Kenneth Wagner, F89069, who served as FMCA’s South Central Area vice president for three terms, from 1993 to 1996, passed away on May 22. He was 78.
Ken was born October 10, 1929, in Dawson, Oklahoma, and attended schools in Talala, Oklahoma. He received a bachelor’s degree in animal science at Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University) in Stillwater.
His wife, Nancy, said she met Ken while he was installing elevators for the Otis Elevator Company at the building where she worked in Midland, Texas. The two were married in her hometown of Eunice, New Mexico, in 1958.
The couple lived in Talala, Oklahoma, for many years while Ken worked at Bartlesville Stationery, selling office equipment and supplies. Their daughter, Terry, was born in 1959.
As his college major implies, Ken’s main interest had to do with animals, and cattle in particular. Ken bought his parents’ place and leased other land, and by 1968 he was a full-time cattle rancher. In 1983 the Wagners were recognized as the Ranch Family of the Year in Oklahoma. At one point, Ken had cattle on more than 5,000 acres.
The couple bought a Georgie Boy Cruise Air motorhome, and then an Executive.
“We got into FMCA because when we bought that Executive coach we could not get insurance,” Nancy said. “The guy we bought the coach from suggested we contact FMCA.” The couple joined the association in 1987.
Around 1989 or 1990, Ken retired, and he and Nancy decided to go full-timing in a 40-foot MCI bus conversion. They liked it so much they stuck with it for quite a long time. “My daughter says it was 20, but I’d say it was about 18 years,” Nancy said. “We covered every state except Hawaii, and that’s because the bus wouldn’t float. And also Canada,” she said. They also owned two Prevost conversions.
Ken first ran for FMCA office upon the suggestion of F.C. Dohrman, South Central Area vice president from 1990 to 1993. Nancy said Ken was well suited for the job. “He loved people and he could talk to a fencepost,” she said. “We met a lot of nice people in FMCA.”
In addition to being an area vice president, Ken served on FMCA’s Membership/Member Services Committee, Convention & Rally Committee, Constitution & Bylaws Committee, and President’s Council.
The couple quit motorhoming last year and moved into a Baptist retirement center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
In addition to Nancy, Ken is survived by daughter Terry and her husband, Bruce Greer, and a sister, Elizabeth Patton.
“We Love You, Arizona” Celebration
By Delmar Record, F337738
On July 13, 1968, the Arizona chapter received its FMCA charter, becoming the association’s fifth chapter. To commemorate the group’s 40th anniversary, the Arizona chapter invited past and present chapter members, as well as members from the 14 other chapters based in Arizona, to attend its “We Love You, Arizona” anniversary celebration at Beaudry RV Resort in Tucson, Arizona, April 10 through 13, 2008. An unofficial tally of more than 300 smiling faces throughout the event would seem to indicate that the rally was enjoyed by all.
Since 1968 the Arizona chapter has had 25 presidents. Eight are still living and five were present at the celebration; Dan Smith (1986-87), Len Pigg (1995-97), Lillian Hoover (2001), Delmar Record (2005-2008), and Harry Montgomery (present).
The three-day rally was filled with nonstop action, including cards, bean-bag baseball, card bingo, and a golf putting tournament. Of course, we can’t forget about the Spin-N-Win wheel, with all the excitement it created. Our rally master was able to obtain more than 40 sponsors who contributed money and more than 400 door-prize packages. I think everyone won at least one package. Other activities included a craft class that kept many of the ladies busy, a pet parade, and line dancing. Lillian Hoover set up a table that included pictures and monthly newsletters that chronicled the 40-year history of the Arizona chapter. And two lucky people went home with more than $400 each as winners of the 50/50 drawings.
The highlight of the rally took place on Saturday as we all celebrated the chapter’s birthday. Chapter president Harry Montgomery accepted a letter of congratulations and a check from FMCA national treasurer Doug Key and Rocky Mountain Area vice president Allen Rein. The chapter was very appreciative of their attendance at the rally, as well as other officers from the Rocky Mountain Motorcoach Association who made the trip to Tucson. Harry Montgomery then lit the 40th birthday candle and a group of Frustrated Maestros from the various chapters led everyone in singing “Happy Birthday.” The past presidents in attendance cut the cake using special 40th anniversary commemorative knives. Ice cream and cake was enjoyed by all.
Throughout the rally there was plenty of good food, and there is no reason anyone should have left hungry. Thursday’s welcome reception included catered hors d’oeuvres, while on Friday we enjoyed a picnic-in-the-park lunch, an ice cream social, and a catered dinner. Saturday included a catered breakfast and dinner.
The “We Love You, Arizona” celebration featured two nights of outstanding entertainment. Friday was Western day, and many attendees took the opportunity to wear their cowboy hats and boots. Entertainment that night featured Pioneer Pepper and the Sunset Pioneers, sponsored by Country Coach. This talented cowboy group sang country and western music made popular by Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Rex Allen, and the Sons of the Pioneers. On Saturday evening attendees were both amused and amazed by the comedy, impersonations, and entertainment provided by Lynn “Win” Roberts, which was sponsored by Equity Lifestyle Properties. Lynn brought to life personalities such as Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Jimmy Durante, W.C. Fields, and many others. His performance also included crowd-pleasing, one-of-a-kind musical routines, sometimes playing two instruments at the same time.
The “We Love You, Arizona” celebration could not have happened without the many volunteers from the Arizona chapter; chapter members past and present; members from our fellow Arizona chapters; and, of course, our attending past presidents. Thanks to all who helped make this a terrific and memorable celebration.
The Arizona chapter had 147 member families as of press time and continues to add new members for fun and fellowship. We have set our sights on the future and look forward to our 45th anniversary in 2013.
Desert Roadrunners’ 25th Anniversary Rally
By Vonda A. Clark, F213137
FMCA’s Desert Roadrunners chapter, which includes members living in Pima, Pinal, Cochise, and Santa Cruz counties of southeast Arizona, observed its 25th anniversary with a rally at Beaudry RV Resort in Tucson, February 28 through March 2, 2008.
The main event of the anniversary celebration was a banquet on Saturday, March 1. Eighty-two past and present members attended the dinner, including 54 individuals in 28 motorhomes who spent all or part of the time at the rally. Beaudry RV, a longtime sponsor and friend of the chapter, was represented at the dinner by Mark Holcomb, director of marketing.
During the evening many folks were honored, including charter members of the chapter. The Desert Roadrunners chapter, which was known as the Pace Arrow Roadrunners until the end of 2003, was established at Picacho Peak State Park in 1983. Jack and Belle Schneiker, who were instrumental in starting the chapter, were recognized, along with fellow charter members Harry Lawrence, John Carter, Russell Clink, and Bill and Bette Davern. Past presidents in attendance included Bill Davern (1984), Ted Eazer (1986), Ralph Moore (1987), Dick Krasnick (1992-1993), Harry Lawrence (1994), Ray Quick (1995), Roy Taylor (1998), Bruce Battey (2001), Chuck Emerson (2003-2005), Ervin Klawitter (2006), and Al Howard (2007). Other officers who served more than one term were Elmer Creviston, second vice president (1995-1997), and Doris Krasnick and Flo Emerson, who each served three years as secretary/treasurer.
National directors and alternate national directors also were recognized: Bill Davern, 11 years as national director; Tom Fenn, nine years as alternate national director and six years as national director; Bruce Battey, three years as national director; and Charlotte Lash, three years as alternate national director and two years as national director. Bill Davern was the Rocky Mountain Area vice president from 1996-1999, and Bruce Battey is the newly elected senior vice president of the Rocky Mountain Motorcoach Association. In that position, he presented a certificate to the chapter, along with a new coffeemaker.
Al Howard, chapter president at the time of the event, presented an engraved plaque to Beaudry RV in appreciation for its 25 years of sponsorship and support. In addition, framed certificates were awarded to Bill and Bette Davern, the only remaining active charter members, for their leadership; Tom Fenn, for 24 years of service to the chapter; and Joe “Ski” Piorkowski, a former Beaudry RV representative, for his help in forming the chapter.
Following the presentations, attendees enjoyed dancing to the music of a disc jockey. Ervin and Pat Klawitter, longtime chapter members, were in charge of planning the rally activities.