Marvin Ribbing Recreation Center
PONTOON BEACH — When Pontoon Beach Mayor Mike Pagano and the Village Board determined the former Pontoon Beach senior citizens building could be used as a recreation center, the late Marvin Ribbing’s name came to mind for the rededication.
The Marvin Ribbing Recreation Center, at 13 Lily Ave. off Illinois 111, will be available for community events, wedding receptions, parties, children’s movie nights and family functions. The dedication took place March 24 in front of Ribbing’s wife, Audrey, his two brothers, three of his four children and two grandchildren.
“I think Marvin (Ribbing) was an amazing person,” Pagano said. “I didn’t know Marvin very long, but it didn’t take long to learn what kind of man he was. He was a Vietnam veteran, a Pontoon Beach council member and a firefighter with the Long Lake Fire Department. It’s such an honor to do this and I thank the Ribbing family for allowing me to honor such a giving person.”
Ribbing joined the Air Force after high school in 1963. In 1965, while stationed at the Wadena Air Force Radar Site, he married Audrey Niebeling of Wadena, Minn., just days before serving a one-year tour in Vietnam. Following his honorable discharge in 1967, Ribbing returned home to Pontoon Beach and began work at the Nooter Corp. in St. Louis as a draftsman. In 1969, Ribbing began working at Shell Oil Co. in Wood River, dedicating 36 years before his 2005 retirement. In 1973, Ribbing joined the Long Lake Volunteer Fire Department, giving 20 years of community service.
Ribbing was appointed fill a vacancy on the Village Board and was elected to serve a four-year trustee term, serving on the police, road and 911 technology committees. Ribbing held such positions as president, vice president and secretary.
“I know Marvin (Ribbing) would just as humbled as I am today,” Audrey Ribbing said. “Marvin loved Pontoon Beach. He did everything he could do to do his part. He just wanted the people to know how great their village is and that it’s a terrific place to live.
“Marvin loved to walk around the subdivision and visit with members of the community,” she said. “He called his strolls around the neighborhood his walkabout. It really did seem like everywhere he went, someone knew him. He passed away Feb. 9, 2013, after a battle with cancer.”
Anyone interested in renting out the recreation center can contact Village Clerk Harlon D. Keel or Deputy Clerk Donna Paul at (618) 931-6100, ext. 3.