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In 1973 Bill joined the Wickliffe Midget Football and is the oldest active coach. He coached the Eagles with Dave Hennie for 28 years and then became a trustee. He continued to remain active by working the concession stand and the reverse raffles. He drove the lead truck for many years in the Memorial Day Parade to honor the war dead and has helped to deliver food baskets at Christmastime. Along with Joe Oboczky and Lenny Inghram they built and installed the goal posts at the Wickliffe High School practice field. At the age of 78 he returned to coaching so that he could coach his grandsons.
In 1973 he also joined the Wickliffe Baseball League and coached both boys and girls for 15 years. He ran the girls’ league for three years set up and ran tournaments and entered teams in tournaments outside the city. He coached a travelling team with Rollie Cicirelli and was an umpire during this time. In addition, he helped to coach his granddaughters in Mentor fast pitch softball.
He also taught a Hunters’ safety Course for boys and girls ages 12 and up through the Wickliffe Recreation department.
During his time as a coach he touched the lives of countless Wickliffe Youth. Bill always enjoyed teaching and working with the boys and girls in the city and passed his love of coaching on to all of his children who in turn coached their children and others in various sports. “Old Man Beal” is known as a living legend. He still goes out and coaches the neighborhood kids playing in his back yard.
Bill has also volunteered in various ways. He built scenery for the Mt. Carmel Players, was part of the stage crew and helped to put a roof on their storage building. He was co-chair for the Mt. Carmel festival where he ran the outside wheels. He is always willing to help his neighbors especially the seniors.
He was born in Hinton, WV in 1934, raised in Cleveland and moved to Pittsburgh where he attended the 7th and 8th grade in a one room school house. He lettered in high school football and enlisted in the army after graduation (Korean Conflict). He came back to Cleveland, married Joanne in October of 1958 and moved to Wickliffe in 1959. He retired from General Motors after 40 years of service. They have six children, Laurin (Mark) Gelin, Susan, Bridget (William) Owen, William (Danene), Charles (Tammy) and Brian, 16 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
We moved into our “starter” house in Wickliffe a week after we were married in 1964. We’re still in the same “starter” house but with the addition of another bedroom and another bathroom we were able to stay there and raise our six children. Probably our first community action was to join Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish.
We were able to send all six children to Our Lady of Mt Carmel School. Since the school didn’t have a pre-school or kindergarten program at that time, it only took 19 years to get them all through grade school.
We became active in the Parish Youth Team when our children were approaching their teen years. Barb became active in the PTU of the school and both Ed and Barb taught PSR classes in their home to junior high students and worked the Bingo program at OLMC. Barb was coordinator of the Adopt-A-Student program at OLMC — a program that would provide financial assistance to those who could not afford the tuition. Ed became active in the civic community becoming coach, manager, and president of the Wickliffe Baseball League. It was about that time that Barb volunteered him to Father Hepner for renovation of the Convent into the Rectory/Administration building. From then and until now he has continued to do several blueprint drawings for the church, school, the Mt. Carmel Players, and storage building and festival layouts. Ed was on the committee, along with people from Immaculate Conception, St Justin and St Mary Magdalene to inspect and decide which school building would be the best for the new school merger. When OLMC was chosen, Ed did the drawing of the entire school building and church in preparation for opening of Mater Dei Academy. (He still reminds me that I volunteered him).
Ed and Barb became Eucharistic Ministers in 1983 and continued until Ed was stricken with CIDP in 2002. Barb was hired as Bookkeeper/Secretary at the Rectory in 1986 and continued there until retirement in 2008. Barb continues as Eucharistic Minister, Adult Altar Server and Sacristan for Funerals. Ed drives the parish van one Sunday of month, bringing those to church who don’t drive. Both Ed and Barb are Homebound Ministers, bringing the Eucharist to the homebound.
Ed is a 3rd Degree Knight in the Knights of Columbus and Barb is a member of the Altar and Rosary Guild and Legion of Mary, Auxiliary. Ed and Barb love their parish and are grateful to all those who make it a great community.
In 1954 James Fox was born to Charles and Mary Fox in Painesville, Ohio, the second of eight children in his big Catholic family. Although Jim was raised in Willoughby, he did reside in Wickliffe briefly while in high school at Borromeo Seminary in 1968-71, because he believed he may have been called to serve others through the priesthood. Even though his youthful desire to be of service to others did not continue through that commitment, the future would bring him back to Wickliffe in a big way.
Jim graduated from South High School in 1972 and enlisted in the United States Navy, serving for four years at the end of the Vietnam War. While working with the Naval Security Group in Washington DC, Jim and Sherry’s first two children, James and Stephanie were born. In 1976, this young family came home after Jim’s tour of duty and, needless to say, he needed a good job.
In 1978, Jim was selected to become a police officer for the City of Wickliffe, graduating as the number one student in the police academy at Case Western Reserve University. He then started shiftwork as a patrolman in Wickliffe, and the adventure began. Young Officer Fox patrolled the streets and met everybody, including many of the wonderful people already recognized in this HOF, who served this community in so many ways, and were always kind and supportive to Officer Fox.
Jim loves sports or any fun competitions. He would play ball in the streets with the neighborhood kids. Appreciation for these kids and their families made the job a blessing for Officer Fox. It was not without excitement. During his first year, Officer Fox arrested a man that broke into Jerry’s Ice Cream shop and smashed things during his burglary. Fox caught him shortly after the break-in walking down a neighboring side street after midnight with chocolate syrup spilled on his shoes. Good old HOFer Jerry Olivo would never let Fox pay for his ice cream again.
In 1984, Patrolman Fox received the Lake County Blue Coats’ Officer of the Year award for the capture of three armed robbers following a high speed chase that ended in a crash of the suspects’ stolen vehicle and a foot pursuit through a snow-covered ravine on Interstate 90. In 1985, Fox was promoted to sergeant. Sergeant Fox, along with other officers from Wickliffe and Willowick, became the original members of the multi-jurisdictional SWAT team. Fox was invited to work with the Wickliffe Middle School eighth grade teachers and began an annual presentation called “Rights and Responsibilities”. HOFer, Dan D’Amore, was one of the teachers in that program that continued for over 15 years. In 1990, Fox was promoted to Lieutenant and became the Commander of the Western Lake County Emergency Response Team.
In 1994, Jim Fox was promoted to Chief of Police. Excitement about the opportunity to lead the wonderful men and women of the Wickliffe Police Department was immediately challenged by a tragic event, the shooting at our Middle School, chronicled in this Hall of Fame. Following that horrible incident was the story that describes Wickliffe best. The entire community galvanized as one family to help recover from this tragedy. Churches of every faith opened their doors and set up counseling, every civic organization provided whatever help they could, the school personnel hugged and restored the children’s confidence. The men and women of the police department received honors for their outstanding work, but it was the community’s love and support going forward that was most meaningful.
Chief James Fox simply wanted to be a public servant, but the people of Wickliffe made his career the most rewarding job he could imagine. He will never be able to adequately thank them and all the people with whom he served. In retirement, Fox still lives in the old house in Willoughby with his wife Sherry and works as a running back coach with his youngest son, Jeff, who is the Head Football Coach of Nordonia High school. Looks like he’ll still be working on “rights and responsibilities” with their eight grandchildren, Charlie, Ella, Max, Michael, Luke, Blakely, Mallory, and Bryce.
Emma grew up in a suburb of Rome, Italy. Emma went to school for sewing and became a professional wedding dress seamstress. Her family owned two stores. One store was a general store and the other one was a bicycle store. Emma sewed apparel in the upstairs on one of the stores and sold the items in her father’s store. Emma married Domenico Gaetano in 1950 and they moved to the United States in 1959. She brought her beloved sewing machine with her. She has two sons, Raymond and Giovanni. She has two granddaughters, Lisa and Gina, and one grandson, Jonathan, and one great granddaughter, Ava Selene. Emma’s husband owned an electronics store in Richmond Heights where he sold and repaired electronics. Domenico passed in 2001. Emma’s son, Raymond works in electronics installations, and her son Giovanni is a Computer Engineer.
Emma began working in the Wickliffe Community at the Wickliffe Elementary School as a cafeteria aide from 1963-1993. She assisted the children with any needs they had and also assisted the cafeteria personnel with cleaning and serving. She also helped the Wickliffe Elementary School staff with sewing alterations that they needed.
Emma started her Community Service at the Wickliffe Senior Center in 2002. Emma did alterations for the community. She also created baby outfits, baby booties, adult and children slippers, and created hangers for gifts, and bag holders. For over ten years, they were just some of the many items she created. Emma was a great help when the Senior Center was moving to the new location on Worden Road. She had to pack up the whole craft room and re-set it up in the new facility. She continued her craft and sewing work and assisted with serving meals to the seniors for the next five years.
Working at the Senior Center, she helped raise a lot of funds by selling her crafts. Maureen Webster, the Wickliffe Senior Director at the time, collected the funds and made the deposits. These funds were then used to assist in senior functions so that all could participate. Even today, Emma assists at the Wickliffe Senior Center Nutrition Site kitchen as a volunteer, assisting other seniors. kitchen as a volunteer, assisting other seniors.
Although a Wickliffe resident most of her life, Stephanie was born in Waynesburg, PA, in May, 1953. She is the youngest of five children of Stephen and Kathryn Havanas. Besides Stephanie, Wickliffe is home to two siblings and a host of extended family members.
She moved to Wickliffe when she was 12 and entered Wickliffe Junior High; graduated Wickliffe High School in 1971 and Lakeland Community College – where she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Int’l. Honor Society.
Like her mother, Stephanie was usually involved in volunteering to various causes – from being a candy striper at Lake County Memorial Hospital, Clothe-a-Child, Geauga Humane Society, Lake Humane Society, the Wickliffe Beautification Committee, Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce, Christmas in April (now Rebuilding Together) to the Victorian Tea Committee. In 1996 she was named Businessperson of the year by the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce.
The idea of a Victorian Tea was planted after a business trip to southern California where tea houses were just coming into vogue. After visiting Wickliffe City Hall after the 1990 renovations, she approached the Wickliffe Beautification Committee about holding a fundraiser at City Hall. An intrepid committee of three proposed the plan and a budget. From the very beginning, the Tea was well received and thereby began a 25-year tradition of a Victorian Tea held the first weekend in December. In that time period, the Tea has raised over $125,000 to benefit Wickliffe and its citizens.
Stephanie has worked at Parker Hannifin Corporation for over 41 years. At 63, retirement is on the horizon and she is looking forward to more time with family, a little travel, and a lot more volunteering.
Roy Richardson was born November 9, 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio during the Great Depression. He graduated from East Technical High school where he was a track star.
After graduation, he signed up and entered the Army Corp in April, 1948. He was assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military pilots and other support personnel who fought in WWII. He also played woodwind instruments in the Air Force Band that entertained the troops.
In 1950, Roy returned to Cleveland where he met Sarah Elizabeth Weeden. The two were married in 1952 and settled in Wickliffe where they built their first home. Roy and Sarah had two daughters, Gladys and Stacey, who graduated from Wickliffe City Schools. The family enjoyed traveling and camping and was active in many community organizations, including the American Field Service (AFS), where they opened their home to many students from abroad.
Roy owned many businesses, including a gas station and several skating rinks. In 1956, Roy joined the Masonic Order, and is a Prince Hall 33rd Degree Mason, who currently holds several national positions in the organization.
In 1993, after living in Wickliffe for 41 years, Roy and Sarah built their second home in Oakwood Village, Ohio where Roy was awarded the Key to the City for his many accomplishments. Roy retired from Hy Grade Corporation (later named Unique Pavement Corporation), after 42 years of work. Following a brief illness, Sarah departed this earth in 2006, after 56 years of marriage.
Years after not being acknowledged for their contributions in the war, the Tuskegee Airmen were eventually recognized by the US Government. In 2007, President George W. Bush presented Roy and the remaining Airmen, with the Congressional Gold Medal in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C. In 2008, Roy and the remaining Tuskegee Airmen were invited to attend the inauguration of the first Black President of the United States, Barack Obama, something he thought he would never see in his lifetime. Frank Jackson, the Mayor of the City of Cleveland, also presented Roy with the Key to the City for his contribution to his country.
Currently, at 86 years old, Roy enjoys spending time with his growing family. He is still extremely active and works for the City of Highland Hills. He uses his time to speak to audiences at schools, churches, and civic organizations about the history of and his experience as a Tuskegee Airman.
A lifelong resident of Wickliffe Ohio, Vincetta Sabbath has touched the lives of countless Wickliffe School students. She was the daughter of Italian immigrants and she was the eighth of ten children. Even though she had older brothers and sisters, her parents depended on her because she had a very outgoing nature. She loved school and did very well in school despite the fact that mostly conversation at home was in Italian, not English.
She helped her father learn to read so he could apply to be a citizen of the United States. She also read to her mother, who could not read English. She married John Sabbath and they had five children a daughter and four sons. When she was first married, she told her husband John that she wanted to buy the house that was across from Lincoln School. He was a little surprised, because the house was not built yet, it was only a hole in the ground for the basement. They bought the house and she has lived there for 64 years.
When her children were young, she volunteered in the school for many different venues including PTA, Band Boosters, Athletic Boosters, and she volunteered to help pass school levies. Her husband John died suddenly at the age of 59 and it was difficult for her, but she kept busy with her family and two of her favorite activities cooking and gardening. Her career with Wickliffe City Schools lasted for 34 years, during which time she was a playground aide, assisted in the middle school cafeteria, a bus aide, and an assistant at the high school library.
She loved working in the library because she was always an avid reader of the classics, and cookbooks. She always loved working with children and was always genuinely interested in their lives. One of her favorite quotations is by Abraham “if you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will”. Vincetta Sabbath has something that great teachers possess, the ability to make people feel good about themselves. She always has an ear to listen.
During her career with Wickliffe City Schools, she was dedicated to helping children however she could, and always thought that ever student mattered. She took great pride in helping students reach their highest potential and watching them discover how they could make their world a better place.
Louise Seifert has had an enormous impact on the Wickliffe business community dating back to 1948.
Louise Seifert was born in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood in 1943. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Wickliffe settling on Rockefeller Road. She is a 1961 graduate of Wickliffe High School. In high school she lettered in several sports including volleyball, basketball, and softball. Louise has been working since the age of 5 years old. Her hard work ethic began at the Wickliffe Winery located on Euclid Ave. (which later became the U Bar) by sweeping the floors. This led to other responsibilities and ultimately she assisted managing the U Bar with her Aunt Vi Cirino – famous for their tripe and pizza burgers. At the age of 8 Louise also began working in the family flower shop, Wickliffe Floral. A few years later her Uncle Nick opened Cirino’s House of Flowers and she began delivering flowers for him and also working in the store until her mid- twenties. All the while she was assisting with the family landscaping business. In 1977 she became a school bus driver for Wickliffe City Schools and ultimately retired in 2006 after 29 years of service driving a bus. She became a favorite bus driver of many students including several of her nieces and nephews that attended Wickliffe schools and has many stories to tell during her tenure – enough to write a book. Moreover, in 1979 she obtained her Real Estate license all while holding down all the other jobs and responsibilities.
She is a member of the Lake County Board of Realtors. Her successful real estate career has flourished, and she has been awarded many achievement awards over the years: 100% Club reaching $2 million in sales per year; ReMax Executive Club Award for several consecutive years; Ohio President’s Achievement Award; and Sales Team of the Month Award.
Louise has been a member of the Wickliffe I&A Ladies Auxiliary Club since 1964. She has held Board level positions and also served as President.
In addition to supporting the local Wickliffe business economy, Louise is a generous donor to many local and national charities including University Hospital’s Children’s Miracle network, All Saints School, Lake Catholic, High School, OLMC’s Food Pantry, The Wounded Warrior Project, Phillip M. Devito Foundation and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Louise is not the first in her family to be inducted into the Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame. Her Uncle Nick Cirino was inducted in 2005 and her father Joe Seifert was inducted in 2007.
Louise can be seen in the early morning hours at the gym or having coffee at the local donut shop. Every Monday evening she does Eucharistic adoration at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. She is an avid Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers fan and attends as many downtown games as she can, either hosting clients or family.
For many years she traveled with family and friends to Myrtle Beach creating fun memories and sharing her vacation homes. In addition, she continues to carry out several of her family’s Italian traditions. One of the entire family’s favorites is when she hosts Christmas Eve and the Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Louise has a generous and caring heart and contributes her good health to hard work, enjoying her family, and living life to the fullest.
Since 1833, the St. Vincent de Paul Society has been serving those families in poverty or with difficult circumstances. The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel St. Vincent de Paul Society was founded on the concept of helping people who are in need. Just as Jesus offered love to all, we offer assistance to everyone in our community.
The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel St. Vincent de Paul Society was founded in January 1979. We became aggregated to the Cleveland Diocese St. Vincent de Paul Society on January 9, 1995. In the spring of 2011, the Cleveland Council was divided into five Councils. The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel St. Vincent de Paul Society is a Conference in the Lake/Geauga Council.
Our first food pantry was formed in 1989 and was housed in the basement of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church rectory, where 20 families a month were served with bagged groceries. In late 2012 our Pastor, Father Behrend, acquired the trailer from the Wickliffe Schools for $1.00. With the assistance of many volunteers the trailer was transformed into a choice pantry that opened in February 2013. We now serve between 75 and 100 families a month.
During the summer months we host a produce distribution in the church parking lot, where nutritious fruit and vegetables are given to those families in need.
We host a weekly community meal, which began in January 2010 in the church Community Center basement. Our guests look forward to receiving a hot meal and enjoying fellowship ever Monday evening.
During the month of August we collect school supplies that are donated by our parishioners to give to the needy children in our community. This program eases the financial burden of purchasing back-to-school supplies for our clients’ children.
Our parishioners also donate gift cards at Christmas for the needy children in our community. In 2015 we were able to make the holidays brighter for 113 children.
We provide temporary shelter at a local motel for people who do not have a place to stay and we also provide limited help for families who need assistance with rent or utility bills.
Our organization provides the funds for the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Sandwich Makers. Each month they make 300 sandwiches for the homeless outreach program at Our Lady of Fatima Church.
The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel St. Vincent de Paul Society strives to alleviate hunger and the hardships that members of our community face each day.
Kathleen worked hard. Having four children and an additional four step children, it was no easy task to also complete her nursing degree from Willoughby-Eastlake school of technical Nursing in 1979. She went on to be an emergency room nurse for Lake County Hospital Systems (1979-1980). Then she went to work as a nurse for Dr. Kovacs at Erieside Clinic (1980-1985).
Kathleen went on to further her career as a teacher of Medical Assisting at Cleveland Institute of Dental and Medical Assistants. She taught for several years until she was chosen to become the Director of Education for all three campuses. She stayed in that position, helping students reach their career goals, until she retired. During her employment at CIDMA, she was honored to be chosen for inclusion in the International Who’s Who of Professional Management.
When she finally retired, she still was not finished nursing. She went on to pass out morning medications at Emeritus (formerly Sunrise Assisted Living), part time. She enjoyed traveling with her husband to all sorts of ports of call.
She was honored to be included in the Who’s who Historical Society, along with her honor of Who’s who of Professional Management. Additionally, after her untimely passing she received an additional award from the International Nurses Association (INA) in honor of National Nurses Week. She was selected as top nurse in Wickliffe, Ohio. This honor will be spotlighted in the renowned publication, World Leaders in Healthcare.
Kathleen and Norman lived in Wickliffe on Harding Drive. There they enjoyed raising their blended family, which included her four children: Joseph, Mimi, Heather and Sarah; her four step-children: Norman, Kim, Lana and Deanna; and her ten grandchildren. They enjoyed the ability to raise their family in a wholesome town where several of their children and grandchildren graduated from the city’s school system. They also enjoyed weekly visits to Coulby Park for family picnics and swimming days when the children where young.
When Kathleen finally retired, she never stopped mentoring young woman and men who are in the nursing field either by discussing career changes or helping them network to become better employed. This was a true passion for her and we believe her legacy lives on through her work with others.