This week’s good neighbor is a man who says that “civic participation” is a draw to him and his civic contributions in Neosho have benefited many people.


This week’s good neighbor is a man who says that “civic participation” is a draw to him and his civic contributions in Neosho have benefited many people.

Sy Werner was born in Festus, Mo., which he says is about 30 miles directly south of the Arch in St. Louis. There were six children in his family, and they all helped in their father’s Mobil gas station. He worked in the station every night and did his homework after 9 p.m.

But he must have been a good student because he made straight A’s and was the class valedictorian.

After serving in the military, including 22 months in Vietnam, he returned home and decided he didn’t want to follow his dad’s footsteps. Working in the gas station was a 361-days-a-year job. So, he took a job with a finance company and eventually went into banking. He went to work at a Centerre Bank in his hometown and after four years, transferred to the Centerre Bank in Neosho. He is currently a branch loan officer at Cornerstone Bank in Goodman.

Sy and Judy live on a small farm near Neosho and he says farming is his hobby. He finds fixing fence is a great way to relieve stress. They have five children who live as close as Goodman and as far away as Anchorage, Alaska.

Sy and Judy were raised in the Catholic faith and attend St. Mary’s in Joplin. Their church was destroyed in the May 22 tornado; its large cross was the only thing left. Currently, they are sharing a building with St. Peter’s Parish.

Besides his duties in the church, Sy is active in several organizations. He has been a member of the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce for 25 years and he is a 40-year member of Lion’s Club International. He also served with and supports the Neosho Area Habitat for Humanity chapter.

His latest civic involvement is working with the Talkington Foundation, where he serves as treasurer. Sy finds great satisfaction in working with people who have drug or alcohol addiction. He thinks it’s so important to help them because these addictions affect not only the addicts, but their family and the entire community.

The motto for the Talkington Foundation is “Where Friends are helping Friends.” That he says is similar to the Lion’s Club motto of “We Serve.”

Sy Werner is a good example of both mottos and that is why he’s this week’s good neighbor.