving.
Two Nettesheims served as president, Mark and nephew Jim.
Of the first 40 presidents, only one is alive today: Jim Zindle.
Of the 20 deceased charter members, the last two active members were Al Halquist and Roy Stier.
Sussex Lions Club List of Presidents
|1939||Dr. Erwin Van Valin|
|1941||Rev. Emmot DeSelms|
|1946||Albin C. Halquist|
|1967||Marvin Burg, Sr.|
|1993||E. James Skarda|
|Bob Van Aacken|