Crystal Lake Ex-Pat Makes Front Page of Joplin Globe as St. John’s Selects Rebuilding Site

Joplin suburb Leawood's Board of Trustees Chairman Denis Desmond makes the front page of the Joplin Globe in new St' John's Hospital site announcement. He points at the tree line that marks the boundary between his resident community and Joplin.

My brother-in-law Denny Desmond, 1966 graduate of Crystal Lake Central High School, married my sister Ellen, Class of 1970. They moved to Joplin, Missouri in the early 1990’s.

The self-effacing guy ended up on the village board of a suburb of Joplin called Leawood (population 950).

Then, he became Chairman of its all volunteer Board of Trustees.

His CPA talents uncovered corruption on the part of the village’s treasurer.

Mercifully, my relatives’ home, which we call the “Hotel Desmond,” was untouched by the tornado, which stayed north of Interstate 44 in that area.

Here's what St. John's Hospital looked like in early July, 2011,

The destroyed hospital, St. John’s, was located just north and within sight of the untouched Freeman Hospital.

St. John’s made the logical decision that it should rebuild far enough away from Freeman so a future tornado would not take out the two hospitals at once…as May’s tornado most certainly could have done. (It was a mile wide and about 6-7 miles long. In contrast the first atomic bomb dropped in Japan had a blast diameter of about 6,000 feet.)  St. John’s was on the southern edge of the tornado.

This image was created by the National Weather Service. You can see the 6-mile path in Joplin, which was from 3/4 of a mile to a mile wide. Leawood's location can be seen south of the tornado's path. Leawood is south of Interstate 44, the Interstate replacement for U.S. Route 66. The new hospital will be located south of the Interstate and will undoubtedly spur growth there.

The 100-acre site selected by St. John’s borders the residential village that Denny heads.

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