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|2011 Parade Grand Marshall, Family and Irish Lady of the Year Named|
Congratulations to Grand Marshal Jerry Armstrong, 2011 Irish Family of the Year, the Jack Markwalter family, and 2011 Irish Lady of the Year, Mrs. Sheila Wilson.
The Irish-American Heritage Society of Augusta held its annual Grand Marshal's Ball on Saturday, Feb. 12, with the highlight of the evening being the naming of these 2011 St. Patrick's Day Parade dignitaries.
Parade Grand Marshall Jerry Armstrong
Jerry Armstrong is married to Tonya Crouch Armstrong and is a charter member of the Irish-American Heritage Society of Augusta. He graduated from Boys Catholic High School in 1957 and the University of Georgia in 1964. Jerry and his wife are longtime parishioners at St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church and Jerry is also a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus.
His mother, Bernice Kirch Armstrong, may be the oldest living charter member of the IAHS. Jerry and Tonya have a son, Patrick Armstrong, a daughter, Dr. Ryan Armstrong, son-in-law Scott Rhodes, and grandson, Jones Rhodes.
Jerry is a direct descendent of John F. Armstrong, who was born in County Sligo, Ireland in 1845. After John F. Armstrong came to Augusta from Ireland, he was part owner of Daly and Armstrong Department Store on Broad Street. John was also a well-known Irish patriot in the war for freedom with the British in the 1800s.
Irish Family of the Year, The Jack Markwalter Family
The Jack Markwalter family is also a well-known name in Augusta. Three out of four of Jackâ€™s grandparents were true Irish. Jack says his German grandfather was a â€œwant-to-beâ€ Irish. His Uncle Johnny Sheehan participated in the St. Patrick festivities in Savannah over 100 years ago. Jack began attending St. Patrick celebrations in Savannah over 60 years ago.
Jack married Marcelene Neely in 1957. The first year they were married, and numerous years to follow, Jack and Marcelene celebrated St. Patrickâ€™s Day in Savannah.
Jack was a charter member of the Irish American Heritage Society and he supports the Society and its purpose for Irish families in Augusta. Marcelene enjoys planning for the family gatherings on St. Patrickâ€™s Day. The family has grown to include their four children, their spouses, and fourteen grandchildren.
Jack and Marcelene have four grown children (with spouse in parenthesis): Anne Marie (Marshall), Jack Jr. (Juanita), Carol, and Patrick (Courtney). They also have 14 grandchildren
Jack attended Mount St. Josephâ€™s, Boys Catholic High and Spring Hill College. He served as Irish-American Society President in 1980-81, and was Parade Grand Marshal in 1997.
Irish Lady of the Year Sheila Wilson
Sheila was born and raised in Augusta, and attended Sacred Heart School, Mount St. Joseph School and Aquinas High Schools in Augusta. She and her husband, Doug, were in the first Aquinas graduating class.
After high school, Sheila attended St. Josephâ€˜s Infirmary School of Nursing in Atlanta and graduated as Class Valedictorian in 1961. She worked as an RN in various positions and has spent the last 32 years at St. Josephâ€™s and Trinity Hospitals in Augusta.
Sheila received the Sr. Mary Louise Herman Award from St. Josephâ€™s in 1996 which recognizes an employee for outstanding service to the hospital in upholding the mission of the hospital to â€œextend the work of Christ through healthcare. She retired in 1998 but continued to work on a part time basis in Day Surgery until December 2010.
Sheila and her high school sweetheart, Doug, were married in 1963 and will celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary later this year. She is the mother to Paul and Patrick Wilson and grandmother to Landrey, Sara Grace, Joseph, Jeffrey, and John Thomas Wilson. Sheila and Doug are members of St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 03 March 2011 09:20|