Foundation Inducts Four Into BHS Hall of Fame

At the All Class Reunion and Hall of Fame Ceremony on Aug. 6, the Belton Educational Foundation inducted four new members to the Belton High School Hall of Fame. This year’s honorees were:
Frederick C. Wear, Class of 1953
FredWear Fred was one of 17 in his graduating class. During his time at Belton High School, he played trumpet in the band/marching band and equipment manager for the football team. He also served as football reporter to the Kansas City Star. After high school, Fred went on to earn a BS in Physics from Central Missouri State and BS in Mechanical Engineering from the MU of Science and Technology.  He would later go on to receive his Master’s degree in Science from Iowa State University.

In 1957, Fred began working for McDonnell Aircraft Company in St. Louis. During his tenure at McDonnell, Fred developed hydraulic systems for the F3, F4, and Model 119 aircraft and played integral roles in the development of the Mercury spacecraft project. He was also on the in-chamber rescue teams for Gemini 3 through 5 and was in charge of the rescue teams for Gemini 6 through 12. Fred spent the next 15 years developing industrial microwave/vacuum drying systems for foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals, for which he was awarded nine patents. He continues to work for Boeing Corp. (formally McDonnell) today.

Fred currently lives in St. Louis, MO with Sharon, his wife of 54 years. Together, they have three sons, Craig, Brian, and Keith. He is very active in his church, where he is the Trustee of the Endowment Fund and has served as Sunday School Teacher for 50 years. He has also traveled on 11 mission trips, which included El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti and Lebanon.

Elmer Larkey, Class of 1960 –

ElmerLarkeysmallElmer’s family has been in Belton since the 1890’s. As a boy, he spent a lot of time on Main Street, shining shoes to earn money. In high school, he lettered in four sports: football, basketball, track and baseball.

After graduation, Elmer worked for Western Electric before going on to work for the Kansas City Fire Department, where he rose through the ranks to Captain and was awarded Firefighter of the Year in 1974. After leaving the fire department in 1978, Elmer worked as a cabinet installer for Quality Wood Products until he retired in 2009.

After retirement, Elmer served as Present of the Belton Main Street Association and was named Belton Man of the Year by the Lion’s Club in 2007. Currently, Elmer serves as the President of the Belton Cemetery Association, where he led the effort to build the new stone office and works tirelessly to ensure people’s loved ones are well looked after.

Elmer lives in Belton with his wife of 54 years, Judith. Together they have four sons: Jeffry, Michael, Gregory and Norman.

Renee (Rudroff) Kerckhoff, Class of 1975

ReneekerckhoffDuring her time at Belton High School, Renee was a member of the National Honor Society and served as an officer in the Student Council and French Club.

Renee spent 20 years in banking before completing her degree in Business Administration from DeVry University in 1997, where she graduated as class valedictorian. After graduation, Renee assumed the role as President of her family business, Rudroff Heating and Air Conditioning. Under her leadership, the company was named a ‘Best of Belton’ business in 2008, Business of the Month by the Raymore Chamber of Commerce, as well as named one of the ’30 under 30’ businesses by Small Business Monthly of Kansas City. She and her business were also mentioned twice on the floor of the U.S. Senate during debates on health insurance costs and inheritance taxes for small business.  In 2010, she sold the business to its current owners.

Currently, Renee is the President of the Raymore Historical Society, Treasurer of the Ray-Pec Optimist Club, and board member of the Belton Historical Society. She is also past president of the Bi-County United Way and former member of the Belton Educational Foundation. She is an active member of both the Raymore and Belton Chambers of Commerce, and remains active in other areas of service in the community.

Renee and her husband, Pete, currently live in Raymore, MO where she manages their rental properties and consults with small businesses.  They have two daughters, Danielle and Brittany.

Dr. Sandy Clutter, Educator/Administrator

Sandy ClutterDr. Clutter has played a large role in the Belton community for many years. She lived in and around Belton most of her life, attending Belton schools from 1959 through 1966. She then moved to Peculiar and graduated from Ray-Pec High School in 1971. After graduation, she earned a BA in Education from Avila University and a Master’s in Reading from SW Missouri State. In 1997, she received a Doctorate in Special Education from KU.

Sandy has devoted the majority of her career to special education. She joined the Belton School District in 1981 serving as special education teacher for ten years before moving to the Central Office as the District SpEd. Coordinator/Asst. Director, and then Assistant Superintendent of Special Service from 1998-2011.  Under her leadership, she helped develop the Sheryl Johnson Life Center (SJLC), which addresses the needs for the 18-21 age group to assist in their transition to independent living. She also played an integral part in bringing the Special Olympics basketball competition to Belton and expanding the Special Olympics program in the district.  She has won 12 awards over the years for her excellence in education and service.

Sandy retired from Belton School District in 2011 but remains very involved in the community, currently serving as the Executive Director of Belton CARES and Board President of Hope Haven.

Each year, the Foundation honors the lifetime achievements of those who have distinguished themselves in their professional careers, for service and contributions to their communities, or in other ways that reflect positively on the educational foundation received at Belton High School. Recipients of Hall of Fame recognition, living or deceased, have established a reputation of honor and serve as models of excellence.
To nominate someone for the 2017 BHS Hall of Fame, fill out the application online at Applications are due by the end of April.
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