Our 2020 Parade Marshal is Doug Shull!
Doug is a lifelong resident of Morton and a 1975 graduate of MHS. While attending MHS, he ran varsity cross country and track. He is a 1979 graduate of University of Illinois where he received his degree in Finance and bleeds “Orange and Blue”.
Doug and his wife Angie will celebrate 25 years of marriage on December 23. They enjoy traveling, going to concerts, and dancing. They have a son, Phil Munoz. Phil and his wife Stacey have three children. Doug enjoys watching his grandchildren Damon, Gabriel, and Sofia in their sports and extracurricular activities.
Doug’s extended family consist of his parents Dean and Beverly Shull, his sisters Jill Williamson, Tammy Martin, foster brother and sister Stuart Finley and Linn Zander, in-laws, and many nieces and nephews.
Doug suffered a traumatic diving accident at the age of 16 on July 7, 1973, leaving him a quadriplegic (paralyzed from the neck down with limited use of his arms). He spent eight months in the hospital where he learned to adapt to his new “normal“. This year marks 47 years in his wheelchair and with the “aging process“ of quadriplegia, it has given Doug challenges with some hospitalizations in the past few years but “nothing is impossible as God makes ALL things possible.”
He became an advocate for American Disabilities very early. As “Honorary Mayor for the Day“ in his senior year of high school, he attended a council meeting. After the regular business concluded, Mayor Gene Mathis asked Doug if he had anything he wanted to address the Council. He took this opportunity to point out the street curbs on the corner of Main and Jefferson Streets were under construction. He asked if these curbs could be made cutouts with ramps so they would be wheelchair accessible. Mayor Mathis turned to the city engineer, asked if this would be possible, and it was granted. Doug appreciates the village efforts to continue to make all street corners in Morton wheelchair accessible. Doug was on the strategic planning with MHS District #709 in regards to ADA requirements in the schools. He continues to be an advocate for the American Disabilities Act.
After graduating from Illinois, the job market was pretty tight at the time. Doug started volunteering for the MHS cross country team and later became an assistant under Coach Lee Smith. He also was a substitute teacher at the junior high and high school. When track season rolled around, he started volunteering for the junior high track team. He saw the need for a girls coach and became the first junior high girls track coach along with coaching the boys distant runners. He coached track for three seasons.
In 1982, he began his banking career with Morton Community Bank. During his 28 year career with the bank, Gordon Honegger said “Doug was very instrumental in growing a small town community bank to a 4 billion dollar bank”. He had several positions during his tenure including managing the bank’s investment, running the IT department and then became the IT auditor. He served on the committees of Marketing, Assets/Liability, Loan, and Auditing. He also served as the Board of Directors Secretary, and ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) representative to the Board of Directors. In 2010, while serving as Senior Vice President, he had to retire earlier than planned due to medical reasons.
Doug has enjoyed going to the Pumpkin Festival since he was a youth. He was an auditor for the Miss Morton Pageant for over 25 years. He served in the food tent as well as helping at the Morton Community Bank booth. Doug is a member of the Morton Rotary Club and has served on its Board of Directors. In 1994-2000, he served on the We Care Board of Directors. Also In 1994, he was chosen in the first class of “40 Leaders under 40”.
God is the center of Doug’s life. He is a member of Summit Point Church where he attends regularly. He volunteers on the prayer team, does mission work with his Impact Group at Midwest Food Bank-Morton Division and the Morton Trinity Mennonite Church food pantry. In his younger years, he served as youth leader, church board member, and several other committees while attending Morton United Methodist Church. He has spoken at ICC to physical and occupational therapy classes to educate them about quadriplegia. In earlier years, Doug was involved with the rehabilitation program at OSF Medical Center. He has done inspirational speaking at various churches and organizations.
Doug has been pushed in several running events including the 1986 and 1991 LA Marathon, 2012 Illinois Half Marathon, 2012 Peoria Steamboat Classic, was ‘pace-car’ for his wife when she ran 1997 and 1998 Steamboat Classic, and his favorite, the 2012 Morton Pumpkin Festival 10k. Doug said “participating in these running events help me to relive my running days from high school. It also gives me a chance to help raise money for organizations such as World Vision.” For more information about his running adventures visit http://www.hallan.com/dougsmarathon.
“I would like to thank the Chamber of Commerce, the committee and all those who nominated me. I am honored, overwhelmed, and very humbled to be chosen as the 2020 Parade Marshal, but nothing I have done could have been accomplished without my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my wife and our family, my parents and extended family, my friends, my MHS classmates, the Morton community, and all my caregivers.”
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
2 Timothy 4:7 NIV
Each year, the Morton Chamber of Commerce selects an individual to honor as our Pumpkin Festival Parade Marshal. Morton citizens are encouraged to nominate individuals for this honor in the based on the following criteria:
Nominations for the 2020 Pumpkin Festival Parade Marshal are now closed.
1967 – None
1968 – None
1969 – None
1970 – Phil Hauter, Oscar Mathis, Arch Bartelmay
1971 – Robby Roecker
1972 – Morton Volunteer Fire Department
1973 – Eliza Ackerman
1974 – Jr. High School State Basketball Champs
1975 – Roy McClelland
1976 – Marilyn Richmond
1977 – George Rein
1978 – Joe Witzig
1979 – Jerry Moreland
1980 – Burdell Hall
1981 – Alfred Carius
1982 – Harold Bower
1983 – Jim Davis
1984 – Dr. L.S. Patton
1985 – Don Roth
1986 – Clarence Belsley
1987 – Virden Rinkenberger
1988 – Gerry Carius
1989 – Ben Hauter
1990 – Wilfred Wierman
1991 – Rudy Jungst
1992 – Lloyd Domnick
1993 – Doris Morton
1994 – Les Freidinger
1995 – Linda Yoder
1996 – George Annasenz
1997 – Harold & Gene Witzig
1998 – Richard “Chick” Evans
1999 – Merlin Birky
2000 – Sheila Harvey
2011 – Henry Rapp
2012 – Dale Ritthaler
2013 – Norm Durflinger
2014 – Lloyd “Bud” Zobrist
2015 – MHS Lady Potters and MHS Golf Team
2016 – All Past Marshals
2017 – Phil Kuhl
2018 – MHS Baseball
2019 – Susan Pyles
2020 – ??
Our 2019 Parade Marshal is Susan Pyles!
In 1987 Susan and her husband Don, opened MasterPeace Photograhy & Video in Morton. After getting some good advice from a friend who already owned a business, they joined the Morton Chamber of Commerce and then it got interesting. Susan became involved in the chamber as an Ambassador, board member and community volunteer. She served in various capacities for the Pumpkin Festival and in 2000 became the first paid Event Coordinator for the Morton Chamber of Commerce.
Organizing golf outings, annual dinners, car shows, Punkin Chuckin contest and other fun events was great, but organizing the Pumpkin Festival was the most fun of all. It was like throwing a party for the whole town. And everyone for miles around was invited. Every year volunteers would approach the chamber with new ideas for excited products or new events. Most of the time these same volunteers would offer to organize the new idea and make it happen.
In 2007 Susan moved her skills to the Village of Morton as the first Director of Tourism. Developing community assets such as the flower, military signs and banner program, community website and social media pages, restaurant guides and maps to be distributed to visitors, and purchasing and hanging Christmas decorations were a few of the accomplishments.
“I am honored to be chosen as the 2019 Parade Marshall, but I did not do the things I did by myself. I had a loyal band of 10 to 12 crazy friends that were and still are willing to help with community betterment”.
Volunteers have always been key to getting things done in our Village and the tasks Susan oversaw were no exception. Hundreds of people have stepped up to help with all the projects being done to improve or beautify our Village. It has been such a blessing to meet and work with the wonderful selfless individuals that helped make these projects possible.
In 2018 Susan left the Village of Morton and is now employed at Home Instead Senior Care.
” I am so looking forward to being in the parade and seeing all our great citizens along the way. It will be a memorable day.”