Mrs. Olene (Ellis) Heflin graduated from Perryville High School in 1935. She received a BS in Elementary Education from Southeast Missouri State University in 1952 and received her MA in Supervision and Direction in 1957 from Murray State University. She also received numerous post-graduate hours from SIU-C and SEMO and has the equivalent of a MA in Social Studies.
Her teaching career included teaching grades one through eight in a one-room school in Perry County, as well as teaching all age levels in the Perry County School District No. 32 school system over a total of 32 years. These included: one year as a kindergarten teacher, numerous years in fifth and sixth grade, junior high social studies and finally to high school where she taught contemporary issues.
Her community involvements are numerous, including: Girl Scouts; Community Betterment Committee; founding member, past President and still active member of the Perry County Historical Society; volunteer at the Perry County Museum for 15 years; and active volunteer at the Perry County Nursing Home community.
“Her love of history, government and current affairs has served her well in her educational endeavors,” said Nancy Moore, close friend and nominator. “Besides her family, Olene’s greatest love and passion is for the hundreds of students she taught in the Perryville School system. Even now, as a senior citizen, Olene refers to each of her past students as ‘one of my kids.’”
Olene was married to the late Robert Heflin who was also a teacher at Perryville High School. The Heflin’s three children, Jill (Don) Lohmann, Jan (Dwight) Ala, and Jack (Tami) Heflin, have all been involved in education as their mother and father both had been. Jill as a French teacher, Jan as a speech language pathologist and Jack as an English professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Olene has six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren
Lt. Gen. Charles M. Kiefner, class of 1948, had an impressive military career that spanned nearly 60 years. After graduation, he attended Westminster College in Fulton and then earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College in 1975.
He served as the Adjutant General of Missouri from June 18, 1973 to March 14, 1977 and again from January 19, 1981 to March 6, 1993. General Kiefner has the unique distinction of being the youngest Adjutant General ever appointed to that office.
General Kiefner began his military career by enlisting in the Missouri National Guard as a private in Company F, 140th Infantry Regiment in September 1947. He entered active duty in September 1950 with Missouri’s 175th Military Police Battalion, and served in Germany with that unit.
He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Infantry, in 1951. He served as Platoon Leader, Company Commander, Battalion Motor Officer, Battalion S-2, Brigade Adjutant and S-3, Executive Officer and Logistics Officer on the staff of the Adjutant General. As a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, from September 1978 to November 1980, he served as a liaison officer to the U.S. Military Academy, West Point.
General Kiefner was first appointed Adjutant General by Governor Christopher “Kit” Bond on May 8, 1973 and served in that capacity until March 1977. Upon his re-election in 1981, Governor Bond once again appointed General Kiefner to lead the Missouri National Guard. General Kiefner served as Adjutant General during Governor Bond’s two consecutive terms and was then re-appointed by Governor John Ashcroft in 1989. During his tenure as Adjutant General, he served as President of the National Guard Association of the United States.
Upon his retirement from the National Guard in 1993, Major General Kiefner was promoted to the grade of Lieutenant General, Missouri National Guard Retired List by Governor Mel Carnahan.
His many decorations and awards include: The Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Department of Defense Identification Badge, Ranger Tab, the NGB and NGAUS Distinguished Service Medal, Mo. Meritorious Service Medal, Mo. Conspicuous Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal: Ind., Minn., and Tenn.; Minnesota Medal for Merit, 1992 Distinguished Alumni Award-Westminster College, Field Artillery Association Order of St. Barbara, Army Engineers Association Silver Order of the de Fleury Medal, and the Sons of the American Revolution Silver Good Citizenship Award.
General Kiefner and his wife, Marilyn, have two sons, John Kiefner of Chicago, IL, Keith (Sydney) Kiefner of Charlotte, NC, and three grandchildren.
Dr. Kenneth A. Cearlock, class of 1971, has been a staff physician and in private medical practice for the past 25 years at Mercy Medical Center and St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
After graduating from high school, Dr. Cearlock attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where he graduated in 1975 with a BA in Biology. He continued his education at UM-C School of Medicine and received his MD in 1979. He completed his residency training at Cedar Rapids Medical Education Program in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at Mercy and St. Luke’s Hospitals in 1982.
In addition to his private practice, Dr. Cearlock is a Clinical Preceptor at the University of Iowa Department of Family and Community Medicine and has served as the Medical Director for the Hospice of Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids since 1986. Dr. Cearlock is also the Medical Director of Mercy Hospital, a position he has held since 2005.
He is the former President and current Board Member of the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care in West Des Moines, Iowa. He is a past Board Member of the Eastern Iowa Health Care, Inc.; Medical Director Eastern Iowa Health Care, Inc., through 1999; former Medical Director, John Deere Health Care, Cedar Rapids Operation Site; Volunteer Physician at the Jane Boyd Community Center Free Medical Clinic, 1993 to 2003; and Volunteer Physician for His Hands Ministries from 2003 to present; and Volunteer with the United Way of East Central Iowa from 2002 to 2004.
Dr. Cearlock was awarded the Pfizer Physicians Quality of Care for the State of Iowa in 2004; the Family Medicine Clinical Preceptor Award from the University of Iowa School of Medicine in 2001; he was inducted into the Kennedy High School Football Hall of Fame in 2005; and received the University of Missouri Medical Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2007.
Dr. Cearlock and his wife, Catherine, have four children, Jesse, age 27, Elizabeth, age 25, Hannah, age 21, and Abby, age 19.