The Mater Dei community is proud to announce the members of the Mater Dei Hall of Honor Class of 2020, who will be inducted on May 7, 2021: Ruth Eversgerd ‘63, Kathy Heimann ‘61, Deacon John Hempen ‘70, and Don Schomaker ‘74. (Last year, due to the pandemic, the Class of 2020 was selected, but not inducted.) They will be inducted with members of the Mater Dei Hall of Honor Class of 2021: Lieutenant General Eric Fick ’86, Richard “Pete” Jansen ‘57, Dave Kohnen ‘71, and Michelle “Shelly” Schuetz ’88.
Established in 1997, the Hall of Honor recognizes alumni and friends of Mater Dei who have lived their lives as witnesses of her mission.
Ruth Eversgerd, Class of 1963
Since her graduation from Mater Dei in 1963, Ruth’s passion for lay ministry has inspired years of dedicated service for the benefit of others. For 45 years, as a trained volunteer telecounselor, Ruth offered guidance and support to women through the Diocese of Belleville’s Pregnancy Aid Hotline. In addition, from 1998-2014, she served as a teacher’s aide at Germantown Elementary School. Finally, as a catechist for St. Boniface Catholic Church for 25 years, she guided students in the formation of their faith, especially in preparation for Confirmation.
In support of the Mater Dei community, Ruth was an active member of Mothers & Friends from 1983-1998, for which she served as president and quilt committee chair.
A resident of Germantown, Ruth is a member of St. Boniface Catholic Church, where she serves as parish pro-life co-coordinator and a member of the Ladies Sodality. She is also a member of Germantown American Legion Auxiliary Unit 325. She and her husband, Maurice ‘63, are blessed with five children: Melissa ’87, Lynn ’88, Karen ’90, Justine ’95, and Aaron ‘98; and ten grandchildren.
Kathie Heimann, Class of 1961
Following her graduation from Mater Dei in 1961, Kathie earned an Associate Degree in Nursing from Belleville Area College (now Southwestern Illinois College) and began her career at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital as a registered nurse. Her desire to continue learning led Kathie to earn additional degrees throughout her career: Bachelor of Science in Nursing from McKendree University, Master of Business Administration from Fontbonne University, and Master of Science in Nursing from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
At HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, Kathie began her career providing patient care. She then served as In-Service Education Director. In this role, she coordinated, and often led, employee education and training related to an extensive variety of topics. Finally, Kathie served as Community Education Director, a role through which she not only increased awareness of health issues, but also introduced and coordinated programs to address health care needs in our local communities, including health fairs and American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better program. In 2009, Kathie retired after over 40 years of service.
Never one to decline an opportunity to serve, Kathie continues to share her expertise as a member of the HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Advisory Board, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Auxiliary, Clinton County Senior Citizens Board, and Community Link’s Behavioral Management Committee. She is a former member of the Clinton County Health Department Board, on which she served for twenty-five years.
A resident of Germantown, Kathie is a member of St. Boniface Catholic Church, where she serves as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion for homebound parishioners and a member of the Ladies Sodality. She and her husband, Jim ‘60, are blessed with four children: Chris ‘82, Becky ‘83, Jim ‘86, and Andy ‘87; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren, with the tenth expected in September.
Deacon John Hempen, Class of 1970
Following his graduation from Mater Dei in 1970, John earned an Associate of Arts from Kaskaskia College. After first working in the business field, he served as the secretary at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church and a member of Mater Dei Theology Department from 1995-2000. During that time, John answered his calling to the diaconate and was ordained a permanent deacon on April 19, 1997. He also served as the chaplain at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital–Centralia from 2000 until his retirement in 2020.
As one who shares his faith, John has dedicated his time and talents to Knights of Columbus since 1976. He is a member of Council #1382-Carlyle, for which he previously served as grand knight; Fourth Degree Bishop Althoff Assembly #193, for which he previously served as faithful navigator; and the Belleville Diocesan Chapter, for which he previously served as president. As a member of the Illinois State Council, he has served on the Fourth Degree Exemplification staff since 1984 and previously served as district deputy and chairman of the following programs: Retention, Right to Life, Church, and Priesthood Sunday. In recognition of his service, John received an Illinois State Medallion in 1994 and a Fourth Degree Masters Medallion in 2008.
In support of the Mater Dei community, John served as a member of the Mission Effectiveness Committee of the Mater Dei School Board from 2012-2019.
A lifelong member of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, for which he now serves as deacon, John has served as a lector and musician and assisted with the parish chicken dinners. He previously served as a catechist for the Parish School of Religion (PSR) program for 26 years. For the Diocese of Belleville North Central Vicariate, he has served as the coordinator for Pre-Cana since 1990, as well as the secretary since 2000.
With his late wife, Joanne ’70, John has three children: Leah ’91, Monica ’92, and Jeremiah ’96. He and his wife, Kim, have one child, Anna ’14. He also has nine grandchildren, with the tenth expected in September.
Don Schomaker, Class of 1974
Following his graduation from Mater Dei in 1974, Don earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Economics from Culver-Stockton College in 1978 and a Master of Business Administration from Lindenwood University in 1990. Throughout his business career, Don utilized his knowledge and skills to further develop the companies he served, which resulted in his attainment of various awards and honors. Currently, as president of SDS Stores, Inc., Don owns and operates multiple stores and restaurants, including Eddie’s Rise ‘n Dine in Breese, which is named after his late father, Edwin Schomaker.
As one who “bleeds blue,” Don has continually answered our calling to serve as advocates for Catholic education. For the Mater Dei community, he both promotes and supports our events, including the annual golf tournament and Mothers & Friends dinner auction; extracurricular programs; and marketing efforts. He has been a member of the Mater Dei Knight Club for over twenty years, and he previously served as a member of Fathers & Friends and Mater Dei Foundation Board. Additionally, Don supports Camp Ondessonk, a ministry of the Diocese of Belleville.
A resident of Germantown, Don is a member of St. Boniface Catholic Church. He and his wife, Sherri, are blessed with two children, Beth ’01 and Brad ’03, and five grandchildren. He and his late father, Edwin Schomaker, Hall of Honor Class of 2006, are the first father-and-son members of the Hall of Honor.