Past & present honored

Tracy Area High School graduate Henry “Hank” Kor was inducted into the Tracy Area Public Schools' Wall of Fame last week. Photo / Per Peterson

W. David Abernethy and Henry Kor became the 59th and 60th inductees into the Tracy Area High School Wall of Fame at last Thursday night’s American Education Banquet.

• Abernethy was born in Tracy in 1924 and graduated from Tracy High School in 1942. In school, he was active in the band, orchestra and choir. His senior year, Dave was recognized with both the American Legion and Citizenship awards. After graduating, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in both Europe and the Pacific during World War II. A 21-year member of the Tracy Fire Department, Abernethy, who died Jan. 31, 2021, worked at Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Tracy for 38 years until his retirement. He also served on the Tracy School Board and started one of the school’s first family-sponsored scholarships — the Kenneth J. Sletten Memorial Scholarship.

Abernethy’s son, Dave, spoke on his father’s behalf and said David was always a strong supporter of education and area schools.

“I think that there was probably only one day in his 96 years of life that he didn’t support his school … according to his siblings, he came home from his first day of kindergarten and said he didn’t like it and he wasn’t going back!” Dave said. “Fortunately he changed his mind and became a graduate in 1942. Dad and I had many conversations over the years about how blessed we were to have our local schools; besides the obvious benefit of educating our youth, we talked about the importance of our schools and the economy of our area. I have no doubt at all that he would be very honored to be included in the Tracy Wall of Fame.”

al as one of the pioneers of the baby boomer generation. He attended a small country school southwest of Tracy until the middle of his third-grade year when they moved to Tracy to the Greenwood addition. In high school, Kor participated in football (undefeated in senior year), wrestling, senior class play and boys’ choir. During his senior year at Tracy, he joined the Tracy National Guard and served until he decided to go into the ministry.

“I am really excited, because they never had anything like this when I was in high school,” Kor said. “I am very honored and humbled to be here and be in the high school wall of fame.”

See more in this week’s paper!