Albia Area Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame

Inductees into the 2019 Albia Area Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame are Dr. Bill Adler and Charlene Crall.

The Albia Area Chamber of Commerce would like to announce the 2019 Hall of Fame recipients are Dr. William R. Adler and Charlene Crall. The inductees will be recognized on Saturday, Aug. 3 following the Restoration Days parade, at the bandstand, on the Courthouse lawn. A reception will be held in their honor immediately following at the Chamber office.

The Hall of Fame is to honor people who have served the community while they are still able to accept an award of service. The guidelines for this award: The candidate must be 50 years of age or older, who has lived in the community and contributed to its betterment for a minimum of 20 years; maximum of five years prior to being 18 years of age will be counted toward years. Their service to the community can include a number of areas in addition to service to the Chamber.

Dr. Bill Adler

William R. Adler was born and raised in Albia, the son of the late Max and Marjorie Adler. He graduated from Albia High School with the class of 1967. After graduation, he attended Simpson College in Indianola for two years for his pre-med, then transferred to the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago where he received academic honors and graduated with his Doctor of Optometry (OD) in 1973. After graduation, he returned to Albia and set up his Optometric practice.

In May, 1975, he married Vicki Cameron Adler, and they raised two children, Julie Adler and David (Kylie) Adler. He also has three young grandsons, Hunter, Owen and Hayden Adler.

Since moving back to Albia, Dr. Adler has been involved in many activities, many times behind the scenes as he is not someone who seeks the limelight.

He was a longtime member of the Albia Rotary Club and worked tirelessly on many of their community projects from planting and picking corn, cleaning and fixing up areas of the Abia City Park to raising money for scholarships for local students. He served for over 20 years as the club's secretary.

Dr. Adler was also a longtime member of the Lions Club, collecting used glasses and working on their many local projects. Early on, he was also a member of the Jaycees as well as being a member of the Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, he also served on various church committees, served on the Board of the Albia Day Care and most recently has served on the Monroe County Council for Aging.

When his children were young, Adler coached in Little League and Babe Ruth, taking the 13 year old Babe Ruth team to Regionals in North Dakota. He always supports the Monroe County youth in sports, music, drama, 4-H, etc. He helped raise money for new band uniforms, band trips and actively helped raise awareness for the need for the new high school.

For the past several years William has been the Superintendent for Photography at the Monroe County Fair, both for Open Class and for 4-H.

In his business career, Dr. Adler always champions causes in Albia and is on staff at Monroe County Hospital in the ER for emergency eye problems. He has been the 'go to' doctor for eye injuries and emergencies for many area factories, on call day and night. Dr. Adler is a member of the American Optometric Association and the Iowa Optometric Association and served many years on the Iowa Optometric Board.

In his time off, William enjoys spending time with family and friends, woodworking, building projects from tables to barns, camping, traveling, hunting, fishing, collecting arrowheads and anything he can do to help others.

Charlene Crall

Charlene Crall was born and raised in Monroe County. She grew up on her family’s farm just 2 miles west of town on Highway 34 (now Old Highway 34) with her parents, Charley and Catherine Anderson, and her younger brother, Mick.

Charlene grew up attending country school and attended high school in Albia. She graduated from Albia High School in 1952 and then went to “nurse’s training” at St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in Ottumwa. She became a registered nurse (RN) in 1955.

Charlene first worked in the nursery and pediatric floor at St. Joe’s while living in Ottumwa with her friends from nurse’s training. She soon returned to Albia where she married her husband, Bernard, and they started their family together. Bernard and Charlene lived in various parts of Albia in the first few years of marriage, but eventually settled in South Albia where they lived for 26 years and where they raised their four children: Dr. Catherine Crall (Mike Sinnott), Tim (DeeAnn) Crall, David (Cathy Jo) Crall, and Jean Anne (deceased).

Outside of her family and friends, most people in Albia know Charlene as a nurse. She has had a long and varied career as an RN. She has been a newborn and pediatric nurse, a visiting nurse, a staff nurse in medical offices, a factory nurse and a school nurse. Her experiences included working as a nurse at the Monroe County Hospital, the VA in Knoxville, Monroe County Public Health and at the John Morrell Co. in Ottumwa. But for the majority of her professional life, she worked as an office nurse for Dr. H.J. Richter in Albia and as a school nurse for the Albia Community School District.

If you talk to Charlene about her experiences, she will tell you that much of her medical knowledge and training came from working for Dr. Richter. She was a key part of his office team for 20 years and will tell you how grateful she was to have had that opportunity in her career. And much of that office experience carried over to her work as a school nurse. Dr. Richter’s office is also where she came to know so many in the community.

Charlene started the second major phase of her professional life in the fall of 1972 when she began working as a school nurse (after being recruited by long-time school nurse, Clara Robinson, RN). This was the first time there would be two nurses in the Albia schools. Her first years of school nursing were spent at the middle school and high school. This was a great fit as she enjoyed engaging with and caring for her students. Eventually, Charlene came to be a school nurse at all the schools including Melrose and Lovilia. She enjoyed working with the elementary students every bit as much as caring for the older students. She also enjoyed being an advisor to the Student Nurse’s Club (later Health Professions Club) and encouraged and inspired many a student to pursue a career in nursing or other related health care field.

Charlene loved her job as a school nurse. She will describe it as a great job that gave her much personal and professional satisfaction as well as one that was challenging and gave her many opportunities to learn. And she also loved the camaraderie among the teachers and staff!

Charlene has long been an advocate for children - from her time as a newborn and pediatric nurse in the hospital, throughout her time as an office and school nurse and in the community of Albia. She was a member of the original board that established the Albia Preschool and Daycare Center.

Charlene has also been a trusted medical advisor to friends and family – the phone was always ringing at the Crall house – and often someone was calling with a medical question. Charlene was always glad to advise and reassure by sharing her knowledge with the caller. She put many a worried mind at ease with her advice.

After working as a school nurse for 29 school years (from August 1972 to May 2001), Charlene retired. Except the thing is, she never really retired…..surprising no one. After all, Charlene was first and foremost a nurse and she loved being a nurse. After retiring from the school system, she went on to work part-time as an occupational health nurse at Cargill, as an office nurse at the Monroe County Clinic and as a substitute school nurse for the Albia schools.

Charlene retired from nursing in April 2017, though she continues to stay involved with health care in her community through her advisory role with EveryStep Hospice in Albia. Other community activities include being an active member of St. Mary’s Parish in Albia where she is also a member of the Altar and Rosary Society. Charlene was also on the Parish Council when the mortgage for the new church was paid off. She helped in planning the celebration for the parish which included burning the mortgage!

Charlene and Bernard moved back to the country in 1986 to the farm (where Charlene grew up) after their own children were grown. Charlene and Bernard’s family has grown to include six grandchildren: Trevor (Allison) Crall, Jarred (deceased) (Shelby) Crall and Taylor Crall, Colin (Christie) Sinnott, Meg Sinnott and Brendan Sinnott, and five great-grandchildren all of whom she loves seeing as much as she can. Charlene now devotes most of her care-giving to Bernard who is a resident at Oakwood Care Center. She still loves the outdoors and enjoys working in the yard and looking after her animals on the farm.

Charlene loves her community and is a proud ambassador for Albia and Monroe County. She attends many school and community events and loves being involved. She especially loves knowing the people in her community! And in return, she has been much loved by patients and students alike. And many of them continue to share their fond memories of the care and concern given to them by Charlene Crall, RN.

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