Lake Zurich Post #964


History of American Legion Post #964


A Temporary Charter was issued on February 26, 1946 establishing Lake Zurich Post #964 as part of The American Legion. The Commanders were Spencer Nash (1945-1946) and Donald Rupp (1946-1947). The Post received its permanent Charter on March 22, 1948 under Commander Herbert Gehrke (1947-1948). It was then incorporated as a "Not for Profit" Corporation in the State of Illnois on December 14, 1948 under Commander Weber Runkel (1948-1949).

From the original 18 members in 1948 the Post has grown to 238 members in 2008.


Past Commanders of Lake Zurich Post 964

Name       Years In Office

The American Legion Temporary Charter

Spencer Nash       1945 - 1946
Donald Rupp       1946 - 1947

The American Legion Permanent Charter

Herbert Gehrke       1947 - 1948
Weber Runkel       1948 - 1949
Frank Messman       1949 - 1950
Ferguson Harkness       1950 - 1952
Charles Mionske       1952 - 1953
A. L. Wegner       1953 - 1954
G.E. Fehlman       1954 - 1955
Jerome Gudgeon       1955 - 1956
Roger Wendt       1956 - 1957
George Kuba       1957 - 1958
Thomas Young       1958 - 1959
Henry Heinsohn       1959 - 1960
Richard Grubnau       1960 - 1961
Thomas Rizzo       1961 - 1962
Norbert Knigge       1962 - 1963
Norman Samkus       1963 - 1964
Frank Hames       1964 - 1965
Frank Blanchard       1965 - 1966
Lewis Burritt       1966 - 1967
August Markwart       1967 - 1968
Bernard Groves       1968 - 1969
Louis Walston       1969 - 1970
Chester Link       1970 - 1971
Harold Blackwell       1971 - 1973
Michael Rosanova       1973 - 1976
Murray Patton       1976 - 1977
Thomas Rizzo       1977 - 1978
Frank Moshkal       1978 - 1979
Michael Rosanova       1979 - 1981
Leo Niemasik       1981 - 1983
Frank Moshkal       1983 - 1984
Chuck Gugliemino       1984 - 1985
Rudy Valesquez       1985 - 1987
Frank Moshkal       1987 - 1988
Robert Klein       1988 - 1989
J Paul Burrows       1989 - 1990
Don Estacion       1990 - 1992
Charles Lange       1992 - 1994
Joe Haskell       1994 - 1995
Lindell Richey       1995 - 1997
Richard Johnson       1997 - 1999
Al Guerrero       1999 - 2001
Tom Marciciak       2001 - 2004
Jim Lumsden       2004 - 2005
Joe Grover       2005 - 2007
Richard Meyers       2007 - 2008
Tom Marciciak       2008 - 2009
Mike Peck       2009 - 2011
John Barrington   2011 - 2013
Richard Johnson   2013 - 2018
Angel Lebron   2018 - 2019
Mike Hudson   2019 - 2020
Angel Lebron   2020 - 2021
Bob Bucher   2021 - 2021
Mike Hudson   2021 - 2022

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Since our charter on March 22, 1948, our American Legion Post has been welcoming VETERANS from all branches of our Armed Forces. Today, we continue to welcome all military personnel who have served or are serving our country. Joining our Post enables you to continue serving your God, Country and Community. Our mission is to implement the goals, aspirations, dreams, peace and blessings for our country, friends and families as embodied in our preamble. Click the button for Application


Charter granted

Lake Zurich Post #964 received a temporary Charter from The American Legion on February 26, 1946. It then received their Permanent Charter on March 22, 1948. Subsequently the Post received status as an Illinois "Not-for-Profit" Corporation in December, 1948. Also in 1948, the Auxiliary Unit 964 was formed and later the Sons of The American Legion Squadron 964 was chartered. At the time the Permanent Charter was issued there were 18 Members of which the only member still with the Post is Jerry Gudgeon. Jerry's father helped to build the Post Home.


Since then the Post has grown to the present 238 Members and a good deal of re-modeling has taken place. Until the hall was built, meetings were held in various places in Lake Zurich such as the Mionske Apartments, the Ela Township Hall and the basement of what was at one time Norman Samkus's Barber Shop.

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts

In the early years the Post sponsored a Cub Scout Pack which was subsequently stopped but ten years ago we renewed our relationship with the Boy Scouts and sponsored Troop 964 which is active in the community.


Three local area churches got their start by having their services and meetings in our hall. One of the churches moved out quickly when we refused to take down the neon beer signs in our windows. At one time the Post also provided a place for weekly teen dances.

Disaster services to community

Major storms played a role in establishing the Post as a community member. A tornado in April 1967 went thru town destroying many homes. The Post opened its doors to serve as a disaster headquarters to provide a place for the many townspeople who needed temporary shelter. The year 1979 brought a major snowstorm and the Post kept the doors open for three days and nights as it took that long to get some of the back roads open so that people could get back to their homes.

Harold Blackwell

One of our members who had been very active in Post activities in the early days of the Post was Past Commander Harold Blackwell. Harold was a veteran of World War 1 and an interesting anecdote is that he was gravely wounded and actually declared dead, he of course recovered but he enjoyed showing everyone his death certificate.

Service to the community

The Post is active in the community throughout the year. Our Poppy Days will find us on the street corners the weekend before Memorial Day handing out "Poppies" in return for donations which are turned over to the VA Hospital in North Chicago..
We also have our Pancake Breakfast with The Easter Bunny and Santa Claus and our Tuesday Bingo evenings, which are our fundraisers so we can provide assistance to veterans in the North Chicago Veterans Hospital and help needy veterans through the Lake County Veterans Assistance Committee. We also sponsor Juniors from Lake Zurich High School as selected by their counselors, to attend Premier Boys State at Eastern Illinois University. This is a hands-on seminar on the workings of local and state government. Annually we present The American Legion School Award to an eighth grade boy and girl as selected by their principal. They receive a certificate, a medallion and a US Savings Bond.

Flag retirement

Each June on the 2nd Friday of the month before our regular monthly meeting we have an outside ceremony, the public is invited to join us and observe the proper disposal of old, torn and tattered American Flags. It is all done in accordance with regulations issued by The American Legion and the US Flag code.

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