As children, siblings Jim and Kathy Merrick didn’t even know that their father, Jim Merrick, was a track star. He simply never talked about it.

But one day the son had to build a Father’s Day present for his dad, and he stumbled upon an old box marked “Track.” Inside were a bunch of medals the kids thought came from the military.

“But wait, Dad wasn’t in the military,” the son said. That’s when he learned about Dad’s prowess on the track, which earned him induction into the 2019 Maquoketa High School Hall of Fame.

That was one of many stories told as four individuals and one group of new inductees received their formal induction and plaques or certificates during a ceremony Saturday night at The Timber Center in Maquoketa. Hundreds filled tables and dined on a catered meal as they recognized the new inductees.

The 2019 Hall of Fame inductees are: 

Dr. John Broman, deceased

Dr. James Dean

Jim Merrick, deceased

Karen Tilton 

1957 MHS football team

To be inducted into the Maquoketa High School Hall of Fame, “you’ve got to be a great person, you’ve got to be a great student, and you’ve got to have a great mind,” ceremony emcee Bob Gavin said before introducing the evening’s honorees. “It does not matter where you start, it matters where you finish.”

Dr. John Broman

Broman demanded respect, a positive attitude, and manners from everyone, including himself and his kids.

His son, Jack Broman, recalled being in third or fourth grade when his father “got word I was misbehaving” Jack said, admittig he was a sore loser.

“Dad would say, ‘Jack, you can’t win every game,’” Jack recalled. “He said you have to lose graciously. He said, ‘Play as hard as you can. Leave everything on the field. And after you lose a game, you shake the other players’ hands and you say, ‘Good game.’”

He often golfed with his father, a doctor in Maquoketa for decades, and saw such exemplary sportsmanship

“He never, ever once displayed temper, said a bad word. …” Jack said.

Dr. John Broman was born in Crystal Falls, Michigan, in 1920. Two years after earning his medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia in 1946, he moved to Maquoketa to join the medical practice of Dr. Swift.

He founded the Maquoketa Medical Center and was the county medical examiner as well as a member of First Lutheran Church. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953-55.

Broman spent 15 years on the Maquoketa Community School Board between 1950 and 1970. He served when the community passed a bond referendum that paid for construction of the current high school.

He also volunteered 31 years as the football team’s sideline doctor and received the Iowa High School Athletic Assoc. Lifetime Achievement Award in 1983.

“If you couldn’t afford a team physical, he made sure you got one,” said Tom Reisdorph, who nominated Broman for the Hall of Fame.

As a 60-year member of the Maquoketa Rotary Club, Broman created the WaMaC Conference Good Sportsmanship Award in football.

Broman and his wife, Onnolee, raised eight children: Jack, Beth, Steve, Barry, Tom, Ruth, Faith and Hope. All graduated from MHS.

Jack said his father would have been proud that six of his eight kids entered science-related fields.

“He was very, very proud of us and never pushed us,” Jack recalled. “He expected us to work hard, do the best we could … don’t offer excuses.”

Broman died Oct. 27, 2010.

Dr. James Dean

Dean’s voice broke slightly with emotion as he accepted his plaque and spoke words of thanks Saturday night. He said he was humbled by the honor and “felt a depth of emotions for what this meant coming from the community where I grew up.”

Dean, the son of James and Marilyn Dean of Maquoketa, graduated from Maquoketa High School in 1987. He was a National Merit Scholar, National Honor Society member, tenor in All-State Chorus, and won varsity letters in music, academics, cross country, track, wrestling, band, and vocal music.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Iowa State University, then entered that University of Iowa Medical Scientist Training Program, completing work in 2000.

Dean worked in oncology, caring for patients with prostate, bladder and testicular cancer, and led lab research attempting to understand how and why prostate cancer risk increases with aging.

His career shifted to biopharma, where he led multiple studies of cancer drugs for patients with bladder cancer, breast cancer, and various types of lymphoma.

Since 2016, Dean has worked as the senior medical director for the Ibrutinib Chronic Lymphotcytic Leukemia Program at Pharmacyclics, focusing on a prescription drug approved in 95 countries to treat more than 135,000 patients.

His work keeps him busy traveling globally.

He lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife, Kate Braun, and children Megan and Andre.

Dean praised those already inducted, listing his many ties to those former coaches and teachers, as well as the community support given to him as he was growing up.

“These connections are symbolic,” he said, praising the people in the community, the education, and the opportunities he received in Maquoketa.

Dean recalled seeing a framed letter hanging near fellowship hall at United Church of Christ. He attended that church as a child, as did MHS graduate and Nobel Prize winner Robert Millikan, who wrote the letter to the church after receiving the Nobel Prize.

Seeing that letter “was a reminder to me of the unlimited possibilities of someone who grew up in Maquoketa,” Dean said.

Jim Merrick

Merrick grew up on his family’s farm and attended a rural one-room school. He joined the MHS track team his freshman year.

He competed in four consecutive state track meets and was the only freshman on a team of seniors when the coach tapped him to anchor the 440-yard relay.

“His coach actually bet against him with another coach and ended up losing that bet,” his son Jim said, eliciting laughter from the crowd.

Merrick ran the 100-yeard dash at state his sophomore year, placed second in the 100-yard dash at state as a junior, and was first in the 100- and 220-yard dash as well as first as the anchor in the 440 relay at state as a senior.

He set several high school track records, including that 220-yeard record that still stands today.

Merrick remained in Maquoketa after graduating in 1957. He married his high school sweetheart, Pat Kingsley, and had a son and daughter.

He worked at the lumber yard, Clinton Engines, the Maquoketa Police Department, the Iowa Department of Transportation, then the Jackson County Engineer’s Office.

He died Feb. 3, 2016, at the age of 77.

“We’re proud of him and wish he could be here,” Merrick’s son said.

Karen Tilton

Tilton exhibited a calm demeanor and poise while she gave the perfect speech delivery that she’d instilled in hundreds of MHS students during her decades of teaching at the high school. Tilton taught English, speech and drama at MHS from 1976 to 2003. 

Under her tutelage, Maquoketa teams competed in WaMaC Conference speech competitions, earning six championships and four second-place finishes before the conference changed to the Big Bend. In the Big Bend, her students won eight more team titles and a second-place in her last nine years. 

MHS speech kids recorded 599 Division I ratings at district competition and 472 Divison I ratings at state in team and individual categories. Some 92 students earned All-State Outstanding Performer awards.

The University of Iowa named Tilton “Communications Teacher of the Year” and later “Outstanding Communications Alumnus.”

She was inducted into the Iowa Thespian Hall of Fame and Iowa High School Speech Assoc. Hall of Fame in 1996. The National Federation of Activities named Tilton Iowa Outstanding Speech/Drama/Debate Educator in 1997.

Tilton praised those who helped and inspired her throughout her career, including Jack Jones of Maquoketa. She said he was “extremely creative and talented,” especially on the bumpy 5 a.m. bus rides to speech contests, chaperoning students overnight, and judging and critiquing the students.

“He was my encouragement,” Tilton said.

She also praised the faculty and the extracurricular programs with coaches and sponsors for working together over the years.

For all her support, Tilton said she never had to work a day in her 39 years teaching speech “because I was fortunate to do what I love.”

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn,” Tilton said.

1957 MHS football team

Player Joel Shouse recalls the caravan of vehicles that escorted the school bus to Baldwin through heavy rain and cold temperatures on the team’s way to its final game of the season in Marion. Then, he recalled the ride back to the school gym, players covered in muddy uniforms but ecstatic after defeating the Indians. 

The 1957 football team is the only undefeated, untied varsity football team in Maquoketa Community School District history. Future Iowa Football Hall of Fame coach Merle Harris and future legendary Augustana coach Bob Reade coached the Cardinals to the victorious season.

Shouse credited the team’s success in part to “the characters that came together as a team.”

He talked about the national Hong Kong flu epidemic that felled many teammates during the 1957 season, and how they played on and won despite all the illness that plagued the team.

The team went 7-0, allowing opponents a total of 12 points the entire season, including that 38-0 rout of perennial powerhouse Marion.

1957 team members were Shouse, Darwin Sherman, Wilbur Grover, Tom Rogers, Bill Bellmore, Lonny Wilson, Larry Loos, Jake Bickford, Jack Kallenberger, Jerry Hute, Allan Waters, John Wirtz, Jan Mohr, Gerald Carr, Bill Robinson, Dave Moore, Clause Hare, Lloyd Schaefer, Leonard Morehead, Wayne Earles, Glen Williams, John Kozak, Gary Lyman, Roger Paasch, Jerry Rollinger, Dick Davison, Ross King, Juan Mohr, Steve Reyner, George Current, John Robinson and Dave Schoenthaler.

“I hope it happens again,” Shouse said. “We’re 62 years into it. It’s probably time.”

Saturday night’s ceremony will be re-broadcasted on the local access cable station.

Past winners included philanthropists, leaders, a writer, champions, and a Nobel Prize winner.

The Hall of Fame recognizes graduates, employees and supporters “who have distinguished themselves by their individual contributions in academics, athletics, fine arts, career, community service and/or society as a whole,” according to the committee’s purpose statement.

Nominations are accepted year-round in the following five categories: friends of MHS, coaches/sponsors, teams/groups, individuals, distinguished graduates.

Nomination forms are available at the high school or on the district’s website. Return the nomination form and supporting information to Maquoketa High School, Attn: Tom Gruenwald, 600 Washington St., Maquoketa, Iowa, 52060.

Committee members are Gruenwald, Tracy Waller, Lisa Oetken, Kevin Bowman, Kent Crawford, Dan Pearcy, Jeff Tampir, Bob Gavin and Doug Knickrehm.