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EIU Annuitants Association

Spring 2024 Table of Contents
EIUAA President's Message
Upcoming Special Events
Academic Regalia Closet Initiative
Academy of Lifelong Learning
Facebook Page Information
Committee Reports
PDF Version

President's Message

Your EIU SUAA board has been busy this winter and spring recruiting new members and planning events for the rest of this calendar year. Welcome, new members! As you’ve no doubt seen in the communications from the state office of the SUAA, the organization has been busy this spring tracking and weighing in on state legislation that may have an impact on annuitants. For a full report, please attend our July 11 Chapter meeting with the SUAA’s new executive director, Bryan Soady. Social hour begins at 8:30 a.m. with refreshments, and the meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Katie Anselment, EIU legislative liaison, will discuss issues particular to EIU at our Oct. 3 Chapter meeting. We will also hold our annual board elections at the October meeting. Your concerns and questions matter to us and to the state level organization. Please stay in touch, and we’ll see you at the Chapter meetings.

EIU SUAA has six standing committees—Membership, Communications, Legislative, Scholarship, Events, and Nominations. While each committee must be chaired by a board member, members in good standing may serve on the committees. If you’re interested in getting involved in any of these areas please contact me or the relevant committee chair. Our February Chapter meeting featured a presentation from Booth Library representatives. Among other resources available to all annuitants at Booth, they discussed the new free access to the New York Times online. You’ll find directions for creating your free account at

Remember that breaking news is posted on our Facebook page, so please follow that page. You’ll also find our information by going to, clicking on the a-z tab, and going to Annuitant Association.

Nora Pat Small
EIUAA President

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Upcoming Special Events

EIUAA Tour of Whiteside Garden - June 21, 2024

EIUAA Fall Social - Sept. 12, 2024

Mark your calendars now! The EIUAA Second Annual Fall Social will be held Sept. 12, 2024, from 4-6 p.m. at the Charleston Country Club. More details will be available soon, but I hear the putting contest will be returning!! Watch the EIUAA website, email communications, and/or the EIUAA Facebook page.

Guest Speakers

The Chapter also has special guest speakers scheduled for both the July 11 and Oct. 3 meetings. Bryon Soady, SUAA executive director, will be speaking at the July 11 meeting and Katie Anselment, EIU government relations director, will be the guest speaker Oct. 3. Details of these events will be posted online and emailed as they become available.

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Academic Regalia Closet Initiative (Ongoing)

In partnership with the EIU Foundation and the Office of the President, the EIU Annuitants Association is pleased to continue with the academic regalia closet initiative. The goal of this initiative is to ensure that any faculty or staff members wishing to walk in graduation ceremonies have access to regalia. Being part of a graduation ceremony is an important way to show support for EIU students on their special day. So, if you have a gently used academic cap-and-gown set stored away and not being used, please consider donating it to the new regalia closet. Donations will be accepted at the Neal Welcome Center, 860 West Lincoln Avenue, Charleston IL 61920 (217-581-3313). If you wish to borrow your own regalia back in order to participate in the Commencement ceremonies, you certainly may do that! Lastly, if you need a donation confirmation receipt, the EIU Foundation can provide one. Thank you for supporting this initiative.

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Academy of Lifelong Learning News

Discover a diverse range of engaging programs with the Academy of Lifelong Learning at EIU as we approach the end of the semester!

Unleash your creativity with hypertufa planter crafting led by Darla Chouinard, a University of Illinois Master Gardener. Feel the rhythm with an Introduction to Line Dancing or learn the ropes of pickleball, both promising fun and fitness. Tour the Lifespan Center and learn about their wide array of services and programs with Executive Director Kim Edwards or dive into the world of outdoor watercolor painting with Jessica Mertz of the Coles County Arts Council.

Elevate your mind and body with Jamie Willis in Making Connections: Nature and Yoga. Art enthusiasts can seize the opportunity to join Charlotte England of the Coles County Arts Council for an Artist's Plein Air Gathering.

Registration is open online or by phone at (217) 581-5114, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Stay tuned on the Academy's Facebook page for the latest updates over the summer, including details about our Second Annual Fall Weenie Roast in August!

Kind Regards,

Daniel Douglas
Program Coordinator
Academy of Lifelong Learning

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As a member of the Eastern Illinois University Annuitants Association (EIUAA), you also become a member of the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA). By logging into, information can be found regarding Legislative activities, healthcare, and Ancillary benefits to name a few. The Homepage has a Q & A video from the new executive director, Bryon Soady, addressing the topics above as well as others. Bryon will be the guest speaker at our EIUAA July 11 Chapter Meeting.

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Like Us on Facebook!

Group name: Eastern Illinois University Annuitants Association

The EIU Annuitants Association Facebook group is an additional way of keeping in touch with our members and sharing key association and university-related updates, news and events with everyone. All you need to do is find us on Facebook; you can readily access us at:

This is a private group, so please make sure to answer the two questions presented when you request to join!

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Following are brief notices only. To read a full obituary or leave condolences, visit,, and

James Anderson, (Baseball/Cross Country Coach), 93, Cape Coral, FL died March 31, 2024. He is survived by His Wife, Elaine; children and grandchildren. Lylia Andrews (Textbook Rental), 89, Charleston, IL died February 7, 2024. Survivors include three daughters: Kathleen (Richard) Andrews Wright (Springfield), Pamella (Mike) Andrews Waddell (Charleston), and Cynthia (William) Andrews Ruhlman (St. Charles, MO); three grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Dr. Herbert Breidenbach, (Foreign Language Chair/Prof of German & Latin), 89, Elmwood Park, IL died March 29, 2024. Survivors include his wife of over 59 years, Flora Breidenbach nee Losacco; son, Paul (of Elmwood Park); daughter, Carla (of San Jose, CA); one grandson; several siblings; sister-in-law, and numerous nieces and nephews, all in Germany.

Frank Clark, (College of Business), 85, Nashville, TN, died March 16, 2024. Frank's family includes his wife of 64 years, Wanda; 4 sons, Duane (Lynn) Clark of Bethpage, TN, Greg (Lisa) Clark of St. Charles, MO, Brad (Caroline) Clark, of Carrollton, TX and Scott (Donna) Clark of New Orleans, LA; nine grandchildren; two great grandsons; brother; half-sister, and many sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews.

Gary Doudna, (Music Department), 85, Fish Creek, WI died February 22, 2024. the son of the late Dr. Quincy and Winifred (Zimmerman) Doudna. Survivors include his beloved wife Cheryl D. Ruengert of 45 years daughter; two daughters, Alicia Doudna and fiancé Andrew Kratzat of Ann Arbor, MI, and Melissa Doudna and husband Adam Tietz of Grand Junction, CO; his brother, and many other extended family and friends.

Jerry W. Ellis, (Chemistry Professor), 86, Charleston, IL died January 8, 2024. Survivors include his loving wife of 38 years, Carol Ellis of Charleston, IL; daughter, Joi Lynn Owen (Wallace K. Owen Jr.) of Neoga, IL; son, Jerry Lee Ellis (Cynthia Cobb) of Rantoul, IL; daughter, Jamie Addams (Jon Montgomery) of Bartlett, IL; son, Mike Addams (Allyson) of Charleston, IL; two grandchildren; sister-in-law; and nieces and nephews.

Frank A Fraembs (Zoology Department), 91, Charleston, IL died February 21, 2024. Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Janet; daughters, Lisa Fraembs of Charleston, IL, and Linda Fraembs (Mike Matulis) of Pleasant Plains, IL; and several nieces and nephews.

Suellyn Garner, (Music Department/Tarble Art Center), 80, Charleston, IL died November 29, 2023. Suellyn is survived by her sons, Josh Garner (Dedre) and Dirk Garner (Zarina); and four grandchildren; and her brother.

Dr. Ronald E Gholson (College of Education), 79, Charleston, IL died February 27, 2024. Survivors include his children, daughter, Meredith Denise Boner (Michael) of Charleston, IL and son, Ashley Kane Gholson (Aimee) of Mattoon, IL; two grandchildren; sister; nieces and nephews.

Rosemary Sidell Hill, (Administrative Assistant), 92, Charleston, IL died December 15, 2023. Survivors include children, Roxy Graham (Keith) of Flora, IL and Ricky Sidell (Terri) of Charleston, IL; three grandchildren; five great grandchildren; and sister.

B. Delores (Krick) Knott, (College of Business), 96 of Charleston, IL died January 13, 2024. Survivors include her daughters, Jennifer Knott of Charleston IL, Julie Knott Henderson (husband, Jon) of The Woodlands, TX and Nancy Knott (husband, Alan Greenberg) of Naperville, IL; six grandchildren, and one niece.

Ron Paap (Associate Athletic Department), 89, Charleston, IL died January 20, 2024. Survivors include his sons, Larry R. Paap (Penny Thompson) of Mattoon, IL, Terry L. Paap (Cathy) of Charleston, IL, Marc S. Paap (Martha) of Easley, SC, and Tim C. Paap of Charleston, IL; 8 grandchildren; and 11 great grandchildren.

Carol Stewart (Records Office), 86, Charleston, IL died February 25, 2024. Carol is survived by her sons: Bryan (Kim), Dan (Julie), Greg (Kelly), Curt, and Trevor (Bethany) Stewart, all of Charleston, IL, along with her 20 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and 2 more on the way.

Jodi “Fran” Waggoner (Art Dept), 60, Charleston, IL died March 17, 2024. Fran is survived by her husband Terry; siblings Gail Dean White Jr. (Teresa) of Cowden, IL, Dave White (Karen) of Neoga, IL, and Keith Butler (Ashley) of Mulberry Grove, IL; several in-laws and nieces and nephews.

Norma Jean Winkleblack, (President's Office), 97, Charleston, IL died January 12, 2024. Survivors include her brother Joe Snyder and sister-in-law Jan (Jim) Synder; two sons, Robert W. Winkleblack and wife Carole and David M. Winkleblack and wife Laura; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

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Committee Reports

Legislative Committee

Efforts to recruit members for the Legislative Committee have been successful, with the addition of Bailey Young, Jill Nilsen and Andy McNitt during the past year. They bring knowledge and insights critical to addressing legislative issues before EIU retirees and employees. To illustrate, Bailey Young was one of the founding members of the legislative/political action committee of EIU’s chapter of the University Professionals of Illinois. Jill Nilsen’s position as Vice President of External Relations for EIU included government relations duties in representing the university in Springfield. Andy McNitt draws from his decades-long career of teaching and research in American politics and political behavior.

Present agenda items include plans to meet with State Senator Chapin Rose; a Zoom meeting with EIU’s Legislative Relations Director, Katie Anselment; and supporting the SUAA leadership on priority legislative subjects. Recent communications from the SUAA office show close attention to concerns affecting retirees and employees (and a reminder of the value of SUAA membership!). Examples include support for sustained full pension funding in the state budget coupled with reduction of unfunded liabilities; the push for reforms to address the growing list of problems faced by employees enrolled in Tier 2; and a legislative initiative to require sufficient advance notice of any changes in our health care benefits.

If you are interested in being part of our chapter’s Legislative Committee, please let us know at We will be glad to have you join the team.

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Scholarship Committee

The Committee is pleased to report that it was able to award two $1000 scholarships this year, thanks to our generous donors. A portion of your EIU SUAA dues goes toward building the corpus of our scholarship fund each year. Our endowment balance currently stands at $44,872, which yielded an award of $1800. Two donors stepped up to bring that amount to $2000, thus enabling the two awards for the 2024-2025 school year. The awardees will be announced shortly, and their names added to the plaque in the Neal Welcome Center.

Nora Pat Small, Chair
EIUAA Scholarship Committee

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Membership Committee

EIUAA's Greatest Asset

As part of a new membership outreach initiative, all current employees received information via campus mail about EIUAA as well as information on becoming a member. We are trying to spread the word that current EIU employees, as well as annuitants, are welcome to join! A postcard has also been developed and given to the Human Resources staff to distribute to employees beginning the retirement process as well as new hires.

Our membership is our greatest asset. Increasing and sustaining membership in EIUAA/SUAA is essential to the success of our organization. Membership is open to current EIU employees as well as Annuitants. If you know anyone that would like to join but might have questions about the organization, please feel free to have them contact any of our Board members. We’ll be happy to talk to them!! Membership applications are available online. Also, if you would be interested in serving on this committee (or any of our committees) reach out to us!

Thanks for maintaining your membership! EIUAA and SUAA will continue to advocate on your behalf to maintain your retirement and health care benefits.

Wendy Long
Chair, Membership Committee

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EIUAA Calendar

Date Event Venue
May 23, 2024 Board Meeting Neal Welcome Center
June 24, 2024 Special Event Whiteside Garden Tour
July 11, 2024 Chapter Meeting Neal Welcome Center
Sept. 5, 2024 Board Meeting Neal Welcome Center
Sept. 12, 2024 Special Event 2nd Annual Fall Social
Oct. 3, 2024 Chapter Meeting Neal Welcome Center
Nov. 7, 2024 Board Meeting Neal Welcome Center
Note: Chapter meetings at the Neal Welcome Center begin with an 8:30 a.m. social time and come to order at 9 a.m. Watch your email or Facebook for any updates!

Details for Special Events can be found either elsewhere in this Newsletter, on the EIUAA website, email communications or on the EIUAA Facebook page!

EIUAA Officers
Nora Pat Smallnpsmall@eiu.eduPresident
Richard Wandlingrawandling@eiu.eduPast President
Kathy Reedksreed@eiu.eduSecretary
Margaret Messergrammarga7@gmail.comTreasurer

Board Members - 2024
Lisa Dallas, Cathy Engelkes, Freddie Hall, Steve Lane, Gloria Leitschuh, Wendy Long, Amy Lynch, Margaret Messer, Marita Metzke, Kathy Reed, Nora Pat Small, Richard Wandling

CommunicationsWendy Long (Chair), John Ryan
EventsGloria Leitschuh (Chair), Kathy Reed, Freddie Hall
LegislativeRich Wandling (Chair), Bailey Young, Jill Nilsen, Andy McNitt
MembershipWendy Long (Chair), Steve Lane
ScholarshipNora Pat Small (Chair), Nancy Dole, Cathy Engelkes, Tami Babbs, Margaret Messer

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