Members: Log In
Email:
Password:
Keep Me Logged In
  Forgot Password?

              Welcome to

    Kewanee Schools

          Foundation

For over twenty years, the mission of the Foundation has been to strengthen the education and extra-curricular opportunities of district students by generating financial support and leadership through our alumni and community.

Since 1990, the Foundation has supported its mission by providing financial resources for:

  • new facilities,
  • educational materials,
  •   teacher training,
  • college scholarships,
  • community cultural events,
  •  landscaping and other projects that enhance the beauty and learning atmosphere of the district’s schools.

Please click HERE to access the "How You Can Help" section to find out the wide variety of ways in which you can be part of this very important mission!

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Bob Tunnicliff, seated right, joined younger brother Ed, standing right, as Ed donated his 1949 Rose Bowl jersey to Northwestern University in 2013.Bob Tunnicliff, seated right, joined younger brother Ed, standing right, as Ed donated his 1949 Rose Bowl jersey to Northwestern University in 2013. Standing left is NU head football coach Pat Fitzgerald. Both Bob and Ed graduated from Northwestern in 1950 after military service in World War II.
"OTHER" TUNNICLIFF MADE HIS MARK IN ANOTHER WAY
       from Star Courier Around Town by Dave Clarke
 
If the Chicago Tribune does a story about you when you die, you must have been important.
I received a message on New Year's Eve from former Kewaneean Ted Vlahos, who now lives in the Chicago suburbs, that he had seen in the Chicago Tribune that "Bob Tunnicliff died."
At first, I thought he meant Ed Tunnicliff, a Kewanee High School graduate who scored the winning touchdown for Northwestern in the 1949 Rose Bowl. Then I remembered Bob was better-known Ed's older brother.
I did a column on their trip back to NU in 2013 to donate Ed's Rose Bowl jersey to the university archives. Both Bob and Ed graduated the same year, 1950. Ed now lives in Mountain Home, Ark., and Bob lived in Libertyville, not too far from the Evanston campus.
I Googled Bob's name and came up with an obituary which indicated he died Nov. 21 and wondered if Ted was behind in his reading. I also wondered why the Star Courier had not received an obituary at the time.
Last week I got an answer to my first question when Kewanee resident Joe Mahaffey came in with a copy of a four-column, 30-inch story and photo under a two-deck headline about the life and death of Robert D. Tunnicliff. It was published in the Tribune on Dec. 30, 2014, which is what Ted undoubtedly saw and was telling us about on New Year's Eve.
It said Bob, 90, had died at a Libertyville medical center Nov. 21 after suffering a heart attack the day before. Mahaffey had spotted the piece since Tunniclilff was his coach at Wethersfield High School in the 1950s.
Before we share Bob's story, let's put the Tunnicliff brothers in historical perspective. If not for them, or more precisely, their father, A.W. "Will" Tunnicliff, there would never have been a Helmut F. Brockman at Kewanee High School. No Brockman Gymnasium. No Brockman Relays. No generations of memories of a great teacher and coach and lives influenced forever at KHS.
In a phone conversation with Ed in November of 2013, I learned that during the Great Depression, the family was living in the small town of Ord, Neb. hard hit by the times. According to the Tunnicliff genealogy, "A Small Branch of the Tunnicliff Family Tree," Will owned and operated a Ford garage there until 1939 when he decided to move his family to Kewanee, Ill., where he had relatives and there were more opportunities.
They kept getting the Ord newspaper and learned the highly successful football coach, H.F. Brockman, was leaving to take another job down the road. He had coached Bob and Ed's older brothers, Jack, William, and Don. Will knew Kewanee was looking for a football coach and wrote Brockman asking if he was interested. They took Don's Ord High School scrapbook full of football clippings to the Kewanee School Board and the rest, as they say, is history. Bob was a sophomore and Ed in eighth grade at the time.
Bob graduated in 1942 and played halfback that year on a Brockman team that finished with five wins, two losses (including a one-pointer to Galesburg), and one tie. Ed was quarterback with a roster that included such familiar names as Phil Miler, Bob Fulton, Lloyd Dyer, Mike Quagliano, captain Jim Krumtinger and a tackle with the gridiron moniker of "Bobo" Krapausky. Bob also played basketball and ran track at KHS.
Getting back to the Tribune tribute, we learned that after high school Bob joined the Navy. He served more than three years during World War II aboard the destroyer USS Lansdowne. U.S. military leaders used the ship to ferry Japanese emissaries to the battleship Missouri for surrender ceremonies in 1945.
After the war, Tunnicliff returned to Kewanee at age 21 and took notice of a girl who lived across the street, Bette Seyller. They began dating and were married in 1952 and had two children, Tom and Amy. Bette died in 1992.
After the war, Tunnicliff went to college on the GI Bill, attending Western Illinois University for one year, then transferred to Northwestern University where he earned a bachelor's degree in education. He later earned a master's degree in the mid-50s taking summer courses from the University of Colorado.
Bob's first teaching and coaching job was back in his hometown at Wethersfield High School. After two years, he took a job as athletic director and head football coach at Havana (Ill.) High School.
In 1954 he accepted the AD job at the newly-opened Evergreen Park High School, near Chicago. In a move reminiscent of the one that redirected Brockman from Nebraska to Kewanee, Tunnicliff changed his mind and took a job instead as head football coach and first-ever athletic director at Libertyville High School.
He built a successful football program at Libertyville, winning three conference titles and compiling an 85-48-11 record before stepping down as coach in 1969. He remained athletic director and chairman of the physical and health education department at LHS. He also grew Libertyville's athletic program from four boys sports and no girls sports in 1954 to 11 boys sports and nine girls sports by 1986, when he retired.
The Tribune story includes a number of testimonials from present and former coaches and athletic directors at Libertyville, but are summed up in this paragraph: "Mr. Tunnicliff soon developed a reputation for having high expectations for his athletes, both on and off the field. That included creating a code of conduct for his athletes, long before the Illinois High School Association required one."
From what I have heard of H.F. Brockman, that's where Bob Tunnicliff got the idea that a student athlete represents the team, the school, and themselves both on and off the field and should know that at all times.
It is also noteworthy that Bob is the brother who followed his mentor, Brockman, into education and coaching. Ed, the youngest of the brothers, known as the "Blonde Bullet," graduated from KHS in 1944 and, like his big brother, went to serve his country in World War II before going to Northwestern. After receiving a degree in communications in 1950, Ed spent nearly 30 years in the insurance business and is now retired.
Someone observed recently that the football field at Kewanee High School is about the only thing in the complex that hasn't been named. How about "Tunnicliff Field?"

 

The Class of ‘74 has officially established the KHS Class of 1974 Dual Credit Scholarship with initial donations of $3,200.  “Personally, I am truly humbled by the generosity of so many of you”, said classmate and Foundation board member Lori Madsen Christiansen.  
For those who have sent your own children off to college, it’s hard to believe how little it takes to help KHS students in financial need take dual credit classes that will significantly reduce the amount of time and dollars spent on future college expenses.
The donation from the Class of ‘74 will enable the Foundation to pay the tuition for 213 semester hours of college coursework for 71 individual classes taken by our Kewanee High School students through Black Hawk College!  
This gift also serves as a great model for other KHS classes as the need for additional funds exist.  The class of ‘74 challenges upcoming reunions to exceed their level of giving.
Check out this class on Facebook at Kewanee High School Class of 1974.

 

Construction is well under way of the new gym at Central School.


 

For more pictures of the progress of these school additions, go to "Photo Gallery" and click on School Additions 2014.

______________________________________________________________________________ 

Mailing List

 

We would like to build our mailing list so you can be instantly notified of changes to our website and other important Kewanee Schools Foundation information.  Please click HERE to be directed to fill out a form with your contact information.  

______________________________________________________________________________