Inducted 2008. Member of Chain Gang at QND Football Games Since 1982. Started Golden Eagles Color Guard.
Herb Wellman’s contributions to Quincy Notre Dame for the past 40 years often go unnoticed but will never be unappreciated.
Wellman, a 1947 graduate, was a member of the band as a high school student. After a stint in the Army and some time living near Decatur, Wellman returned to Quincy to start the Golden Eagles Color Guard in 1969. The girls marched at several national sporting events for the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball and the Indianapolis 500, as well as college football’s Cotton Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Another highlight was seeing the guard march at Super Bowl XV when the Oakland Raiders defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in New Orleans. The advent of Title IX, however, allowed girls to begin participating in athletic events rather than march before them, and the Golden Eagles disbanded in 1981.
Wellman joined the chain gang on the sidelines of QND football games in the fall of 1982. “When my youngest son, Mark, stopped playing, Bob Miller asked me to help one night, and I’ve just stayed there,” he said. Now, at age 79, he’s still spry enough to avoid collisions out of bounds. “If you see them coming one way, you just walk the other way,” he said. “I’ll keep doing it as long as I can walk.”
Wellman also has been instrumental during the past two decades in helping 17 graduates of QND get accepted into West Point, including Chris Mackenzie, one of this year’s inductees. He’s a former chairman of the QND Athletic Committee, a former treasurer for the QND Football Committee and a CYO board member for more than 30 years.
Between all of his volunteer work and before his retirement, Wellman was an insurance adjuster. He lives in Quincy with his wife, Peg. They have three children — Debbie, Greg and Mark — and five grandchildren.
“Thank God for longevity,” Wellman said. “You stick around long enough, good things will happen to you.”
First, I’d like to thank my family for their cooperation, encouragement, time and tolerance. Under other circumstances, this would not have been possible. As for the “Golden Eagles,” their formation would not have been possible without the cooperation and blessing of the administration of Notre Dame Girls H.S. and Catholic Boys H.S. I’m grateful to band directors Bob Adams and Pam Potter for the freedom to blend with the Raider band in the many joint appearances over 12 years. Most of the credit is given to the young ladies of the “Golden Eagles” for the long rehearsals in the heat of the summer and marching in the cold winds of Chicago’s Michigan Avenue in December and the parents who helped selling candy, made the Christmas wreaths and organized the card parties. Their work paid the bills. As to West Point, much credit must go to the QND staff and the parents of those young Americans who chose to train and educate themselves to lead, with honor, other young Americans in the defense of the freedom those less fortunate. God Bless America. A big thanks to the QND Hall of Fame Committee for making this possible.