Kortkamp luncheon will honor John Ebeling


The Robert O. Kortkamp Humanitarian Award luncheon to honor retired St. Louis Labor Council Vice President John Ebeling has been rescheduled for Aug. 25, sponsored by the Missouri Alliance of Retired Americans (ARA).

It was first scheduled for May 27.

Ebeling, of CWA Local 6300, also served as vice president of the CWA Print & Media Sector.

Luncheon tickets and honors booklet ads can be obtained by contacting ARA President Dave Meinell at (314) 604-1316 or email ARA@gmail.com. Reservations are needed by Aug. 12. Order forms have been emailed to all affiliates.

A union member for 70 years, 45 as a union officer, Ebeling began his apprenticeship with Typographical Union Local 8 in 1952 at Mendle Printing Company and has seen the evolution of the printing industry and the union he serves.

After leaving Mendle, Ebeling continued his apprenticeship and worked at the Wellston Journal, the Stockyard Reporter and the Daily Record. His apprenticeship was interrupted by four years of active duty in the Naval Air Reserve.

Ebeling spent 13 years as the Daily Record chapel chairperson and served on the executive committee of Local 8’s board of trustees and the local’s organizing and bargaining committees. In 1975, he was elected Local 8’s president.

In 1987, when the International Typographical Union (ITU) merged with the Communications Workers of America and formed the Printing, Publishing and Media Workers Sector, Ebeling became vice president of that sector.

The luncheon will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Christy’s Banquet Center, 5856 Christy Blvd. St. Louis. Tickets are $40 a person; a table of 10 is $400. Checks payable to Missouri Alliance for Retired American may be mailed to 3301 Hollenberg Drive, Bridgeton, MO 63044.

A Memorial Program Book will commemorate John’s long service to the Labor Movement. Ad prices are back cover, $500; inside front/back cover, $400; full page, $350; half page,   $225; quarter page, $125; and business card, $50. A congratulations page will list individual names for only $5 per name.

The luncheon honors the memory of Brother Bob Kortkamp’s strong personal commitment on behalf of working families, persons with disabilities and senior citizens. He died in 2011 at the age of 82.

A former business representative for Machinists District 9, Kortkamp served as secretary-treasurer of the St. Louis Labor Council for 17 years before retiring in 1995 and serving as a Council volunteer, which quickly evolved to include retiree issues leading to his founding of the Missouri ARA, becoming its first president and regional board member of the national ARA.

In 2010, he provided the leadership to start the Missouri ARA Education Fund, a statewide network of affiliated unions and community-based retiree organizations that today represents more than 67,000 members.

Kortkamp served as a Labor liaison with the United Way before becoming an executive board member and co-chairman of the Advance Campaign, United Way of Greater St. Louis.

Through the years, he served on many boards of directors of social agencies, including Mary Ryder Homes Inc., the St. Louis Private Industry Council, Catholic Charities of St. Louis, Blue Cross Corporate Assembly, the St. Louis Bi-State Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Economic Planning Committee of St. Louis, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the Epilepsy Foundation of St. Louis and other community organizations and commissions.

He is greatly missed by the entire Labor Community.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here