Every year, the Kingdom of Callaway Supper honors someone who was born in Callaway County and moved away from the county to gain success and high achievement. That person is invited to be the guest of honor by each current year's president.
This year, President Roger Moser has invited Larry M. Doyle, a former educator and current consultant who recently purchased a retirement home in Mexico.
The 112th Kingdom of Callaway Supper will be March 7 at William Woods University. The President's Reception will be at the Kemper Arts Center from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The dinner will be at 7 p.m. at Tucker Dining Hall, and then people will move to Dulaney Auditorium for the program. The event is $15 per ticket.
Other awards will be made to:
Settler's Award: Bobby Washington. This award was created in 2002 to honor and recognize someone not born or raised in Callaway County, but has been a resident at least 20 years. His phone number is 220-0847.
Distinguished Service Award: Callaway Youth Expo. This award goes to an organization or person who has served the county in a significant or positive manner, touching the lives of many.
About Larry M. Doyle
Doyle started life in Auxvasse, and plans to end his travels in Mexico. Now age 74, he grew up on an 80-acre farm just east of Auxvasse, near Bachelor.
"There was a country store and a church there," he said.
His parents were Edward and Anne Doyle, and he had two brothers. His mother was a school teacher. The family raised cows and hogs and crops while Doyle's father worked as a brick setter at A.P. Green's brick plant in Mexico.
"It was the major employer there," he said.
Doyle graduated from Auxvasse High School in 1960, garnered scholarships, and went to Hannibal LaGrange College for his associate's degree.
"I went to college thinking I'd be an engineer," he said. "There were people who had more math classes than me — they had slide rules and I'd never seen a slide rule before — and they quickly convinced me to do something different."
Doyle decided to study history and English instead.
"And I decided to teach," he said.
He married his wife, Dorothy, in 1965.
"We've been 52 years married," Doyle said. "We met at college. We were both small-town people. She was also a librarian and so we have a shared interest in literature and reading."
Doyle quickly amassed a resume full of degrees, including a bachelor's from Truman State, a master's in counseling from Mississippi College, and a master's in business administration from Lindenwood University. He finished up with a doctorate from St. Louis University.
Besides teaching, Doyle also became a school social worker. He started his teaching career in Vandalia, from 1964-68. He then went to Orchard Farm School District in St. Charles County where he worked as an assistant superintendent and chief personnel officer until 1977. His next move was to Fort Zumwalk School District (O'Fallon and St. Peters) as superintendent and chief executive officer until 1984. He also served as superintendent at Wentzville and became president of a private college. He owned a retail store and taught with other programs including Lindenwood University.
"During my whole career, I did a lot of adjunct teaching," he said.
From 1991 to now, he's owned Lighthouse Consulting Services, a firm specializing in strategic planning and organizational development for educational and not-for-profit enterprises including school districts and social service agencies.
In his years as an educator, Doyle has noted things that have changed and some that haven't.
"I think (education) has changed a lot, but the basics are still the same," he said. "Kids are kids, and they need to learn the same things. But technology has made a major impact although it's certainly not the ultimate problem solver everyone thought it would be."
Perhaps not currently on his nightstand, but frequently there, is a book from one of Doyle's favorite genres.
"I'm a big fan of Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle," he said. "I like British mysteries for entertainment."
A few years ago, he and Dorothy decided to go to a rescue and adopt a collie dog. She had a birth defect and difficulty walking, so they obtained a cart to carry her rear end so she can get around just fine.
"Her name's Aggie," Doyle said, after Agatha Christie.
Doyle is winding down things at his Lighthouse Consulting Services and he and Dorothy are making the move to their new Mexico home — which, he added, is full of boxes. While they chose Mexico to retire, Doyle said Callaway County and his youth here taught him much.
"I think it's a moderate place where common sense prevails," he said. "My work's taken me all over the country, and I've seen the big cities and the rural areas. And this just seems to be a stable, common-sense environment."
He's got no big plans for the future, he added.
"My intent is to work myself out of a job as soon as I can," he said. "I'm pretty content with life the way it is."
Tickets for the 112th annual Kingdom of Callaway Supper are on sale now. The program also will include naming the group's next president — someone who was born in Callaway County. Get tickets at: Callaway Chamber of Commerce, The Callaway Bank, Bank Star One in Fulton and New Bloomfield, United Security Bank, Mosers in Fulton and Holts Summit, Crane's Store, and Short Stop in Millersburg.