Wayne Thomas Gonyea
931 Sunset View Drive
Galesburg, IL 61401

Biography Following graduation in 1961, I enlisted in the Air Force, spending two of my four years on the island of Crete, Greece. I received my discharge from Lincoln AFB in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1965, and decided to make Lincoln my home. After graduating from college in Lincoln, I spent 23 years with Burlington Northern Railroad, the second largest rail carrier in the country. Over the years BN transferred me to Denver, back to Lincoln, Chicago, and finally, Galesburg, IL. I left BN in 1992, and went to work for M Rail Link in Davenport, IA. My career consisted of various administrative positions, mostly in Labor Relations and Public Relations. I retired in April, 2003 as Director of Human Resources. Over the years I have had several interests, most involving sports. I played fast-pitch softball in Lincoln for 10 years, then retired to form an umpires association. For 20 years I umpired men's fast-pitch leagues and college women's fast pitch in Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa and Illinois. I was selected for countless state and regional ASA tournaments, four ASA National tournaments, and the women's College World Series in 1985, 86 & 87. I retired from umpiring in 1992, and was inducted into the Nebraska Softball Hall of Honor in 1993. I also coached a women's USVBA volleyball team for 10 years, taking my team to various tournaments in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa. I guess the highlight of those years was winning the Heart of America tournament in Kansas City in 1980. One of the first things I learned upon moving to Nebraska is that you have to become a college football fan or be a social outcast. I may have gotten carried away in my effort to fit into Nebraska society. From 1974 through 1983 I worked part-time as a sportwriter for the Lincoln, NE Journal-Star newspaper, covering high school sports and University of Nebraska football. This was a very interesting and fun experience, enabling me to get a close-up view of Collegiate sports, and big-time football in particular. It was on a football weekend that I met my wife, Karen, a born Cornhusker. Just to make our marriage interesting, we started out with 7 children, my four and her three. Think what you wish about, The Brady Bunch, but I can tell you, it's one heck of a challenge! But we made it, and now we are blessed with nine wonderful grandchildren. We celebrated our 22nd anniversary in 2005. We were tranferred to Galesburg, IL in 1986 and promptly settled in at Lake Bracken Country Club, about 5 miles south of town. We live on the lake, and the club also features a park, swimming pool, bar & restuarant and of course, an 18-hole golf course. Naturally, I took up golf, and have pretty much dedicated myself to being a decent player. My handicap, initially in the 20s, got as low as a 9, and has now settled in at 12. I gave myself a new 22-foot pontoon boat for a retirement gift, which is great for fishing, partying, or just cruising the lake. Karen has her Nebraska golf cart, and I have my Red Sox cart, which I drive around the lake to the course four days a week...minimum. And how about those Red Sox? I bought a Dish Satelite in 2004, subscribed to the MLB package, and got to watch over 100 Sox games. Finally, they rewarded my loyalty! I hope to see many of you at our 45th anniversary, and again in 2011 for the big Five-O!