Some songs from 1986
Billy Ocean "When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going"
Lionel Richie "Say You, Say Me"
Peter Cetera "Glory of love"
"R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." John Mellencamp
Phil Collins "Take Me Home"

The story farther down below was picked up by Pam Kusel and featured in the Manning News Journal.
The original story and recent photo of Willie came from The Gazette.

As usual, I like to show pictures and information from the past for those who visit my web pages to help them "connect the family dots" so to speak.

Unfortunately I don't have any football pictures for Willie's era. When I worked on the Manning Schools history book project, the older generations came forward with school pictures and information but very few younger generation alumni brought me school things to scan.
So if anyone wants their school pictures and information added to my Manning historical database where it will be preserved/archived, please let me know.
I know what the future will be for your school items - they will be thrown away after you are gone.

I also need some military pictures and information for Willie's service to use in the future Manning Veterans' book - so hopefully a family member will come forward.

1986 MHS graduates: Kristine Marie Albertsen (valedictorian), Molly Dale Boersma (salutatorian), Martin Myron Bogatzke, Richard A. Borkowski, Patricia G. Bruch, Anne Marie Bunz, Steven P. Clausen, Jodi Lynn Collison, Barbara Elizabeth Crandall, William J. Croghan, Madonna Rose Drees, Marcus O. Drees, Carla J. Fox, Jon James Frahm, Rod Frank, Lisa Marie Gruhn, Paula Ann Halbur, Kelly Ann Haskins, David Allen Hass, Mark A. Haubrich, Tammy Jean Henkelman, Donald E. Jensen, Brian L. Joens, Gerald Lee Kahl, Jason L. Karsten, Jacqueline Ann Kerkhoff, Bradley Christopher Kusel, Jill Kay Lamp, Craig John Langel, Dennis R. Menke, Karol Lisa Mills, Michelle Renae Odendahl, Paul D. Opperman, Kurt Gene Pfannkuch, Nathan G. Puck, Todd C. Ramsey, Robert Charles Rauch, Barry Lynn Reid, Keith E. Rohe, Terry L. Rosonke, LeRoy E. Schlichte, Duane Eugene Sorensen, Rhonda Sue Vaughn, Douglas Dean Vollstedt, Kent Lee Vollstedt, Steven Michael Vollstedt, Lana D. Wanninger, Jon Waterbury, Dale Paul Wegner, Kay Lyn Weiskircher, Daniel Loren Weller, Rebecca Sue White, Kenneth Willenborg, Krista Louise Witt

1986 former students: Todd Alley, Lisa Auten, Therese Baker, Sheldon Bell, Elizabeth Davis, Tony DeLong, Melody Fiddelke, Thomas Gentry, Traci Jahn, Russell Johnson, Denise Kovacevic, Scott Leinen, Carl Madsen, Donald Martin, Neal McCalley, Michael Munyon, Stephanie Muzney, Michael Opperman, Camille Reynolds, Jamie Sampson, Lynn Schlichte, Connie Sebeniecher, Jennifer Sporrer, Chelle Stecklein, Bobby Jo Terry, Leah Thompson, Christy Vaughn

Willie Croghan MHS 1986

Jerome & Catherine (Schmitz) Croghan
Julia Fitzgerald MHS 1969
Mary Ensch MHS 1971
Ruth Callahan MHS 1972
Peter Croghan MHS 1975
Mark Croghan MHS 1977
Joan Young MHS 1978
Dennis Croghan MHS 1981
Owen Croghan MHS 1982
Luke Croghan MHS 1985
William Croghan MHS 1986
Paul Croghan MHS 1987
Alice Kramer MHS 1990
Catherine MHS 1990

Catherine & Margaret were sisters
Jerome & Joseph were brothers

Joseph & Margaret (Schmitz) Croghan
John Croghan MHS 1969
William Croghan MHS 1971
Eugene Croghan MHS 1973
David Croghan MHS 1974
Charles Croghan MHS 1976
Patricia Arp MHS 1978
JoAnne Halbur MHS 1978
Gerald Croghan MHS 1982
James Croghan MHS 1987

These two Croghan families lived right across the country road from each other, one on the north side and the other on the south, so when the school bus pulled up they pretty much filled it.

Ruth Croghan MHS 1972

Peter Croghan MHS 1975

Mark Croghan MHS 1977

Joan Croghan MHS 1978

Dennis Croghan MHS 1981

Owen Croghan MHS 1982

William Croghan MHS 1986

King Willie Croghan & Queen Kristine Albertsen 1985 Homecoming

Judy Morgan 1st grade
Paul Croghan MHS 1987

Back: Traci Rix, Jodi Ahrendsen, Joni Waterbury, Lori Stoberl, Lisa Herbers, Paula Spies, Judy Morgan, Danny Hicks, Keith Escher, Jeff Vondrak, Lori Eickman, Lissa Haubrich
Front: Jim Croghan, Brenda Clipperton, Tina Wiskus, Paul Croghan, Megan Wright

1990 Prom royalty
Catherine Croghan MHS 1990

Back: Chris Behrens, Sean Forman, Chris Klocke, Trent Nissen, Kent Halbur, Nate Boersma
Front: Cheri Clausen, Julie Dunshee, Paula Tinkham, Sandy Wittrock, Stephanie Laver, Catherine Croghan

Jerome Croghan WWII

Jerome F. Croghan was drafted into the United States Army in March of 1946. He spent a short time at Camp Polk, Louisiana before working in the medical corps at Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan and then at Madigan General Hospital - Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Washington. He was honorably discharged in June of 1947.
Jerome was born on a farm east of Woodbine and west of Panama Iowa and moved to the Manning area after his marriage to Catherine Schmitz in 1950.
He and his family had a dairy farm and lived on Long Branch Farm, southwest of Manning.

Manning News Journal (Pam Kusel) April 1, 2023
National engineering honor for Manning native Willie Croghan
Story, in part, by Grace King/The Gazette, appeared online; photo, Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette.

Willie Croghan, an engineer at BAE Systems, has been named the 2023 National Black Engineer of the Year.

Croghan, 54, of Cedar Rapids, IA was awarded the General Johnnie Wilson Legacy Award in recognition for his work at BAE Systems, the international defense, aerospace and security company that just opened a $100 million facility near the Eastern Iowa Airport.

The award was presented in February at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

"It was awesome to be recognized, considering the incredible number of really smart, talented engineers," Croghan said.

In nominating Croghan for the award, BAE's Ryan Sanger cited Croghan's technical effort and team mentoring, stating he was a key contributor to the development and fielding of the company's M-Code GPS product.

Farm family
Growing up near Manning, the 1986 MHS graduate said his parents, Jerome and Catherine, taught him the "sky's the limit. You will determine for yourself what you will achieve and accomplish, and the person who is going to hold you back the most is yourself."
"That's something I preach all the time,"
Croghan said.

Croghan grew up on a dairy farm, where he had his share of chores taking care of the farm's pigs and cattle. He recalls waking up at 4 a.m. to tend to the animals, then going to school and coming home for more chores and homework, before turning in around 10 p.m.

As a Black child adopted into a Caucasian family with 13 kids, Croghan said his parents were very encouraging. They told him just because he looked different than others didn't mean he was different than anyone else.

"God was looking down on me," he said.

Of the family's 13 kids, Croghan said he is number 10.

He stated, "There are no words to describe how grateful I am that I ended up in the family that I did. My brothers and sisters have always been there for me. I am truly blessed."

He graduated from Mount Mercy University, where he studied math, computer science and earned a teaching endorsement.

Military service
After college, Croghan joined the Army Reserves, where he worked for 21 years and served in the Iraqi conflict - experience BAE cited in nominating Croghan for the engineering award.

He retired as a sergeant major in the 649th Regional Support Group after his wife, Diana, was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer in 2009. At the time, the couple had two young daughters. Diana had five surgeries before the cancer went into remission and has been cancer-free since.

Croghan said his military service helped drive who he wanted to become. When he left military service he wanted to make a difference.

"I'm fortunate the company I work for is absolutely soldier-first. They live and breathe that, and it makes it very easy for us here at work to always do the right thing," he said.

Croghan joined BAE Systems after it bought Collins Aerospace's military Global Positioning System business in 2020. As a senior principal systems engineer, Croghan works with members of the military around the world identifying ways to improve BAE's GPS equipment, which gives our war fighters an edge on the battlefield.

The Award
This year's Black Engineer of the Year recognition program attracted nominations from companies in the private, nonprofit and higher education sector.

The winners were selected by a peer review selection committee that included a diverse group of scientific and technical leaders and top supporters of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and of historically Black colleges.

"I tell everybody, even though we have very good universities here, when it comes to engineering and such, it isn't often that you hear about somebody from the Midwest getting something. I also think it says a lot about the education system. I developed a lot of my passion for math while I was at Manning. That says a lot about the school and teachers; the teachers I had anyway. My success began with some great math and science teachers in school."

He recalled teachers Brad Benton and Jim Keegan.

The national award is named for Johnnie Wilson, a Black four-star general, now retired, who was in charge of the U.S. Army Material Command and the U.S. Army Ordinance Corps from 1996 to 1999.

"General Wilson actually presented the award to me himself," said Croghan. "It's a pretty big deal."

He added, "The most important thing for me is that it comes across that it all started there in Manning; it started with my family and with the school system there. That environment got me on the right path and, all happening there in the Midwest, it's a huge honor for me."

Outside of work
In his spare time, Croghan coaches Eastern Iowa Barracudas fastpitch softball. He also offers academic help to the kids he coaches, especially in math, science and engineering, saying he hopes to encourage young future stars.

Two of those stars are his adult daughters, Samantha, 26, and Megan, 24. Samantha is a software engineer at Collins Aerospace, and Megan works in cancer research at the University of Iowa.

"They're my greatest joy," Croghan said.

Two of Willie's Manning school teachers were mentioned in his story, so here is some information about them.

This information and pictures were included in the 2009 Manning Schools history book.

Brad Benton 1991

1 Zach Jahn, 2 Stephen Schneider, 3 Dailen Cowden, 4 Jonathan Torkelson, 5 Brittany Ramsey, 6 Kayla Dammann, 7 Mr. Brad Benton, 8 Tiffany Fulcher

April 8, 2008

Student Council Luau April 1987 Brad Benton & Mark Johnson

Jim Keegan - MHS school teacher

1 Michele Arkfeld, 2 Elizabeth Stacey, 3 Brandon Ramsey, 4 Mr. Jim Keegan, 5 Erik Gutierrez, 6 Rachel Nulle, 7 Roxanne Willenborg, 8 Paige Sybesma, 9 Angela Ranniger, 10 Erica Bunker, 11 Steven Reitan, 12 Ryan Meier, 13 Veronica King, 14 Austin Haubrich, 15 Garrett Hansen, 16 Samuel Irlmeier, 17 Joseph Singsank, 18 Eric Rosener, 19 Megan Sparling, 20 Taylor Boyle

Jim Keegan moved with his family to Manning in August 1980. He was hired as junior high science teacher and assistant varsity football coach. During his career coached several other sports including head softball, junior high girls' and boys' basketball and assistant golf.

Jim was a graduate of Ridgefield Park High School in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey (1966). He came to Iowa to further his education and play football at Central College in Pella, Iowa. He was a three-year starter as a defensive back for Coach Ron Schipper in a highly successful football program. After college graduation his teaching/coaching career included employment at Central Dallas, Minburn (1970-1975), Carson-Macedonia (1975-1980), and finally Manning, Iowa. Jim completed his Masters degree at Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, MO during the 1980s. While teaching in Manning, he found a science lab and classroom facility that most teachers would envy. He always pushed the students towards excellence, focusing on labs with scientific procedure, science fair projects, and study skills. During his coaching career there were several championships and many athletes who inspired him to push them towards improving their talents. Jim would say that he was proud of all of those athletes, but there are two events that will be firmly implanted in his memories. The first is coaching a state qualifying softball team in 1992, with his two daughters playing on the team (Shane as a senior and Pam as a freshman). The second is winning the state football championship in 2002. Jim made all of the defensive calls under head coach Floyd Forman from 1980-2007.

All four of the Keegan children graduated from Manning High School. Two daughters, Shane and Pam, and two sons, Jake and Trent, also completed their college degrees. They said that Manning High School did an excellent job of preparing them for college.

Pam has continued in the education/coaching field. She is the head women’s basketball coach at Minnesota State in Mankato, Minnesota. In Pam's one season as the “interim head coach” with Minnesota State, she guided the Mavericks to its first national championship in women’s basketball in 2008-2009. The Mavericks compiled a 32-2 record, were ranked No. 1 in the country for two weeks, and corralled their first conference championship since 1985-86. Gohl’s club won the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championship with a 19-1 record and she was named the league’s Coach of the Year. She was also named the 2009 Molten/Women’s Division II Bulletin Coach of the Year following the Mavericks’ 103-94 win over Franklin Pierce in the highest scoring final in NCAA Division II women’s basketball history. Pam Keegan Gohl signed a four year contract with MSU as head coach upon completion of the season.

Shane is a supervisor at Wells Fargo Financial in Urbandale. Jake is chief financial officer at Christian Opportunity Center in Pella and Trent is a graphic designer at Bindery One Data Solutions in Des Moines. Jim’s wife, Sarah has been a loyal Bulldog booster. She has worked in Manning as a substitute teacher, day care provider, AGP technician, medical records secretary, insurance agent, and has been employed at Home Mutual Insurance since 2003.

In the fall of 2008 Jim moved his junior high science lab from Manning to Manilla as a part of whole grade sharing with IKM. He has no immediate plans for retirement, but is confident that it will occur sometime before 2012. He continues to enjoy challenging his students and athletes to make the most of their talents and abilities.

1987 Back: Sarah, Shane, Jim
Front: Jake, Trent, Pam

Jim Keegan & Jessie Hinners

Jim Keegan

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