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Woodland inducts new hall-of-famers

The Woodland Education Foundation will celebrate two of its own next week.

The foundation announced Linda (Christopher) Tarrson and Jeffrey Walter will be inducted into the Woodland Hall of Fame for 2018.

The inductees will speak to the high school student body at 2:15 p.m. Friday, April 13.

The honorees will be honored at a banquet at Capponi’s in Toluca later that evening. The public is invited to attend the assembly and the dinner.

Reservations are necessary for the dinner and can be made by calling 815-257-1949.

Linda (Christopher) Tarrson graduated from Woodland High School in 1973. With just a high school diploma in hand and a great deal of ambition and care, Tarrson set off for Chicago. She went to work for the John O. Butler Company. Following many years of dedication, starting as a secretary, she worked her way up to become the executive assistant to the owner of the company entrusted with the operation of the charitable trust of his company.

It was in this capacity that Tarrson worked diligently to find the best use for the trust money to provide philanthropic support to a variety of needy causes.

Her career there continued until 1990 when she retired as the Executive Assistant to the CEO and owner of the company. Upon retirement, she married the widower “Bud” Tarrson, owner of the company. As head of the philanthropic trust, along with her husband, she funded Tarrson Hall at the University Of North Carolina in Chapel Hill for the dental school.

In 1998 they funded the Tarrson Family Dental Clinic. Her husband died in 1999, but Linda has worked diligently to find the best use for the trust money to provide philanthropic support to a variety of needy causes.

With her philanthropic work, Tarrson serves on many advisory boards of several top universities in the country, such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Southern California and the University of California Los Angeles.

Tarrson is an honorary member of the American Dental Association, the International College of Dentistry, and the American Academy of Periodontology. Tarrson received the Distinguished Service Award presented by the University of North Carolina Dental Foundation (2006), The Kentucky Colonel of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Award (2012) and honorary membership in ADA.

Tarrson, along with veteran Richard Casper, co-founded “Creati-Vets.” Creati-Vets is a Chicago-based nonprofit that helps combat disabled veterans learn how to use music, art and creative writing to address emotional and psychological needs that arise from service-related trauma. Tarrson currently serves as the chairman and continues to be heavily involved.

Tarrson was raised in Long Point by her parents Waunita and Lawrence Christopher. She has a brother, Steve, and two sisters, Karen and Rebecca. Although Tarrson and her husband had no children together, she was very close to her stepchildren and has five nieces and nephews.

Jeffrey Walter graduated from Woodland High School in 1986. Being more of a hands-on person, Walter researched trade and technical schools and decided to enroll in the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Phoenix, Ariz. This was a 12-month program that included a section on management.

“If I am going to spend many years working, it might as well be something I enjoy and I am good at,” he thought.

This specialized training gave him many work experiences and prepared him for where he is today.

Walter’s work experience started at Streator Lawn & Garden. Always working to improve himself he accepted a position at Vactor Manufacturing and eventually had an opportunity to work for the Jack Doheny Company.

Jack Doheny Companies has been selling and renting new, used and remanufactured pump trucks, vacuum trucks, sewer cleaning equipment and pipeline inspections systems for more than 50 years. They carry the largest selection of sewer cleaning, pipeline inspection, street cleaning and multi-use vacuum trucks in the world.

Walter has had a long history with the Doheny family. He started as a mechanic in the Michigan facility knowing he would move into the new facility they were opening in Ohio as service manager.

During that time, he was getting ready to marry his hometown sweetheart, Ginger Tyne, and move her there. Although they were both away from their families, friends and everything that was familiar to them, they adjusted and started their life together and made their home in Ohio. Within three years, they had two daughters. It was then they realized there is no place like home and home meant Manville and Woodland School. Although it meant leaving a company that he loved and had been very good to him.

“I want my girls to grow up like I did,” he said.

Walter went to work
for Anthony Liftgates
in Pontiac and had 12 years working there.
Until one day he received a call, again, from the Doheny Company. They were in the process of purchasing a building in Joliet and wanted Walter to run it. Even though it meant leaving a job he loved again, he was thinking of the opportunity this could offer him and his family.

After 12 years he was back with Jack Doheny Companies. He started with an empty building and three employees. With a lot of hard work from all involved, it has become a successful business. Walter started as general manager of the Joliet facility and currently has added the responsibility as regional sales manager for nine states.

Walter is married to the former Ginger Tyne and they have two daughters. Kassidy is a 2017 graduate of Woodland High School and a freshman at Illinois State University and Kaitlyn is a sophomore at Woodland High School. Walter is the son of Vicki Walter, a 1967 WHS graduate, and the late Joe Walter.

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