Nominees unveiled for 2018 Spirit of America

Monday, July 2, 2018

The 2018 nominees for the Southeast Missourian Spirit of America Award represent some dynamic individuals who show their patriotism in different, but important, ways.

The nominees, who were submitted by individual readers and organizations, include:

* Carroll Williams, a longtime coach, athletic director and principal. After a career in athletics at Southeast Missouri State University, Williams has served in various roles with local schools, including, to date, as principal for Cape Christian Community School.

* Frank Nickell could be considered "Mr. History" for Southeast Missouri. The longtime professor at Southeast Missouri State University has also served as the director of the Center for Regional History at the university and, more recently, as director for the Kellerman Foundation.

* James Blair Moran continues to be a pillar in the Sikeston, Missouri, community for his community and military service. He was recognized with the Missouri Veterans Service Award in 2012 and was awarded the Medal of Heroism.

* Bert and Mary Ann Kellerman both served as professors at Southeast Missouri State University and have devoted much service to historic preservation, serving on the state's Preservation Board and establishing the Kellerman Foundation of Historic Preservation.

* Narvol A. Randol Jr. has served or been involved with several church, civic and community organizations. Nominated by the Arts Council, he previously received the organization's Otto F. Dingeldein Award.

* Ray Buhs, a resident of Cape Girardeau for more than 70 years, could be nominated solely for his military service. But in addition to his service in World War II and the Korean War, Buhs served his community through the city council, planning and zoning commission, Southeast Missouri Regional Port Authority and many other local organizations.

* Tony Smee has been a dedicated supporter of the Boy Scouts for nearly 40 years and served as a member of the Cape Girardeau School Board, among other volunteer activities. He serves in a leadership role at Grace United Methodist Church. A nomination for him said: "I've never seen Tony seek recognition for himself, but he is deserving of it. He is continuously involved in efforts to make a positive difference in the world around him."

* Jim Maevers is a local businessman who served as a Marine. A Jackson native, Maevers has also been involved with the local Marine Corps League and continues to be involve at the state level, according to the nomination. But one of the more inspiring comments of his nomination noted his kindness: "He has a listening ear for young and old. Personally, I am a 95-year-old lady that appreciates his kind and attentive attitude to all he meets."

You can read all the nominations in Tuesday's edition of the Southeast Missourian where we will also announce this year's award recipient. The honoree will be recognized Wednesday at the City of Cape Girardeau's Great American Fourth of July celebration to be held at the Arena Park Grandstand.

Congratulations to each of the nominees and thank you for your efforts to lead, serve and inspire others through patriotic service.

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