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Co-Grand Marshals Bob Beery and Sue Luck Falk Bring Centennial Memories Back to Atwood After 50 Years

Village President Bob Beery crowns Sue Luck as Atwood Centennial Queen in 1973

By Doris Elmore
Staff Writer

Fifty years ago, the Village of Atwood celebrated their centennial, 100 years of changes, some good and some bad. I guess bad really isn’t a good word to use, because some changes are just disappointing and people think they are bad at the time. Most people don’t like changes, but after browsing through the Centennial Book, Atwood has seen a lot of changes.

“It Takes a Village” to hold the town together through ups and downs. It takes residents who are willing to “stick their neck out” and try to do the best they can to make important decisions on running a village.

This brings us to one of the Co-Grand Marshals for this years’ Atwood Apple Dumpling 150 Years Sesquicentennial Parade Bob Beery. Bob was Atwood Village President from 1971-1975. He has always believed the success of any group, company or community is a result of the talents, dedication and participation of its members. His fondest memory of the Centennial celebration was the dedication and contributions of the many people, businesses and organizations who worked so diligently to make the festivities successful. It does indeed “take a village.”

Bob moved with his family from Cerro Gordo to Atwood in 1950. He graduated from Atwood High School in 1959. After two years at Illinois State University, he started his work life with the postal service in Urbana. From there he worked at Cabot Corporation for 33 years, retiring in 2000. There were short relocations to Urbana, Mt. Zion, and Germany, but all roads led back to Atwood, where Bob and wife Mary Ann have resided since his retirement.

Bob had the privilege of crowning our second Grand Marshal Sue Luck Falk. Fifty years ago, Sue enjoyed being the Atwood Centennial Queen during the week-long celebration. This year they have the honor of representing Atwood in the Centennial and now Sesquicentennial.

Sue states, “Being queen resulted in winning my first trip to Disney World. During that Centennial, so many people got involved and brought out the best of our small but busy community. I enjoyed coming home from work every night and joining in to celebrate some event that resulted in happy memories. I was then, and continue to be, proud to say I grew up in Atwood. I appreciated my education here, learned my work ethic from many excellent people, framed my commitment to my family and my community. I am happy to have moved back home. I continue to meet new people and support the endeavors and events in my hometown.”

A 1965 graduate of A-H High School, Sue attended Millikin University. After 16 years in the Education and Training Department with Caterpillar Tractor Co., Sue entered into the employee staffing industry and became vice president of Kelly Service, US Business Development. Eventually, she opened her own staffing company in Michigan, providing design engineers to the Big 3 automotive companies and provided computer and technical staffing to many firms. She also owned a temporary help company in North Carolina, which she sold in 1996 to enjoy a life-time opportunity to manage the opening of the staffing center for the U.S. Olympics in Atlanta.

Sue lived and conducted her staffing business in Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Maryland and Washington, D.C. before moving back to Illinois 11 years ago. She has found being a real estate broker working for her daughter, Ginger Luck Denton with Legacy Land and Homes keeps her busy. She also convinced her sister, Micki Blaney, to return to this area and work with them in this business.

From Centennial to Sesquicentennial, Bob and Sue are extremely proud to represent the town they love, Atwood. They are pleased that even though they were gone for a while, the road finally led back home.

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