Colonel ILARNG (Ret) Louis Lee Myers, Jr., 94, of Petersburg, passed away on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at HSHS St. John’s Hospital. He was born May 9, 1928 and was raised on a small family farm near Tennessee, IL.
Louis was active in 4-H. He helped to establish their farm as one of the first conservation farms under the USDA Soil Conservation Service.
Working his way through College at Western lllinois, Macomb, he took a job with the USDA, Soil Conservation Service of McDonough County and assisted in setting up Junior Conservation Clubs in high schools throughout the State of Illinois.
He then became a member of the Illinois National Guard. In January 1951, he attended Advanced Combat Infantry Operation School and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He was called to active duty in the Korean Conflict in 1951. He attended Artillery Operations and Intelligence Chiefs School at Fort Sill, OK. He graduated first in the class and was promoted to Sergeant First Class. He was then sent to Camp Cooke, California where he became the 233rd Field Artillery Battalion, Operations & Intelligence Chief. He was shipped overseas to Korea where he became an Eighth Army liaison to train and direct Korean Artillery soldiers on the front lines in the II ROKA Corp until the peace agreement in September of 1953.
Upon returning home, he reorganized the National Guard at Macomb, IL as the First Sergeant of the Unit. He then accepted a Commission in the Unit. Louis went back to school and finished his Degree in Agricultural Science at the University of Illinois in 1957.
Louis advanced in rank to Captain and took additional training in the Army at Fort Sill, OK to include Artiillery & Missile Officer’s Course, graduating first in his class and Advanced Artillery & Missile Officer’s Course, where he qualified to deploy nuclear weapons.
In 1970, the Adjutant General of Illinois requested him to come to Springfield and work in the Military & Naval Department, Facilities Division. He accepted, and began a program to rehabilitate the old armories and facilities of the State. He became the Chief of Facilities and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He attended the Command & General Staff School and was promoted to Colonel, Chief of Staff of the Illinois Army National Guard. In this position he had oversight of the all of the full time and drilling soldiers of the Illinois Army National Guard.
He was a State of Illinois recognized Brigadier General upon his retirement in March 1986. He worked as Chief Engineer for the Department in a civilian role until Sept 1992.
Louis and Paula “Polly” Green married on May 31, 1981. He then joined Elliott Avenue Baptist Church, where he became very involved. He served in several positions at the church as well as Missions committees, including a trip to our Missionaries serving in Hong Kong and Thailand. He has also used his construction knowledge to build additional teaching rooms for the youth and other repairs of the Church. In 1987, he and Polly revisited Korea and were able to visit China.
Louis was a volunteer Ombudsman for the Department of Defense, Support of the Guard and Reserve Committee in assisting men and women who run into conflicts by serving our country in the Reserve Military Forces.
He remained active in the Reserve Officer’s Association and since 1980 was a Life Member of the Springfield Chapter #39. He published the monthly Chapter Newsletter “The ROA-GRAM” for over 20 years. He won several Sword & Scroll Awards and in 1996 and 2008, the prestigious Ben Frankel in “Award for the Newsletter”. He served as Vice-President of Army Affairs, Executive Vice-President and President of the Illinois Department of the Reserve Officer’s Association. He also served on the National Defense Education Committee of the Reserve Officer’s Association in Washington, D.C. He also served the Central Illinois community as a Mason for over 50 years.
In 2018, Louis was recognized as one of the top 200 Veterans in Illinois for the State’s 200th birthday.
Throughout the years, Lou and Polly worked together on activities in the Church, the community and with the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Children of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution. Louis also contributed many hours of repair, maintenance and construction work for the Illinois DAR Cottage, Indiana All-States and other buildings at the Tamassee DAR School at Tamassee, SC. He served as a temporary house parent with Polly for six months. He has also served on the Board of Trustees for Tamassee DAR School.
In 1993 they moved to Lake Petersburg and joined the Petersburg United Methodist Church. Louis served on the Church Board and as Lay Member of the Annual Conference of the Great Rivers Region. Some of Louis’ favorite pastimes were deer hunting and keeping up with the genealogy of his family.
Louis was preceded in death by his parents, Louis Lee and Goldie (Bowes) Myers; three siblings, Joseph, Myrna and Roger Myers and son-in-law, John Carney.
Survivors include his wife, Paula Smith Myers; three daughters, Lea Ann (Kenneth) Griffin of Glen Ellyn, Kate Carney of Springfield and Jane (John) Nelson of Naperville; four sons, Larry (Sharon) Weidinger of Oconomowoc, WI, Donald (Nancy) Green, Jr. of Glenarm, Joel (Lisa) Weidinger of Urbana, and Richard (Carol) Green of Springfield; grandchildren, Shari Darrow, Megan Griffin, Katie Asher, Maggie Valentine, Tricia Badgley-Green, John Green, Brittany Scott, William Webb, Jeremy Bell, Adam Bell, Captain Rachel Lowth, and Samuel Nelson; great-grandchildren, Ethan and Jordan Elizabeth Darrow, Edith, Jack, Beatrice and Frances Valentine, Mason, Badgley, Charlotte Badgley-Green, Honora and Hannah Green, Morgan, Maddyn and Merrin Bell; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Visitation: 4 – 8 pm, Friday, May 27, 2022 at Staab Funeral Home – Springfield.
Funeral Service: 9:30 am, Saturday, May 28, 2022 at Staab Funeral Home – Springfield with Pastor Rick Pierce officiating. Burial will follow at Camp Butler National Cemetery where military honors will be conducted.
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Date: Friday, May 27, 2022
Time: 04:00 pm - 08:00 pm
Date: Saturday, May 28, 2022
Time: 09:30 am
Date: Saturday, May 28, 2022
Time: 11:00 am
Memorial Contributions may be made to Petersburg United Methodist Church in lieu of flowers.
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