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Charlene Arthur, a beloved member of the Mansfield, Ohio community, passed away on May 4, 2023, at the age of 97. She was born Wilma Charlene in Fishbasket, Ohio to Truman A. and Lillie M. (Atchison) Freeman. She graduated valedictorian from Cambridge High School; magna cum laude from Muskingum College with a Bachelors Degree and completed her Masters Degree in education at the Ohio State University. Charlene dedicated 20 years to teaching in Mansfield City Schools, imparting her wisdom and passion for learning to countless students. She married Russell Allen Arthur on April 1, 1945 who preceded her in death in May, 1996. While raising her family she served as secretary at the Linden Road Presbyterian church where Russell was pastor. She worked many holidays for Kafers Flowers as a senior arranger for nearly 40 years. Charlene had many hobbies and interests that brought her joy throughout her life. She never overlooked a four-leaf clover and was always supplementing her childhood collection. She was an avid reader often losing herself in the pages of a good book. She loved to sew and make crafts to bring beauty and joy into the world with her creativity. Charlene was a devoted member of the Presbyterian Womens Group and Church Women United where she formed many meaningful relationships with fellow churchgoers. Her faith was central to her life, and she was an active member of First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, where she found strength and solace. Charlene will be deeply missed by her family and friends, who remember her as a kind, compassionate and a generous person. Her legacy will live on through the many lives that she touched and was a part of. She is survived by four of her children Elizabeth J. Arthur, Rebecca J. Arthur, Ken Arthur (Linda Chevalier), and Kevin J. Arthur; six grandchildren Cale Arthur, Ananda Arthur, Timothy Arthur, Caleb Arthur, Jennifer (Thomas) Parker, and Titus Arthur; two great-grandchildren, Kyle Arthur and Aurora Arthur, along with many nieces, nephews, and friends. In addition to her beloved husband, Russell, she was preceded in death by sons R. Kingsley Arthur and Kerwin J. Arthur; a grandchild Rachel Arthur and siblings Thelma Hawkins, Vernon Freeman, Evelyn Johnson, and Richard Freeman.
George Larry Moffett, 86, passed away Sunday, May 14, 2023, at Genesis Hospital He was born December 9, 1936 in Zanesville to the late Leighton and Florence Heinle Moffett.
George was a fan of entertainment, and his life story is a testament to that.
George attended The Ohio State University his freshman year, majoring in business. While there he played trumpet with a dance band and also got the idea to secure dates for the other dance bands. Then his sophomore year he transferred to Muskingum College and started booking local bands on the side at local fraternity parties and social clubs.
When he graduated, he realized the need for a booking agency, which led to the founding of Variety Attractions in 1961.
Little did he know at the time that Variety Attractions would eventually become a brand that is one of the most respected, trusted, and honored companies in the entertainment world. Booking artist like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Alabama, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins and more from the beginning of their careers and throughout them.
To date Variety Attractions has booked over $1.2 Billion in contracts since its inception and now operates in 24 states.
Not only a fan of music, but George also had a love for the circus world. The animals, the high wire performers, the daredevils, and the excitement the circuses brought to small towns. He recognized this and started booking the animal acts, the high wire acts at local and county fairs across the country.
Over the years as Variety Attractions grew, George was honored on numerous occasions from the Country Music Association naming him the SRO promoter/talent buyer of the year four times. He was the Academy of Country Music Awards Talent Buyer of the year three times as well as receiving honors from many state fair associations, including being inducted into the Ohio Fair Managers Hall of Fame. He served three terms as a director on the Country Music Association Board of Directors. George was one of the founding members of the International Country Music Buyers Association in Nashville, along with his colleagues Don Romeo and Hap Peebles. Today the organization is known as the International Entertainment Buyers Association and is recognized as the premier organization for talent buyers of all genres. He served on the board of directors for 30 years received the Founders Award in 2010 and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2018.
George was a man who found his passion and lived it daily as he dedicated his entire life to the entertainment business. He had a natural sense of caring for his clients and colleagues. Those who knew him can attest to that.
His legacy will live forever with the George Moffett Scholarship that is endowed at Belmont University in Nashville and awarded annually to a deserving student majoring in an accredited music business class.
Surviving is his wife Shirley Williams Moffett; a daughter Amy (Rob) Gray; two granddaughters: Megan Gray-Van Dyke and Elaine Gray; two sisters in law; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Mary Alice Wilson, 86, of Washington, died May 10, 2023, in Transitions Health Care, Washington. She was born March 24, 1937, in New Castle, the daughter of the late Harry Rapson and Myrle L. Riley Wilson. A 1956 graduate of Canonsburg High School and a 1960 graduate of Muskingum College for Teaching. Ms. Wilson taught for 32 years in the Peters Township School District and was a member of the PA Retired Teachers Association. Mary was a member of the Church of the Covenant. Surviving is a sister, Laverne Leonard; nephews, Patrick (Eileen) Leonard, and Glenn Leonard; and great-nephews, Ian, and Kyle Leonard.
Susan Elizabeth (nee Bard) Eastin passed away near her home in Massachusetts April 9, 2023 after a ten year battle with cancer. Sue was born June 14, 1946, to Robert Lyle and Dorothy Elizabeth Bard. She was active in her church youth group where she met the love of her life, David Lee Eastin. They attended Cuyahoga Falls High School (1964) and attended Muskingum University (1968) before marrying and raising their family in Hudson, Ohio. The Eastins were members of the First Congregational Church in Hudson for 22 years. A beloved English teacher at Cuyahoga Falls High School from 1968-1998, Sue was an avid reader who loved sharing literature with those around her. Moving to Massachusetts upon retirement, she became a needlepoint artist with pieces getting recognized in New England. Passing on her deep love of birds, flower gardens, seashells, and all things nature to her children and grandchildren is one of the many gifts she will leave behind. Survivors include her husband of 53 years, David; her son's family, Aaron Kyle and Michele Eastin with Micah, Jonah, Annabella, and Amelia (Leah) of Blue Ridge, Texas, and her daughter's family, Emmy and Andrew Barksdale with Ozzy and Celestine of Beaverton, Oregon; her brother and sister-in-law Robert Bard and Janet Stone; sister-in-law Susan Bard; and nieces, nephews, cousins and best friends. She was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Dorothy Bard and her brother, William Bard.
LaGrace Moldovan, age 88, of North Canton, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, April 8, 2023, in Aultman Hospital. She was born in Canton to the late Clayton and Margaret (Barkman) Amstutz. LaGrace was a graduate of Lehman High School and Muskingum College. She taught math in the Sandy Valley School District and was a faithful member of John Knox Presbyterian Church for over 70 years. LaGrace was an avid local sports fan of Ohio State, the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Cleveland Indians. She enjoyed family get togethers, watching her grandchildren play sports and was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Ramus J. Moldovan in 2004. LaGrace is survived by son, John (Leigh) Moldovan; daughters, Debby Moldovan Spitler and Cynthia Moldovan Hopkins; sister, Lucille Esner; grandchildren, Maxwell Moldovan, Matthew Spitler, Megan Spitler Geis, Stephanie Miller and Melissa Luthman; six great grandchildren also survive.
Janet M. Click, age 84, passed away peacefully, with family present, on Saturday, April 29, 2023. She was born on November 21, 1938, in Springfield, Ohio to Orton G. and Donna P. Click. She was the oldest of Orton and Donna's three children. Janet was predeceased by her parents and her brother, David O. Click. Janet was a lifelong resident of Springfield, having lived most of her life on Wilson Avenue on the city's south side. She was a graduate of Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. Her passion for education led her to be an English schoolteacher for 31 years in the Springfield City School District. Over the years, it was not uncommon for Janet's family to hear stories from many former students and their love for "Miss Click". Janet also served as President of the Ohio Education Association and the Springfield Education Association. She was active in her community and served on a number of boards and civic groups. She was very passionate about advocating for others. She was a loving guardian to her dog Andy, who was a rescue, and her cat Charley, who kept her company in her later years. Janet and Miss Click as many called her, she was lovingly known as "Nana" to all her nephews, niece, great-nephews, and great-nieces. One memory her entire family share was her love of knitting. Anytime family was visiting, Janet was sitting with them, actively engaged in the conversation but her knitting needles never stopped moving. Every Christmas, her nephews and niece would receive a beautiful, handmade sweater and later, wonderful (and very warm) afghans. Janet is survived by her brother; Earl W. Click. Six nephews, one niece, many great-nephews, great-nieces, family, and friends who all loved her very much.
Robert Roush, 90, of Columbus, passed away on April 26, 2023. He was born on December 14, 1932, in Lima OH, to the late Virgil and Maxine (Hays) Roush Robert (Bob) upon graduation from the Kentucky Military Institute joined the Navy and was active on the aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain during the Korean War as a Telemann. He studied Economics and Psychology at Muskingum College. He was the former owner of V.H. Roush Company in Zanesville, Ohio. His hobbies early in life were training and showing Horses with his children, flying airplanes and sailing. Bob also enjoyed fishing at Buckeye Lake and going to Dog trials later in life with his wife Linda. He loved his dogs throughout his entire life Robert will be greatly missed by his loving wife, Linda Roush; children, Debbie Zetzer, Celeste (Steve) Hickox, Greg Roush (Jill) Fitzgerald (Deceased) and Stepdaughter Darci (John) Etzel; and his grand children Julie, Emilie, Grace, Jordan, Dylan, Diana, Willow and Harbor.
Lawrence E. Marshall, 80, of Lancaster, passed away peacefully on April 5, 2023 at Legend of Lancaster. He was born June 12, 1942, in Morristown, New Jersey and raise by his parents, the late George and Eloise (Klinetob) Marshall in Wayne, New Jersey. Larry, as he was called by his friends and family, attended Muskingum University in Concord, Ohio where he earned a degree in economics. Following college, Larry entered the Navy where he served during the Vietnam War. After he completed his time in the military, Larry went to Southern Illinois University where he earned his MBA. A job with Ford Motor Company brought Larry to Michigan where he met his loving wife, Betty (Anders) Marshall. He served in several capacities for Ford, as an auditor and later as a financial analyst. Larry loved animals and he and Betty started a pet sitting service, Critter Sitters, in Grosse Ile, Michigan. Larry's job with Ford took him and his family to Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1987 and he finished his career with Case New Holland Tractor Operations, retiring in 2002. Following his retirement, Larry remained very active, volunteering at Neffsville Fire Company, MOAA (Military Officers Association of America) and SCORE where he served as a business mentor. In addition to his volunteer activities, Larry enjoyed reading, walking, and traveling. Larry's family has fond memories of watching movies with him, especially one of his favorites, The Last Starfighter. In addition to his wife, Larry is survived by his son Christopher Landon Marshall and his wife, Heidi Hebron Marshall of Charlottesville, Virginia; his daughter Rebecca Leigh Marshall of Woodbridge, Virginia; his son Nicholas Lorin Marshall of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and his five grandchildren, Madeline Ruth, Benjamin Lawrence, Bethany Jane, Luke Ronald, and Julia Rose of Charlottesville, Virginia. He is also survived by his sisters, Janet Smith, wife of Thomas, and Melanie Stohner, wife of Robert.
Dorothy Helen Neilson, 86, passed away Saturday, April 8, 2023. She was born in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania on July 24, 1936, to the late Irwin Shoff and Henrietta (Bagotat) Shoff. Dorothy graduated from Leechburg, PA High School in 1954. She attended Muskingum College and received her Insurance Degree from Penn State University. Afterward, she worked for various insurance brokers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is survived by her husband, Walter W. Neilson. They were married in the United Presbyterian Church in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania on June 15, 1985. Dorothy moved with Walt to South Bend, Indiana and has lived here for 38 years. She retired from Gibson Insurance Group after 15 years of service. She was a past president of the South Bend Mishawaka Insurance Women. She was also a recipient of the Michiana Insurance Woman of the Year. Dorothy was an Elder of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. In addition to her parents, Dorothy was preceded in death by a son, Brian Bence; sister, Carol Chelko and brother, Fred Shoff. Besides her husband, Walter, she is survived by daughters, Judy Morrow of Mishawaka, Indiana, Valerie (Dario) Marsili of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania and Renee (T.J. Ormseth) Bence of Orlando, Florida; stepsons, Randy (Dana) Neilson of Niles, Michigan; Rusty (Cindy) Neilson of Stevensville, Michigan; Brady Neilson of South Bend, Indiana and Barry (Pam) Neilson of South Bend, Indiana; and grandchildren, Mia Marsili of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, Nick Marsili of Orlando, Florida, Shelby Kardos of Denver, Colorado, Tara Bernier of Orchard Beach, Maine, Angie Bence of Apollo, Pennsylvania, Brandon (Stefanie) Bence of Avonmore, Pennsylvania, Kelsey Neilson of Granger, Indiana, Nicholas Neilson of South Bend, Indiana, Austin (Ashley) Neilson of Tacoma, Washington, Justin Neilson of South Bend, Indiana and Ryan Neilson of Los Angeles, California; as well as several great grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister-in-law, Sandra Shoff of Holliston, Massachusetts and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Paul L. Sarchet, age 85, passed away on March 28, 2023 at Maplewood at Cuyahoga Falls. Born in Cambridge, Ohio to the late Rolland Sarchet & Pauline Kirkbride. Beloved husband of the late Kay F. ( Trischler) Sarchet; dearest father of Misty ( David) Burney and Todd ( Brenda) Sarchet; loving grandfather of Megan ( Jake) Brown, Daniel ( Polly Horne) Burney, Katie Burney, Ryan ( Denise) Sarchet, Taylor ( David) Schumacher, and Austin Sarchet; great-grandfather to Aycen, Brown, Liam Sarchet, & Isaac Sarchet. Paul graduated from Muskingum College with a BA degree in education in 1959 and earned his master's degree in government from The Ohio State University in 1964. Paul worked his entire career in the Circleville School System. He began his career as a social studies teacher at Circleville Junior High where he also coached junior high football and basketball. After just 3 years in the classroom, Paul was named CHS assistant principal and athletic director until 1966 when he was named CHS principal. He served on the Central District Athletic Board from 1972-1986 and was a state board member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association from 1977-1979. He retired as CHS principal in 1989.
Karen was the daughter of Mary and Warren Copeland of Lima, Ohio. Both parents preceded her in death in 2011. She now precedes her husband Mike in death along with two sisters-in-laws, two brothers-in-laws and numerous nieces and nephews through marriage. Karen was a 1966 graduate of Lima Senior High School and a 1970 graduate of Muskingum University majoring in Education. She was certified to teach kindergarten through high school students. Karen taught 5th and 6th grades in the Shawnee Ohio School System for a year. She then was hired by the Upper Arlington School System, a suburb of Columbus, where she taught for 35 years. Her first assignment was at Fishinger Rd. Elementary as a kindergarten teacher. After eight years, she taught 5th and 6th grades for two years at Fishinger Elementary and then two years at Tremont Elementary. In 1982, Karen was hired as a 7th grade math teacher at Jones Middle School where she remained until her retirement in 2007. Karen was skilled at teaching young people, maintaining order and inspiring her students. Her leadership skills and her gift for working so effectively with young people was evident at Jones when she served as its cheerleading coach. She raised money for the squad's uniforms bake sales and snack sales at football and basketball games. In addition, Karen was recommended by a math professor at Ohio State University to be on the development team for Texas Instrument's new math calculator. This took her to cities across the US for meetings with top teaching professionals. Karen could see the humor in many things resulting in a variety of classroom stories. Her humor was contagious and her students could tell she enjoyed their wit. One year she had a student whose parents owned a bar and to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, the student brought a weak Tequila mix to school and put it in Karen's small refrigerator as his contribution to the event. Unknown to Karen, she went to retrieve her lunch and discovered his contribution. She then had a little teacher student sit down. Karen had an eye for beauty in all aspects of the home design and particularly flowers and beautiful landscapes. She loved flowers and all eyes were on Karen's selection of quality and beautiful flower arrangements for her mother-in-law's funeral. She loved to cook and was constantly searching for new recipes, and she was a voracious historical and fiction reader. She enjoyed traveling with Mike especially to the Charleston, SC area as well as the Tucson, Az. area. Karen met Michel (Mike) Wilcox at a party after the inaugural Muirfield Golf Tournament in 1976. They were married in Lima March 4th, 1978. Mike graduated from Upper Arlington High School in 1966 and attended Wittenberg University and OSU. Karen will be remembered with love, and she will be greatly missed by family and friends and is with God.
Pamela Kodey passed away March 28 after battling cancer for almost 15 years. She was born in North Olmsted, Ohio to Raymond and Betty Kodey. She graduated from North Olmsted High school where she played in the marching band and participated in sports. She then attended Muskingum College where she obtained a BA degree. She became a travel agent where she indulged her love of travel. During this time Pam joined the police department as an auxiliary police officer. Later she moved to Las Vegas where she assisted her brother Wayne as the office manager of his camera shop. Through her working careers Pam found time for sports. She participated in soccer and softball leagues as well as paddling a Dragon boat as part of a team of cancer survivors. Pam was active at John Knox Presbyterian church in North Olmsted and Grace Presbyterian in Las Vegas. She played in the bell choirs of both churches. She participated in cancer survivor support groups at The Caring Place in Las Vegas and at Grace Presbyterian church. Pam was preceded in death by her parents and an infant sister Beth. She is survived by he brother Wayne and his wife Geri Kodey.
Randy Jay Bardonner, 64, peacefully made the journey to heaven on March 29, 2023. He is no longer in the physical distress that had plagued him for so long. He now enjoys a home filled with so many of his beloved family members, most notably his father, John Bardonner; and sister, Pamela Bardonner. Randy was a gentle soul who loved music and animals. He never met a brass instrument he couldn't tame. He was a graduate of Muskingum University and received his Master's degree from Ohio University. He is survived by his mother, Janet; and his sister, Beth Bardonner, both of Cedar Falls, Iowa; as well as several aunts, uncles and cousins. He is also survived by Dawn Levesque who was his close friend, of more than 30 years. Her care, love and attentiveness brought him great joy, companionship and love.
Julie Nehls engaged with life as a Wonder Woman. The list of her activities that benefited the community of Athens is dizzying, The church, the hospital, the University, the high school, Kiwanis, Boy Scouts all have benefited from her many years of service as the many plaques awarded to her over the years testify.
Julie was born March 27, 1921 in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in South Charleston, Ohio. She said that her father, a physician, was her inspiration. She had a sampler that was cross-stitched and given to him by a patient with the words, “Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.” He lived by that, and she did the same. She had a generous and loving heart and a “can do” attitude.
Julie graduated from Muskingum College (now, Muskingum University) and came to Ohio University to do graduate work in Early Childhood Education in 1948. She stayed to teach in her field at the university and eventually was the director of the Nursery School of the Putnam Laboratory School of Ohio University. She remained in her field until her retirement in 1991.
Her activities in the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd include being head of the Altar Guild, Junior and Senior Warden, starting and leading the Martha’s (a group that supports the church), starting and running a communion service for residents at Lindley Inn on Sunday afternoons, and starting and running the Prayer Shawl Ministry, a group of women who knit shawls for people who need comfort. For many years she took these shawls to O’Bleness Hospital and local nursing homes where they were given to anyone who needed them. In addition, every new mother and baby born at the hospital each went home with a shawl. In 2003 the church’s parish hall was named “Nehls Hall” in honor of her service to the church.
Julie served O’Bleness in other ways as well; she was on the hospital board, headed fund drives and served in the Guild. The hospital planted a tree on the grounds in her honor.
She played a big part in the start-up of the Head Start Program. She was asked to go to Washington to help train the first group of teachers. In addition, she also trained teachers locally and traveled around the southern part of Ohio training teachers for this program and arranged to have local children come in for the teachers to get hands-on training.
Julie belonged to Kiwanis where a big contribution was starting the “CHAD” program. The need for this program became obvious when a baby was brought into the hospital with no identification and no way to find out who he was. The program gave away stickers to be put on strollers and backpacks with all the information a hospital would need to identify and treat the child.
Julie belonged to the Kappa Delta Sorority at Muskingum University and when she came to Athens there was no chapter. Being Julie, the obvious next step was to start one. So she did, helping the chapter get a house and become affiliated with Ohio University. She went on to become the “Province President,” over-seeing five Sorority chapters and was national secretary for ten years.
Julie was honored by the Red Cross in 2013 when she received the Hometown Heroes Award. Other awards celebrated her service to the Boy Scouts, the high school, the Ohio U Emeriti Association, the SE Ohio Association of Education of Young Children and the Athens County Community Service Council.
After a brief illness, Julie died on April 11, 2023, just two weeks after her 102nd birthday.
She is fondly remembered by many of the students she taught at the university and in the nursery school.
She is predeceased by her parents Edward C. and Julie Goldie Nehls.
She is survived by a cousin, Randy Reddick. Also survived by Michael McNairy, Timothy McNairy, Peter McNairy, Julia Budde, Jennifer Elias, and their families, William Warthman, Sr. Faith Margaret, CHS and many devoted friends and neighbors in Athens and beyond.
Donald Eric Pearson, 85, of Clifton Park, N.Y. passed away on Saturday, April 1 surrounded by his loving wife and children. Born in Bergenfield, N.J. to Edward and Alice (Johnson) Pearson, Don was the second of their four children. The Pearsons eventually settled in South Euclid, Ohio and, after high school, Don attended Muskingum College (now University) in New Concord, Ohio. Don majored in Economics, Business Administration and History. He was a proud member of the Mace Club and received multiple honors for his outstanding qualities of scholarship, leadership and character, including mention in the 1959 Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges. As a junior, Don met Rebecca Cole, a young freshman from Pittsburgh, Pa., starting what became a 65 year love affair. Don and Becky were married three months after his graduation in 1959. After a brief stint with Ohio Bell, Don moved his young family to the Rochester, N.Y. area where he began more than 40 years of work in higher education administration. During that time Don and Becky raised three children and were blessed with many wonderful friends as his career progressed from the University of Rochester to a consortium of New Hampshire colleges and universities to the Rhode Island School of Design and finally to St. Lawrence University, where he served as Vice President of Business and Finance for more than a decade. Two years after his retirement from St. Lawrence, Don was recruited to work at Keuka College, where he spent almost five years before the arrival of grandchildren led to a final retirement and a move to Glens Falls, N.Y. to be closer to family. Don and Becky relocated to Clifton Park in 2019. Don was devoted to his wife and family. Time spent together on Lake Winnipesaukee every summer for more than 30 years was cherished by them all. Don loved numbers, logic puzzles, antiques, auctions, art, history and mystery novels, golf, the Cleveland Browns and antique brass doorknobs. He was loved by his family and friends for his integrity, intelligence, quick wit and quiet generosity. Don is survived by his wife of 64 years, Becky, his children, Kristine Pearson of Branchport, N.Y., Douglas Pearson (Barbara Stone) of Womelsdorf, Pa. and Jennifer (Kenneth) Shea of Burnt Hills, N.Y., his beloved grandchildren, Molly, Abigail and Jack Shea, his sister Lois (John) Griffith and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his brothers Arthur and Edward and his sister-in-law, Mary Cleary Maund.
John W. McCormac, age 92, transitioned peacefully from this world surrounded by his loving family on Friday, February 1, 2019. John lived life with gusto, was a Renaissance man, friend and mentor to many, loving husband and caring father and grandfather. He will be dearly missed by many, including his wife of 66 years, Martha, sons Jim and Mike, Mike's wife Patrice and their children Katie, Kevin, Luke, and Megan, and son John's (1959 - 2000) wife Tammy and their children Crista, Shawn, and Tara and many nieces and nephews.
John was born on February 8, 1926 in Zanesville, Ohio to the late Samuel and Phyllis McCormac. At age 17, John convinced his mother to sign a waiver allowing him to enlist in the U.S. Navy. He became an anti-aircraft gunner aboard the USS Thurston, a troop carrier that offloaded Higgins boats that transported marines onto the beaches. He was in the thick of battle at Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the Thurston at times besieged by Kamikaze aircraft and other threats.
Following the war, John embarked on a career in law, graduating with a law degree from Franklin University in 1960. His inaugural job was as a trial attorney, a post in which he won 24 of the 25 cases he tried. He later became dean of Franklin University's law school, eventually orchestrating its successful merger into Capital University, where he also served as dean. Among many accomplishments there, he began a successful paralegal program, and was a pioneer in actively recruiting females and African Americans to law school.
In 1974, John was elected to the 10th District Court of Appeals, where he served three six-year terms. During the course of his legal career, John authored seven books on law and served the legal profession with distinction in many capacities, including president of the Ohio Bar Association.
A natural athlete, John participated in many athletic pursuits, and also refereed football and other sports. A crack table tennis wizard, his quirkiest sporting opportunity came in the 1950's when the Harlem Globetrotters offered him a contract to play exhibitions during halftimes. He declined, in order to pursue law school, a decision that always left him with mild regret. At age 53, John took up running, and went on to run 38 marathons, and was an Olympic Torch relay carrier in 1996. He and Martha were long interested in nature.
John faithfully volunteered for 25 years at Highbanks Metro Park, where his duties included monitoring bluebird nest boxes. His faith in God was vital to him, and John was a longtime member and deeply involved in Xenos Christian Fellowship. In spite of many serious duties and weighty responsibilities, John never lost his childlike curiosity for new subjects. He was always interested in other people, and wanted to learn what made them tick. When exposed to a new subject, his mind became a sponge. His intellectual thirst was insatiable, and that, coupled with an astonishing photographic memory, allowed him to become versed in an amazing array of topics. He was always willing to help anyone, or lend an ear. John is preceded in death by his mother Phyllis and father Samuel, and his three brothers, Bill, Don, and Scott, and his son John.
Donald Eric Pearson, 85 of Clifton Park, N.Y., passed away on Saturday, April 1, 2023, surrounded by his loving wife and children.
Born in Bergenfield, N.J. to Edward and Alice (Johnson) Pearson, Don was the second of their four children. The Pearsons eventually settled in South Euclid, Ohio, and after high school, Don attended Muskingum College (now University) in New Concord, Ohio. Don majored in Economics, Business Administration and History. He was a proud member of the Mace Club and received multiple honors for his outstanding qualities of scholarship, leadership and character, including mention in the 1959 Who's Who's in American Universities and Colleges. As a junior, Don met Rebecca Cole, a young freshman from Pittsburgh, Pa., starting what became a 65 year love affair. Don and Becky were married three months after his graduation in 1959.
After a brief stint with Ohio Bell, Don moved his young family to the Rochester, N.Y. area where he began more than 40 years of work in higher education administration. During that time Don and Becky raised three children and were blessed with many wonderful friends as his career progressed from the University of Rochester to a consortium of New Hampshire colleges and universities to the Rhode Island School of Design and finally to St. Lawrence University, where he served as vice president of Business and Finance for more than a decade. Two years after his retirement from St. Lawrence, Don was recruited to work at Keuka College, where he spent almost five years before the arrival of grandchildren led to a final retirement and a move to Glens Falls, N.Y., to be closer to family. Don and Becky relocated to Clifton Park in 2019. Don was devoted to his wife and family. Time spent together on Lake Winnipesaukee every summer for more than 30 years was cherished by them all.
Don loved numbers, logic puzzles, antiques, auctions, art, history and mystery novels, golf, the Cleveland Browns and antique brass doorknobs. He was loved by his family and friends for his integrity, intelligence, quick wit and quiet generosity.
Don is survived by his wife of 64 years, Becky; his children, Kristine Pearson of Branchport, N.Y., Douglas Pearson (Barbara Stone) of Womelsdorf, Pa. and Jennifer (Kenneth) Shea of Burnt Hills, N.Y.; his beloved grandchildren, Molly, Abigail and Jack Shea; his sister, Lois (John) Griffith, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents; his brothers Arthur and Edward, and his sister-in-law, Mary Cleary Maund.
Nancy Kay Clarke Thompson passed away at the age of 85 at Genesis hospital on March 25, 2023. She was born in Ravenna, Ohio on October 11,1937 the daughter of Scot Butler Clarke and Lucy Jean Spiers. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, G.William “ Bill” Thompson, her sister, Elaine Potter, her step father Tony Kellers, and a stepbrother Tony Kellers, Jr.
She is survived by her five children, Todd (Julie) Thompson, Tara (Tom) Poorman, Tim (Susan) Thompson, Ted (Megan) Thompson, and Tracie (Brian) Hill. She also has 9 grandchildren - Rachel (Dakota) Matz, Melanie (Eric) Schwieterman, Electa Thompson, Olivia Thompson, Aaron Thompson, Molly Thompson, Kaleigh Hill, Cameron Hill, and Conner Hill. Nancy also has 1 great grandchild, Ivy Drew Schwieterman and another great grandchild, Makari Matz, on the way. She is survived by a brother, Tom Clarke of Greensboro, NC. She is also survived by step granddaughter Jennifer (Shane) Shipley and step great granddaughters Hanna Hicks, Olivia Shipley and Sophia Shipley.
Nancy loved her family more than anything, as was evident in how she lived her life caring for them.
Nancy graduated from Brush High school in Lyndhurst, Ohio in 1955. In 1959, she graduated from Muskingum College where she earned Summa Cum Laude honors and was a member of the Delta Gamma Theta sorority. Nancy met her husband Bill Thompson during freshmen orientation week. She and Bill were together from then on and were married for 55 years prior to his death in 2014. Nancy started college as a Math major, but changed her major to home economics so she could be the best homemaker and cook for Bill and their eventual family. While living in Cincinnati as Bill was completing his funeral director and embalming school program, Nancy was a teacher in a junior high school there.
After they moved to their home in White Cottage and raised their family, Nancy continued to be passionate about teaching and helping others. She was a teacher to her children, grandchildren and many youth over the years at Trinity United Presbyterian Church. Nancy was a self-published author of two children’s books based on funny and sweet true life experiences. Nancy loved babysitting her grandchildren and teaching them all to swim in her pool. If you knew Nancy, you know that she loved swimming and sweets. Chocolate chip cookies were her favorite, but about any candy or cookie would not be turned down! Nancy also loved to play tennis, and was able to play until age 80. She also loved to read – especially historical novels. Nancy had many friends who will miss her greatly, including her Wednesday lunch bunch, her Silver Sneakers friends at the YMCA, her former Mother’s club and bridge club buddies, her caregivers, and many church friends.
Nancy was a faithful Christian disciple. She was a 60 year member of Trinity UP church where she taught Sunday school for 40 years, was youth group chairman, was Moderator of Deacons and an Elder. She was also a lifetime member of the UP Women USA. Nancy was also active in the community on the Eastside Board of Directors for 15 years. When her children were young, she served as president of Newton School PTO for several years. Nancy gave freely of her time, talents and treasures in every aspect of her full life.
Frederick W. Tobias died peacefully on March 20th, 2023. He was born May 6th, 1934. Mr. Tobias was a 1952 Graduate of Ken Hi where he played football. He attended Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio from 1952-53, which was interrupted by military service from 1953-55. In 1959 he graduated from Muskingum University with a Bachelor's Degree in Geology. During military service he played football for the 36th Artillery Group in Germany and for the Arnold A.C. Sandlot Team thereafter. He was employed by Alcoa Research Laboratories after graduation. He later accepted a position with United Geophysical Corporation in Houston, Texas. From 1967-79, Mr. Tobias was an associate with A.C. Ackenheil & Associates providing Geotechnical services for various public and private developments throughout the US. In 1979 SRW Associates Consulting Engineers & Geologists was formed with Mr. Tobias being one of the partners. In 1986 SRW merged with ICF Kaiser Engineers, where Mr. Tobias retired as Vice-President in 1989. He was a partner in RLT Enterprises International involved in real estate investments during his time with SRW & ICF Kaiser Engineers and remained active in the partnership after retirement. Mr. Tobias was a Registered Professional Geologist in the States of Delaware, Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. He was also a member in the American Institute of Professional Geologists and the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists. He was an avid golfer, fly-fisherman and skier as well as a past member at Hillcrest Country Club & Buffalo Valley Country Club. Fred enjoyed traveling, spending winters in Florida, numerous fishing trips in Canada and Alaska and spending quality time with his grandchildren. He is survived by his loyal wife of nearly 63 years, Alice Mae Tobias, his children Frederick E. Tobias, Kimberly A. Perry (Gary) and Terri Lynn Kush (Ross Catalano, fiance) along with adoring grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mr. Tobias is preceded in death by: mother, Henrietta (Tobias) Shoemaker; father, Melvid Tobias; sister, Carolyn (Tobias) Cressler; sister-in-law, Maryann Tobias; and daughter-in-law, Theresa Tobias.
Margaret Ann (Clark) Rennecker of Worthington, Ohio was born to Eternal Life on December 10, 2020, age 94 years. Beloved wife for 60 years of the late John Warren Rennecker, Margaret was born and raised in Canton, Ohio. She had one brother, the late Robert “Bob” (Joyce) Clark. Peg attended Muskingum University in Ohio.
During Warren's enlistment, Peg moved to Florida and lived with her parents. After the service they moved to St. Louis, MO and raised their family. In the mid 70’s they moved back to Ohio, living in Upper Arlington for 30+ years until moving to Worthington.
Dear mother of Linda Bluvstein, Bruce (Debbie) Rennecker, Barbara Rennecker, Terry Rennecker. Loving grandmother to Ben, Jessica (Chad), Jake (Brad), Wesley, Daniel (Lindsey) Rennecker and Lauren (James) as well as great grandmother to Mae, Jack, Annabel, Isabella, Ava, and Leah. She is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. Peg will be lovingly remembered by family and friends as a devoted wife and mother. She is known to those who knew her has a kind and caring person with a great sense of humor. She made friends easily and loved to write cards and letters when it involved pen and a stamp. We are happy she can now be safe getting hugs and kisses.
Susan Renee (Huffman) Judd, age 63 of Lexington, passed away on March 14, 2023 after a long and valiant fight with complications from cancer at UH Samaritan Medical Center ER in Ashland, Ohio-her husband never left her side.Susan was born to David & Jackie (Lees) Huffman on April 25, 1959 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and was a graduate of Ligonier Valley Senior High School. She graduated from Muskingum College and taught as a teacher for many years before switching careers and becoming the director of Oasis Peer Recovery Center. She married Brian Judd in 1988, and together they built a family that she deeply loved."To live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21) are words that Susan lived by as nothing was more important to her than her faith. She put her trust in Jesus at the age of 12, and lived her life with unwavering faith and joy.Susan was an avid Steelers and Penn State fan, talented Scrabble player, and lover of unsweetened ice tea. She was a kind, strong, and loving woman who was quick to smile and always willing to help anyone in need. The light she shared freely continues to shine on in all the lives she touched.She is preceded in death by her father David Huffman. She is survived by her husband Brian and their children Rebekah, Jon, and Heidi; her mother Jackie; her siblings David (Lily), Gail (Kevin), and Glenn (Jill); and her aunt Geraldine (Gene) and aunt Bev.
John Thomas "Tom" Ament, 77, of Wooster, OH, died on Saturday, March 11, 2023He was born August 27, 1945, in Baltimore, MD, to John Wesley "Wes" and Mildred "Mim" Burger Ament. On August 31, 1968, he married Cheryl "Cheri" O'Hail. He is survived by their two children John Christopher (Chris) Ament of North Royalton, OH, and Laura (Michael) Taylor of Geelong, Australia; grandchildren Alex Ament, Isabelle "Rilie" Taylor, and Luke Taylor; sisters Janice Flores of Columbia, MD, and Mary Kelly of Crofton, MD. John was preceded in death by his parents and wife. John graduated from Muskingum College (where he met Cheri) in 1967. He married shortly thereafter, was drafted into the Army in 1968, and served in Fulda, Germany, for approximately 2 years. After being honorably discharged, he worked for the Veteran's Administration nearly his entire career, retiring in 2000. He was an active member of St. Mary Catholic church and was a faithful Christian his entire life. John loved to fish, work in the garden and grow vegetables, play tennis, coach his kids' softball teams (when he was younger), have game nights with friends (when he was older), and read very large books (especially history).
CAROL SLEITH, age 87, of Lyndhurst, passed away January 21, 2023. Beloved wife of the late Harry Sleith; dear mother of Lisa Ann (Laurie A. Baty) of Alexandria, VA and Mark Alan of Baltimore, MD; loving aunt of Sharon Watt (Kevin) and Sandra Papageorge (Nestor); loving dog mom of Lilly. Carol was an avid gardener, voracious reader, and genealogy and history buff. She was a passionate supporter of all animals and multiple animal rescue leagues. But above all, Carol loved spending time with her family, especially at the holidays.
Richard Lee Bassetti, age 77, of New Philadelphia, Ohio passed away on Monday, January 30, 2023.
Edna Sharp 93 of Richmond, Ohio passed away March 3, 2023 at Gables Care Center. She was born April 7, 1929 in Cumberland, Maryland a daughter of the late James and Elizabeth (Kyle) Hawkins. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband, Robert B. Sharp; grandsons, Mark Adam Moore and infant grandson, Steven Robert Moore; brothers, Morris and Raymond Hawkins; sister-in-law, Ila Faye Hawkins.
Edna was a graduate of Muskingum College. Her first job in education was teaching at Unionvale then Irondale and spent most of the years as a teacher at Edison Local mainly with kindergarten and first grade. She was a former member of Annapolis Presbyterian and was a member of Richmond Presbyterian Church where she played the piano for many years. She loved her grandchildren and always enjoyed watching them in sports and other activities. For many years after retirement Edna spent winters in Florida with her husband.
She is survived by her daughters, Leslie (Greg) Smith and Mary Ann (Steve) Moore; grandsons, Rob (Val) Moore and Stevie (Kacey) Moore; great-grandchildren, Dylan, Marcus, Lydia, and Chloe; brothers, Carl (Stella) Hawkins, Johnny (Sally) Hawkins, Neil (Carolyn) Hawkins, Nancy (Rich) Taylor, sister-in-law, Ruth Hawkins.
Dr. A.D. "Al" Steele Jr., age 94 of Cambridge, OH passed away Saturday February 25, 2023 at his home surrounded by family. Al was born July 3, 1928 to the late Alonzo Dewees "Doc" Steele Sr. and Helen Gibbons Anderson Steele in Holiday's Cove, WV. Dr. Steele graduated from Old Washington High School, Muskingum College with a Bachelor of Science, and Ohio State University as a Doctor of Dental Surgery. He opened his private practice in Cambridge in 1955. For the next ten years following retirement from his private practice, he became the Dental Director for the Cambridge State Hospital.
Al was a long time member of The First United Methodist Church where he served on various committees. He was a fifty plus year member of The Cambridge Kiwanis Club where he served as President in 1968. Al was a member of Guernsey Lodge #66 F & AM where he served fifteen years as Treasurer. He joined the Valley of Cambridge in 1957 and was Thrice Potent Master from 1983 to 1985. He directed the 7th degree at the Valley's Reunions for many years and also served in the 4th, 14th, 24th and 32nd degrees at the Scottish Rite Reunions. He received The Honorary 33rd degree in 1984 at Detroit, Michigan. He was a member of Aladdin Shrine and the Kambri Shrine Club. Al was a Captain in the United States Air Force. For many years Al was a member of The Cambridge Country Club where he was an avid golfer.
Along with his parents, Al was preceded in death by one son, Scott Douglas Steele in addition to many aunts and uncles. Surviving is his wife, Peggy Ann Young Steele of Cambridge, OH whom he married March 21, 1953. They were several weeks short of celebrating 70 years of marriage. Also surviving are two daughters, Karen D. Steele, Ph.D. of Anderson, South Carolina and Patricia D. (Dr. Anthony "Skip") Mollica of Augusta, GA, and son, Curtis D. (Mary) Steele of Columbus, OH. Other survivors are daughter-in-law, Chris Steele of Charlotte, NC, brother, Dr. Harold B. (Sue) Steele of Cincinnati, OH, seven grandchildren: Meghan (Sam) Rivard, Rachel (Charles) Laughlin, Phillip (Caroline) Mollica, Patrick Mollica, Eric (Marianna) Steele, Michael Steele, Lauren (Sam) Doron, plus five great grandchildren: Anna, Micah, Beau, Hampton and Culley. The Family would like to extend a Special Thanks to all of the excellent caregivers who helped through the years with Al's care.
After battling cancer for eight years, Dr. James Walter Whetstone, 61, passed away on February 28, 2023. He is survived by his wife of over 42 years, Julie, his children, Josh (Lynda), Jamie (Will), and Johanna (Brenton), his grandchildren, Sarah, Alli, Lauren, and Clark; his siblings Dave (Linda), Paul (Tina) and Dr Judith Westman (David); along with his many nieces and nephews.
James, known to most as Jim, Jimmy, or Doctor Jim, was born to Doctors Paul and Anna Whetstone on October 28, 1961. He grew up in Millersport, Ohio, which is where he met his wife, Julie. Jim and Julie began dating during a high school production of Man of La Mancha - he played the role of Don Quixote and she played the role of Aldonza. A 1979 graduate of Millersport High School, he earned his bachelor's degree from Muskingum University and his Doctor of Medicine from The Ohio State University. After completing his family practice residency at Riverside Methodist Hospital in 1990, Jim and his wife returned to the area to raise their own family, and he joined his parents' practice in Millersport to continue their legacy. They were blessed to work alongside each other for ten years before his parents retired.
Jim was embedded in the Millersport community in a number of ways - following in his father's footsteps as physician for the high school football team, a regular performer in community theatre productions, and an active member of the Millersport United Methodist Church, including leadership roles, just to name a few. Serving others was paramount to him, as evidenced by his continuing to see patients throughout his various treatments. He was always generous with his talent, resources, and support, but more importantly with his time, kind soul, and gentle spirit.
Being a family physician in a small town enabled Jim to build special bonds and ties with his patients, which often included multiple generations. He truly cared for his staff members and his patients, many of whom he considered to be friends and family of his own. In 2009, he was named Family Physician of the Year by the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, an award that recognized his above-and-beyond service as a medical practitioner.
Jim would tell you that his greatest accomplishment in life was being a good father. He was an incredibly loving parent who encouraged and supported his children in everything they did, from education, to athletic and musical endeavors, to life decisions and events and everything in between. He wanted nothing more than for his children to follow their dreams, and he taught them to pour their passion and talent into anything they pursued.
John Ruyan, 79, of Cuyahoga Falls Ohio, left this earth peacefully February 27th, with his loving wife, Jan by his side after a courageous battle with cancer. John never complained nor gave up. John was born the first of five children to the late John and Rosemary Ruyan in Westerville, Ohio, where he often spoke of his idyllic childhood hanging out with his brother Jerry.
John attended Westerville High School and played on both Men's Varsity Baseball and Basketball teams. He went on to attend Muskingum College, studying mathematics, where he played as a Point Guard on the Men's Basketball team. John served his country in the US Army Reserve as Military Intelligence Commander acting as an Interpreter/Translator (fluent in Serbo-Croatian) while stationed at Monterey, California. John received his master's degree in physical education at The Ohio State University where he also served as an assistant basketball coach with Coach Bill Musselman. John secured his first head coaching position at New London High School, then accepted the head coach position at Steubenville College followed by GlenOak High School, where he taught math and led the basketball team to winning Sectional Championships.
John and Coach Larry Wilson, owned and managed Century Cage Camp working as lead coaches providing off-season summer training for promising high school athletes. John's final coaching job was working alongside of Hal Smith at Malone College. John continued to scout players when called upon by his fellow coaches, even into January of 2023. John was always an athlete and actively watched, as well as engaged, in a variety of sports. He was the first in our area to play and promote pickleball, and was currently on a golf league with his son Nate. John was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He was a great encourager, cheering us on in sports and in life. John will be deeply missed by all who knew him. His passion for teaching, coaching, sports, his family, and enjoying the outdoors will be remembered and cherished.
John leaves behind his best friend and wife Jan, and children whom he loved dearly: Nate Ruyan, Katie (Bill) Heavilin, Mary (Ali) Ruyan, and Jenna Fisher; two very special grandchildren; Nicholas and Natalie Heavilin; loving siblings; Jerry Ruyan, Roberta (Pat) Fagan, Robert Ruyan, nieces' nephews, and cousins. John was fun loving and shared many laughs with his friends; Larry, Gus, Tim, and Gary, to name just a few. John was preceded in death by his parents, and sister Rebecca Ruyan Groseclose. The family of John Ruyan express thanks to all the "angels" including Carol C. and Aldean, of The Western Reserve Hospice in Medina Ohio and oncology staff at the Cleveland Clinic, who treated John with heartfelt kindness and dignity throughout his time as a patient.
Stephen Mickam, age 53, passed away on February 24, 2023. He was born on November 30, 1969 in Ft. Knox, KY. He is preceded in death by his mother, Mary Miller Thayer Mickam. He is survived by his wife, Frances Faye Thompson; his father, John B. Mickam; mother-in-law Myrtle F. Thompson; brother Robert W. Mickam; his aunts Ellen Vahan, Elizabeth Harrison (Ian), Carolyn Thayer Codinha (Bill), and uncles Edward Thayer (Brenda) and Kourtland Koch (Patti); cousins Katie Vahan (Rocker), Johnathan Vahan, Edward Thayer III (Sally), James Thayer (Lauren), Carolyn Codinha, and Alessandra Codinha (Jason). He also leaves behind countless friends and loved ones, including his best friend and Very Good Boy, Pickles.
Stephen graduated first from Park Tudor School in Indianapolis, IN and then from Muskingum College in New Concord, OH. It was there that he began his life-long friendships with his beloved Kappa Sigma brothers. He cherished the memories he made with them, and they were a source of strength and support for him during difficult times.
In 2004, he graduated from the Gemological Institute of American in Carlsbad, CA as a Graduate Jeweler Gemologist. In that program, he found his passion that set him on the career path that he truly loved working in the jewelry industry. That career resulted in so many lasting friendships and strong professional relationships. It was a point of pride and love for him that he had worked with so many of the same people together in different settings. For him, that was a sign that he had surrounded himself with good people who loved and appreciated one another.
Robert “Rob” Shilling, of Littleton, Colorado, passed away peacefully in Hospice after a long illness on February 10, 2023, with his wife at his side.
Rob was born November 12, 1946 in Troy, Ohio to Harry E. Shilling MD and Janet Zimmerman Shilling and was raised there. He graduated from Muskingum College in 1969 with a Bachelors Degree in Business. He found his work as a Surgical Sales Representative/Manager exciting and satisfying before he retired in 2017.
Rob loved the outdoors, fly fishing ,camping, hiking, Porsche club events and travel. He also loved spending time with family and friends.
Rob is survived by his wife June, who he met on a flight between Chicago and Denver in 1974. They were married in June, 1975. He is also survived by Robyn their daughter, of Queen Creek, AZ, and Geoffrey their son of Littleton, Colorado, and two grandchildren, Rowan and Ramsey.
Dr. Samuel Wallace Speck, Jr., age 86, passed away following an acute illness and after a brief stay in hospice care at Kobacker House in Columbus, Ohio. He was a resident at Wesley Glen Retirement Community in Columbus. He was married to his wife Sharon for 55 years until her death in 2017. Sam was born to the late Samuel and Lois Speck in Canton, Ohio. After graduating from Louisville High School he went on to graduate summa cum laude in Political Science from Muskingum College (now Muskingum University). He earned a Masters and Ph.D. in Government at Harvard University and attended the University of Zimbabwe as a Rotary Foundation Fellow. Sam went on to touch innumerable lives with lifelong public and academic service. Starting in 1964 Sam became a member of the faculty at Muskingum College. He served as an Ohio State representative and senator for twelve years. During that time he was the primary author for the Ohio Strip Mine Reclamation act of 1971, which was used as a model for the Federal Strip Mine Act. The Strip Mine Reclamation Act allowed, in part, for the eventual revitalization of land for The Wilds, an exotic and endangered species wildlife preserve. Appointed by President Reagan in 1983, Sam served as Associate Director for State and Local Programs in the Federal Emergency Management Agency for three years. Sam returned to Muskingum College in 1986 to serve in leadership positions and became President in 1988, a role he held for twelve years. In 1999 Governor Taft appointed Sam as the Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and he served in this capacity for nearly eight years. During this time, as chair of the Council of Great Lakes Governors’ Water Management Working Group, he led development of the Great Lakes Annex Agreement and Compact to provide for the management of withdrawals of water from the Great Lakes basin. In 2004 he was one of three state officials in the U.S. to receive the National Governors Association’s annual award for Distinguished Service in State Government. From 2008 to 2011 Sam served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as a U.S. Commissioner on the International Joint Commission focusing on boundary water issues between the U.S. and Canada. Sam was a member or held leadership roles in numerous organizations including the International Center for the Preservation of Wildlife (the Wilds), Eastern Ohio Development Alliance, the Great Lakes Commission, Council of Great Lakes Governors Water Management Working Group, the Ohio Water Resources Council, the Nature Conservancy Board of Directors for Ohio, and the Ohio to Erie Trail Board of Directors. Sam is survived by his sons: Sam (Ellen) Speck and Derek Speck, and his grandchildren: Sam (Taylor) Speck, Sarah (Sajal Tiwary) Speck, and Steven Speck.
Margaret Virginia Brown Sims of Wooster, Ohio, formerly of Wheeling, WV passed away peacefully following a short illness on September 8, 2022. She was born on September 2, 1931 in Murrysville, PA, to the Reverend Lewis Robin Brown and Helen Brownlee Smith Brown.
Marge will be fondly remembered by her family and friends for her love of children, which began at an early age teaching Sunday school class. Marge graduated from Muskingum (College) University in 1953 with a degree in Elementary Education and dedicated her life to teaching. Muskingum University held a special place in her heart as it was there, that she met the love of her life, Jim, and together they formed friendships that lasted a lifetime. She continued her education later in life and obtained a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from WVU. Marge touched hundreds of children’s lives during her teaching career, mainly at Wheeling Country Day School and as the Director of Wheeling Park Day Camp in the summers. She ended her career as the Director of Holy Family Childcare Center and went on to be a Nanny to many children in her retirement. She was an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an International Society for Women Educators. The joys of her life were her grandchildren and great-grandchildren who loved her dearly. She loved playing the piano and giving piano lessons. She had an abiding Christian faith and was an active member of local churches wherever she lived, usually in the Children’s Ministry and singing in the choir. She had a kind heart, and a helpful spirit and was admired by all who knew her.
Marge is preceded in death by her parents Rev. Lewis R. Brown '25 and Helen Brownlee Smith Brown '27, her husband James Russell Sims '53, a son Thomas Lewis Sims '80 and his wife Mary Kathryn “Kitty” Sims, a brother Joseph Lewis Brown '50 and his wife Pat, a sister Helen Clementine Munholand and her husband Howard, and a sister-in-law Ruth Backstrom Brown '52. She is survived by her son Judge David Sims (Lisa), her daughter Martha Welker (Rodd), her grandchildren Tyler Welker (Kristi), Chad Welker (Laura), Hannah Bennett (Ryan), Alex Sims (Melanie), Westin Welker (Bridget), Kate Sims and Allie Sims, her great-grandchildren, Mackenzie Welker, Aubrey Welker, Logan Welker, Madelyn Welker and Grayson Welker, her brother Robert James Brown '52, a special son Eckard Rademann, and many loving nieces and nephews.
Nancy Russell Washburn, age 92, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. Nancy was a resident of Mount Horeb since 2003 and had lived in Madison from 1956 until 1984 with her husband, Ralph F. Washburn.
Nancy Fremd Russell was born on Nov. 2, 1930, in McKeesport, Pa. She was the daughter of Louise (Netzle) and David B. Russell.
Nancy is survived by her three children, Lisa (Bengt Westerblad), Christopher (Kim) and Scott (Tammy); and four grandchildren, Benjamin (Shelby), Frederik, Adam (fiancee, Marina Anderson) and Louisa. She was preceded in death by her parents; and husband.
Ruth Riddle Browneller, 98, of Riverside, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, on Wednesday evening, Jan. 26, 2022, at her residence.
She was born July 4, 1923, in New Florence, Westmoreland County, a daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Melvin W. and Rachel (Reynolds) Riddle.
Ruth graduated from Chambersburg High School in 1941, attended Muskingum College in Ohio and then graduated from Pennsylvania State University in 1945.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 32 years, Ellsworth R. Browneller M.D., who was the former Vice President of Geisinger Medical Center and Secretary of Health of Pennsylvania. They were married June 14, 1947.
In her earlier years, she taught Home Economics in Coatesville and Abington.
Ruth was an active member of Grove Presbyterian Church for 60 years serving as a Deacon and an Elder. She also served on numerous other committees in the church. She was a founding member and Past President of the Geisinger Medical Center Auxiliary. She was a Charter Member and served many years on the Board of Directors of The Children's Oncology Services of Danville, and as a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House of Danville. Ruth was honored as the First Lady of the Year in 1985 by the Beta Sigma Phi Sororities. Her hope was that by honoring her, that they were honoring all volunteers, not just herself. Ruth felt she had a wonderful life and used volunteering as a way to give back to others.
Ruth will be remembered for her creativity, sewing and gardening. She brightened her home with flowers from her gardens. She excelled at making miniatures she used to decorate her doll houses and miniature scenes. Ruth enjoyed entertaining her friends, her husband's colleagues and playing bridge.
She only had one love in her long life. Ruth and Ellsworth "Brownie" met in kindergarten and remained a pair for the next 50 years. They started 'housekeeping' in Philadelphia while Brownie finished his medical degree, then moved to Florida, Michigan and back to Philadelphia and settled in Riverside in 1962. Ruth was a wonderful mother. She sewed many dresses for her daughters, made three meals a day, served as homeroom mother, drove carpools to swim team and ballet but most importantly supported her daughters in all their endeavors.
As a grandmother she loved her grandchildren and always supported their activities. Her home was always open to them whether for an hour or for weeks.
She is survived by four daughters, Lynn Reichen and her husband Walter and Barbara Tevis of Riverside, Nancy Dennen and her husband Mike of Clarks Summit, and Susan Rudy of Lock Haven. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Kelly LaMotte and her husband John, Christine Reichen, Cage Tevis of Riverside; Kyle Dennen and his wife Courtney of Wyomissing, Rachel Dennen of Philadelphia and Rebecca Dennen of Clarks Summit; Trent Rudy and Sarah Rudy, both of Lock Haven. Also surviving are her great-grandchildren, Jacob and Benjamin LaMotte of Riverside.
She was also preceded in death by her daughter, Sandra at the age of 19 in 1981; and her sister and brother-in-law, Lois Riddle Johnson and her husband Herbert.
Bill Rodgers died peacefully Sunday night, January 8, 2023 surrounded by family following a sudden medical emergency. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sally Rodgers; daughters, Amy Van Dorp (Buddy) and Susan Aylor (Wes); grandchildren, Will Van Dorp, Katie Van Dorp, Lanie Van Dorp, Allyson Aylor and Mary Lynn Aylor; sisters, Claire Blake (Jerry) and Joyce Rodgers; niece and nephew, Wendy Olichweir (Matt) and Mike Blake (Heather); sister-in-law Edie Robinson and nephews Andy (Beth) and Tom.
Bill was born in Glens Falls, New York but grew up in Westfield, New Jersey and graduated from Westfield High School. He received a degree in Political Science from Muskingum University. Bill was a veteran of the Vietnam war, graduating from Officer Candidate School and distinguishing himself as Press officer while working in the Casemate Museum on Fort Monroe, in Virginia. He worked for Equitable Life Assurance Society for 15 years. Bill then owned and operated Valley Power Products in Roanoke for 45 years.
Bill was devoted to his family, running his business with his wife Sally. He loved old cars, old tractors, football and NASCAR. He was a gifted mechanic who rebuilt his first car before he had his driver&'s license. He has counseled people all over the world on how to repair and care for their small tractor engines through his business Valley Power Products. Bill operated his business with care and integrity. He was a longtime member of Windsor Hills United Methodist Church in Roanoke.
John Thomas Wyant, age 77, of Quinlan, TX passed away on January 10, 2022 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, surrounded by the love of his family. John grew up in Ohio and attended Muskingum University in New Concord, OH, where he played football and in 1966 graduated with a teaching credential. During his time at Muskingum, he married his high school sweetheart, Nancy.
John entered the corporate world after college and worked in manufacturing sales. He and Nancy and their growing family settled in Vacaville in 1973. He continued working in sales until 1985, when he left the corporate world and enjoyed a 25-year second career teaching at VUSD and coaching football, basketball, baseball, track and golf. He loved the competition, life lessons, and connections that coaching brought into his life. He was a person who genuinely cared about his family and his community and gave back in an effort to make the world a better place. A decade of service for Children’s Network and the Onion Festival as “Mr. Onion” was a highlight for him. He believed hard work would always be rewarded, respect is earned by giving it, and actions speak louder than words.
In retirement, John and Nancy enjoyed traveling and after RVing the country for 18 months, they decided to settle permanently in Texas. There, John enjoyed substitute teaching and staying in close touch with the lives of his children and grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Nancy of Quinlan, TX; daughter Holly Wudel (Mark, Carly, Michael) of Vacaville; son, Drew Wyant (Lana, Cole and Cade) of Rocklin, CA; son, Zach Wyant (Dana, Hailey Morgan (Colby Morgan and great-grandson Culyer), Jessica Buchanan (Calahan), and Samuel Wyant, all of North Texas, and his many extended relatives and close family friends.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Evelyn Fee of Brookings, South Dakota, born in Jersey City, New Jersey, who passed away on January 15, 2023, at the age of 93, leaving to mourn family and friends.
She was predeceased by : her parents, Joseph Nester and Emma Nester (Bailer); her husband David A. Fee, Sr.; and her sisters, Virginia Redchuk and Elaine Whitehead.
She is survived by : her children, David A. Fee Jr. (Tracy) of Charlotte, NC, Dr. Virginia Fee of Raleigh, NC, Dr. Sarah Fee (Michael Phillippo) and Rebecca Fee (Paul Johnston) of St Paul, MN; her grandchildren, Isabel, David III, Savannah, Noah, Sarina and Oliver; and her great grandchildren, Benjamin and Kehlani.
Philip J. Torrens, 76, of Utica passed away on January 15, 2023 at his residence. He was born on February 23, 1946 in Mt. Vernon, Ohio to the late Joe and Mary Evelyn (Hotchkiss) Torrens.
Phil graduated from Utica High school in 1964 and Muskingum College in 1968. He went on to become a lifelong teacher, coach and farmer. His teaching career began at Utica High School. He moved on to Roosevelt Jr. High followed by Newark High School. Phil ended his teaching career in 1988 at Wilson Jr. High. His 55 year coaching career began at Utica High School, moved on to Roosevelt Jr. High, followed by Newark High School. In 1979, Phil found his forever coaching home at Denison University where he was head cross country coach and assistant track coach. His Denison coaching career spanned 45 years where he mentored countless athletes with whom he kept in touch. He was former President of the Utica EMS board and member of the Utica Presbyterian Church. Phil also served on the Board of Directors for United Producers, Incorporated for 26 years. He especially enjoyed his sheep, football and most of all his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Sarah (Richcreek) Torrens; daughter, Ellen (Cleve) Carter; grandsons, GC, Brooks and Landry Carter; granddaughter, Vanessa Carter; brother, John (Sherry) Torrens; niece Lori (Cam) Drake; great niece Mollie Drake; and sister-in-law Norma Mercurio.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his son, Joe Torrens; and his faithful dog, Bo.
David Porter, Class of 1982, passed away on January 15, 2023.