With Peoria Magazines’ Local Legends program, our intent is to honor those who have had a lifetime of impact on the Peoria community. Similarly, 40 Leaders Under Forty is intended to acknowledge our community’s emerging leaders—and encourage them to continue along the path of leadership.
We recently received a pair of heartwarming messages acknowledging the impact of two of our Local Legends, and the inspiration they have given to the next generation.
First, we received a wonderful note of thanks from Joan Krupa, who was honored as a Local Legend earlier this year in our July issue. She also passed on some personal correspondence she received over the summer:
The letter, in part, reads:
"I share your passion for educating our underprivileged citizens. I especially admire your work at the Peoria County Jail, helping incarcerated people finish their GED.
I look up to your good example. I believe more people should strive to have the strong foundation of faith that you have. I hope one day to have achieved in my career all that you have achieved in yours.
Thank you for inspiring me."
Similarly, what follows is an excerpt from an email we received a few months ago from an engineer for Sears Manufacturing Co. in Davenport, Iowa. He and his family once lived in the rental property that Bob Gilmore (Local Legends, 2015) mentions in his iBi interview:
"Back in the late ‘80s, my family lived in the rental property that Mr. Gilmore mentions in the article and he was a very influential man in my life at that young age. A few years back, my family and I were in the area and decided to stop by the old property where we used to live, and that is when we saw that he had donated the land to the Children’s Home, and the caretakers gave us a tour of all of the changes that had been made since.
While I was at my mother’s home in Missouri over the 4th of July, she gave me a pen-and-pencil set she found in an old box that Mr. Gilmore had given me as a gift when I had graduated the 8th grade. This gift brought back many fond memories of Mr. Gilmore and the fun we had back on that old farm, and so I got online and that is when I stumbled across this article.
Now I am sure that you can’t give me Mr. Gilmore’s contact info, but I would like to ask … if you could help put me in contact with him somehow? I believe he would be 97 now and I would really like to let him know what an influence he was on me in those younger years and would really love to just catch up (especially since I now work in manufacturing and Caterpillar is one of our largest customers)… I know this is a somewhat strange request, but Mr. Gilmore is a great man that was and still is a big role model for me."
We’re happy to know that these two great leaders—these Local Legends—made such an impact, and continue to inspire today. PS
Submitted by jwright on