1995 DISTINGUISHED GRADUATES
March 20, 1995
Wyandotte Distinguished Graduate
Duguay, Lois V. (Dermody) - 1945
Kelly, Richard T. - 1931
Sawitskas, Richard (Dick Dean) - 1951
Shultz, Paul L. - 1934
Lois V. (Dermody) Duguay - Class of 1945
Lois V. (Dermody) Duguay distinguished herself with a life-long commitment to the needs of others.
Following her graduation from Roosevelt High School in 1945, Lois earned a degree in speech and music from Wayne University. She was employed as a permanent substitute in Wyandotte. Lois worked on behalf of students with the Parent Teacher Association from 1958-1978. She served on numerous committees and held various offices from local President to District Director of Wayne County. Lois was elected to the Wyandotte Board of Education and was involved in the 1970's Roosevelt High School renovation.
Other community service included membership on the YMCA Board of Management, Wyandotte Drug Commission, Wayne County Community College Advisory Committee and University of Michigan Community Council. Lois is a charter member of the Wyandotte Kiwanis Sunrise Club. She was elected the first female Lieutenant Governor of the Fifth Division of the Michigan District of Kiwanis International.
The Salvation Army has been a life-long commitment for Lois Duguay. She served The Salvation Army Downriver Advisory Board as a member and chairperson. As The Salvation Army Community Relations and Development Director, Lois was responsible for the Eastern half of the State of Michigan. Her responsibilities included appearances on many radio and television broadcasts while promoting the work of the "Army". As Christmas coordinator, Lois has worked since 1989 to coordinate the efforts of the Salvation Army to assist the needy of our community.
The service of Lois Duguay to Wyandotte Schools and the community has been recognized by numerous awards and honors. In 1971, Lois received the Distinguished PTA Service Award. In 1990, Lois was named "Life Member" of The Salvation Army Downriver Advisory Board, and in 1993, received the coveted Evangeline Booth Award in recognition of her many years of service to The Salvation Army.
Lois Duguay, through her years of service, has demonstrated her deep and genuine love for our community and its residents of all ages (Printable PDF Version).
Richard T. Kelly - Class of 1931
Richard T. Kelly has done much to enrich the life of the Wyandotte community during a public service career which has spanned over 60 years. As the longest-serving councilman for the City he is a vibrant force in Wyandotte government. During his forty year tenure, he originated the Planning and Zoning Commissions, the Community Development Office and started the Capital Improvement Fund. He was a leader in the establishment of the municipally-owned cable television station and a driving force in the campaign for a cleaner environment.
With the compensation for his duties in city government, Mr. Kelly created the Richard T. Kelly Scholarship Fund. Since 1976, this annual scholarship has helped defray college expenses for many Wyandotte students.
Mr. Kelly has also been active in Wayne County Government as the Director of Purchasing, as well as being elected Wayne County Auditor. He has served on the County Board of Auditors, the Employee Retirement Board, the Drain Board and the Economic Development Corporation. He has shared his expertise with others through articles published in various professional magazines.
For many years, Mr. Kelly also volunteered for the National Foundation March of Dimes, raising money for research and programs, and has been honored with the National Distinguished Volunteer Leadership Award by that Foundation. Other honors include the National Appreciation Award for Outstanding Service in the Fight Against Polio; the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award, the News Herald Downriver Resident of the Year; the Lord Baden Powell Award for Service to Youth and Community; Michigan Week State Appreciation Award; Marine Corps Outstanding Citizen Award; and the City of Wyandotte Award for Outstanding Leadership.
Mr. Richard T. Kelly, through his years of service, has made many significant contributions to enhance the quality of life for Wyandotte and its citizens (Printable PDF Version).
Richard (Dick Dean) Sawitskas - Class of 1951
Richard Dean Sawitskas distinguished himself as a designer and builder of custom cars. His creations have been the focus of many television and movie productions.
While a student at Roosevelt High School, Richard's creativity was encouraged by his art instructors. His career began customizing old cars in the back of his father's car dealership. After graduation, he served in the United States Air Force as a M.A.T.S. Personnel and performed in a Pitts Aerobat. Following his military service, he studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. His custom car designs for prominent individuals helped spread his fame.
Richard's unique concept of automobiles gained the attention of Hollywood. Under the name of Dick Dean, Richard created vehicles for the following productions: "Mannix,", "The Beverly Hillbillies" (truck), "The Munsters" (coffin car), "Ninja Turtles" (car and van), "The Flintstones" (car), "Beach Party," Hard Rock Cafe Cadillacs and "Jurassic Park." Richard built the world's longest limousine, which is recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. He designed the futuristic Bricklin Automobile in 1973. Richard's talents were not limited to automobiles, as he designed special props for the James Bond movie "Diamonds Are Forever". His career also included toy design for the Mattel Toy Company, working on the projects "Blaze the Wonder Horse" and the "X-15".
Richard Dean Sawitskas was inducted into the "Grand National Hall of Fame" in 1988 and the West Coast Hall of Fame in 1989. His cars are featured in two museums, Peterson Auto Museum and the Indy Speed Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana. San Jacinto, California is currently the home of his business, Dick Dean and Son Imagineering. His current projects include a local air museum, as well as creative designs for the film and toy industry (Printable PDF Version).
Paul L. Shultz - Class of 1934
Paul L. Shultz distinguished himself as a world renowned designer, developer and manufacturer of helicopter aircraft.
Paul's early interest in aircraft was greatly influenced at Roosevelt High School when he joined the Aviation Club in 1934. His formal training in Aeronautics began at Lawrence Technological University and continued at the University of Michigan. Paul's drafting skills were noticed by visiting aviation companies working at the University.
In June, 1937, his ambition was realized when Paul was hired by the Stinson Aircraft Company. He worked on numerous projects involving both civil and military aircraft. As part of the engineering team, Paul contributed heavily to the success of the AT-19 Navigational Trainer and the O-49 and L-5 observation airplanes.
Paul organized the Midwest Aircraft Company after designing an advance 2-plane high wing airplane - the Midwest Mercury XC-5. During this time, Paul also designed and patented a twin rotor kite. His Heli-kite and numerous other balsa-model airplane kits were designed and manufactured by his company, Joy Products, in Menominee, Michigan. Hundreds of thousands of kits were sold throughout the world.
In 1959, Paul Shultz joined a group of aviation experts to establish the Enstrom Helicopter Corporation in Menominee, Michigan. As chief engineer, he designed and developed the renowned Enstrom F-28 3-place helicopter. Numerous patents were granted to Paul for his work on rotor systems, engine installation, power train, landing gear and pilot accommodations. The Enstrom F-28 has been certified throughout Europe, Asia, South America and United States. Since 1965, over 1,000 F-28 helicopters have been built. Sine retiring from Enstrom in 1989, Paul has actively served as consultant and lecturer to aeronautical groups. He is a member of the American Helicopter Society. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Experimental Aircraft Association, Silver Wings and the Society of Automotive Engineers (Printable PDF Version).