Helias to induct seven into Hall of Fame

Helias Catholic High School is honoring seven individuals by inducting them into the Helias Hall of Fame.

A Mass will be celebrated at 4 p.m. followed by a social hour at 5 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 in the Helias Commons.

The Hall of Fame began in 2008 to recognize outstanding individuals whose lives have helped to establish Helias Catholic High School. The event was moved this year from mid-April to January to tie in with Catholic Schools Week.

Inductees for this year are: Simon “Pete” Hartman, Joan Johnson, Charles Luebbert, Monsignor Gerard Poelker (posthumously), James Schaefer (posthumously), Teresa Tolksdorf and Alice Wekenborg.

Simon ‘Pete’ Hartman

Hartman was born in Jefferson City to Peter Joseph and Lilliah Victoria Hartman, and graduated from St. Peter High School in 1956 where he was involved in football, track, Choral Club, Benildus Club and intramurals.

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Simon "Pete" Hartman

He attended Tarkio College and received the Federal Aviation Administration Airframe and Power plant certificate. He also received the USBA Level II Biathlon Coach Certificate.

Hartman is married to Lillian Otto Hartman. They have six children: Victoria Scott (Doug), Jacqueline Myhren (the late Jeffrey), Peggy Hartman, Kenneth Hartman (Debbie), Peter Hartman and Timothy Hartman (Sabrina); sixteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was a sergeant major in the U.S. Army (1955-1998) and retired in 1998 from the Missouri National Guard, where he served as an aircraft systems foreman.

Hartman is a member of St. Martin Catholic Church, where he has served as a junior high football and baseball coach, helped with church picnics as a chicken fryer and chaperoned CYO activities.

He is involved in the Missouri National Guard Association, Helias Council Knights of Columbus, Dan Coppin 4th Degree Knights of Columbus — Faithful Navigator and Faithful Captain, Spinning Heels Square Dance Club, Helias Athletic Booster Club, is a Centertown Rural Fire Department volunteer, member of Fraternal Order of Eagles, and officer of the Missouri School for the Deaf Booster Club.

Hartman’s involvement with Helias Catholic includes Jim Rackers Commitment to Excellence Award in 2006, Homecoming Parade grand marshal in 2006, Athletic Boosters, Athletic Booster Barbecue cook for more than 30 years, football and softball practice field maintenance, and Monday morning volunteer at Helias for 10 years. Hartman continues to be a diligent supporter of Helias Catholic High School and loves everything about Helias.

Joan B. Johnson

Johnson was born in Palmyra to Henry and Gertrude Bowman.

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Joan B. Johnson

She graduated in 1950 from McCooey Memorial Catholic High School in Hannibal, where she was a cheerleader, in honors chorus, on the “A” honor roll and crowned May Queen.

Johnson was married to the late David James Johnson. They have eight children: Kathe Menown (Jim), Jean J. Morley, Michael Johnson (Susie), Brian Johnson (Lisa), Julie A. Johnson, Keith Johnson (Molly), Gary Johnson (Lesley), and Daniel Johnson (Jill), and 18 grandchildren.

Her work history includes: secretary of the Catholic Cemetery Association in Hannibal, legal secretary in both Hannibal and Kansas City and secretary at Helias Catholic High School from 1975-1997.

She is a member of the Church of the Ascension in Overland Park, Kan. Her church involvement includes Chairman of the 55+ Club, Eucharistic Minister to nursing homes, Monday morning “Martha” office volunteer, CRHP Retreat, and Bible study classes. Prior to moving to Kansas, she was a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in Jefferson City. She was in the choir, a cantor and Eucharistic minister. Her community activities included secretary of the IC Home and School, Girl Scout Leader, Cub Scout Leader, 4-H Leader, Birthright and Hospice volunteer, St. Mary Hospital Auxiliary, Daughters of Isabella, and 4th Degree Knights of Columbus Auxiliary.

In the 22 years that she spent as secretary at Helias Catholic, she was involved in the Home and School Association, Mothers’ Club, faculty choir, faculty basketball team, bookkeeper for the Helias Foundation and “Honorary” National Honor Society member.

Johnson continues to support Helias Catholic activities when she is in town.

Charles D. Luebbert

Luebbert was born in Jefferson City to Henry and Helen Luebbert.

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Charles D. Luebbert

He graduated from Helias High School in 1959 where he was involved in band, basketball, football, track and intramurals. He served in the Army Reserves from 1962-1968.

Luebbert is married to Patricia (Patsy) Bisges Luebbert. They have four children: Jerry Luebbert (Dianne), Jackie Forck (Stan), Jeffrey Luebbert (Heather), and Jason Luebbert (Amy), and have 11 grandchildren.

He is owner of Charles Luebbert Hardwood Floors and previously worked for Finke Luebbert Hardwood Floors. He continues to practice the craft he learned from his father and has passed down to his children. He strives diligently to provide consistent and excellent quality and service to his customers.

Luebbert is a member of Immaculate Conception Parish, where he is involved with the Holy Name Society and has maintained the school’s hardwood floors for many years and continues to do so. He has also been involved with the PAL football league.

He has been a longtime Helias Athletic Booster member and was awarded the Jim Rackers Commitment to Excellence Award. He has demonstrated his loyalty and service to Helias Catholic High School for the past 25 years by maintaining their gym floors to ensure they are ready for students and athletes to compete and enjoy. Luebbert continues to this day in his dedication to Helias Catholic High School.

Monsignor Gerard L. Poelker (Posthumously)

Monsignor Poelker was born in St. Louis, the younger of twin boys born to John G. and Anna Marie (Bongner) Poelker.

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Monsignor Gerard L. Poelker

He attended St. Liborius Grade School in St. Louis. His studies for the priesthood were at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary and Kenrick Seminary. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on March 21, 1942, for the Archdiocese of St. Louis at the Cathedral of St. Louis. Monsignor received a master’s degree in education from St. Louis University. Pope John XXIII named him a monsignor with the rand of Papal Chamberlain in 1962.

He was preceded in death by his siblings: Adrian George Poelker, Monsignor Carl C. Poelker, Mayor John J. Poelker, Francis Poelker, and Marie Wiegers. He has many nieces and nephews.

Monsignor Poelker served as associate pastor, pastor, or administrator at the following: St. Peter in St. Charles; The Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood in O’Fallon; St. Louis of France in Bonnots Mill; St. Patrick in St. Louis; Our Lady of Help in Frankenstein; St. Martin in St. Martins; St. Francis Xavier in Taos; St. Joseph in Jefferson City; St. Clement in Bowling Green; and St. Lawrence in St. Elizabeth. He has celebrated the Tridentine (Latin) Mass at St. Agatha in St. Louis and St. Mary Magdalen in Mexico.

While serving as pastor of St. Joseph in Jefferson City, he built the church that became the Cathedral of Jefferson City. After his alleged retirement, he continued to say Mass at St. Patrick in Laurie. During retirement, he assisted with weekend substitutions and said Mass at more than 30 different parishes.

He was a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Knights of Columbus, Life Member of the St. Jude Assembly 1567 in Mary’s Home, vice president of Missouri Association of Migrant Opportunity Services, and was involved in many other organizations. Poelker established his own education and charitable trust fund called TEMPO: “Theological Education Motivates Perfect Order.”

In 1956, Monsignor Poelker became the first administrator of Helias High School. In 1957, he was appointed the first superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Jefferson City and served in that capacity for more than 10 years. He continues to support Helias Catholic High School by providing scholarships for current students. His legacy of the love of Catholic education lives on.

James L. ‘Jim’ Schaefer (Posthumously)

Schaefer was born in St. Thomas to Joseph and Sophie Schaefer.

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James L. Schaefer

He attended Meta High School where he was involved in the Drama Club and baseball. He was a standout baseball player and scouted by local colleges and invited to try out for the Chicago White Sox; however, he opted for military service. He served two years active duty with the United States Army during the Korean War and spent four more years in the United States Army Reserves.

Schaefer was married to Rose Ann “Rosie” Luebbering Schaefer. They have five children: Patrick Schaefer (Jeannine), Joseph Schaefer (Joyce), Carla Dovey (Dennis), Pam Kramer (Kevin), and Susie Hinds (Dan); and 12 grandchildren.

Schaefer worked for Elmer Goldhammer Construction, Bob Livingston Construction, and Elbert Raithel Construction. In 1957, he and his wife started Schaefer Brothers Construction Company with the help of his brother, Charlie.

He was a member of Immaculate Conception Parish where he was involved with the Holy Name Society and Parish Council, and volunteered as maintenance supervisor for the building projects of Greaney Gymnasium and Kennedy Hall. Schaefer Brothers Construction managed two renovations to Immaculate Conception Church. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Helias Council 3rd and 4th Degree Knight, the Benedictine College Parents Association, the Central Missouri Builders Association, the Eastside Business Association, and board member of the water district. He also coached Park Board baseball. Following his death, he and his wife were honored with the first Benedictine College Parent Honorary Alum award (four of their five children attended Benedictine.) The award continues today.

Schaefer was a member of the Helias Booster Club and served as an officer, and he supported his wife in her many volunteer roles at Helias as he was often found loading and unloading for the concession stands his wife chaired. He served in leadership roles on multiple building projects at Helias, could always be found organizing and participating in “work parties” to maintain and improve the school’s building and grounds, and gave endless hours of his own time when “little” things needed repair. For many years, he worked at every fundraiser for Helias.

The Rackers Fieldhouse was under construction at the time of his death, and memorials were directed to new lockers in his memory. In addition, his children endowed a scholarship in the name of their parents.

Teresa Tolksdorf

Tolksdorf was born in Columbia to Norbert and Eleanor Scheppers.

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Teresa Tolksdorf

She graduated from Helias High School in 1971 where she was involved in Pepettes, Drum and Bugle Corps, Chorale, Mixed Chorus, spring musical, National Honor Society and Girl’s State. She earned a bachelor’s of science degree in Medical Technology from the University of Missouri in Columbia, an MBA from the University of Missouri in Columbia, and a teaching certification from Lincoln University.

She is married to Matthias “Matt” Tolksdorf. They have three children: Jeffrey Tolksdorf, Kimberly Tolksdorf and Julia Tolksdorf.

Tolksdorf’s work history includes The University of Missouri Blood Bank, Harry S. Truman Veterans’ Hospital, Hallmark Cards, St. Mary’s Health Center and Helias Catholic High School.

She is a member of St. Joseph Cathedral and does Perpetual Adoration at Immaculate Conception Parish. She is a member of Immaculate Conception Church Circle, Council of Clubs, The Little Theatre, Jefferson City Community Concert Association, St. Mary’s Health Center Auxiliary where she has served on the board, and is a past member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. She served on the St. Joseph Cathedral School Board for three years. Tolksdorf has performed in more than 10 theater productions for The Little Theatre and Capital City Players.

Along with having taught biology and chemistry at Helias Catholic from 1991-2005, she has served on the Helias Foundation Board of Directors and the Helias Advisory Board. She has been the dance team manager, ticket coordinator for theater productions, assisted with the spring musical, assisted with the annual golf tournament, helped with the Helias 50th anniversary celebration, and spent many years updating names and addresses of Helias alumni. Her support of Helias Catholic High School has continued since her retirement from Helias. She volunteers in the office on a weekly basis, helps with various projects, and substitute teaches.

Alice A. Wekenborg

Wekenborg was born in Jefferson City to Frank and Mary Louise Wallendorf Schepker. She graduated from St. Peter High School in 1952.

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Alice A. Wekenborg

She was married to the late Lonnie J. Wekenborg. They have three daughters: Connie L. Fullerton (Alexander), Cindy A. Brenneke (Chris), and Carrie L. Wekenborg, and eight grandchildren.

Wekenborg worked as a bookkeeper for Woodman Engineering Company, Heisinger/Wekenborg Hearing and Optical, and Helias Catholic High School.

She is a member of Immaculate Conception Parish where she is a member of the Immaculata Club and the Mother Seton Group. She served as a Girl Scout leader and has helped at the American Red Cross, Juvenile Detention Center, and Samaritan Center. She has also been involved with the Knights of Columbus.

Wekenborg not only worked for 22 years as a bookkeeper at Helias Catholic High School, but she also volunteered generously of her time to chaperone almost any school function and volunteered countless hours of service after school and on weekends for Helias events. She was also involved with the Helias Mother’s Club and served as treasurer. Alice’s contagious smile and passion for Helias Catholic High School have left a lasting mark.

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