2015 Inductees

To locate an inductee click on INDUCTEE SEARCH above then type in the person’s name in the box at the far right.

Photo of Rosemary (Little) Tews
Rosemary (Little) Tews Health/Medical

Rosemary (Little) Tews was the school nurse at Wickliffe High School. “Mrs. Little,” as she was known, helped encourage and guide hundreds of Wickliffe High School graduates into the health care profession during the 27-year period from 1958 through 1985. This was in an era when the term “first responder” was yet to be coined; whenever there was a sports injury in the gym or shop class, the first words were “Call Mrs. Little!”   Students and faculty also knew her as the go-to-source for aspirin, a common remedy for teenagers with growing pains, as well as for teachers dealing with boisterous teens.

In 1939, then Rosemary Witzke was among 11 student nurses at Lutheran Hospital in Cleveland to receive her nursing “pin.” This blue-and-gold emblem was the Registered Nurse—RN—symbol she proudly wore on her white uniform, which was complimented with a starched white hat.  As an RN, she began her career at Lutheran Hospital where she met her future husband, Rayford E. Little, a printer recovering from an appendectomy.

The two were married in 1941 and their first son, Roland, arrived in 1942. Five years later they had saved enough for a down payment on a house in Wickliffe on Rockefeller Road, where the road curves between Euclid Avenue and Ridge Road. In 1950, the family expanded with the arrival of their second son, Randy.

In 1958, Rosemary Little was hired as the school nurse for the newly built High School on Rockefeller Road.  During those early years her time was split between the High School and the then new Mapledale Elementary.  She held special classes for the girls at Mapledale to acquaint them with their transition into womanhood, and for most it was their first introduction into the human reproductive system. Those elementary students would be pleased to see her familiar adult face as they began their high school days knowing Mrs. Little was in their building.  Rosemary Little encouraged many students to pursue the nursing profession.  She led the Future Nurses Association at the High School.  An estimated 300 students launched their medical careers thanks to her encouragement.

Rosemary Little retired in 1985. That same year Ray passed away from cancer.  She remained on Rockefeller adjusting to retirement until 1988.  In that year, she accepted the proposal of Otto Tews, a retired Sears store manager from Mentor. Before Otto Tews passing in 1999, the two had applied for residency at Breckenridge Village in Willoughby.  Rosemary Tews relocated to Breckenridge that same year.

Photo of Craig Birnbaum
Craig Birnbaum Civic

Craig Birnbaum’s civic contributions have benefited many.  He has been involved in many high school sports programs, community events, sports leagues, the Wickliffe School System and his church.

Volunteer is Craig’s middle name. He volunteers at all the Wickliffe High School sports programs, mainly football and basketball. He is always there popping popcorn for the fans at the games. He also volunteers his help for the Wickliffe Midget football program. He is involved in the Wickliffe Middle School’s “ Lights On After School Program” with his good friend Todd Calic.

He is always there helping out with the schools recreation programs at the Middle and Elementary schools along with the Jr. Olympics.

At the Wickliffe Elementary School you can see him every year at the School Carnival as well as the Pee Wee basketball program.

Not only does he volunteer at Trinity Lutheran Church he also is involved with delivering food to the Willoughby food bank once a week. He also volunteers at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Knights of Columbus; with their former Special Olympics, Father’s Day pre-cooking the ribs and helps the Knights every summer at their birthday booth at Mt Carmel’s Church Festival.

At City Hall he helps with the City’s Christmas Tree Lighting program, the Keep Wickliffe Beautiful golf outing and the City’s Winterfest, held in January.

He is now retired, worked at the Wickliffe Schools as a custodian for 32 years, spending most of that time at the High School.

Craig was born in Cleveland on July 1, 1951. He was raised in Wickliffe and has two brothers, Ralph who is married to Jenny and Bruce, whose wife is Robin.

He graduated from Wickliffe High School in 1971.

Photo of Connie Contenza
Connie Contenza Religion

Connie and Don joined Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in 1969 and soon became active members of the parish community. They served on the parent committee of the parish youth group when their children were young.  Together, she and Don volunteered at the OLMC festival and led Pre-Baptism classes for new and soon-to-be parents. Connie volunteered her time teaching weekly classes to fifth graders in the Parish School of Religion.

Connie continues to lead Pre-Baptism classes and now teaches PSR classes to second grade children who are preparing for their First Penance and First Communion. She became a Eucharistic minister and currently coordinates the schedule for Eucharistic ministers at all masses. In her retirement, Connie serves as a member of the Christ Child Society, which provides vision screenings to Lake County pre-school children and operates a re-sale clothing shop whose proceeds fund projects for children throughout the county. As a volunteer with Mount Carmel’s Sandwich-Makers, Connie serves some of the neediest members of the community by preparing food to be distributed through local hunger centers. She regularly lends a hand at the Cleveland Food Bank.

Connie Contenza grew up in Euclid. She graduated from Euclid High School in 1962 and from Northwestern University in 1965. She later earned her master’s degree from John Carroll University. Connie and her husband Don met as teachers at Euclid Central Junior High and moved to Wickliffe as newlyweds. They raised three children together, all of whom graduated from Wickliffe City Schools.

Connie’s children and two granddaughters all live in the Cleveland area.

Photo of Dan D’Amore
Dan D’Amore Education

Dan D’Amore wore many hats in his twenty-nine years of outstanding service to the Wickliffe City Schools and has impacted numerous students, athletes, and the community as a whole.

Dan grew up on Cleveland’s west side and attended Cleveland West Junior and Senior High School.  He participated in many sports and activities graduating in 1969.  He went on to Baldwin-Wallace College and earned a teaching degree in 1973. While at B-W he was a member of the baseball team.

Dan started his Science teaching career at Columbia Middle School in Lorain County in 1973 and came to Wickliffe Junior High School in 1974.  He earned a master’s degree in Science Education from Cleveland State University in 1976 and taught eighth grade Science at Wickliffe Junior High and Middle School until retiring in 2003.

He enjoyed teaching hands-on Science and becoming a member of the Eighth Grade Inter-disciplinary Team and being part of many team projects and activities.  Dan coached many sports at both the junior/middle schools and at Wickliffe High School, also, serving as Athletic Director at the Junior/Middle School for eight years and as Intramural Director for many years. He often said he had the best of both, by teaching and coaching at the levels he enjoyed.

Dan spent many summers and weekends attending Science Workshops, such as the NEWMAST program at NASA, and Martha Holden Jennings Symposiums.  He received the Wickliffe Teacher of the Year Award in 1987-88 and was nominated by the district as Ohio Teacher of the Year.  In the 1991-92 school year he was awarded the Lubrizol Lake County Middle School Teacher of the Year Award.

In 1975, Dan married the love of his life Nancy, and they raised three daughters, Deanna, Danielle, and Nicole.  Dan and Nancy are also proud grandparents of 8 grandchildren and enjoy spending their time watching them grow up.

Dan so loved teaching and coaching the students of the Wickliffe Schools and the Wickliffe Community.

Photo of Doug Gilson
Doug Gilson Civic

Doug Gilson’s dedication promoted the beautification, improvement, management, and expansion of the Wickliffe Parks. Since his appointment to the Park Board in 1996 he faithfully served the city for thirty years.  His service was voluntary. The Park Board was responsible for operating and maintaining 107 acres of city parkland. He served on committees, and held office as Secretary, Acting Chairman, & Chairman.

Doug served the community singing in the Wickliffe Civic Singers.  He sang in the choir of Euclid Lutheran Church for 44 years He also shared his beautiful tenor voice at weddings. In 1977 Doug designed the theme and banner for the church’s 35th anniversary: “Built by Giving, Continued through Faith, Sustained by Love.”

Born on April 20, 1920, Doug lived on the West side with his parents & two brothers. At 17 he was almost hit while rescuing a 2-1/2 year old girl who had wandered out into rush-hour traffic.  Doug graduated from John Marshall High School in 1938.

In 1941 he began work in the tool room at Thompson Products in Euclid.  Doug got married to Elsie on November 28, 1942.  World War II intervened:  Doug’s Army service began in October 1943. Starting in the Engineers, he later became a sergeant in the MPs. Doug used his artistic talent illustrating educational military films and his singing talent in a traveling USO musical review show called “Present Arms,” promoting the sale of US War Bonds. He monitored the returning troops on the trains to and from Cleveland, Chicago, and Buffalo helping “keep the peace” among the jubilant, victorious troops! Honorably discharged on May 1, 1946, he volunteered as a bond drive chairman for the Ex-Serviceman’s Club.

Doug donated his blood or others in need.  He was awarded a 5-gallon donor citation. He continued donating blood for many years.

His son Bruce was born on 8-25-1946 and daughter Linda, on 3-3-1949.  In 1951, Doug was finally promoted to the Tapco Purchasing Dept. after 8 years of night school. Desiring to shorten his work commute led Doug to Wickliffe in 1952.  The children attended Wickliffe Schools and later worked in Wickliffe.

Continuing his self-improvement, he became a Sr. Buyer at TRW.  He found the work field of Aerospace Systems & Components interesting.  Quite a “jokester,” Doug had a new audience for his joke telling!  He joined the Tapco Chapter of Toastmasters, serving as secretary & president.  He won as Top Speechmaker in a contest. After nearly 40 years, Doug retired from TRW in 1981.  Doug & Elsie enjoyed 15 more years together spending summers at their Little Hawk Lake, Ontario cottage and traveling.  He also pursued renovating their cottage, watercolor painting, and enjoying his 3 grandchildren: Marcy, Heather, & Brian.   Doug was a member of the American Legion Post #7 of Wickliffe, the TRW Retiree Association, The North Star Lodge #638 F and A.M., & the Masonic Senior Citizens Club of Lyndhurst.  Doug & Elsie celebrated 54 years of marriage on November 28, 1996.  After residing 45 years in Wickliffe, he died on January 5, 1997.  A rose bush was planted in his memory in the Colby Park Rose Garden.  In 2002 Doug was added to the Wickliffe WWII Veteran Community Hall of Fame.

Doug was grateful for his wife, family, friends, home, and country… He appreciated the many people he met at work, church, throughout various endeavors, and during his 30 years on the Wickliffe Parks and Recreation Commission. No matter where he went he seemed to meet someone he knew —and he always had a joke to tell!

Photo of Alex Jasin
Alex Jasin Safety Forces

Alex Jasin is most noted for his act of bravery in protecting a Wickliffe School student from being seriously hurt by an automobile.

Alex became a school crossing guard at age 65, after retiring from his job as a machine set up man and supervisor at General Electric in Cleveland and later Skrl Tool & Die Company in Eastlake. He wanted to remain productive in his retirement years and to do something to benefit the city of Wickliffe. He enjoyed helping the children and on one occasion he pushed a child to safety from being struck by a car, resulting in himself falling and fracturing his kneecap. He remained as a crossing guard until retiring from that at age 91.

He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1917. He lived in East Cleveland until moving to Wickliffe in February 1960.

He was a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church for 49 years.

His family includes his wife Helen, to whom he was married to for 62 years. They had two daughters Gerry and Carol, two grandchildren Kristen and Brian, and two great-granddaughters Marissa and Jenna.

He enjoyed joking with the children and occasionally passed out treats for holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween. Many of the children called him Grandpa. Upon his retirement from crossing guard duties, a teacher from Wickliffe Elementary School had her class make cards and drawings thanking him and saying that they would miss him. She sent them along with a safety theme cookie bouquet.

He was dedicated to his duty of protecting the children walking to and from school for 25 years.

Alex passed away on January 27, 2009 at the age of 91, one month before his 92nd birthday.

Photo of Terrance J. Lazar
Terrance J. Lazar Business

Terrance J. Lazar was born in Cleveland’s Little Italy in 1949. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Mayfield Heights where Terry attending school, graduating in 1967 from Mayfield High School. Terry studied engineering at Cleveland State University, Fenn College of Engineering, graduating with a Bachelorette in Civil Engineering. Terry purchased a Stanley Steemer franchise in 1979 and moved the business to Wickliffe, Ohio in 1994. Although Terry is not a resident of Wickliffe, he has diligently served the Wickliffe community for over twenty years.  If you have ever had the opportunity to meet with or speak with Terry, you know that it is a losing battle.  But if you have had the chance to listen to him talk, you learn very quickly that he is one of the most caring, thoughtful, community oriented individuals you have ever met.  The list of organizations that he is involved with in one capacity or another is lengthy. His primary motivation for community participation and organizational involvement is to reinforce his commitment to business prosperity in Lake County and his genuine gratitude for the good fortune of his wife and four children.

He has been an active member of the Wickliffe Chamber of Commerce for twenty-one years and served as a board member for twelve years. He is a board member with the Wickliffe Scholarship Foundation and Lake County Workforce Investment Board.  In addition, he is a Lake County Port Authority board member and a member/sponsor of the Lake County Safety Council.  He is a strong supporter of numerous charities in Lake County including, but not limited to, the Deepwood Foundation, the United Way, the Lake Country Captains, and the Lake County Humane Society.

In addition to all of this service, he is the acting Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop 424 and has acted in numerous other leadership positions within the Boy Scouts of America over the past twenty-three years.  And despite all of his dedication to service in the community, one of the most remarkable things about Terry is his ability to make everyone around him feel included.  His heart and generosity are insurmountable.  He is honored to receive this award and to be a part of the Wickliffe business community.

Photo of Ray Milavec
Ray Milavec Sports

From 1970 to 2000, Ray Milavec taught language Arts/English in both the junior high and high school in the Wickliffe City Schools. Ray taught grades 7-12 in his thirty-year teaching career. He coached many sports (6) on all levels including seventh and eighth grade teams. Freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams as well. As a varsity head coach his teams won over 100 games in varsity baseball, varsity softball (slow and fast pitch) and junior varsity volleyball as well. He was the varsity assistant coach on Wickliffe’s “back-to-back” slow pitch state championship teams in 1992 and 1993. In his final year of coaching, 2000, the Plain Dealer honored Ray with the Fast Pitch Coach-of-the-Year Award for northeast Ohio. In 2013 the Amateur Softball Association inducted Ray into the ASA Hall-of-Fame for more than 35 years as a player, coach, umpire and radio broadcaster.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio on November 22, 1948, Ray attended elementary school at St. Andrew School in Cleveland and St. Mary Magdalene in Willowick. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1965. He earned his B.A. degree in English from Cleveland State University in 1970 and his M.A. in 1974 in secondary school administration also from Cleveland State University.

In 1974, Ray married a former Wickliffe High School graduate, Patricia K. Tiffany and their daughter Tiffnay Marie was born on 6-27-1979. Tiffany excelled academically at Notre Dame Cathedral Latin High School, Arizona State University (BA) and Chapman University (MA) in San Diego, California.

In addition to his teaching and coaching career, Ray also served as Wickliffe High School’s athletic director and as the assistant athletic director for over 15 years.

Ray has been a professional radio and public address announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Lake County Captains, Lake Erie College, and many area high schools including the “Voice of the Blue Devils” athletics for over 20 years. He is the cohost of “Mondays with Malta” on W.I.N.T. 1330 Radio talk show featuring area high school athletes, coaches, and school administrators.

After retiring from full-time teaching in 2000, Ray continued to be part of the Wickliffe City Schools as the middle school’s athletic director (2011-2015) while coaching his favorite two sports, volleyball and softball at WMS. In 2015-2016, Ray continues his 40+ years of working in the Wickliffe City Schools as a duty monitor with coaching duties, too

Photo of Audrey Moore
Audrey Moore The Arts

Baton twirling has been a part of Audrey Moore’s life for 51 years. She started out taking a recreational twirling class at the Wickliffe Recreation Department, which was back then, above the old fire station. She quickly fell in love with the sport and continued to learn. She was proud to be a Wickliffe Majorette from 1966 to Head Majorette 1969.

Audrey started the Showstoppers School of Baton and Dance in 1980 and taught wherever she could. School gyms, tennis courts, and warehouses and even in a glass factory. When the opportunity to purchase the old Stanford Foster Building on Lloyd Road, she jumped at it. She located a backer who purchased the building and on May 29, 2004 the Showstoppers had a permanent home. Her husband Tim and she had to sacrifice a lot to get the studio furnished and ready for customers and still to this day work to keep it a safe and fun place to learn.

She has taught hundreds and hundreds of girls and boys the skills and techniques of baton twirling from recreational and parade classes, competition teams and to individual competitors. The Showstoppers teams have won numerous State, Regional and National titles all of which are proudly displayed in the studio. Pictures of twirlers who have represented the Showstoppers over the span of 36 years can be found on the walls. Her two daughters, Leigh-ann and Melissa twirled from age two through high school and were given full ride scholarships to the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Hawaii. Both continue to teach and share their love for amazing sport. Her granddaughter Erienne Hay has been at the studio from birth and started twirling at age two. At age six she won her first National Title and in April of 2015 won the WFNBTA World Championships for two-baton in the 7-9 age division which was held in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy.

Showstoppers twirlers can be found in area high schools and several colleges throughout the United States. There is a staff of 14 instructors at the studio, which offers classes in baton, ballet, tap, cheer, tumbling and hip-hop.

Audrey is extremely honored to be inducted into the 2015 Hall of Fame class in the field of the Arts by the Wickliffe Hall of Fame Committee. She says
“It is one thing to love what you do in life but it is truly a dream when you realize you will always be remembered for the lifelong job that you have done.”

Photo of Dominic Olivo
Dominic Olivo Heritage

Dominic was very proud of his Italian heritage and joined the Wickliffe Italian-American Club to be with his peers. He was an active leader and dedicated member of the club since his initiation in June 1976. Whether it was an event, work party, or construction project, Dominic was always there to help and lend his expertise. Dominic acted as the grounds Crew Chief, Vice President, and active member of the board. He was looked at as a club elder when big decisions had to be made, and his opinion was well respected among all members. Dominic took pride in his involvement in helping build and engineer the club’s last five bocce courts. He led the maintenance of all the bocce courts for over 19 years. He enjoyed the club’s many events; the Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce Tournament was his favorite. Dominic also enjoyed Wickliffe’s many community activities including volunteering at high-low table of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church Festival.

Dominic started his construction career in 1961 as a laborer for the Laborer’s Union Local 860. Early in his career he became the recording secretary, as well as working in the field. Under tutelage of Tony Liberatore Sr., Dominic became a business agent and rose to Business Manager. Dominic held many leadership positions throughout the union, and was instrumental in establishing the Matthew J Deluca, Dominic Olivo Scholarship Fund for local high school and college students. After retiring Dominic continued his support of Local 860. He served as President of the Retired Laborer’s Union Local 860, as well as Secretary/Treasurer for the State of Ohio Labor Retirees.

Dominic was born Dec. 7, 1935 to parents Tom and Lillie Olivo. As a child, Dominic grew up on 110th and Woodland, later moving the Cleveland Heights. When he was a teenager Dominic started working with his father, who owned Tommy’s Drive In on Euclid Ave. in Wickliffe. He also worked and helped his brother Jerry establish his Dari Pride business.

Dominic attended Wickliffe High School along with his wife of 59 years, Elsie (Fratena). Elsie is also very involved within the community, serving as Auxiliary Club member for over 10 years and volunteering for the Special Olympics, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Festival, and Meals on Wheels. They are very proud of their three children: Lillian (Venesky), Terry (Murphy) and Donna Olivo, and their grandchildren: Mallory, Jamie, Michael and Leah.

One of Dominic’s favorite pastimes included annually going to the Kentucky Derby. It was a trip that got started when his buddies were discharged from the Army, and they hitchhiked all the way to the Derby. A tradition his family stills continues.

Through out his life, Dominic helped many people with his generosity, kindness, and wisdom. He considered himself fortunate to have achieved such civic and personal success. After the love of his family, Dominic felt two of his greatest accomplishments were his leadership of the Laborer’s Union Local 860 and the camaraderie of the Wickliffe Italian-American Club.

Photo of Wickliffe Presbyterian Church
Wickliffe Presbyterian Church Organization

Wickliffe Presbyterian Church has been a staple in the City of Wickliffe for over a century, with its roots dating back to the late 1800s. The original church, Wickliffe Union Church, was the only church in Wickliffe until around the 1920s.  Services were originally held in a frame building known as “The Little Chapel”.   In the early 1890s, congregation members of the Wickliffe Union Church decided to form a Presbyterian Church, in order to connect themselves closer to an Evangelical denomination. The first official Wickliffe Presbyterian Church building was built at the intersection of Lloyd Road and Euclid Avenue; with construction completed in 1895 and Rev. T.E. Lewis as its first fulltime pastor. As the years carried on, the City of Wickliffe grew, and so did Wickliffe Presbyterian Church, which prompted the purchase of land and the construction of the current site at the corner of Ridge Road and East 300th Street in October of 1958. The first service at the then new location was on September 20, 1959.

Throughout its history, Wickliffe Presbyterian Church has been a worship focused and mission driven congregation, looking to share with and minister to the needs of the Wickliffe community and beyond in the best way possible, while striving to grow in all aspects of our Christian walk. Some of the church’s activities over its many years include (but were not limited to) serving Election Day Dinners (from the 1930’s to the early 2000’s), Mother/Daughter and Father/Son banquets, holding Vacation Bible School, serving Friday Night Community dinners, and hosting many events and meals such as Men’s Breakfasts, progressive dinners, church picnics, youth concerts, Winter Fun Day, Tetelesti, Harvest Luncheons, and Easter and Christmas Cantatas. The church was also the long time location for the Wickliffe Playschool. Presently, in addition to Sunday Worship services, Children’s Sunday School, and Adult Bible Study, Wickliffe Presbyterian Church continues to serve those around us through our monthly Thrift Store and subsequent donations to various organizations and people in need, our ongoing food pantry, providing Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets, as well as being the meeting place for numerous groups and services, including Cub and Boy Scout Troup #289, Alcoholics Anonymous, Square Dancers, and Reiki.

Our continuity is a testament of our many dedicated and faithful members over the years. It is a blessing to worship in Wickliffe and to honor God through services to the Wickliffe community.