We are pleased to announce that Heidi Haar ‘84, Rosemary Huelsmann ‘69, Tom Hustedde, the late Bob Innes ‘88, and Matthew Rakers ‘78 were inducted into the Mater Dei Hall of Honor on May 3, 2019. Established in 1997, the Hall of Honor recognizes alumni and friends of Mater Dei who have lived their lives as witnesses of our mission. The celebration began with Mass in the Mater Dei Chapel, which was followed by dinner and the induction ceremony. Proceeds from the event benefit the Mater Dei Memorial Grant program.
Matthew Rakers ’78 Following his graduation from Mater Dei in 1978, Matt earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He currently serves as an assistant vice president in the information technology department of AT&T Services, Inc, where he has been employed since 1983.
In keeping with our calling “to serve as our brother’s keeper,” Matt has dedicated his time and talents to the nonprofit agency Caritas Family Solutions (formerly Christian Social Services) since 2012. Currently, as the Board of Directors Chairperson, he aids in the agency’s provision of social services, which include counseling, pregnancy care services, foster care and adoption services, senior services, and a Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) program.
Taking an active role in the Mater Dei community, Matt serves as a member the Foundation Board and Fathers & Friends, volunteers as a football coach, and chaired the Mothers & Friends dinner auction with his wife, Mary, in 2016.
As a resident of Aviston, Matt is an active member of St. Francis Catholic Church, where he serves as a member of the parish choir and chair of the annual parish picnic chicken dinner; Knights of Columbus Council #11110, of which he is a charter member; and Aviston Community Improvement Club (ACIC). Previously, he served as president of Aviston Elementary School PTCC (now PTA), president of Aviston Jaycees, a committee chair for Aviston Cub Scout Pack #255, a three-term alderman for the Village of Aviston, and a coach for Aviston Youth Football.
Matt and his wife, Mary, are blessed with two children: Brady ‘16 and Wil ‘17.
the late Robert “Bob” Innes ’88 Following his graduation from Mater Dei in 1988, Bob earned a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He then spent most of his professional career at Paulo Products.
In keeping with our calling to serve our community, Bob dedicated his time and talents to the Damiansville Chamber of Commerce for over twenty years and held the offices of president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. Additionally, he coordinated the Chamber’s annual softball tournament for nearly fifteen years. As a direct result of Bob’s passion and strong work ethic, the tournament continued to flourish as other local tournaments ended.
Taking an active role in his children’s schools, Bob served as a member of the Mater Dei School Board and as a coach for the Albers-Damiansville grade school girls basketball team.
As a resident of Damiansville, Bob was an active member of St. Damian Catholic Church, where he served as a lector, as well as a member of the Holy Name Society, parish picnic committee, and parish council.
Bob, who passed away May 8, 2017, is survived by his wife, Nancy, and his two children, Meredith and Reid.
Tom Hustedde After graduating from St. Henry’s Preparatory Seminary, Tom earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Quincy University. He then studied at St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology for three years, after which he chose to continue his religious service in a lay capacity.
Tom’s passion for theology led him to Mater Dei in 1979, when he accepted a position in the Theology Department. In 1986, Tom also began serving as the instructor of the Building Trades program. As a theology teacher, Tom has guided and encouraged students not only to learn their faith inside the classroom, but also to love their faith and live their faith outside the classroom. Moreover, his exemplary dedication to the Building Trades program has inspired numerous graduates to pursue careers in vocational and industrial fields. In addition to teaching, Tom currently serves as the chair of the Industrial Education Department and a member of Faculty Council. Previously, he served as a committee member for accreditation evaluations and strategic planning processes, and coached the boys and girls tennis teams from 1983 to 1987. For his dedication to our students, Tom was the recipient of the Educator of the Year award in 2003. At the conclusion of the 2018-2019 school year, Tom will begin his much-deserved retirement.
As a resident of Breese, Tom is a member of St. Dominic Catholic Church, where he serves as a Eucharistic Minister, and Knights of Columbus Council #2869. He and his wife, Jan, are blessed with six children, Aaron ’98, Adam ’99, Alicia ’05, Andrew ’08, Andrea ’10, and Addison ’13; and five grandchildren, with their sixth grandchild due in May.
Rosemary Huelsmann ’69 After graduating from Mater Dei in 1969, Rosemary earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and secondary education from Loretto Heights College. Additionally, she completed undergraduate studies in Spanish language and literature, translation, and Latin American studies at universities in Mexico, Colombia, and Spain; and graduate studies at universities in Spain and Kentucky. She then returned to Mater Dei in 1974 as a member of the Foreign Language Department.
As a Spanish teacher, Rosemary not only has guided students in developing their knowledge of the Spanish language, but also has shared her love for and experiences with the Spanish language, people, and culture as a means of encouraging her students to enjoy the benefits afforded by the ability to speak a second language. In addition to teaching, she currently serves as the chair of the Foreign Language Department and a member of Faculty Council. Previously, she served as a member of the Principal’s Advisory Committee, Hall of Honor Committee, and multiple committees for accreditation evaluations and strategic planning processes. She also taught Spanish to seventh and eighth grade students enrolled at All Saints Academy from January 2001 to May 2018. For her dedication to our students, Rosemary was the recipient of the Educator of the Year award in 1988. At the conclusion of the 2018-2019 school year, she will begin her much-deserved retirement.
Outside of Mater Dei, Rosemary has served the communities of Breese and Carlyle as a business, legal, and medical interpreter and translator. Most notably, for St. Mary Catholic Church in Carlyle, of which she is a member, Rosemary has translated letters and financial reports from the parish’s sister parish, Santa Catarina Mita in Guatemala, for over twenty years.
Rosemary is the daughter of the late Alphonse and Irma Huelsmann and the sister of Mary Ann Kauling, Anthony Huelsmann, and the late Robert Huelsmann.
Heidi Haar ’84 Following her graduation from Mater Dei in 1984, Heidi attended Hickey Business School. She currently serves as a transcriptionist for HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, where she has been employed since 2004.
In keeping with our calling to serve others, Heidi has shared her time and talents with both the Mater Dei community and the All Saints Academy community in support of Catholic education. Most notable is her dedication to Mater Dei Mothers & Friends, for which she has served as a dinner auction committee member since 2003 and previously served as president. Additionally, Heidi volunteered at Mater Dei’s post-prom; served on the All Saints Academy School Board; and was an active member of All Saints Academy P.A.T., having served as vice president, secretary, treasurer, and a dinner auction volunteer.
As a resident of Breese, Heidi is an active member of St. Augustine Catholic Church, where she serves as a Eucharistic Minister, a lector, a member of St. Monica’s Altar Sodality, chair of the kitchen committee, and co-chair of the bingo and luncheon committee. For the community, she currently volunteers at House of Manna; and she previously served as a board member for the Breese Junior Women’s Club and a volunteer for Breese Youth Ministry and Breese Public Library’s story hour.
Heidi and her husband, Curt ’82, are blessed with three children: Amanda ’07, Brianna ’09, and Chandler ‘14.