Warren George Reckmeyer, 96, passed away on Thursday, March 26, 2020, at Pinecrest Manor in Mt. Morris.
Warren was born on September 29, 1923, in Quincy, Illinois to George and Ruth (Wittland) Reckmeyer. He attended the Quincy public schools and graduated in 1941.
He served in the U.S. Army during World War II from February, 1942, to January, 1946. After the war, he attended the Royal Academy of Music in Glasgow, Scotland. Upon returning to the States, he attended Carthage College and graduated from Millikin University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Bachelor of Music degree, and a Master of Music degree. He married Carol Ann Prange on June 1, 1952 in Litchfield, IL.
He taught music in Illinois public schools for 37 years. He impacted hundreds of students, many of whom went on to careers in music. He directed the Mt. Morris Kable Concert Band for 59 ½ years, played in several area community bands, and directed the East Bank Commanders Dance Band for 20 years. He participated in the Mt. Morris July 4th Festival for 60 years, entertaining many as a member of the Clown Band.
He served on several charitable boards and committees. He was a boy scout leader and earned the Order of the Arrow. Mt. Morris honored him for his long service to the community through music by naming the band shell, The Warren G. Reckmeyer Band Shell.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church where he taught Sunday School, served on the council, and was active in the music program. With his wife, they were presented with the Mt. Morris “Hall of Thanks” award, sponsored by the Mt. Morris Community Women’s Club. The two were also recipients of the Community Builders Award presented by the Mt. Morris Samuel H. Davis Lodge of the Masons.
Woodworking and model railroading were two of his favorite hobbies which provided much enjoyment and produced many projects. In his spare time, he tuned pianos and repaired musical instruments.
He enjoyed baseball and was an ardent St. Louis Cardinal fan. A highlight came in 2016 when he threw out the first pitch to St. Louis manager, Mike Matheny in Busch Stadium, and spent time with Cardinal Hall of Famer, Ozzie Smith. He and Carol enjoyed internet fame with their “Together Since 1952” photo.
He is survived by his wife Carol Reckmeyer of Mt. Morris, IL; children Matthew (Mary) of Lincoln, NE; Andrew (Mary Ellen) of Bellevue, NE; Sarah (Donna) of Ottawa, IL; Daniel (Shauna) of Trophy Club, TX; 9 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Mt. Morris Kable Concert Band fund, c/o Sylvia Saunders, KCB Board member, 414 N. Hannah Ave., Mt. Morris, IL 61054; the Manor Nursing Home of Pinecrest Community, 414 S. Wesley Ave., Mt. Morris, IL 61054; Trinity Lutheran Church, 308 E. Brayton Rd., Mt. Morris, IL 61054.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date.