Hall of Fame 2019


SOUTH BEND – Several community leaders will be honored on November 12th with induction into the South Bend Community Hall of Fame.  The banquet and induction ceremony will take place at Century Center, announced James Kapsa, HOF Chairman. 

“The Hall of Fame is a way to honor those who have given countless hours of community service to make South Bend a great community,’’ Kapsa said.

Invitations to the banquet will be mailed on October 1. Tickets can be obtained by contacting the program’s sponsor, the South Bend Alumni Association, at southbendalumni.com

The 2019 inductees will be:

Oliver, Jane, and Anne Cunningham. The legacy of inventor James Oliver, and his son J. D. Oliver, went well beyond the Oliver Chilled Plow Works.  In turn, subsequent generations have continued that tradition of philanthropy in South Bend. In 1988, the grandchildren of J. D. and Anna Oliver donated Copshaholm, the majestic mansion on West Washington Street that was their grandparents’ home. They also donated their mother’s beautiful Victorian home on West Washington, today known as the Oliver Inn Bed and Breakfast, with the understanding that funds generated by its sale would be used to support the operation of Copshaholm as a house museum. Their gifts to the Northern Indiana Historical Society in their grandparents’ memory ensured that the Oliver Mansion would be shared in perpetuity with the community.  J. D.’s and Anna’s daughter, Gertrude Oliver Cunningham, was born in 1888 and moved into Copshaholm on New Year’s Day 1897, along with brothers James Oliver II and Joseph Doty Oliver, Jr. and sister Susan Catherine Oliver.  Gertrude married Charles Frederick Cunningham in 1916 and they had three children who grew up just a block away from Copshaholm.  Joseph Oliver (“Ollie”) Cunningham was born in 1918, Anne Cunningham was born in 1923, and Jane Cunningham was born in 1927.  Gertrude died in 1987, Joseph “Ollie” passed away in 2013 and Anne Cunningham Downey McClure passed away in 2015.  Jane Cunningham Warriner and Oliver family descendants frequently visit the area to continue the strong traditions started by the family’s patriarch, James Oliver.

Steve Luecke, South Bend’s 31st mayor. He was the longest serving mayor in South Bend’s history. After leaving the mayor’s office he was named executive director of the South Bend Alumni Association, a position he held for four year, ending in December 2017.  Luecke has remained active in the community, serving on the South Bend Housing Authority and on other boards.  

Peter H. Mullen, local businessman and community leader. Mullen served for four years as city controller under former Mayor Peter Nemeth in the late 1970s. He left that job to return to private business, but remained active in numerous community organizations, including Madison Center, the public library, the Juvenile Justice Center, Chamber of Commerce and REAL Services. He returned to public office in 2006 when he was elected to the first of two terms as county auditor.

Tina Marie Patton, pastor of Kingdom Life Christian Cathedral and past member of the South Bend school board. Patton also has served on the boards of the South Bend Symphony, Memorial Health System, YWCA, Hannah’s House, and the South Bend Heritage Foundation. She worked for Indiana Trust & Management Company and has been a regional trustee and vice chair of the Ivy Tech Community College.  The YWCA also named her a Woman of the Year.

Richard J. Pfeil, local businessman and District C County Council Member.  Pfeil served as CEO of Koontz Wagner Electric Co. from 1963 to 2008 and remained active in community activities after his retirement. In 2011, he created the Pfeil Innovation Center in South Bend to assist organizations with innovative education. His community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Indiana Manufacturing Association, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Beacon Health, Community Foundation and IUSB.  He has received numerous honors, such as the South Bend Man of the Year, the E.M. Morris Award and Business Person of the Year.

John Warren, Tribal Council chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. A South Bend native, Warner has served the Pokagon Band for most of his adult life. With help from the University of Notre Dame Law School, Warner created the first draft application that led to reaffirmation of the Band’s sovereignty in 1994. Since then, he has helped the Band to develop housing, casinos and other endeavors. The Pokagon Band gives back to the community in the form of grants to nonprofit organizations, largely through casino profits.

Alex Arch, this year’s historical inductee.  Born in 1894 in Austria-Hungary, he immigrated with his family to South Bend in 1903. He enlisted in the Army in June 1913, doing his training at Fort Douglas in Arizona. He later was among the soldiers led by John Pershing into Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa. During this endeavor he was promoted to sergeant. In April 1917 the U.S. entered World War I, where he made his historical mark. In July 1917 his Division arrived in France. On October 23, 1917, Arch pulled the lanyard on the gun that fired the first American shot in World War I. A few months later, he was gassed and wounded by shrapnel,  leaving him in a French hospital. He subsequently returned to South Bend and worked at Studebaker. After the war, South Bend made several unsuccessful attempts to bring the gun he fired to the city to be placed on the courthouse square. However, the gun was moved instead to West Point Military Academy, where it remains.   

In addition to the inductees, the Hall of Fame Committee bestows several awards at the banquet. The 2019 honorees are:

Todd Zeiger, director of Indiana Landmarks, the Ideal Baldoni Public Service Award.

South Bend Regional Chamber, the Corporate Contributions to Education Award.

Sara Stewart of Unity Gardens, a Distinguished Achievement Award.

Trinity School at Greenlawn’s Mock Trial Team, a Distinguished Achievement Award.

La Casa de Amistad, the Distinguished Community Service Award.