Richard Amling, Sr. (1942-1943, 1946)

Hometown: Pana, Illinois

Contact Info:

Current City: Key West, Florida

Cabins: Beaver – 1942; Mohawk – 1943; Pioneer (Cabin 9) – 1946

Education: B.A. History and Economics, Duke University, 1954, Durham, North Carolina

Occupation: Retired – Commercial Rose Horticulturist

Spouse: Nancy

Children: Richard Jr., Kurt, Rudy and Ted

Where does your camp story begin? How were you first introduced to CL? I first attended Camp Lincoln the summer of 1941, but was ill and was sent home by Dr. Howsen.  I came back the following summer in 1942.  My parents were introduced to Camp Lincoln through the Sykora Family from Chicago.

Did any of your family members attend or work at camp? My sister Joyce (Amling) Walbridge (1942-1943, 1946-1947) attended Camp Lake Hubert.  All four of our children also attended camp – Kurt (1970-1974), Richard Jr. (1968-1974, S1986), Rudy (1971-1974, 1976) and Ted (1976, 1977, 1979-1981, S1986-1987).  Several of our grandchildren have also attended or currently attend Lincoln and Lake Hubert: Katherine Amling, Erik Amling, Drew Amling, Stephan Amling, Mason Amling, Brooke Amling and Caroline Amling.

What are your favorite memories from your days at CL? Some of my favorite memories were canoe and overnight trips.  Bob “Basswood Bob” Johnson, took our group to Upper Cullen Lake.  We went through the narrows at Lake Hubert into Lake Nisswa.  Bob was a very fine person, from Minnesota, I believe.  I also enjoyed overnight horseback trips around the lake and hiking to Grand View Lodge.  I also recall hiking over to Indian Cove by the Ranger’s Station on Lake Hubert.

Favorite camp meal and dining tradition? I loved having extra dessert at Lincoln.  There was not a lot of meat during those days, as my camp years were during World War 2.  I always looked forward to ice cream and would “horse-and-goggle” for extra treats.

Do you keep in touch with anyone from your days at Lincoln? I still keep in touch with Randy Cote.  He taught me how to water ski.  Curt White, Jack Hagen and Corny Cornelius, as well.

What did you love most about camp? What was your biggest takeaway from your days at Camp Lincoln? I learned to live with other people, and camp got me over homesickness.  I went away to prep school at Culver Military Academy in Indiana for 9th – 12th grades, and these skills carried over.

What were some of your favorite activities at Camp Lincoln? Canoeing, water sports, riflery, fishing, and all ball games (softball especially). I also remember playing capture the flag and kick the can. I still recall the excellent counselors, who were mostly teachers during my days at Lincoln.

Where did life take you after your days at Camp Lincoln? I went on to Duke University in North Carolina where I was on the varsity track team all four years, a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, and received a B.A. in History and Economics.  After graduation, I went back to Illinois for the summer before entering the United States Air Force.  I already had completed ROTC at Duke, and was stationed at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas.  I was in the processing squadron, where I processed the troops coming through.  In 1956 I received an honorable discharged from the Air Force and went into the family business, Amling Rose Company.  We also had six other companies: Four Seasons Roses, Amling Flowers, Illinois Roses Ltd., National Rose Company, Air Conditioned Roses and Rochelle Rose Company.

How did you meet your wife, Nancy? A friend from Lackland asked me to be the best man in his wedding in California.  Nancy and I met at the wedding when she was a senior in high school.  She attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor after college, where I would visit regularly.  We were married in 1958 and have been married 57 years.

What are your outside interests? We are now residents of Florida, and spend time in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois.  I play tennis three times a week and also enjoy golfing.  I was also on the board of directors for the First National Bank of Pana for 33 years, and was a past board member of the Culver Legion.

Do you have a mentor you look up to or a creed that you live by? My father has always been my mentor. He was a kind man from Chicago . He did not have a college education, but wanted his son to be educated.  My father was always there when I needed him.  I have tried to carry on what my father did for me for our children and grandchildren.