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2009 Hall of Fame Inductees

The inductees are:

Community Service - Jo Ann Dinello

Jo Ann Dinello, 67, of Darien, regularly visits the sick and helps at nursing homes and hospitals. Dinello volunteered for the Literary Awareness Program and served as a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader. She started a ministry program that provides meals for homebound individuals and transportation for older adults. She organized a sunshine group to send cards to homebound seniors. She set up the Medical Lending Closet, at the Darien Police Station, for people to get free donated medical equipment like wheelchairs, walkers and canes. Dinello also founded the We Care Program, in 2003; to date more than 1,000 packages have been sent to soldiers serving in the Middle East.

Education - Dr. Marian Kneer

Dr. Marian Kneer, 85, of Plainfield, has devoted her entire life to education and athletics and continues to serve her community. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Illinois State University (ISU) and went on to earn a doctorate in physical education from the University of Michigan. As a softball player in the 1940s while playing for the Caterpillar Dieselettes, Kneer was referred to as the “world’s greatest softball catcher.” She is in the Illinois Softball Hall of Fame, the ISU Hall of Fame where a stadium is named for her, and the Coaches Association for Girls and Women Hall of Fame. In the early 1970s, Kneer pioneered the inclusion of women’s sports in Illinois High Schools which was two years before the passage of the Title IX Education Amendment. She is an author of several articles and books including Softball: Slow and Fast Pitch which is currently in its eighth edition.

Labor Force - Doris Clark

Doris Clark, 94, of Jacksonville, has been a strong advocate for older people since she retired in 1981. She was one of a small group of people who established AFSCME Illinois Retirees Chapter 31 to fight for retiree rights. Clark became the president of the statewide organization and also served on the International Board of AFSCME. Retirees from across the state would call her with nowhere else to go to figure out issues about insurance, pensions and Social Security. Steven Regenstreif, Director of AFSCME Retirees, said for nearly 20 years, Clark helped other chapters to grow and develop through the example of Chapter 31. During her tenure as Chair of the Council, the membership grew dramatically – from less than 100,000 to a roster of nearly 250,000 retiree members.

Performance & Graphic Arts - Harry Louis Wolf

Harry Louis Wolf, 80, of Waterloo, joined the Monroe County Farm Bureau as a cornet player at the age of ten in 1939. During World War Two, Wolf founded the Waterloo German Band and after serving four years in the Marines, he enrolled in the Pennsylvania State Teacher’s College where he received a degree in education. Wolf spent 34 years teaching and was named Outstanding Musician. Wolf has performed for Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Reagan and countless other leaders and dignitaries. He’s been all over the world and has donated musical instruments to poor musicians. He was awarded the German government’s highest honor to an American, the Deutschland Medal. Wolf was nominated by the city of Waterloo where he can be found still performing.


For more information on the Senior Illinois Hall of Fame, contact the Illinois Department on Aging Senior HelpLine.