The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


March 26, 2014

Meet the 2014 Woman of Achievement honorees



“She has the gift of leadership through the way she leads her life and the sense of responsibility she takes for being part of everything that is bigger than her. She has shown the love of God in all that she does, even when she doesn’t say a word,” said Jeni Van Buer and members of the MOMS Group of Prince of Peace Parish. Marlys Lyons will be receiving the Religious Woman of Achievement award. Born and raised in Davenport, she graduated from Marycrest College with a degree in Education. Marlys taught for many years in Clinton’s Catholic School system, stopping when she and husband, Pat, began their family.

They moved to the family dairy farm in 1998, when she became involved in the daily operation of the business, including milking cows twice a day. She balances the full-time life of farming, along with family, and the many ways she volunteers within her Christian community and her Catholic church. She became the leader of the MOMS (Ministry of Moms Sharing) Group at Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Church in 2008 after having been a member for 10 years. She has been a teacher for the second-grade religious education program for five years, preparing children for the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion. Her other activities include; Eucharistic Minister, commentator, reader and leader of the Family Life Commission. Marlys has also been active in the Christian Experience Weekend Community for the past five years.

She and her husband have one daughter, Rebecca.


Gaile Brinkman of Albany, Ill., is this year’s County Woman of Achievement. Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, she graduated from Northern Illinois University with her bachelor and graduate degrees and after marrying Bill, moved to Albany. Nominator Marianne Jensen wrote, “It was her custom as a teacher to save something each child had made in her class, and years later when that student graduated, the work was given back. What a beautiful way to say “I remember you; I value you.” Gaile taught first grade in Thomson, Ill., and kindergarten in Fulton, Ill. She promoted and began all-day, every day kindergarten in the River Bend School District, began an adult volunteer program and coordinated Family Reading Nights. Gaile has received teaching awards from News Channel 8/Royal Neighbors of America and the Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus.

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