2000 Inductees  

Dean Stagers
His expertise in the field of safe ground service operations has earned Dean Stagers an excellent reputation in the aviation industry. His career is dotted with "firsts." He impleme1ftedthe first Line Service Program to be used in the state of Illinois. Over 32 years of employment, he has continued to eagerly accept and absorb extra responsibilities as they relate to his love of aviation. His employer stated, "We thank Dean for his many years of total dedication. His efforts to enhance aviation safety are known widely and universally acclaimed. He exemplifies commitment and outstanding performance."

Many courses, now part of Federal Aviation Administration Regulations, began when Stagers structured the curriculum. In addition, he created a program with video training material for state use through the Division of Aeronautics. He has been a guest lecturer on aviation-related topics at universities and colleges, as well as seminars sponsored by the FAA, state of Illinois, and aviation industry associations.

During his career, he has befriended visiting prominent political figures and office holders. Whenever a dignitary planned a visit, the advance teams immediately requested Dean. A person of many endeavors, he once was at the controls of the dirigible "America" and recorded time in his logbook. He even arranged for his company logo patch to accompany the crew of NASA shuttle "Atlantis" on 93 orbits of the earth.

A contemporary said, "Stagers is a credit to his organization, and we convey our thanks to him for a job well done." Dean's positive approach to people and his influence on Illinois aviation is clearly recognized through the achievement awards given to him, as well as the many words of others who have been witness to his quality efforts.

Llewelyn "Lou" Williams
Charles Lindbergh's 1927 flight to Paris was the inspiration that led 11 year-old "Lou" Williams to begin regular visits to the Chicago Municipal Airport to absorb everything he could about aviation.

Williams' love of aviation grew serious when he joined the 1O8th Observation Squadron, Illinois National Guard, in 1938. He took flight lessons and soloed in 1941. He was one of 120 candidates in a Civilian Pilot Training Ground School awarded a 45-hour scholarship. Lou's performance placed him in the top category of highest grades in the class. He was accepted as an Aviation Cadet in 1942, graduated, commissioned and assigned as a test pilot in Air Service Command, England.

Upon returning to civilian life, he began a distinguished lifetime of service through leadership to a multitude of groups related to aviation. His contributions to the development of Illinois aviation are many, as summarized by the several organization offices held and the various recognition and achievement awards bestowed upon him. Of particular note is his tenure as president of the Silver Wings Fraternity, Illinois Chapter, which he helped to organize. He became a member of the United Flying Octogenarians (UFO) when he flew solo after his 80th birthday while possessing a current medical certificate and biennial flight review.

His contemporaries are quick to praise his enthusiasm and active participation in Illinois aviation. One stated, "Lou's style of teaching is one of safety, safety, safety. I received more than just flying lessons; I received what flying is all about. It was the joy, the freedom, the passion, coming from a man who had done it all and was willing to share this love he has for aviation."

2021       2020       2019       2018       2017       2016       2015       2014       2013       2012       2011       2010       2009       2008       2007       2006       2005       2004       2003       2002       2001       2000