Originally Published: August 24, 2017 6:03 a.m.
Lillie (Lili) M. Drum and John E. La Tourette celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary on Aug. 10, 2017. In an evening ceremony, they were married August 10, 1957 at the Community Church in Topeka, Kansas. At the time, John was stationed at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, serving as a 1st Lieutenant, Navigator in the 90th Air Refueling Squadron. Following her graduation from college, Lili was teaching elementary education at close-by Auburn, Kansas.
Lili’s parents were Mr. Silas (Si) N. Drum and Lillie O. Drum (Cowart) of Fremont, Nebraska, formerly of Topeka and Durango, Colorado. Mr. Drum was president and owner of Little Audrey’s Transportation Company, of which Mrs. Drum was the Treasurer. Mr. and Mrs. John C. La Tourette of Middlebush, New Jersey were John’s parents. Mr. La Tourette was retired from the Pennsylvania Railroad and Mrs. Charlotte R. La Tourette (Jones) was a homemaker.
Lili is a graduate of Topeka High School and Washburn University (B.Ed.). A graduate of Hoffman High in South Amboy, New Jersey. John holds bachelor, master and doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in Economics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Their moves across the country followed John’s academic career over a 42-year period from graduate student and instructor at Rutgers to president of Northern Illinois University (1986-2000). Along the way John was Department Chair and Graduate Provost at Binghamton University in New York, Graduate Dean at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and Vice President and Provost at Northern Illinois University. Lili was active in the visual and performing arts at three of these universities and for 14 years served as First Lady at Northern Illinois University.
Seeking a western, mountain home, Lili and John scouted Arizona during spring breaks from Northern Illinois University for several years and in 2000 settled in Prescott. They have been active in the community and John has served on the Foundation Board of Yavapai College and is on the boards of the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic Foundation and the Yavapai Symphony Association. In its early years in Prescott, he was the chair of the board of directors of Northcentral University.
Joining them for the 60th wedding anniversary at the Ponte Verda Inn & Club in Florida will be their son Marc La Tourette of New Orleans, daughter Yanique Thorman and husband Chris Carr, and her son Jeremy of Belmont, NC.