Celebrating the original Ford Thunderbird
from 1955, 1956, and 1957
President’s Letter -
Hello fellow Thunderbird enthusiasts. It has been a long fourteen months. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn’t on the train coming at us anymore. Your Club is trying to put things back in order. We have several outings planned and several more to be determined.
Please refer to the calendar here on the website for event dates and places.
It was a cloudy but warm August day as 28 club members arrived at the Schellin Farm. There were a handful of baby and retro birds that adorned the property. Everyone brought their own food and drink as this was an event not sponsored by CTCC. There was a Port-a-Potty on hand along with tables and chairs spread out 6 feet apart in the Pole Barn. Tom Bruin handed out T-shirts and masks to those who purchased them, and members mingled amongst each other all trying to social distance. Bob Hoge brought his accordion and played for the group. Lloyd chimed in with his musical stick. It was a good time had by all during these trying times.
Those in attendance: Tom & Judy Bruin, Mike & Laura Cielenski, Joe & Barb Esdale, Pete & Lisa Ekstrom, Gordon Gluff & Mary Ziemba, Gail Hascek & Mike Detty, Bob & Helen Hoge, Roger & Helen Huber, Larry & Karen Kelly, Len & Mary Kiel, Dan & Melinda Pritchett, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Len & Irene Vinyard, Liz Werth and Madeline Zambon.
2020 PIZZA PARTY – ELECTION OF DIRECTORS MEETING
The Annual Pizza Party/Election of Directors Meeting was held on March 12th at the Little Villa Restaurante & Pizzaria in DesPlaines. Twenty-seven members came out to enjoy some great pizza and conversation. Due to the warnings from the CDC due to the Coronavirus members did not hug or shake hands but elbow butted or just said “hi”. After everyone ate, Ken held a brief meeting to approve the 2020 Budget and to discuss the issues ahead with the Coronavirus. For now, the calendar of events for the next couple of months most likely will be cancelled. The Tech Session currently is tentative, but the Spring Tour has been cancelled. The tour of the Old Joliet Prison has been planned but is on hold. Before the meeting ended Ken said that there were 3 director positions available.
He mentioned that Len Vinyard, Lloyd Schellin and Mike Cielenski were willing to stay on in their positions. Ken opened the floor to any nominations, there was a motion to keep Len, Lloyd & Mike on as Board of Directors, it was seconded and all approved. After the vote, the meeting then adjourned.
Those in attendance were: Dan Anderson, Mike & Laura Cielenski, Joe & Barb Esdale, Gordon Gluff, Art Hahl, Gail Hascek, Pete Hauser, Len & Mary Keil, Larry & Karen Kelly, Dean & Beth Molburg, Dan Mrozek, Bob & Barb Sroka, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Len & Irene Vinyard, Liz Werth, Tom Wolfe and Madeline Zambon.
– Submitted by Laura Cielenski
It is with sadness that we report the death of Ed Levin.
Ed was a valued member of the club and he and Rose
participated in most all of the club's activities for many years.
He will be missed. Please join the officers and directors in sending
our sincere condolences to Rose and to Ed's family.
Edward M. Levin, age 78, of Palatine, IL, born in Chicago, IL, passed away peacefully on May 1, 2020. Edward "Eddie" was the son of the late Samuel and Ida Levin nee Block.
Cherished father to Leesa Levin-Doroba (Paul), Buffy Bernardo (Angelo), Danny Levin, and Samantha Adler (Brian). Longtime companion to Rose Kovalenko.
Dearest brother to David (Diane), beloved uncle to Matt (Tal), Sharon (Mike), Stacey (Patrick), cherished friend to his caregiver, Dennis, and dear friend to many.
For all who knew him, his favorite child was his first, his boat. His passion for both the water and fishing were like no other.
Blessed to have enjoyed an early retirement after owning a successful business in printing, he enjoyed many sun filled summer days on his boat "Eddie's Office".
Some of his happiest moments were spent fishing in the company of family and friends.
His real joy came from not catching fish himself, but rather seeing others enjoy that experience.
Eddie was a skilled craftsman who never passed up an opportunity to complete a project on his own.
He loved to travel and was passionate about his classic cars and Lionel Trains.
His greatest legacy isn't the successful company he built or his possessions but rather the relationships and memories created with so many he loved and who loved him.
He wouldn't want tears now but rather for us to smile for all that was and be comforted by the most priceless gift he gave to all who knew him, precious memories.
As in life and now in death, he will forever be our Strength, our Anchor and most certainly our Captain.
Due to the pandemic and out of concern for extended family and friends, services and shiva are private.
A celebration of Eddie's life will be scheduled at a later date.
It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of longtime member Bill Werth.
Bill died peacefully on Friday, April 10th at his home.
He was 86. Bill loved his '55 Thunderbird and participated in
all of the club events. Bill and Liz even hosted Club Tours which
included their first one night to the Joliet/Lockport area in April,2005.
The next tour was to Galena in May, 2009.
And the last tour was to Kokomo, Indiana in May of 2015.
Bill was well liked and had an infectious smile and laugh.
He always said “Hello” and would strike up a great conversation. He will truly be missed.
Please join the CTCC Officers and Directors in extending our sincere sympathies to Liz and their family.
Liz will be planning a memorial service in the future when the Pandemic is over. We will notify you with the details.
GLEN ELLYN - William Ketchum Werth passed away on April 10, 2020. William was born in Scranton, Pa. on April 26, 1933. He resided in Glen Ellyn, IL from 1982 until death.
He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years Elizabeth (nee Cook), devoted father to Stephanie (Dave) Young, Adrienne (Dan) Ahlquist, proud grandfather to Georgia, Ethan and Audrey Young; Caitlyn, Erik, Luke and Kendra Ahlquist, sister Linda Perk.
Preceded in death by his parents, Valeda and William Werth. A memorial service will be forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation may be made to First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, IL or The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD).
It is with great sadness that we report the death of longtime CTCC member Joe Kraatz.
Joe was the original owner of his colonial white 1957 E-Model Thunderbird.
Joe special ordered the car and after a two month wait, he took delivery in April 1957.
He loved working on his E-bird and going to car shows.
His obit is below:
VALPARAISO, IN - Joseph Kraatz, Jr., 88, of Valparaiso passed away Friday, January 24, 2020 at home with his family. He was born August 11, 1931 in Medina, NY to A. Joseph Sr. and Esther (Gladow) Kraatz. Joe graduated from Valparaiso University in 1953 and served honorably with the U.S. Army. He later operated Roy's Mobilgas at 2 & 30 in Valparaiso. He retired from Aid Association for Lutherans, serving as a District Representative for 24 years. After retirement, he enjoyed watching the Green Bay Packers and VU Basketball. As an avid Ford enthusiast, he loved working for Currie Ford of Valpo, participating in car shows and being an active member of Classic Thunderbird Club of Chicagoland and Michiana Mustang Club. He loved his family and the Lord and was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church. On April 6, 1963, he married Sandra Meyer who survives along with their daughters: Kari Correll (Dan Lentino) of Schaumburg, IL and Kami (Chad) Woody of Valparaiso; his brother, James (Joy) Kraatz of Michigan; and his two beloved granddogs, Quinn and Whitney.
DUDES & DIVAS WINTER DINNER
This year’s Dudes and Divas Winter Dinner was held on January 24th at the Palm Court Restaurant. Though the weather was foggy with a mix of snow and rain the evening still brought out twenty-seven members. Everyone enjoyed each other’s company and of course a delicious meal. As always, a great gathering to help break the winter blues. A big thank you to Ken and Kathy Smizinski for planning the evening.
Those in attendance were: Dan & Karen Anderson, Bill & Jane Balogh, Peter & Katie Hauser, Larry & Karen Kelly, Len & Mary KeIl, Pete & Marylu Kramer, Ed Levin and Rose Kovalenko, Dean & Beth Molburg, Dan Mrozek, Bob & Barb Sroka, Lloyd & Joan Schellin, Ken & Kathy Smizinski, Len Vinyard, Liz Werth and Jim & Jane Wilson.
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