PAST DEPARTMENT PRESIDENTS: 1990-1999
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1989-1990
Mrs. Jan Cook
Leavenworth, Kansas

Well known for her sense of humor, Jan Cook brought fun and fellowship to her duties as Department President.  A member of Byron H. Mehl, Unit #23 in Leavenworth, Jan Cook served as the 69th President of the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Kansas.  She passed away on September 27, 1994.

1990-1991
Mrs. Almeta Kelly
Sylvan Grove, Kansas

Elected and installed on May 20, 1990 at the annual Department Convention in Wichita, Almeta Kelly served as the 70th President of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Kansas.  It was a fond occasion when the Legion Family joined in on the fun at President Kelly's homecoming held in Sylvan Grove.  Members from all over the state attended and brought support in honor of the new President.  During the administrative year, the Region 6 Leadership Workshop was held in Topeka where the Department of Kansas served as host for visiting dignitaries from other states.  President Kelly cited a BBQ at Pomona Lake as a very memorable activity where she served as hostess at a luncheon for National Chairmen, Officers and Department Presidents.  Department Fall Conference was held in Salina and was honored with a visit from Barbara Kranig, Central Division National Vice President from Wisconsin.  The 1990-1991 administrative year was recalled as a special year in recognition for the Eisenhower Pilgrimage and President Eisenhower's 100th Birthday.  A total of 200 wreaths were laid during the ceremony and the town of Abilene was bustling with celebration in honor of this great American and Kansas son.  President Kelly presided over two annual Kansas meetings, Fall Conference in Salina and Mid Winter Forum in Olathe and attended the Presidents and Secretaries Conference, National President Ruby Paul's homecoming and the Awareness Assembly in Washington, DC.  Special attended activities included installing the Junior officers and the Auxiliary Junior Convention held at Black Jack Post in St. George and in support of the signing of the Poppy Proclamation by Governor Joan Finney for Poppy Month in May.  President Kelly held a very successful Department Convention in Topeka which concluded with reports and presentations of the accomplishments for the year.  Almeta Kelly continues to live in Sylvan Grove and remains an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

1991-1992
Mrs. Elinor Morgan
Dwight, Kansas

On May 19, 1991 the 71st Department President of the American Legion Auxiliary was elected and installed.  Past Department President Leita Broockerd served as installation officer and members of the Dwight unit proudly carried in the colors.  Department President Morgan chose "Forge a New Future with our Symbol of Freedom - The Flag" as her theme to encourage and empower members to achieve new success working the American Legion Auxiliary programs.  Travel across the Sunflower State was on the agenda for the new President.  Activities included serving as Assistant Hostess at Sunflower Girls State, attending Homecoming events, and working diligently in support of the annual Eisenhower Pilgrimage.  After attending National Convention in Phoenix, Arizona, President Morgan held a very successful Fall Conference in Manhattan over the weekend of October 4-6 where a workshop conducted by Past National President Alice Galka helped educate the members on activities that can help enhance Auxiliary programs.  A highlight of the year was visiting the holiday gift shops and attending the Department 8 and 40 meeting where La Chapeau Agnes Crawford made her official visit.  A record attendance was on hand for the annual Mid Winter Forum held in Hutchinson where President Morgan presided over a successful event.  Following a trip to Washington, DC for the Awareness Assembly, activities included the Department Junior Convention, attending American Legion Birthday parties and visiting District Conventions in the second, first, sixth and fourth districts.  Elinor Morgan passed away on June 25, 2006.

1992-1993
Mrs. Darlene Rusk McCartney
Wellington, Kansas

A member of Wellington Unit #90, Darlene Rusk McCartney was elected to serve as the 72nd President for the American Legion Auxiliary for the 1992-1993 administrative year.  The year began with exciting new activities in support of veterans and their families.  In July 1992, Darlene recalled a special memory of attending the dedication of the Regional Office of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Wichita.  A very impressive ceremony occurred with Chief Shunatoma of the Pawnee tribe giving an Indian prayer in praise of the new facility.  Following National Convention in Chicago, President McCartney was off to the Region 6 conference held in Rochester, Minnesota where great speakers helped encourage members to set new goals and gain more knowledge about the Auxiliary programs.  Further travel in support of Department Fall Conference, Mid Winter Forum and the Washington, DC Awareness Assembly followed with Department activities that included unit visitations and connecting with members at the grassroots level.  Many American Legion birthday parties were held with fun, fellowship and members finding new ways to help those we serve.  Serving as Hostess to 1993 session of Sunflower Girls State was an exciting honor for President McCartney, an active supporter of the Girls State program, who concluded her year with remarks to inspire.  She shared, "To the Department of Kansas members you have made this year enjoyable.  Remember it takes each and every one of you to make this great organization a success."  Darlene McCartney remains an active and dedicated member to the American Legion Auxiliary and remains a committed volunteer to her unit, district and department.  She continues to attend National Convention and lives in Wellington, Kansas.

1993-1994
Mrs. Edna McAlister
Emporia, Kansas

The Fourth District and Unit #5 of Emporia presented their candidate Mrs. Edna McAlister for Department President who would serve as the first department president to call Emporia home.  Traveling to National Convention was first on the agenda as President McAlister and her husband Don rode the Legion sponsored bus to Pittsburgh, PA to attend the exciting activities and witness National President Helen Holcomb's installation.  Upon arriving back in Kansas, it was right to work for the new President and Department Secretary Pattie Bigley as they hurriedly planned for the annual Department Fall Conference to be held in Salina.  Special honored guest was Dr. Corrinne Walker, Central Division National Vice President.  Eisenhower Pilgrimage activities continued in spite of poor weather and a highlight of the year for President McAlister was placing of a memorial wreath at the grave sites of President Eisenhower and his wife.  It was a whirlwind tour as President McAlister and Secretary Bigley drove to the President and Secretary's conference in Indianapolis and then drove straight to Odessa, Texas for the National President's homecoming.  Finally back in Kansas, the new President busied herself with unit visits, holiday gift shop parties at the VA facilities, Mid Winter Forum and a trip to Washington, DC for the Awareness Assembly.  Attending district conventions, American Legion Birthday parties and a tour of Kansas with National President Holcomb rounded out the winter and spring activities as a year of successful volunteer spirit on behalf of veterans and their families neared closure.  Once again, Kansas stepped up to new heights and make a difference on behalf of veterans in the Sunflower State.  Edna McAlister, a devoted and dedicated Auxiliary member, passed away on October 3, 1994.

1994-1995
Mrs. Marceline Schafer
Norton, Kansas

"Let Service Light the Way" was the guiding principle and theme for the 1994-1995 administrative year as Marceline Schafer accepted the nomination to serve as the 74th Department of Kansas President.  A highlight of the year was attending Sunflower Girls State where President Schafer served as Official Hostess at the event.  More than 500 High School Girls attended the event held on the campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence.  As the Diamond Jubilee anniversary dawned on the American Legion Auxiliary, President Schafer got the administrative year started with a homecoming held at her home unit in Norton.  Attending National Convention in Minneapolis was a highlight of the year as was attending the National Region 6 Workshop held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  Fall Conference was held in Hays with President Schafer presiding over the first major conference of the year with confidence and charm.  After Veterans Day, the holiday gift shops were in full swing with Auxiliary members making sure that veterans and their families had plenty of gifts for the holiday season.  Mid Winter Forum was held in Overland Park with Central Division National Vice President Florence Long from Iowa present as the distinguished guest.  Following attendance at the Awareness Assembly in Washington, DC, President Schafer attended American Legion Birthday parties and and district conventions.  May 19-21, 1995 was the site for Department Convention held in Topeka with a successful completion to another banner year for Kansas.  Marceline Schafer passed away on November 9, 1997.

1995-1996
Mrs. Lois Icenogle
Topeka, Kansas

National Vice President 2000-2001

As the American Legion Auxiliary's Diamond Jubilee concluded at National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, newly elected Department President Lois Icenogle was already well on her way to working the programs of the American Legion Auxiliary and inspiring members to new heights.  Having been installed at Department Convention in her home town of Topeka on May 21, 1995 the national theme of "Where Liberty Dwells, there is My Country" rang loud and true in her rally call to the members in Kansas with her theme "My Country-United in Service."  Finding time for Sunflower Girls State, visiting the VA Hospitals and Poppy workers and attending 8 and 40 La Marche in Wichita, President Icenogle managed to attend homecoming activities and and oversee the administrative business of the Department on a daily basis.  Presiding over the annual Fall Conference held in Topeka led to activities in support of the annual Eisenhower Pilgrimage and visit to Indianapolis for the Presidents and Secretaries Conference.  Veterans Day activities were held throughout the state and President Icenogle attended a special memorial held on the campus of Washburn University.  During holiday gift shops a good time was had by all with veterans in Kansas the worthy recipients of gifts and holiday cheer.  All was well until President Icenogle, dressed like Santa, was caught by a little visitor for "being a girl."  Mid Winter Forum was held in Emporia with the Auxiliary having won the membership challenge with the Department of Kansas American Legion.  A great time was had by all as the Department Commander and Vice Commander entertained the attendees with a Mexican Hat Dance.  President Icenogle attended American Legion Birthday Dinners and enjoyed the Junior Convention held in Ness City.  As Department Convention approached, President Icenogle reflected on a successful year and shared that due to donations from units and the President's special project, the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA has a children's waiting room with a Disneyland setting.  The Colmery-O'Neil VA has a new TV in every room and an electronic scooter was purchased for the Robert J. Dole VA Hospital.  Thanks to many volunteers, the Ft. Dodge Soldiers Home received a new bird aviary for all to be enjoyed. Excitement occurred when the 54th session of Sunflower Girls State was able to offer a scholarship underwritten by Samsung corporation.  Everyone cheered when the Department achieved its membership goal for the year.  Lois Icenogle remains active in the American Legion Auxiliary and currently serves as VAVS Representative for the Colmery-O'Neil VA Medical facility in Topeka. 

1996-1997
Mrs. Imogene Hummel
Geneseo, Kansas

Unit #300 of Geneseo, Kansas, a town with a population of less than 300 citizens presented their candidate for nomination to the highest leadership role in the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Kansas.  Imogene Hummel, a 45-year member of the American Legion Auxiliary was  hardworking, dedicated and driven and accepted the nomination with pride and determination.  Attending unit meetings across Kansas, traveling and meeting new friends and working hand in hand with The American Legion was the highlight of the year.  Regretfully, the Auxiliary, in spite of working hard to gain many new members, lost the membership challenge to The American Legion where President Hummel and Vice President Ann Lutjen were forced to eat crow (burned chicken) as penance for the loss. A good time was had by all in spite of the challenge loss. Due to her love of hats, President Hummel was affectionately known as the "hat lady." A dedicated Auxiliary member until her final days, Imogene Hummel passed away on October 14, 2009 at the age of 81.

1997-1998
Mrs. Ann Lutjen
Lenexa, Kansas

Past Department President Ann Lutjen remembered the 1997-1998 administrative year as exciting and challenging , busy from start to finish and a year that was filled with fun, fellowship and many traveled miles. Activities included installations, birthday parties, special planned programs, conventions and celebrations that allowed President Lutjen to visit 62 Post Homes and Units.  Each month held special significance with activities that allowed an opportunity to connect with grassroots members.  A leadership workshop was held to help encourage and mentor members to accept leadership roles and Kansas conducted a special session for department officers, chairmen, district presidents and vice presidents.  President Lutjen worked in tandem with American Legion Commander Bill Dirreen and together accomplished great things for the veterans in Kansas.  The theme for the year reflected the fun of a circus environment with "Kansas Parades Under the Big Top" a call to arms for members to work hard but have some fun along the way.  It was memorable when President Lutjen was asked to join the National Commander's Tour of Kansas which allowed more auxiliary members to connect with the department leadership.  President Lutjen presided over successful Fall Conference and Mid Winter events and welcomed National President Barbara Kranig for a short visit in Hutchinson during the Mid Winter Conference festivities.  Ann Lutjen was a passionate and dedicated Auxiliary member who gave of herself to help any veteran in need.  Her mission during her year as President was to promote "family" and through this effort she recalled that units reached out and touched many veterans, gave scholarships, helped single mothers and most importantly gave encouragement to each other.  A dedicated unit member and friend to many, Ann Lutjen passed away on August 25, 2010.  She is remembered by the grassroots clothing room renamed in her honor at the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center.  "Annie's Closet" continues to help veterans in need by offering new and carefully worn clothing at no charge.

1998-1999
Mrs. Berniece Hogan
Greenleaf, Kansas

"To Achieve Success, We Must Reach Out to Everyone" was the theme embraced by newly installed Department President Berniece Hogan at her installation in May 1998 at Department Convention in Wichita.  Past Department President Val Jean Depew served as installing officer.  A highlight of the year was returning to Sunflower Girls State after a two year hiatus in attendance and looking forward to serving as the official hostess in June 1999.  Visits to Boys State and Cadet Law got the summer off to a busy start with excitement and fun enjoyed at Department Commander Bob Swanson's homecoming in Olathe later in August.  It was a rainy National Convention in New Orleans but information learned and shared played a valuable role in encouraging Auxiliary members to accept new challenges for God and Country.  A successful Fall Conference was held in Concordia with Auxiliary holiday gift shops making a difference once again for veterans and their families.  Presiding over the annual Mid Winter Conference in Hays was a fun and informative time for all attendees, even though President Hogan and Vice President Judy had to "ride the horses" for losing the membership challenge.  Travel was heavy throughout the year with visits to Indianapolis for the Presidents and Secretaries Conference, Washington, DC for the Awareness Assembly and district conventions in Coffeyville (third), Marysville (first), Russell (sixth) and El Dorado (fourth).  The Department of Kansas faced challenges in the 1998-1999 year due to a vacancy in the office of Department Secretary but the year concluded on a positive note with many veterans helped thanks to combined efforts by dedicated Auxiliary members.  Berniece Hogan passed away July 20, 2005.

 

 

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