By Kathy Miller
On July 11, Dianne Sudbrock, the founder and previous editor of the Boone Country Connection, was the featured guest for the July Live “Tell It Like It Was” at the Augusta Harmonie Verein.
Dianne shared her background, memorable stories and pictures with the audience.
Dianne Sudbrock on stage at Harmonie Verein in Augusta.
To watch the interview on the Augusta Museum's YouTube page, visit www.youtu.be/2QaBx4yoPoA
Dianne grew up near Wentzville, and married her husband, Roger – a New Melle native, in 1977. They have one daughter, Dawn, who lives with her husband and two teenage boys in Washington, MO.
Around 1996, Dianne joined the New Melle Chamber of Commerce and volunteered to be secretary. As secretary, she mailed out a trifold monthly meeting notice in which she eventually started including upcoming local events.
In 2000, she approached the Chamber members asking if they would support her publishing a community newsletter for the area, and raised enough money to print the first issue in July. It was 12 pages long and 1000 copies were printed. (Currently, we publish 28 pages and 2300 copies each month. In 2011, the Boone Country Connection website was added.)
Over the 22 years Dianne was editor, she covered thousands of stories and events. She shared with the audience some of her most memorable, heart-touching and unique stories, and the remarkable people she met along the way.
Dianne’s stand-out story was about S.O.S. (Shoulders for Safety,) a group of local parents who, in 2009, became determined to do something about the motor vehicle fatalities along Hwys. D, DD, F, Z and 94. She was completely amazed by what this group accomplished. Through their passion, commitment, professionalism, and willingness to relive and retell their own personal heart-wrenching stories of loved ones lost along those highways, they successfully secured funding for shoulders along our area roads – benefiting virtually every resident in our readership area.
Other stories that Dianne reminisced about during the interview included: Randall Oaks saving the Birmingham Sloss Works, Tim Kilby’s log cabin restorations, Gene Ackmann-founder of Butch Wax and the Hollywoods and The Garden Party Bands, Todd Joerling inducted into multiple Softball Halls of Fame, the Backhaus family cabin moved and rebuilt as the Workhorse Construction office, St. John’s UCC Support Our Troop's Mission, the Emmaus Campus closure, the opening of the Bethel Hills Community in Dutzow, and more.
In 2021, when Dianne decided she would like to retire, she approached my husband and I about continuing the paper. We own the printing company that has printed the Boone Country Connection since the first edition, so we agreed to give it a try. We started shadowing Dianne and gradually took over more of the responsibilities and in July 2022, we took ownership of the Boone Country Connection. Dianne helps proofread the paper every month and covers the occasional event, and will hopefully write a few feature stories going forward.
Dianne’s goal from the beginning was to draw the New Melle, Defiance, Augusta and Marthasville communities together by promoting the positive activities, news and stories that bring us all together. I think we can all agree she has undoubtedly accomplished her mission.
Dianne thanked everyone who welcomed and supported her over the years. She is thankful for all the wonderful friendships that developed over the years and for all the blessings that the Boone Country Connection has brought into her life.
Dianne thanked the Augusta community, the Missouri Humanities Council, Paul Ovaitt and Angela Stephens for hosting the Live TILIW Series and inviting her to be a part of it.
Editor’s Note – We are so thankful and appreciate the continued support of the Boone Country Connection. We couldn’t publish the paper each month without the incredible advertisers, readers and those who share information and ideas with us. Remember as you read the stories each month to read the ads as well and support the advertisers that make the Boone Country Connection possible.
Dianne’s stand-out story was the S.O.S. (Shoulders for Safety.)
Sloss Furnaces, a National Historic Landmark and industrial museum in Birmingham, AL.
Gene Ackmann, of the Butch Wax and the Hollywoods and The Garden Party Band.
Backhaus family cabin relocated and restored as Workhorse Construction office.