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Meet the Class of 2006

Photo of Bob Allison

Bob Allison, Raytown High School, Class of 1952

The American League’s 1959 Rookie of the Year, and 1952 Raytown High School graduate “Billy” Bob Allison is welcomed into this year’s Hall of Fame. Other baseball successes, such as being selected to the American League All-Star team three different years, and being inducted into the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame are just some of Allison’s accomplishments.

At Allison’s alma mater, Kansas University, Allison held a football scholarship and also played baseball and ran track. A plaque at KU’s baseball wall of fame bears Allison’s name. A game two catch in the 1965 World Series wowed baseball fans around the country.

Allison’s second career was with the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, after his retirement from baseball in 1970. Sadly, Bob’s struggled with Progressive Sporadic Ataxia, a rare degenerative neurological disease, which eventually took his life in 1995 at the age of 60.

Bob sought help from the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Neurology when he was diagnosed. The Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center (BAARC), supported by Allison’s family, was founded in 1991 to raise public awareness about ataxia and to fund a range of research in hopes of finding a cure.

Raytowners who remember Bob say he set a noble example in all areas of his life.

Photo of Phillip J. Greene

Phillip J. Greene, Raytown High School, Class of 1950

Phillip J. Greene has imagination and artistic skills, evident in his architectural projects, which make him an exciting and welcome entrant into this year’s Hall of Fame class. The 1950 Raytown High School graduate retired from architecture in 2002 after working for such diverse entities as the United States Air Force, the ISM Corporation, Anheuser Busch Companies, and the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Most of Greene’s recent projects have been in theme park development and design. Greene participated in the master planning and design of the Universal Studios/Florida theme park in Orlando and in planning or designing many of the facilities in Anheuser Busch’s Sea World properties and Busch Gardens.

Greene’s work in architecture led him to California, Florida, Texas and Virginia, and to Spain, Brazil, China and the Amazon. He also lived in Johannesburg, South Africa while his wife was on assignment and there enjoyed his life-long hobby of painting.

After graduating from Raytown High School, Greene received his Bachelors degree from the University of Kansas, followed by two Masters degrees from the University of Illinois. Greene has also served in the National Guard and the United States Army. Greene attributes having been a part of a cohesive and distinguished class at Raytown High with helping him become an exceptional professional. We welcome him to Raytown’s Hall of Fame.

Photo of David Keen

David Kean, Raytown High School, Class of 1975

As a teenager, Hall of Fame inductee David Kean developed an interest in electronic music, no surprise since both of Kean’s parents were musicians and he had received musical training and played in various bands throughout his youth. What might be a surprise was just how far this 1975 Raytown High School graduate’s interest in music has taken him in his career.

After collecting keyboards and synthesizers for many years, Kean incorporated with four other music aficionados to form The Audities Foundation, a non-profit public benefit corporation promoting awareness and understanding of electronic music, providing advice to electronic musical instrument designers and the teaching and recording of electronic music. Those unidentifiable instruments on sound tracks are likely ones Kean can identify and perhaps even owns.

At one time purported to own the world’s largest and most valuable collection of electronic musical instruments, Kean also owns the Mellotron Music Company, which manufactures electronic musical
instruments under the Mellotron Trademark.

Recently Kean has served as a lecturer and a museum curator. Artists like Smashing Pumpkins and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have recorded tracks in Kean’s studio. David Kean’s nomination form describes him as “a man with vision who knows how to reach goals against the odds”, just the kind of person the Raytown Hall of Fame is happy to induct.

Photo Bud Lathrop

Bud Lathrop, Raytown High School, Class of 1954

As a 1954 graduate of Raytown High School, Warren “Bud” Lathrop played sports under the watchful eyes of the legendary teacher
and coach, Ted Chittwood. Often recalling the impact that Coach Chittwood had on his life, Bud Lathrop went on to become a legendary coach himself.

Lathrop was a Hall of Fame basketball player during his time at William Jewell. After three years of coaching in Mound City and Fulton, Mo, Lathrop returned to the Raytown community to be the first and only head basketball coach at Raytown South High School for 45 years.

During his career Lathrop became the seventh winningest coach in high school basketball history, and the third winningest active coach with 956
wins. He lead his teams to 35 conference championships, 23 district championships, ten state finals, and four state championships.

For fourteen years, his teams went undefeated in conference play. Lathrop’s career has garnered him several honors, including induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, recipient of the Eddie Ryan Coach of the Year Award five times over, and the Paul Lambert Coach of the Year Award twice.

Lathrop considers his greatest achievements not to be the number of games that his teams have won, but the number of young men and women who he has been able to influence during his career. This alone makes Lathrop a fitting member of Raytown Schools Alumni Hall of Fame.

Dr. Kim Lefholz, Raytown High School, Class of 1976

Dr. Kimberly Lefholz has a compassion for people and strong desire to help others, which led her to the medical field, and three decades later into Raytown’s newest Hall of Fame class.

Now in private practice as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Lefholz, a 1976 Raytown High School graduate, is an accomplished surgeon, specializing in female outpatient surgeries. Lefholz says she is pleased to be able to learn new and distinct surgical techniques to give women hope. She would like to be able to use her surgical expertise in countries where healthcare is less readily available.

Lefholz remembers her parents moving to Raytown to make sure she was getting a good education and being motivated by her teachers to push herself to do more than she ever thought she could accomplish. She claims one driving force in her urge to learn and her ability to succeed was being a student in the Raytown School District.

A graduate of the University of Missouri and the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Lefholz has served in a variety of professional capacities, including Course Director at the University of Health Sciences at the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, and Chairperson of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Medical Center of Arlington.

Photo of Don Sloan

Don Sloan, Raytown High School, Class of 1958 

Donald “Don” Sloan, 1958 Raytown High School graduate, tried to retire in 1992, but no hobby could compete with his love of screen printing, so he returned to the business and founded Polymeric Imaging in North Kansas City in 1993. Since then, he has researched, formulated and filed six patents in the field of digital printing

His company is viewed as an innovator of ink systems, and many larger companies are following his UV technological advances. “It can’t be done” is not a part of Don’s vocabulary, and his corporate vision has always centered around problem-solving.

Since Sloan left Raytown High School in 1958, he has pioneered and developed all laminating, decorative coatings for the Boeing 747 jet program. He also developed the first Ultra-Violet curable ink systems in America. He says he received a lot of on the job training while working with chemists and started to build his own formulas, claiming he has a “curiosity that never seems to end”.

Don’s wife, also a 1958 RHS graduate, three children, and six grandchildren keep him busy when he is not working. He and his wife operate the Sloan Foundation, which gives annual grants in areas of community service that need funding.

Sloan was inducted into the Academy of Screen Printing in 2000, and now we are proud to have him as a member of the newest Hall of Fame class in Raytown.

Photo of Dr. William Spencer

Dr. William Spencer, Raytown High School, Class of 1948

Dr. William Spencer, 1948 Raytown High School graduate, joins his brother Donald in the Hall of Fame. Spencer is already a member of the William Jewell Athletic Hall of Fame, and brings with him an impressive
list of credentials.

In 1959, Spencer began his career with Bell Laboratories, later joining Xerox as Group Vice President and Senior Technical Officer. At Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore and Albuquerque, Spencer served as Director of Systems Development and as Director of Microelectronics, and he developed a silicon processing facility for Department of Energy needs.

SEMATECH (Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology) was proud to call Spencer its President and CEO and eventually Chairman Emeritus of the International SEMATECH Board.

Among Spencer’s awards are the Regent’s Meritorious Service Medal from the University of New Mexico, the C.B Sawyer Award, and a Citation for Achievement from William Jewell College.

Spencer is associated with several universities: he was a visiting professor at the University of California-Berkley School of Engineering, a teacher at the University of Texas in Austin, and a Research Professor of Medicine at the University of New Mexico. Spencer holds an B.A. degree from William Jewell College, and an M.S. in Mathematics, and a Ph.D. in Physics from Kansas State University, and now Hall of Fame status in Raytown.

Photo of Steve Sullivan

Dr. Steve Sullivan, Raytown High School, Class of 1984

1984 Raytown High School graduate and 2006 Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Steve Sullivan was a student who had an early interest in computers. But even Dr. Sullivan himself might not have imagined those interests leading him to an impressive and extensive body of work in the filmmaking industry.

At the University of Missouri at Rolla, Sullivan earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and then a Masters and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois. Sullivan served as a research assistant at Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology until 1996, and then joined Rhythm and Hues as a graphics software

From 1998 until present, Sullivan has worked with famous cinematographer George Lucas’ ILM (Industrial Light and Magic). He is an Academy Award winner in Technical Achievement in 2001, and a White House Honoree for the National Medal of Technology, the highest award given by the President for technological innovation.

Among his numerous movie credits are War of the Worlds, Star Wars: Episode I, II, and III, Peter Pan, The Perfect Storm, Pearl Harbor, and Harry Potter I, II, III, and IV.

Sullivan remembers spending before and after school hours learning on Apple II computers under the watchful eye of encouraging Raytown teachers who would be excited to welcome him into the Hall of Fame.