1980 Recipients

Gertrude Bloede

Class Year: 1932
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1980

Gertrude Bloede has helped deliver hundreds of newborns around the world. She served as a missionary in the Italian Mission in Kenosha, Wis., for five years. In 1949 Bloede was appointed to the Evangelical Brethren Mission in Sierra Leone, Africa, where she spent 11 years and delivered some 900 babies. She joined Red Bird Mission Hospital in Beverly, Ky., as a nurse-midwife in 1966, where she conducted prenatal, well child and family planning clinics.


Clare E. Oesterle

Class Year: 1939
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1980

Clare E. Oesterle was a teacher, coach and athletic director at Kempton High School in Ill. He then became a civilian instructor in the U.S. Navy. Oesterle began a career at Tri-City Electric Company, Inc., in Hammond, Ind., after his discharge from military service in 1945 and served as president and chief executive officer from 1953 to 1977. In 1974, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of North Central College. In 1983, the Board renamed the College’s library the Clare and Lucy Oesterle Library in recognition of his and his wife Lucy’s leadership. He received an honorary doctorate from North Central College in 1984 and was elected as chairman of the Board of Trustees in 1986. He currently serves as chairman emeritus. Oesterle has served as president of virtually every charitable organization in Hammond, including the Hammond Area YMCA, the Community Chest, Kiwanis Club and others. He is a member of Woodmar United Methodist Church. In 1995, Oesterle was named Life Trustee of North Central College.


George W. Yenerich

Class Year: 1947
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1980

George Yenerich served as director of public affairs and development at North Central from 1960 to 1971. His community activities in Naperville included service as president of the Naperville Community Fund, Lions Club, Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, Y.M.C.A., “Y’s” Men, and the Grace United Methodist Church. After leaving North Central, Yenerich was employed by the Illinois School Consulting Service and later as associate director of development at George Williams College. He then moved on to become a special agent with the central Florida agency of Northwestern Mutual Life.