Last Friday, the Gasconade Co. R-1 School District Board of Education recognized two deceased civic leaders with the Bearcat Memorial—the highest honor the Board can bestow. Kenneth W. Lerbs, born 12/07/1940 to 10/12/2015 was recognized for “Service to School” and Landon Ray Grosse, born 09/26/1936 to 05/07/2005 was also recognized for “Service to School.”
A Color Guard from Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Post #4182 opened the Ceremony of Induction at Bearcat Memorial Stadium with a Posting of Colors, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Dr. Scott Smith, superintendent of Gasconade County R-1 Schools welcomed the family members of both honorees, by saying this event was a recognition to their history, their honor and their service to the Hermann area community.
“The Bearcat Memorial began in 2007, as a way to honor people known for outstanding contributions to the school, community, state and nation through military service—personal sacrifice for exemplary lives.” he noted.
He says the previous inductees have set the bar high. The first inductee of the evening was Mr. Grosse. He was involved in the Boy Scouts of America, the Bearcat Boosters Club, the Vo-Ag Alumni Assoc., Masonic Lodge, board member of the sheltered workshop, and lay-leader at the United Methodist Church. He spent six years in the National Guard, 24 years as Gasconade County Coroner, and 35 years as co-owner of Toedtmann-Grosse Funeral Home.
“As a funeral director, Mr. Grosse was known for being compassionate and caring,” said Dr. Smith. He was able to help families in many ways, whether it was for spiritual guidance or giving someone a listening ear—he was there to help during their most difficult times.”