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Charles J. Abraham (1958-2005)
Inducted 2006 in the Arts category
Charles Abraham was a pillar in professional and Community Theater. He wrote, produced, managed and directed plays and murder mysteries for his own Silhouette Productions. He directed plays at the Wickliffe Civic Center (WICCI) and later moved his shows to the Shore Cultural Center in Euclid. He acted in and directed many Mt. Carmel Players productions. He also performed at benefits, fund-raisers, and corporate events.
He believed in giving people of all races and ages, a chance to participate. This family-friendly environment spawned show after successful shows of casts in excess of 85 people.
He learned his craft watching his mother, Florence, a professional singer, who also directed and produced her own shows.
He suffered a fatal heart attack before a scheduled rehearsal of Peter Pan. His surviving family and closest friends of his rallied together to produce another successful show.
His immediate family continues his tradition by continuing to produce shows for Silhouette productions.
His smile, energy, and internal motivation to actively pursue the next challenge in the theatre, became the motivation for his survivors to continue his legacy. He would have been proud of the continuation of family, faith, tradition, and, above all, laughter.
His wife Monica and two children, Kevin and Shannon, survive him.
On November 9, 1944, twenty-six civic-minded veterans of Wickliffe met to form an American Legion Post. With the thought of God and Country and the opportunity of better community service by the veterans for the Post was Brewer Tarasco of Wickliffe, the agenda was set up with Joseph Varnum as temporary chairman and William Russel at temporary secretary.
At their second meeting, on November 16, the unanimous vote to accept the name of the Post “Brewer-Tarasco” was passed.
The Brewer-Tarasco American Legion Post #7 was named in honor of two veterans, Merwin Brewer, the first casualty of WW I while Dominic Tarasco the first casualty in WW II, both from Wickliffe.
By December 7, 1944, the temporary charter was issued and – on one glorious evening December 14 – the constitution and by-laws were adopted and the first election of officers was made. The “Founding Eight” – to whom the past Commander of the Post #163, Earl Huddelson, obligated to their respective offices – were as follows: Commander, Joseph Varnum; 1st Vice-Commander, Fred Grebb; 2nd Vice-Commander, Ray Oliver; Adjutant, William Russel; Sgt. at Arms, Merrill Stam; Financial Officer, Irwin Pebley; Chaplain, Merlyn (Joe) Harkness; and Historian, Fred Homer.
On January 25, 1945, the formal installation and initiation was held at the Wickliffe High School auditorium. It was here that the charter was presented by County Commander, George Martin to Commander Joseph Varnum. The American Flag and Post Colors – by Mrs. Guy James, Junior Past Commander of the Wickliffe chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America – were presented to Adjutant William Russel to be posted. These colors are the colors posted today and represent all they represent, and will be through the post tradition. In the same regard, Mrs. Joseph Varnum then presented a Gavel to the Commander. The Gavel, though simple in nature, can and should be regarded fondly as the continual authority and respect intended got the Post – and represents these very same ideals this very day. A Post Ceremonial Light was then presented by Guy James, a Spanish-American War veteran – may we all find our way home using this source.
A Wickliffe Post #7 tradition is the annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremonies. This patriotic event was turned over to the American Legion Post in 1945 from the City’s schools and government leaders. Its early parade route was from the old high school (now the middle school) to the Wickliffe Cemetery. Its route was changed in the 60’s from Mt. Carmel Church and Bailey Controls (now ABB) to City Hall.
Post Commanders including led the events: Joe DiOrio, Ralph Hiller, Jack Freeman and Jose Rivera. Different religious leaders including Rev. Philip Nicholas, Rabbi Wolfe, and Rev. Eddie Walker led the invocation and benedictions. American Legion emcees included Chip Saunders, Gary Minadeo and Dave Krych. The ceremonies at City Hall included the reading of those killed in WW I, WW II, Korean War and Vietnam War and 21-gun salute. The final ceremony is held at the Legion Post for rising of the Post Colors and a lunch offered by the Legionaries.
For nearly every man in WW I who endured the dangers of war, there was a woman serving at home to help make possible America’s victory, his wife, mother, sister or daughter.
After the war had been won and the men of the armed forces banded together in The American Legion to carry their services to the country in peacetime, it was only natural that the women of their families would want to continue to serve with them. The result was the American Legion Auxiliary, the largest and most influential women’s organization in the world today. Today’s membership is nearly 1 million strong.
The American Legion Auxiliary of Wickliffe was formed, and on July 3rd, 1945, it was chartered with 38 members.
58 years later, they are still active in supporting veterans’ programs and are active in the Wickliffe community, our state and nation.
Inducted 1993 in the Religion category
Andrew Andrey was born in Trauger, Pennsylvania in 1902. During his schooling, he attended St. Procopius College in Illinois, St. Mary Seminary in Cleveland, and St. Mary Seminary in Cincinnati.
Ordained in 1929, Rev. Andrey served at St. Vitus Church and later as Pastor of Mother of Sorrows Church in Peninsula.
He was assigned to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in 1950 and became Monsignor in 1966. While serving at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, he purchased the property for a new church in 1954.
Starting in 1956, Monsignor Andrey oversaw two expansions to the church and six years later, built the church convent — currently the Rectory. A church four times its size, replaced the old church, of a former capacity of only 100.
By 1972, the year of his death, the parish community increased by nearly 2,500 families, emphasizing the expansion of both religion and a community center that occurred after his death in 1980.
Dr. Albert Arcaro (born-2002)
Dr. Albert Arcaro, whose dental practice spanned 40 years, donated his time to examine and explain the importance of dental health/hygiene to elementary school children at both Lincoln and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel grade schools.
He served on the Community Chest, the Wickliffe Library Board, and chaired the Americans Abroad Program of the American Field Service at Wickliffe High School.
He assisted with the Wickliffe American Legion Post 7’s Americanism Program for high school boys and marched in the Memorial Day parade until May 1999.
At the age of six, He arrived in Wickliffe from Italy to begin a residency that lasted 73 years. After graduating from Wickliffe High School in 1938, he attended Western Reserve Dental School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving as a dental officer. He and his wife, Albina, raised 5 children in Wickliffe. Dr. Arcaro passed away in January 2000.
Raymond Q. Armington (1907-1993)
Inducted 1994 in the Business category
The story of Raymond Armington’s life is one of success and accomplishments that had its beginning in Wickliffe where he was born on January 12, 1907. Educated in the Wickliffe School System, he graduated from Shaw High School and The Ohio State University.
Mr. Armington served in many capacities in the industrial world: he founded a horse-driven “earth moving scoop” company and the Triax Company; he was a director with fifteen companies including Lubrizol and Glidden Companies, and the author of three books on the economic well-being of American industry.
The familiar Lakeland Community College clock tower is called the Armington Clock Tower in honor of the man who worked tirelessly to help fund the construction of the college.
Raymond Armington passed away in 1993.
Dee Aufuldish (born-present)
Inducted 2008 in the Business category
Dee was Executive Director of the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce from 1979 to 2006. During those years, the Chamber grew from some 50 members to over 250, primarily because she worked to provide much needed services to businesses, such as savings on health insurance and workers’ compensation fees.
She facilitated businesses supporting each other and residents shopping locally. She worked on projects to beautify and promote Wickliffe and the business community, such as the Geranium Sale, Victorian Tea, Euclid Avenue Banners, Wickliffe Bucks, Business Directory, Flower Planters, Holiday Business Window Painting, Bridal Fair, Secretary of the Year, Business of the Year, and the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Many of these projects continue, some now undertaken by the City. She was Editor of the chamber newsletter and Managing Editor of theWickliffe Connection. As Business Editor and writer, she continues to promote local businesses in the community newspaper co-founded by her and her husband, Bob. Now as a Chamber member, she volunteers for the Chamber’s golf outing, Scholarship Foundation, and the Victorian Tea.
While Chamber Director, she was a member of the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio, served as an officer of the Lake County Chambers of Commerce, and was a member of the Community Advisory Panel for The Lubrizol Corporation for 11 years. She continues to serve as a member of the Lake County Economic Development 504 SBA Corporation.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dayton, majoring in Psychology. She also did graduate work at Michigan State University. She completed two levels at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organizational Management at the University of Notre Dame. She is active in a number of organizations, especially Christ Child Society and the League of Women Voters. She was honored by the former Wickliffe Jay-C-Ettes as Woman of the Year in 1978 for her volunteer community activities, and as a Woman of Achievement by the Women’s Center at Lakeland Community College in 2002.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, she has been a Wickliffe resident and member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish since 1961. She and her husband, Bob, have three children and five grandchildren.
Robert E. Aufuldish (born-present)
Inducted 2002 in the Government category
Bob Aufuldish was elected Mayor in 1985; he was re-elected unopposed, in 1989. He was elected Councilman-at-large in 1979 and 1981 and Council President in 1983 and 1993.
He implemented the city’s own income tax collection system, started the renovation of City Hall, built the new police station, initiated plans for the new fire station and founded The Wickliffe Connection.
He was elected Lake County Commissioner in 1996 and 2000. He upgraded voting machines, built the new Juvenile Justice Center and Narcotics facilities, and renovated the county courthouse.
Active in Wickliffe organizations such as Boy Scouts, Baseball League, Chamber of Commerce, Civic Center and Community Hall of Fame, he is a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish.
Bob, a native of Dayton, was a Research Analytical Chemist and Supervisor at Lubrizol Corp. for 32 years. They moved to Wickliffe in 1961.
He and his wife, Dee, raised three children: Bob, Kathie, and Ed. They have five grandchildren.
Ervin George Bailey (1880-Died)???
Inducted 1993 in the Business category
Born in Ohio in 1880, Ervin George Bailey graduated from the Ohio State University. Considered an engineering genius, Bailey placed several revolutionary instruments upon the market that measured combustion efficiency in industrial boilers, including his own invention, the Bailey Boiler Meter.
Formed in Boston in 1916, the Bailey Meter Company was moved to its present site on Euclid Avenue in 1955, where its name was changed to Bailey Controls in 1975.
Upon the corporation’s 75th anniversary, E. G. Bailey was remembered as an “inventor, engineering genius, business innovator, family man…in retrospect almost larger than life, an American archetype whose presence spans two centuries. His values and ethics were shaped by the 19th century, yet his work played a significant role in the unprecedented technological advances that mark this century.”
Charles S. Baker (1942-present)
Inducted 2005 in the Arts category
Charles Baker (“Chuck”) was born on July 25, 1942, in Cleveland, Ohio to LeRoy W. (1914-2005) and Nellie A. (1911-2002) Baker. LeRoy worked for the Reliance Electric Company. During his preschool years, the Baker Family moved to Waldensa Avenue in Wickliffe. LeRoy left Reliance Electric to manage Van’s Texaco Station on Euclid Avenue in Wickliffe. The family moved eastward when Reliance opened a plant in Ashtabula, Ohio, in 1947. His brother, Ronald Lee, was born on August 27, 1945.
He attended Rowe School in East Conneaut (grade 1), North Kingsville School (grades 2-3) and Edgewood Schools (grades 5-12). During high school, he studied clarinet with Robert Marcellus of the Cleveland Orchestra. In 1964, he graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a B.M in Music Education. (During his junior year, the entire class studied at the Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg, Austria.) After teaching in the Madison Township Schools in Mansfield for one year, Chuck earned an M.A. degree in Music from Case Western Reserve University. He was hired in 1967 by the Wickliffe City Schools to teach Elementary General Music and Elementary Band and to assist with the high school band. He continued to be a Marching Band Camp Assistant after retiring in 1996. He last served in that capacity in 2003.
Since 1969, he has taught clarinet at the Fine Arts Association in Willoughby, Ohio. He is a member of the Faculty Woodwind Quintet there. He has also played Principal Clarinet with the Lakeland Civic Orchestra since 1972, and as a member of the American Federation of Musicians, is frequently hired to play with professional concert bands (Lakewood Hometown Band, Blossom Festival Band, Sounds of Sousa Band).
As a professional music educator, he served in several offices of the Lake County Music Educators Association, served on the Ohio Music Education Association General Music Committee for over twenty years, served 5 two-year terms as OMEA Northeast Region Chair, organizing the OMEA Northeast Region Orchestra ten times. He also organized the OMEA All-State Orchestra twice and served as Registration Chair for two OMEA State Professional Conferences. His hobbies include photography, gardening, and ice-skating. He is a member of the Mentor Figure Skating Club.
Joanne Beal (born-present)
Inducted 2004 in the Civic category
The residents of the City of Wickliffe have elected Joanne Beal to the 2004 Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame in the Sports Category.
She has served on the Parks & Recreation Commission for the City of Wickliffe for nearly 30 years and has held the position of President four times. During this time, she saw park pavilions built, playground equipment replaced, the Coulby Aquatic Center constructed, the Orlando Park spray ground and walking trails developed as well as many other improvements in the parks.
She treasures everything about the beautiful Wickliffe parks; from the pools to the ball diamonds to the security of the parks. She felt that the parks should benefit all of the residents of all ages.
She and her husband, Bill, made Wickliffe their home in 1959 and quickly became involved in school and community while raising their six children: Laurin, Susan, Bridget, William, Charles and Brian.
She has been a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish since moving to Wickliffe. She served as a member of the PTU during all of the 30 years her children were in the school. She has been a member of the Mt. Carmel Players for over 33 years and remains involved with the parish festival as the grand prize chairperson. She also enjoys volunteering for many charitable organizations.
Howard B. Beebe (Born-Died?)
Inducted 1994 in the Government category
Howard Beebe was Wickliffe’s ninth Mayor. He was the first mayor to serve two four-year terms, then one two-year term. He was Mayor for 10 years from 1952 to 1961. While serving as Mayor he was also the Service Director and Safety Director.
During his terms as Mayor, he negotiated the purchase of the Coulby property, presently City Hall. At that time it included the fire station No. 1 and the park.
He married Marion Slyke in 1929. They raised one son, David.
He served on Wickliffe City Council from 1941 to 1951 except for his two and one-half year tour of duty in the U.S. Navy during WW II. He also served eight years as Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission for the City.
He was a member of the Wickliffe Dispensary and Wickliffe Citizens Advisory Committee on Health and Welfare.
He was President of the Lake County Mayor’s and City Manager’s Association for two years.
He was later elected Lake County Commissioner for two four-year terms from 1963 to 1970. Howard served as Vice-President of the Lake County Community Corporation.
He belonged to American Legion Brewer-Tarasco Post No. 7 and was Past Master of the Willoughby Lodge No. 302.
He was named an honorary member of the Wickliffe Chamber of Commerce in 1962.
He was a member of the Fellowship United Church of Christ in Wickliffe.
Keith R. Bennett, a former Wickliffe Councilman, helped to implement Wickliffe’s Paramedic program. Keith, a lifelong Wickliffe resident, participated in many civic organizations and has contributed to the continual improvement of Wickliffe.
His involvement with the city began when he became a lifeguard at Wickliffe’s Jindra Pool. He eventually became the Learn-to-Swim Director, responsible for all swimming, lifesaving and diving classes at Jindra pool. His civic interests continued to expand, into becoming a Jaycee and softball coach.
He was appointed to the Wickliffe Charter Review Board. Upon completion of this board assignment, he ran for and was elected as Councilman in Ward 2. He served two terms as Councilman. During that time, he proposed the formation of the Paramedic Task Force Study Committee. This was a special Committee of Council that he chaired, and was comprised of selected Wickliffe residents. Their challenge was to conduct a comprehensive study and fact finding into Paramedic Programs. The committee worked with Fire Chief Ed Bohenek and met with medical staff and safety forces involved with paramedic programs. This knowledge later proved very beneficial and facilitated the formation of Wickliffe’s first Paramedic program. The Paramedic program has benefited Wickliffe residents for many years. Also during his terms on council, he served on the Parks and Recreation Board and Board of Zoning appeals. His tenure on the Board of Zoning Appeals continues and has lasted over 34 years, a majority of that time has been as Chairman.
Keith was a charter board member of the Wickliffe Civic Center (WICCI).
After his terms on Council, Keith was elected as an Ordained Elder of the Wickliffe Presbyterian Church. This is a lifelong commitment. In addition, he has served as treasurer for the church for over seven years.
Keith graduated from Lakeland Community College in 1969. He received an Associate’s degree in Applied Business (Information Technology). He is currently in the Information Technology field, and has performed in that field for over 45 years. He has held several positions, including Programming Manager and Senior level Software Developer. In addition, he has been a licensed Realtor since 1988. During that time, he has participated in many improvements to properties in Wickliffe. As a Realtor, he was directly responsible for sales of several properties that resulted in the building of four new homes in Wickliffe and the razing of one that was in disrepair.
He married Linda Gordon in 1973. Both were Wickliffe Senior High graduates in 1967. They have been married for over 40 years and have three sons, Glenn, Todd and Scott, also all Wickliffe Senior High graduates. In addition there are two daughter-in-laws, Marie (Glenn) and Michelle (Todd) and Scott’s fiancée, Rebecca. They are grandparents to Kayla, Mason, Allyson and Ty.
Michael Benz’s work reflects his passion for the Northeast Ohio community. He was instrumental in bringing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to Cleveland and served as the museum’s director. He first coordinated the effort to win the rights to build the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, then was recruited back to become the director and finished the funding and broke ground at a critical juncture in the Rock Hall’s development.
Mike is the retired President and CEO of United Way of Greater Cleveland, one of the largest and most innovative United Way programs in the nation. Under his 18 years of leadership, United Way raised more than $732 million dollars to fund health and human services in our community. Also under Mike’s leadership, United Way implemented one of the most innovative public art projects, GuitarMania®, that raised nearly $2 million and attracts national and international acclaim. Mike also is known for operating a very tight ship and he has kept administrative expenses under 13 percent, which is less than many other non-profits, including other United Ways around the country.
Mike is married to Louise and has 5 Children, Aaron, Patrick, Jessica, Lisa and Mary.
They have 14 grandchildren. They live in Concord, Ohio, was raised in the early years in Cleveland, then
Euclid and his formative years in Wickliffe where graduated from Wickliffe High in 1965. Attended Cuyahoga and Lakeland Community Colleges.
He served in the United States Navy.
In addition to raising funds for our community, Mike has invested as much energy in ensuring that United Way’s investments are sound. In 2008, under his leadership United Way implemented a new approach to funding programs that is heavily grounded in research and designed to move the needle on our community’s problems. Today, United Way funds 216 health and human service programs and three federated agencies that help more than 450,000 Greater Cleveland residents every year.
His career also includes 12 years as the Greater Cleveland Growth Association Executive Vice President and seven years as COSE Executive Director.
Mike has served on several local, state and national boards for the Chamber of Commerce, the United Way at all levels. He was an Executive Committee Member of the Cuyahoga and Cleveland Workforce Board. He served for 10 years as a Trustee of Cuyahoga Community College and served as its Vice Chairman. He currently serves on several organization boards, including Ingenuity. He is the Chairman of the Board of South Pointe Hospital. He is on the Regional Board of Fifth Third Bank. He is on the Citizens Board for the FBI.
He was inducted the Wickliffe High Hall of Fame for his achievements.
He has an active consulting practice, serving Ciuni and Panichi Accounting and Advisors Spire Institute, Recreation, and many Not for Profits.
Richard Benz was the Science Guy of Wickliffe High. For 34 years Mr. Benz lived, ate and preached science, especially biology, at Wickliffe High School. Rich is the product of a Wickliffe education as well, first coming to the Wickliffe Schools in 1960 as a Mapledale third grader. Over his long career at Wickliffe he was known for his eclectic classroom and exciting biology stories. Teaching biology at Wickliffe was fun for Mr. Benz as well as for his many students.
Richard Benz was born in November 1951 in Euclid, Ohio. His family moved to Wickliffe in 1960 and he has been involved with Wickliffe Education ever since. Rich graduated summa cum laude from Kent State University in 1973 and he started teaching at Wickliffe that September. Rich was hired to teach biology and be the coordinator of the high school’s media department. Soon he was selected as the High School Science Chairman, a position he held for over 30 years.
He taught all levels of biology from 9th through 12th grade AP Bio. In addition, he taught Earth Science, Ecology and Photography. In 1977 Rich earned his Master’s Degree in Urban Studies and Environmental Science from Cleveland State University.
Rich married Betsy Harlan in 1997 and acquired two daughters in the transaction – Kate and Megan. Both Kate and Megan had Mr. Benz for biology prior to becoming his stepdaughters. Rich and Betsy live in Concord, Ohio, where he works part-time as an education consultant to the Lake Metroparks.
Rich retired from Wickliffe High School in 2006. He continues to teach science and technology classes to teachers in Northeast Ohio and throughout the country. Rich was picked as Ohio’s Outstanding Biology Teacher in 1996, named as the top science teacher in Ohio by the Ohio Academy of Science in 1987, and by the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation in 2004. He won the 1990 Presidential Award in Science Education for Ohio and was picked as a Tandy Technology Scholar in March 1991. Mr. Benz was named a Milken Educator for the State of Ohio in 1992 and a Disney American Teacher Award in 1993. Rich is a founding member of the Cleveland Regional Association of Biologists.
In April 2000 Rich published Ecology and Evolution, Islands of Change (NSTA Press,) along with a series of on-line lessons, a teacher’s guide to the Galapagos IMAX film and the student on-line activities for WGBH/PBS Evolution series. As a member of the Woodrow Wilson Teacher Outreach Team, Mr. Benz taught genetics workshops throughout the country and genetics and evolution updates at Exeter’s Science & Technology Conference for 15 years and at the Australian
Technology Teaching & Learning Institute for 2 years.
In addition, he has taught and worked with science teachers in South Africa, the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Belize, and London, England. But his heart remains in Wickliffe, Ohio!
Edward Bernetich moved to Wickliffe with his family in 1959. His parents were seeking a better place for their boys to grow up and get a good education. In 1967, Edward graduated from Wickliffe High School. He was senior class president, vice-president of the A Cappella Choir, and Student Mayor. He also wrestled, threw thew shot put and discus on the track team, and was a member of the character-building 1967 WHS football team that endured an 0-10 season.
Ed Bernetich completed a 35-year career in public education. He served as an elementary teacher, athletic director, assistant principal, middle school principal, and curriculum director. His final 18 years were spent as Principal of Beachwood Middle School, where his school received two U.S Department of Education Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Awards, the highest award an American school can receive. His school also received an Ohio Hall-of-Fame School Award, a Harvard Business School Award for Excellence in School Management, and the 2006 National School of Distinction Award for
He served for eight years on the U.S. Department of Education National Review Panel, evaluating schools applying for nation recognition.
After retiring from public education, he has served as Program Coordinator in the Office of Field Services at CSU, and Director of Teacher Education at Case Western Reserve University.
He now works as a consultant for American Educational Consultants and Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, Inc. He is also an adjunct instructor at Cleveland State University in school administration. Ed has been a presenter and consultant in schools across the country, as well as in China and Turkey.
He loves travel, and has been to China (three times), Turkey, Greece, England, and the Dominican Republic.
Ed married his wife, Christi (an elementary school principal), in 2008. They reside in Brecksville with their two dogs – Roosevelt and Truman. Ed’s 89-year-old mother Frances still lives in the family home in Wickliffe..
Though his career in education has taken him far, he still considers himself a “Wickliffe guy” – and a lifelong Blue Devil.
Arthur O. Beyer, Jr. (1926-1985)
Inducted 1999 in the Education category
Arthur O. Beyer, Jr. was born Oct. 16, 1926 in Highland Park, Michigan.
After graduating from high school, he entered the U.S. Merchant Marine.
During WWII, he traveled in convoys to Russia and the Mediterranean. After the war, he entered the University of Detroit where he earned a degree in Foreign Trade.
Arthur married Barbara Loftus in 1954. They lived in Arizona where he took advanced courses in foreign trade and moved to Wickliffe in 1985 upon being hired by Lubrizol Corp. Both he and Barbara had an interest in adult religious education and were involved in a number of programs in the parish and diocese. Arthur served at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church as a commentator, lector, Eucharistic minister and in1979, was the first permanent deacon to serve at Mt. Carmel.
Rev. Mr. Beyer died in December 1985. His wife and his children’ Mary Martha, Jane, Julie, Joseph, Charles, Annemarie and Vincent survive him.
Mary Biondolillo Braun (1921-present)
Inducted 1997 in the Religion category
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s legendary Spaghetti Dinners would not have been as famous had it not been for Mary Biondolillo Braun, a former 14-year president of the Mt. Carmel Society. Her involvement with the church also included the Adult Choir, the Mt. Carmel Players, and prayer groups.
Born in Busso, Campobasso, Italy in 1921, Mary’s family moved to the U.S. in 1935, living in both Cleveland and Euclid. She was first married to Jack Biondolillo in 1943. They raised four children: Robert, Daniel, Jimmy, and Rita. In 1960, she started her career at Bailey Meter. They were married for over 30 years before Jack died in 1973. When she retired from Bailey Meter, she married Bob Braun. They shared over seven years of retirement before Bob passed away in 1990.
She started the 1st Senior Citizens Club in Wickliffe. She devotes her time and energies to her community and her church.
Patricia (Guentzler) Boehmer has been a resident of Wickliffe since she moved here in 1959 upon the death of her army-career father. She attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School and graduated from Wickliffe High School in 1965. Pat married Bob Boehmer in 1974, a west-sider, and they settled on Rush Road raising a daughter and three sons.
Pat was always a parishioner of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Bob joined the local Knights of Columbus council in 1976 and became very active in the organization. He became the Grand Knight in 1983 and is an honorary member and has been active for over 25 years.
As active churchgoers, they became very involved with the parish and school and were one of the charter members of the bingo program when it was initiated at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Pat continued her involvement in many school projects while their children attended grade school at OLMC.
Bob became an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist at the parish and five years later Pat joined him in this ministry. They now serve the Eucharist as a couple. Pat became a Minister of the Word, reading at masses, commitment she still makes today.
A transportation program was initiated to take parishioners, who would otherwise be home bound, by van to Sunday mass. Bob and many brother Knights became drivers and jumpers. With one of his growing sons as a jumper, a family tradition of volunteering began. Later, Bob was asked to take over the coordination of the program. A Saturday Mass was added to the weekly van schedule. Bob is still the coordinator of the van program.
Remaining active, Pat and Bob were asked to join the Pre-Cana program at OLMC. The program helps couples prepare for their upcoming marriage as Catholics. They became presenters of a 15-minute talk on subjects related to marriage, family and church. After 30-years of involvement in this ministry they are now the coordinators.
In 1990, OLMC started their annual Parish Festival. That first year, Pat and Bob ran a booth for children’s games. The second year of the festival changed their lives and added a new dimension to their parish life. That year, along with Pat’s sister, the pierogi and potato pancake food booth was started. It is still going strong today and is one of the more popular food booths
Throughout the years, they got all their children involved in the parish. They are still very active in the festival and their adult sons, Jeff, Greg, and Patrick run a number of the food booths and the kitchen operation. Their daughter, Durene, who lives out of state, comes into town each year to help.
Along with all these activities at their church, the Boehmers have been part of the 30 years the Knights of Columbus have sponsored the regional Special Olympics track and field events held each May at Wickliffe High School.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish is a second home to Pat and Bob and they feel they have been truly blessed with all the friendships they have made over the many years of volunteering and being active in their faith community. They have continued to participate in many other activities and church services in the parish.
Today, they are most proud of their adult children who have followed in their footsteps of volunteering. They are looking forward to spending many years with their grandchildren, initiating them into the church, its parish life and the joys of volunteering.
John Bohana (born-present)
Inducted 2004 in the Safety Forces category
John Bohana was born and raised in Wickliffe. He and his wife, Lucille (Brunetti) raised their three daughters, Lisa, Carla, and Tina in Wickliffe. John also had two grandchildren, Giovanni and Gianna.
He was hired as a police officer for the City of Wickliffe on January 16, 1972. In June of 1987, he received the Mayor’s Employee of the Month Award. Later that year, he was named Employee of the Year. On August 24, 1991, he was promoted to Sergeant and served in that position until retirement on May 30, 1997, after 25 years of service. On August 1, 1997, he was rehired to serve as a community-policing officer, the position that he retains to date.
He was the recipient of the Exceptional Service Award for the arrest of a subject who had fired shots at a fellow officer.
In 1987, he received the Blue Coats Award from the Wickliffe Knights of Columbus.
Edward Bohenek (born-present)
Inducted 2006 in the Safety Forces category
Edward was a 40-year member of the Wickliffe Fire Dept. He began his career as a part-time fireman in 1952 and became Wickliffe’s first full time fireman in 1954. Working his way up through the ranks, he was promoted to Captain. As Captain, he headed the city’s Fire Prevention Bureau and became a state certified Fire Safety Inspector, Arson Investigator, and EMT.
In 1975, he was instrumental in making Wickliffe the first city in Lake County to have a smoke detector ordinance.
He became Chief in 1978, a position he held for 14 years until his retirement in 1992. While serving as Chief, he organized the Paramedic Program in 1985; worked with surrounding communities to form the Mutual Aid program in 1986, and the Hazardous Material (HazMat) program in 1986.
Ed & Dolores Bochenek celebrated 50 years of marriage in October, 2006, and are the parents of Renee, Edward, and Loriann. They are grandparents to Delaney and Molly.
Ralph Bond (1913-died)
Inducted 2008 in the Sports category
Ralph Bond was born in 1913, moving to Cleveland in the early 1930’s. He was a Captain in the U.S. Army during World War II, serving with the 63rd Infantry Division.
He was introduced to golf at the age of 10. As a caddy at a golf resort, the pro taught him the proper techniques. He developed quickly into a scratch player and won his high school championship.
After moving to Cleveland, he continued to caddy at University Hts. Golf Club and in 1938, played in the Cleveland Open. After the war, he returned to run the Lyndhurst Country Club he had purchased with a friend, Ed Garfield. In 1956, he and his partner purchased Green Ridge Golf Course.
During his career, he played in seven U.S. Opens and six PGA Championships. He had fifteen holes-in-one and consecutive PGA half-Century Championships. He was inducted into the NOPGA Hall of Fame in 1988.
Along with his playing achievements, he was recognized for his efforts at giving young golfers the opportunity to play the game by allowing free use of the course for youth groups designed to interest them in golf. He opened the course for blind and paraplegic golfers, so they could also enjoy the game.
He and his wife, Virginia, were married for sixty years and had two children, Adrianne and James.
Dr. Dorothy M. Bradford (Born?-present)
Inducted 1997 in the Medical category
Dr. Dorothy Bradford was born in Gainesville, Alabama. She and Johnes Bradford were married in 1951 and moved to Wickliffe in 1953. Their children, Lili Darnelle and Roderick graduated from Wickliffe City Schools.
She was an Associate Professor of Nursing at Kent State University for 17 years, and later, she spent 12 years as Division Head for Nursing at Cuyahoga Community Colleges’ Eastern Campus.
She has published several articles in professional journals, and was given numerous presentations on her research “Health Problems of International Students at Kent State University”. She and Johnes traveled to Madrid, Spain for her presentation at an International Council of Nursing Seminar.
She was a Chairperson of the United Way Advisory Committee for Wickliffe. She has served on various Lake County boards and committees; including the one that planned the transition of a psychiatric hospital in Wickliffe to Euclid and then to Laurelwood in Willoughby.
She was the founder of the Community Day Care Center, the first full day care center established in Wickliffe. She was co-founder of Wickliffe Girl Scout Troop #1804, who, as High School Seniors volunteered to baby-sit preschool children in the basement of the Wickliffe Public Library. The needs of these parents gave impetus to the establishment of the day care. As Senior Scouts, they would spend many hours volunteering. One of her scouts is Lili Darnelle Bradford Barnes who has taught music in Wickliffe City Schools after graduating from Heidelberg College.
Dorothy and Johnes adopted two siblings from Haiti in 2001, Llotes and Raynotte.
Lester T. Brandt 1935-present)
Inducted 2000 in the Sports category
Lester Brandt, Wickliffe Baseball League Manager, who taught children good sportsmanship and integrity, was born Sept. 15, 1935 in Cleveland. He attended St. Agnes Grade School, Cathedral Latin and East High Schools.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Nov. 4, 1954, served aboard the USS Forrestal, and was honorably discharged on November 18, 1958.
He married his wife, Marge, in 1957. Together, they have five children, Terri, Mark, Mike, Laurie and Keith.
He retired from Pipefitters Local 120 in 1995 after 36 years of service. They moved to Wickliffe in 1969.
He became a member of the Wickliffe Baseball League the same year.
He has been a Past President and Trustee of the Wickliffe Baseball League for the past 31 years.
He also served also as President of the Northcoast Baseball League for seven years.
He is an active member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
Clarke J. Brassell was born in Cleveland, Ohio on August 11, 1942 to Joseph and Eleanor. He graduated from Shaw High School. Clark moved to Wickliffe in 1970 with his wife, Donna Marinucci and family, whom he married in 1962.
Upon moving to Wickliffe in 1970, Clarke immediately became a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (OLMC) parish. Over the last 41 years, he has donated countless hours to various positions and events such as mass usher, the Mount Carmel Players, a member of Parish Council, Boy Scouts, CYO, and the parish picnics. He was on the OLMC church festival committee for 10 years, planning and organizing the annual church festival.
In 1975, he joined the Wickliffe Midget Football League. For over 25 years Clarke coached his sons and grandsons in addition, he held many positions and offices. Clarke was involved with the Wickliffe Baseball League. He is currently also involved in the Wickliffe Post 7 American Legion S.A.L. which he had held various positions, currently serving as secretary.
In 1985, He started the Brassell Insurance Agency, having his office in the city of Wickliffe for 24 years until he retired in 2009.
Clarke has been a member of the Wickliffe Italian-American Club since 1994. He continues as an active member as well as holding positions of secretary and vice-president. He was very instrumental in organizing many club events such as the Special Olympics, the Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce tournaments, Children’s Christmas parties and many other club socials.
Clarke and Donna have five children, Clarke, Jr., Cathleen, Christopher, Carla and Charles. They have eight grandchildren, Anthony, Joseph, Alexis, Kelly, Elizabeth, Gina, Nicole, and Gianna, and one great grandson Declan.
Fred and Jenny Brendy are active volunteers and faithful members of their parish, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (OLMC) Church in Wickliffe, Ohio. They have lived in Wickliffe and have been parishioners of OLMC for over 55 years.
Fred is a Eucharistic Minister and weekly usher. He serves on Saturday’s 8:30 Mass, takes communion to the home bound, volunteers for the parish festival, and assigns senior servers for funeral masses.
He was Past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus #5405. In 1978 he was recognized as their “Knight of the Year”. He also volunteers for the Knights of Columbus Special Olympics each May.
Jenny is also a Eucharistic Minister and lector. She also takes communion to the home bound.
She was president of several Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s organizations. She was past president of the Altar and Rosary Guild and Legion of Mary. She is a member of the Mt. Carmel Society and past president of the Isabella Guild. She was awarded “Woman of the Year” in 1974 by the Isabella Guild. She assists with the parish festival and volunteers on Saturdays cleaning and setting up for hospitality on Sundays.
Fred and Jenny Brendy both worked at Ohio Bell Telephone Co. They met while on picket duty in September 1957.
They had five wonderful children: twins Debra (John Sidorski), Donna (deceased) Larry Caskey, Susan (Keith-deceased) Stone, Patty (Tim) Fitzmaurice, and Joseph (Kelly) Brendy.
They are grandparents of Jake and Jason Sidorski, Sasha and Keith Stone, Andy and Jadyn (step granddaughter Robin) Brendy. They are great grandparents to Jackson (Jason and Amy Sidorski), Azalea and Skylar (Sasha and Kevin Serna).
They feel very honored to be inducted into the Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame.
Merwin Hubert Brewer (1895-1918)
Inducted 1996 in the Military category
Clivedon, England is the resting place of one of Wickliffe’s proudest sons. During WW I, Merwin Brewer was a member of the Army’s 37th Division Infantry. Wounded in action October 1918, he died in a hospital in England, at the young age of 22, the following month on November 13. It was in the cemetery in the Lady Astor’s Estate they buried Merwin Hubert Brewer just a week after WWI had ended.
In a letter to his sister, Annis, while in the Army, he wrote, “Please don’t worry while I am over there and if I shouldn’t come back remember the motto in the Court House “I don’t remember the words but it was something like this: The welfare of the masses is more important than the welfare of any individual.”
Merwin Brewer was born in Wickliffe to parents Minnie and Willis Brewer on December 28, 1895.
The Brewer-Tarasco American Legion Post No. 7 was named in his honor along with Dominic Tarasco, the first Wickliffe casualties in WWI and WWII.
Pat Bristo (1913-died)
Inducted 2002 in the Sports category
Pat Bristo’s life has always centered on family and sports. Born in Santa Maria, Campbosso, Italy in 1913, he emigrated to America in 1924, along with his mother, Filomena, and brother Nick, to join his Dad, Alfred. He married Mary Madore in 1936. The marriage produced a daughter, Florence, and eventually, two grandchildren, Chuck and Kelly (Conti) Burkhardt and two great grandchildren, Samantha and Matthew Conti.
His love of sports was not limited to what he accomplished. It included leading the league in bowling (too many years to count), golf, bocce, and horse racing. His love of sports was also reflected in the following: 1947; founded a committee to light the old football field; 1983; honored as Fan of the Week; 1982-1986; board member of the I&A Club; 1987; formed and chaired a committee that established the first three bocce courts at the Italian & American (I&A) Club; 1988; brought Bocce Tournament (players from U.S. and Canada) to I&A Club; 1989 The Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce Tournament found its home at the I&A Club.
In 2002, he was honored with a special dedication for his effort and dedication to the tournament. He also served on a committee that brought the 200 Special Olympic athletes to the I&A Club every summer.
From a humble immigrant in 1924, he became a citizen of Wickliffe who made his city a better place by his dedication to making things much better than they would have been without him.
Mayor Mel Buchheit (born-died)
Inducted 2009 in the Government category
Mel Buchheit served as Mayor of the City of Wickliffe from 1976-1980, during this time; many of the residents were plagued with flooding in their homes. He was very instrumental in getting Wickliffe’s antiquated storm and sanitary sewers rerouted and the installation of cross connections between the two. He also was a member of the Ohio Mayors and Managers Association.
He moved to Wickliffe in 1964 with his wife, Diane, and their five children.
He soon became an active member in the community, spending many summers coaching Wickliffe Little League Baseball, teaching CCD classes at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, as well as participating in various programs at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
In 1969, he made the decision to run for Ward 3 Council. He won the election and went on to serve the residents in his ward for six years. During this time, he served as Vice-Mayor and City Representative to the Lake County Council of Government.
Robert R. Buyers (born-died)
Inducted 2003 in the Education category
A graduate of Western Reserve University, Robert Buyers taught in Wickliffe from 1958 until 1984. As the English Department Chairman, at Wickliffe High School, he developed the four-track nine weeks English Curriculum. He considers that and the authorship of the “Student Information Book” for use by all high school students to be his major accomplishments.
He was the founder and advisor of the school’s Wickonian and the Blue Blaze publications.
He was Wickliffe’s first Martha Holden Jennings Foundation Scholar. He was nominated three times for the Ohio Teacher of the Year and for the Jennings Foundation Master Teacher Award. Upon retiring, he established the Robert R. Buyers English Scholarship Award given annually to a senior for four years of excellence in English.
Thomas J. Calevich (Born-present)
Inducted 1998 in the Government category
For over 20 years, Tom Calevich served the people of Wickliffe as a dedicated councilman. During his long career, the residents of Ward 4 and all the people of Wickliffe benefited from his strong leadership. He served 12 years as Council’s representative to the Planning Commission and two as Council President. He chaired both the Finance Safety Committees of Council.
A graduate of Fenn College and John Carroll University, he landed a career with National Acme as a Chief Engineer and later a consultant to the President of National Acme.
His other civic activities include: active member and usher at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church; foreman of the Lake County Grad Jury; member of the Wickliffe I&A Club; Knights of Columbus #5405; and President of the Acme Federal Credit Union Board.
He is married to Bette and has three daughters: Deborah, Carla, and Claudia.
Bob Calic was very active in sports at an early age. Football was his choice of sport during his attendance at East High School in Cleveland Ohio.
Bob and his wife, Pat, are the proud parents of three sons Chris, Sam and Todd. Bob moved his family to Wickliffe, Ohio in 1970 and resided there for almost twenty years. At that time his father in law passed away and his mother in law moved in with the family. They needed to find a larger home. Bob, and his family, moved only one street away to Willoughby where he continued, and still continues to retain, his ties to the community of Wickliffe. As a result, those same ties have been instilled within two of his three sons, Chris and Todd, who coach within the city. Chris is the owner of Seasonal Sporting Goods in Mentor. Todd, the youngest of the three, is employed by the Wickliffe Recreation Department and is well known and respected for his contributions to the city. A third son, Sam, is a CPA in Mentor where he resides and is involved in coaching within that city. Through all the years of service to the Wickliffe community, Bob has instilled the love of working with the young within his sons while serving their respected communities.
Bob became involved with the Wickliffe Midget Football League long before his three sons were old enough to participate in the program and retains those ties to this day. He has spent every Sunday, during football season, at the Middle School field since his early days of coaching a team. After many seasons as a coach, he channeled his energy into any other area that needed his help and could benefit from his experience. He can be seen at the concession stand early Sunday mornings until the final game for the entire season. You will also see him at the Wickliffe High School football field as he watches the many athletes that have come up through the system and participate in the Wickliffe High School football program as he works the chains for each Friday night home game.
Bob’s enthusiasm did not end with football. He could be seen on any given spring and summer evening coaching the young athletes in baseball. He became an umpire for the youth leagues and was able to allow many of the Wickliffe kids to obtain jobs as umpires to earn a little money. He organized teams and played softball for many years with the Wickliffe Sunday morning league often times on the same team as his sons and their friends.
When not working with his son, Chris, at Seasonal Sporting Goods, working around the yard or helping out with programs in Wickliffe, you will find Bob along with his wife Pat, at every event involving their two grand-
children Lexie and Sammy.
Angelo Cappelli (1915-1965)
Inducted 1998 in the Business category
Angelo Cappelli was born to Mariano and Antoinette Cappelli on May 10, 1915 in Wickliffe. He began his entrepreneurial career at a young age, bartering his father’s goods for music lessons. During the 1930’s he had his own orchestra. He married Lena Ferraro on November 30, 1935. Angelo joined his father-in-law, Jim Ferraro, as owners of Jim Ferraro’s Night Club, which later became “The Avenue Bar”.
During the 1940’s and ‘50’s, along with brother, Ralph Cappelli, he established the “2:30 Casino” on E. 300th St. and Euclid Ave. (the same location as Cappelli’s Party Center), as well as “Angelo’s Supper Club” in Akron and “Cappelli Sand & Gravel” which later became “Heath Road Sand & Gravel” in Chesterland.
He was a proud member of the Wickliffe I&A Club and OLMC where he assisted with the building of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
He passed away on July 15, 1965 at the age of 50.
His wife, Lena, passed away on September 10, 2000.
His four daughters fondly remember him: Annette, Donna, Rena, and Dawn.
Ralph Cappelli (1909-Died)
Inducted 1998 in the Business category
Born in Castel Forte, south of Rome, Italy, Ralph Cappelli came to America at 5 years of age. It was 1914 and Wickliffe was a little clearing in the woods with a dirt path, Euclid Ave., few buildings and homes, and many grape vineyards. He was forced to quit school for economic reasons.
At 19 years old, he opened his first barbershop. In 1929, he married Vera Ferrante, a first generation Italian from Montagano, Provincia de Compobasso and bought his first Wickliffe property,
Together they owned 12 different properties in Wickliffe. Ten of these properties were developed, by Ralph, along Euclid Ave., which helped create the Euclid Ave. we see today.
He sponsored events to further Wickliffe sports, was politically active and chaired the building of both Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and convent. His contributions have made his family proud and happy to be part of the Wickliffe community.
Joe Carroscia, Sr. is a life-long resident of the City of Wickliffe. As a retired former employee of the Wickliffe Service Department, Joe demonstrated not only his outstanding skills as a tradesman, but his leadership ability in serving as a role model for other employee’s. He was named the “Mayor’s Employee of the Year” numerous times.
In support of the Wickliffe community Joe designed and constructed the Gazebo at Coulby Park. The gazebo is used for numerous celebrations and occasions, including summer band concerts and weddings. He also designed and built the spiral brick water fountain in Coulby Park and the smaller arched bridge over the back west end of Coulby Pond.
Joe donated his time and expertise to the Wickliffe School System by building a storage and equipment garage at the Senior High football field following his retirement from the city.
In retirement he also generously gave his time and experience toward the construction of the utility building at Liberty Gardens.
Joe won the 1991 Greater Cleveland Public Works Performance Award for his development and concept of using broken pieces of sidewalk concrete molded together to form the pedestrian bridge at Wickliffe’s Nehl’s Park. This 1991 new concept of using recycled concrete saves money and also makes use of discarded material to provide both functional and aesthetically pleasing structures.
Joe was born in Wickliffe Ohio in 1930 of immigrant parents Angelo and Lena Carroscia. His father was a mason and his mother was a housewife and later worked at Wickliffe City Hall.
He is the oldest of three children, a sister Betty Carroscia-Skrjance and one brother Angelo (Chuck) Carroscia. All graduated from Wickliffe High School.
Joe graduated in 1949 and went on to trade school to follow in his father’s footsteps as a stone and brick mason. He married his high school sweetheart, Madeline Pucella-Carroscia in 1950.
Together they had eight children: Joe Carroscia Jr., Perry, Chuck, Ray, Patty, Roxanne, Donna Carroscia-Platek and Judy Carroscia-Little. The boys graduated from Wickliffe High School and the girls graduated from Notre Dame Academy. Most went on to become college graduates and two are working in the trades.
Joe’s first wife Madeline passed away of Leukemia in the 1990. Joe met his current wife Judie Peoples-Carroscia and they married in 1997 in the same gazebo Joe built at Coulby Park. Judie has been a Wickliffe resident since 1963 residing on Phillips Ave. Joe is still an avid golfer in his retirement years along with enjoying his large family including 16 grandchildren.
Joe Chillemi was drafted into the 9th Army Air Force in 1941 and served as a control tower
operator. Joe was one of the many brave soldiers who landed on the beach at Calais, France on D-Day. After advancing from the beach up a hill he discovered a religious needlepoint on an undisturbed wall of a bombed out home. He carried it throughout his entire war career.
The needlepoint, which has a date of 1896, is now framed and is proudly displayed in his living room.
Joe also participated in the Battle of the Bulge and was involved in five major battles. For those battles he received five Bronze Stars. Although wounded several times he refused to accept any Purple Hearts. Accepting those meant his family would be notified and upset.
He was honorably discharged in 1945.
Joe was born in Mansfield, Ohio in 1921 to parents Rose (DiAchille) and Natale Chillemi. Natale’s family originated from Capo d’Orlando Messina Sicily.
During high school Joe played the saxophone for several local bands. That’s when he met his wife-to-be Betty Lucas.
They were married while he was on leave from the Army in 1943.
Following the war he and Betty settled in East Cleveland and started to raise his family. He opened three cigar stores in Downtown Cleveland from 1950 to 1982. The family moved to Wickliffe in 1954 where they raised their four children: Dolores, Jim, Jack and Richard.
He joined the Wickliffe Italian-American Club in 1971. He became the club’s treasurer from 1980 to 1988 and elected vice president the following two years.
After 68 years of marriage, Betty sadly passed away. Today he has 15 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
From the beaches of France, to his home in Wickliffe, Joe Chillemi played a big role in the war he fought and the I&A club he served for over 42 years.
Peter Christopher (1953-1994)
Inducted 1995 in the Civic category
Peter Christopher went about his life as the custodian of Wickliffe Middle School, a member of the OLMC choir, and a supporter of his parents with compassion and caring for all. Born on the fourth of July 1953, Pete enjoyed traveling, golfing or just making the kids and teachers happy at school. His lust for life was as exciting as the fireworks they blast on his birthday.
Pete was a graduate of Electronic Technology Institute.
A product of the Wickliffe School System, he was hired as a building and grounds man in 1975 after spending seven years as a student helper. In 1985, he was promoted to head custodian at the Middle School – a destiny that would see his life end suddenly on November 7, 1994, while protecting the people he loved.
We all will miss him, but we will never forget his greatest gift and philosophy, laying down his life for others, following the teachings of his church and his God. His light will remain with us always.
Over many years Leslie Ciancibello has been very active in the Wickliffe community. Most notably was his dedication to seeing that the Wickliffe Cemetery be reopened for those wishing to be buried in Wickliffe. Since the cemetery was no longer accepting in-ground burials he, along with his sister Terri Jo Rotondo, and members of the Wickliffe Cemetery Commission devised a way to open the cemetery with above ground inurnments. A columbarium would be purchased for holding the cremation ashes. The City approved the plan in 2008. To date 29 people have made Wickliffe their final resting place.
Les was also active in many City organizations. He was a past president of the Wickliffe Lions’ Club. He was a social member of the Wickliffe American Legion Post #7 and Wickliffe Eagles. He served as Wickliffe City Club board member and long-time member of the Wickliffe Knights of Columbus #5405. He has been a popular Italian-American Club member for over 22 years, serving two-terms on the board of directors.
He was most known for his fund-raising efforts for the organizations he joined. Whether the organization was raising funds for assisting the poor or ill, or helping high school seniors off to college with scholarships or assisting families in need of heat, food or rent he helped get the job done. He would also donate many of his own dollars for the benefit of others.
Les is the son of Lester and Theresa (Fatica) Ciancibello. Lester was inducted into the Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame in 1993 for his role in serving the US Army during WW II.
He was born in Painesville and moved to Wickliffe where he attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School and Wickliffe High School. Following high school he worked at Consolidated Box in Wickliffe where he met his future wife Radelle Tirabasso in 1965.
Les and Rae were married in 1966. They raised two boys, Leslie and Luke. Leslie is married to Mary (Krahe) and they have two daughters Kaela and Allison. Luke’s two children are Alanna and Nicholas.
He learned the upholstering business from his father at Schultz Upholstery. He eventually took over the business. He moved the company from Cleveland Heights to Willoughby 11 years ago. He operated the business for over 48 years. Les recently retired from the company and his son, Luke, has taken over. Thus following in his footsteps, as Les did for his father.
Les’s siblings include brother Doug Ciancibello, owner of Burgers and Beer in Willoughby. His wife is Toni (Lariccia). Les’ sister Terri Jo is the wife of Lornie Rotondo.
Although retired, Les attends as many meetings and fund-raising functions as possible. And, he is still buying and selling fund-raising tickets through his many Wickliffe friends.
Lester M. Ciancibello (1918-1991)
Inducted 1993 in the Military category
A 72-year old lifetime resident of Wickliffe, Lester Ciancibello passed away in May of 1991, leaving behind the memories of a dedicated community servant and a national veteran.
Born in the midst of the World War, Lester served as a private in the U.S. Army from 1942 until 1944. During World War II, he was seriously wounded, resulting in the loss of one of his eyes. Returning to the City, he helped found the Schultz Upholstering Company, and also funded the Wickliffe Lions’ Club.
A founder and charter member of Wickliffe’s American Legion, his primary interest in starting the Lions’ Club was to help and to serve other people with vision disabilities.
In his commitment to the community, he served as a member of the Holy Name Society and Our Lady of Mount Church, Wickliffe.
Mario Ciano was born in Ariano, Italy, southeast of Naples, in 1942. In 1952, at the age of 10, he was one of a group of orphans brought to the United States for adoption by Catholic Charities.
After spending a year at the then Parmadale Orphanage, in Parma, Mario was adopted by Vincent and Ann Aveni, who had just moved to Wickliffe with their five children. Mario was enrolled in Lincoln Elementary School and continued through the system to the then brand new Wickliffe High School on Rockefeller Road. There, he achieved both academically and athletically and was chosen President of his high school class.
After that, he enrolled in Case Western Reserve University. He reunited with his family in Italy and upon graduation married his high school sweetheart, Connie Brunetti. While Mario went to law school at Case Western Reserve, Connie helped support the family by working at Bailey Meter Company, while Mario ran a landscape maintenance company. While Mario was still in law school, the couple was blessed with their first two children, Dina and Phillip. After living in Mentor for five years, Mario and Connie returned to Wickliffe and built their home in the woods adjacent to the high school from which they graduated. They resumed their residency in 1976 and have remained there ever since.
Mario’s love for his Italian heritage, family and Christian faith has been the underpinnings of his life. He was blessed to be able to take his adopted mother and father, the Avenis, to meet his family and start a quasi-yearly pilgrimage where both families would travel back and forth to enjoy their relationship. Mario and Connie were blessed with three other children, Anna, Angela and Mario. They were also blessed with the opportunity to adopt their niece, Gia Reale, whose three children, now combine with 14 children born to other members of the family for a total of 17 grandchildren. Mario and Connie have passed on their love for the Italian-American heritage to all of their children and grandchildren. They just returned from a visit to Italy with four of their grandchildren.
Mario has been an attorney at Reminger & Reminger for over 40 years and Managing Partner for 20 of those years. Since he started, the firm has grown from four to 130 attorneys covering three states.
His community involvement has included his passion for children and adoption issues including being on the Board of Directors and there after the Advisory Board of Birthright, Lake County and is actively involved in many “private placement” adoptions of dozens of children.
In 2007, he was chosen as one of 100 people in the U.S. to receive the Ellis Island Gold Medal of Honor. Each year, the Ellis Island Foundation picks 100 people who have direct or indirect immigration history to our country. An elaborate ceremony was held in the “Great Hall” of Ellis Island, which was the reception point for so many immigrants.
At their home parish, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Wickliffe, Mario and Connie taught Christian Confraternity Doctrine and were leaders in Pre-Cana classes.
Nick Cirino (1917-
Inducted 2005 in the Business category
Nick Cirino was born on January 16, 1917. His childhood was brief as he quickly grew up when his parents died within a month of each other. Family meant the world to him. His four sisters and their children, and their children’s children, were a special part of his life. His love extended beyond family to his Godchildren and friends, who he considered to be family, too. His love extended to the canine family and he was the proud owner of two German Shepherds – Mister and Prince, then Duchess and Dawn. They went everywhere with him and could be seen hanging their heads out the van window as he drove through Wickliffe. He loved sports and followed Cleveland’s professional sports teams but none captured his devotion and heart like the sports teams of Wickliffe High.
At the age of thirteen, he began working at his brother’s floral shop and continued as a florist for over fifty years. Around 1963, he decided to go it alone working first out of the basement of his friend’s home. Soon after, he opened his own floral shop, Cirino’s House of Flowers, that became more than a floral shop but a gathering place for friends to pop in and say hi and maybe discuss current events, politics, or just sports, especially Wickliffe High School sports. You could spot his work amongst the many of others. His talent for floral design was second to none. But more importantly, he was an honorable businessman that shared not only his talent but also thoughtfulness with others.
As Mr. O’Toole succinctly, yet eloquently wrote: A week doesn’t go by that Nick doesn’t perform a courtesy for someone. He’s one of those businessmen who still take the time to do a kindness…to bring a little happiness to someone… and he does it all because he thinks it’s the right thing to do. Everyone in Wickliffe knows Nick. Many people know what a great guy he is. He’s also pleasant, polite, intelligent, and a real gentleman. He’s the type of guy anyone would be pleased to call a friend.
No truer words could be written. How timeless Mr. O’Toole’s words are! How fortunate those of us who knew him and loved him are, for we were the recipients of his love and kindness, which will always be part of the fabric of our lives.
James K. Collins, Jr. (1928-present)
Inducted 1999 in the Civic category
Jim Collins has been the award-winning editor of the News-Herald for over 30 years. His editorials have enriched and entertained northeast Ohio readers for nearly a half-a-century.
Although born in Willoughby in 1928, Jim spent much of his youth growing up in Wickliffe. Upon graduating from Kent State University in 1950, he joined the
News-Herald as a reporter. In 1952, he left the paper and joined the Army. He returned to the paper in 1954 to continue his journalistic career.
He has served as president of Associated Press Society, Willoughby Fine Arts, Rotary Club of Willoughby, and Lake County WMCA. He has been recognized as the only Honorary Lifetime member of both the Lake County Blue Coats and Police Chief’s Association.
His dedication to the community is further exemplified by his fund-raising efforts for the YMCA, Cleveland Orchestra, Lake County United Way and Fine Arts Association.
His leadership at the News-Herald and throughout Lake County has led to many
community success stories. A fitting tribute to a man and his word.
Ralph M. Conners (1930-1976)
Inducted 2005 in the Sports category
Ralph Mateland Conners was born on April 27, 1930 in Cleveland, Ohio to parents Gladys and Harold Conners. He was an only child. He attended John Hay High School where he lettered in baseball. On July 23, 1948, at the age of 18, he entered the U.S. Navy. During the Korean War, he served aboard the USS Adirondack. He was honorably discharged on June 13, 1952. After being discharged from the Navy, he began working for United Torch as a printer. In August of 1953, he married Verna Petro. They lived in Cleveland until 1963 before moving to Wickliffe with their 4 children, Barb, Joyce, Tom and Tim.
As his children grew up, he became involved in coaching and was very instrumental in making the Wickliffe Baseball League what it is today. During his tenure as President, he combined the Boys Baseball and Girls Softball Leagues. The leagues grew from 32 teams to 67 teams. He was also the Umpire-in-Chief and convinced many parents to become involved as a coach or an umpire. He also brought All Star Tournaments to the City of Wickliffe. He was always focused on kids…not only his own, but those in the community as well.
He was working tirelessly with the Baseball League when after a 3-month battle; cancer claimed his life at the age of 45 in January of 1976. In his death, as during his life, he was loved by many, respected by all, and never once missed an opportunity to tell someone how much he loved and cared about them. He was a great man, a loving son, father, coach, and friend. He is loved and missed by his many family members and friends. We are sure that he would be proud to be in the Hall of Fame in a city that he truly loved.
Kelly Ann Conti (1963-2002)
Inducted 2002 in the Medical category
Kelly Ann Conti was a Savior. Her profession was that of a Flight Nurse. She received training at the Huron Road Hospital Nursing School. She was drawn to emergency medicine because of the immediate impact she could have had on patients’ lives. On January 18, 2002 she lost her life in a tragic helicopter crash. The vehicle that with her help had saved so many, had claimed her own young life.
She was born on May 13, 1963, to Florence and Chip Burkhardt. She attended Wickliffe City Schools, graduating in 1981. She participated in volleyball, basketball and softball and was voted most athletic by her senior class. In 1988, she married Ken Conti. She was intensely devoted to her children. Samantha and Matthew. Her profession was a nurse; her life was her children. Kelly, as a family member, included bocce with her grandfather, Pat Bristo.
She will live forever in all those who touched and loved her.
Howard E. Corbett (1916-1995)
Inducted 1997 in the Military category
Howard Corbett served in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1945, serving two years in the Army’s Signal Radio Intelligence Unit. After his tour of duty he was active with the Wickliffe American Legion Brewer-Tarasco Post #7 and served as treasurer for over 20 years.
He was born in 1916. He moved to Wickliffe in 1950 and was immediately active in community programs. They included the Salvation Army (chairman, 25 years), Junior Achievement (over 45 years), Wickliffe Clean City Commission and United Way. He helped raise money, provide and deliver food for local people in need.
He was married to Dorothy and raised three children.
He was always willing to help with good humor and love. He set a wonderful example on how one can retire happily. He passed away in February, 1995.
James C. Corrigan (Born-1908)
Inducted 1997 in the History category
“Nagirroc”, his last name spelled backwards, was the home of James C. Corrigan. This famous building was on the site now known as Pine Ridge County Club. He was in the iron ore business. During the panic of 1893 he teamed up with Price McKinney and developed Corrigan, McKinney and Co., the largest steel company in the area, later to become Republic Steel.
In 1900 tragedy struck the Corrigan household as his wife, Ida, and three daughters drowned from his sailboat in a storm on Lake Erie. He died in 1908 at the age of 59, leaving the steel empire to his son, James, and McKinney. In 1925 young Jimmy took control of the business. He and his wife, Laura, resided in the original home. They later moved to London, selling the family home to Cedarhust Country Club.
The estate was purchased by Lake County Metro Parks in 1994 and serves as a public golf course and reception hall.
Laura Mae Corrigan (1887-1948)
Inducted 1999 in the History category
Laura Mae Corrigan donated over $25,000 to start the Wickliffe Dispensary (also known as the Well Baby Clinic) in the early 1930’s. This endowment has continued to provide the financial resources needed for this most important health facility.
Laura Whitlock was born in Wisconsin in 1887. She married Jim Corrigan in 1909, the son of Hall of Famer James Corrigan of Corrigan-McKinney Steel Company fame. They resided in Wickliffe at Navarro (Corrigan spelled backward) today known as Pine Ridge Country Club. After Jim’s death, Laura inherited the estate. Not welcome in high society, she traveled abroad and became known as woman of great generosity. Her financial assistance and volunteer efforts extended to Europe where she received high awards in France and England after WWII. She passed away in 1948.
Frank M. Coryell (1927-1987)
Inducted 1994 in the Education category
Frank M. Coryell was born in Cleveland on June 9, 1927. He was educated in the Ohio School System and graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Library Science. He became Director of the Wickliffe Public Library in 1967 and brought to the library, a new standard of excellence and expanded services.
He was a man of enthusiasm and devotion for reading and learning. He passed these qualities on to the patrons of the library.
In 1975, a “Resolution of Appreciation” was adopted by the city of Wickliffe honoring him for his exemplary work. He passed away in 1987.
Rev. Fr. James P. Costello (1934-died)
Inducted 2003 in the Education category
Fr. James Costello initiated the formation of the Mt. Carmel Players. The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s theater group’s first musical was performed in 1971. He served as its first moderator and advisor for the production of South Pacific.
He was ordained a priest, along with his twin brother Joseph, in 1960. He was assigned to OLMC in 1970. With his inspiration and assistance from Wickliffe Hall of Famer, Ernie Koenig, he re-established the Mt. Carmel Players. He was personally involved in its first three productions.
He was born in Akron, Ohio in 1934. He graduated from Borromeo and St. Mary’s Seminaries. Ironically, he served at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel East in Cleveland in 1963. Thanks to his efforts, the Mt. Carmel Players continue to perform their outstanding theater musicals for OLMC parishioners and citizens of Lake County for over 32 years.
Harry Coulby (1854??-1929)
Inducted 1993 in the Government category
Harry Coulby was elected the first mayor of Wickliffe in 1916. His home, originally named Coulallenby, still stands on Ridge Road as the Coulby Mansion, Wickliffe’s City Hall.
Born in England in 1865, he left Claypoole at the age of 19 and arrived virtually penniless in New York. He walked to Cleveland, a six-week journey. In two years, he became a clerk for Pickands-Mather, an ore shipping company. He eventually established himself as a partner in the firm and became known as the Czar of the Great Lakes.
In a move that emphasized his individuality and success, Mr. Coulby broke with precedence and moved to the small village of Wickliffe, where he had a 54-acre estate built and named after his second wife, May Allen. Completed in 1912 for $1 million, the mansion served as his residence throughout his term as mayor and until his death in 1929.
May Allen Coulby (Born? – 1921)
Inducted 1995 in the Civic category
May Allen Coulby was the second wife of Harry Coulby. He called his Wickliffe estate “Coulallenby” after his wife’s name.
During World War I, she and a group of affluent ladies joined to form a Red Cross Auxiliary. One of their first undertakings was to make bandages for the war. They would meet in the Town Hall.
Mrs. Coulby gave Wickliffe the Well Baby Clinic Dispensary. The money to build the building at 28864 Euclid Avenue was from funds left over from World War I, the funds of which Mrs. Coulby had control. She and Mr. Coulby donated the land and helped to maintain the dispensary, which now operates on an endowment from Mrs. James Corrigan.
May Allen Coulby died in 1921, the same year the dispensary was incorporated.
Frank Darcy (born-2001)
Inducted 2001 in the Civic category
Frank Darcy was an active volunteer in Wickliffe for many years. He was involved from the start with Christmas-In-April H Northcoast with his wife, Mickey, and served for 12 years as a volunteer worker and its Treasurer.
Frank delivered Meals on Wheels for many years where he developed a love for the people for which he may have been their only visitor.
His early activities in Wickliffe date back 35 years when the family moved to Wickliffe. As a Jaycee, Frank reorganized the fledgling Boy Scout Troop 289 and Cub Scout Pack. He also volunteered on Wickliffe’s Bi-Centennial Committee.
After his retirement in 1991He became President of Wickliffe’s Community Policing Block Watch. He was instrumental in revitalizing Wickliffe’s Salvation Army Unit at the Wickliffe Civic Center.
He married Mickey and they raised three children: Mary, John and Patrick.
He lent a hand wherever needed and found much gratification in helping others.
Frank passed away in 2001.
Inducted 2003 in the Civic category
Mickey Darcy brought the volunteer home repair program, Christmas in April H Northcoast to Wickliffe. Now known as Rebuilding Together Lake County, its volunteers have repaired hundreds of homes for the elderly and those in need.
Born in Cleveland, she and her family moved to Wickliffe in 1964. Her late husband, Francis, is a Hall of Fame inductee. Their children are Mary Leorna, John Francis and Patrick. She received the Humanitarian Award from the Independent Foresters and the J.C. Penny Golden Rule Award. She received the Point of Light Award from President George Bush and was the Chamber’s Business Person of the Year in 1988.
She serves as chairman to the City’s Sign Review Board, co-chairman of the Chamber’s Victorian Teas and President of Neighborhood Watch. She was a registered Girl Scout leader for 33 years, Past-President of the Wickliffe Jay-C-Ettes, a founding member of the Provo House Guild and Past-President of Keep Wickliffe Beautiful.
Henry K. Devereaux (1860-1932)
Inducted 1993 in the Civic category
The drummer boy, on the left, in “The Spirit of ‘76” painting was modeled by Henry Kelsey Devereaux, a student at Cleveland’s Brooks Military Academy chosen by the artist Archibald Willard.
Born in 1860, he was the youngest of the three models in the painting first displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 and one of which now hangs in the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Museum. Hugh Moser, another Wickliffe resident, modeled the painting’s fifer.
Devereaux was a handsome, wealthy, and popular socialite, who served as president of a filly-racing league. In racing circles, he enjoyed the highest reputation as a sportsman. He was the owner of the Nutwood Farm in Wickliffe. After his death in 1932, his farm eventually became the site of Telshe Yeshiva College.
Richard DiCicco, in his spare time, thoroughly enjoyed his more than 40 years of membership to the Wickliffe Italian-American Club. As a member of the Parliamentary Committee and several other committees, he was instrumental in the formation of the current bylaws, contract bid work, and development of the financial controls currently used at all activities held by the club. Richard also served for several years as Director of Operations for the Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce and enjoyed playing in and winning the invitational tournament many consecutive years as the captain of the Lake Metro Parks team.
Richard was born on March 3, l938 to parents Frank and Theresa, had a younger brother Dominic and lived his entire life in Wickliffe. At a very young age, he helped his mother and father at their family run store, DiCicco’s Grocery and Beverage. He attended Wickliffe Schools and graduated in 1956.
Richard attended Kent State University and later the Cleveland State University, Marshall School of Law,
passing the Bar Examination while working full-time with the State Auditor’s Office. For the next 32 years, he worked both as a State Examiner and Attorney, moving his legal practice from Euclid to Wickliffe in 1985 where it closed at his death in 2007.
During Richard’s 32 years at the State Auditor’s Office, he used his accounting education and legal background to conduct special investigations and started the current Special Audit Section of the State Auditor’s Office. Richard headed a small team of investigators from the State Auditor’s Office and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office to investigate and successfully prosecute some of the largest white-collar criminals in the 80’s and early 90’s. He became a Certified Fraud Examiner in 1992.
In 1998 Betty Montgomery, Auditor of State and former State Attorney General said of Richard,
“With his thorough investigative skills and auditing and legal background, Richard knows how to close all the doors to an investigation and make a guilty plea the only possible outcome.”
Upon retirement from the State in 1991, Richard continued his legal practice and performed several while-collar investigations. Early in 2001, at the request of the Geauga County Prosecutor, he headed a team of investigators into a troubled Chester Township, where he uncovered a $4.1 million scheme, hatched by the Chester Township Clerk. At the time this was the single largest monetary finding, in Ohio, against an individual in government.
Richard also served several years as a Commissioner for the Lake Metro Parks. He was very proud of his work on the park board, receiving many accolades during his years of service.
Though many things were important to Richard, nothing was more important than his family. Richard was married to Donna for 42 years, and had three children, Richard Jr., Paul (Janet) and Teresa (Art). He was also very proud of his five grandchildren, Abigail, Nina, Faith, Joshua and Alexis. One more grandchild he did not see was Jessica. He would have been proud of her also.
Emily M. DiDonato (born-died)
Inducted 2007 in the History category
As a proud member of the Wickliffe Historical Society, Emily DiDonato was a vital source of information about Wickliffe’s past. Her research and writings enlightened all that read her letters in the Society’s newsletter, The Lloyd Papers. Her personal letters, sent to descendants of early Wickliffe, were answered and recorded by her. These became official records of historic facts, events, and important statistics.
She also contributed regularly in the pages of the Wickliffe Connection with historic articles about Wickliffe’s notables.
Her works at the Historical Society included research, creating displays, cataloging artifacts, securing collections, and publishing articles. Her research papers are on file at the Wickliffe Public Library. She also helped create a driving tour of Wickliffe booklet called “Touring Wickliffe” in 1989. The book includes the “Millionaires Row” mansions, historic buildings and the century homes of Wickliffe. A contest was held by the Society to locate the oldest tree in Wickliffe. It led to the finding of the tree at Wickliffe High School on Rockefeller Road.
Since the Society moved from the former Wickliffe Civic Center (WICCI), she and members of the Society reestablished their collections at Wickliffe City Hall. There you will find vintage clothing, artifacts, historic documents, and newspaper clippings.
She spearheaded the placement of two Ohio Historical Landmark plaques. The first was of Henry Devereaux, a prominent Wickliffe resident, who posed for the Archibold Willard painting, “Spirit of ‘76”. The plaque was placed at the City Hall’s western entrance. The second plaque honors Harry Coulby, Wickliffe’s first mayor and owner of the original mansion (now City Hall). It stands at the main entrance to City Hall.
She brought vintage “base ball” to Wickliffe as an annual event. The game featured the Lake County Historical Society’s team playing 1890s “base ball” against the City’s team on Sunday afternoons at Coulby Park.
Emily had lived in East Cleveland before moving to Wickliffe 46 years ago. She was a member of many theater groups including Silhouette Productions, Euclid Lyric Guild, and the Vocalairies. She had been owner/operator of DIDO Kennels from 1960 to 1980.
She married Philip B. DiDonato. Their four sons are Larry, Mark, John, and Andrew.
Emily DiDonato was proud of Wickliffe’s heritage and shared her treasured historical research for generations.
Vincent J. DiMaria, Sr. (1918-present)
Inducted 2009 in the Military category
Vincent DiMaria entered the Army/Air Corps in 1941, shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. His first assignment was in charge of medical supplies stateside. Prior to his military service, he lived New York City forging a singing career. While stationed in San Antonio, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana, because of his talents, he served his country by singing and performing as Master of Ceremonies for USO shows. He continued his duties in the Air Corps and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant.
He was born in 1918 to Rose and Salvatore DeMaria. Rose died when he was just one year old. Two years later, his father’s crippling health problems led to he and his five siblings being placed in Parmadale, an orphanage in Parma, Ohio. He was subsequently placed in several foster homes and at the age of 13, was sent to the home of Mary Joann Sabetta, in Wickliffe, where he was raised and continued his schooling. Due to a spelling error at that time, his last name was changed to DiMaria.
During his younger years, he met Filomena Florence Coladangelo, a talented dancer, at several talent competitions. He married Filomena in 1941. When his stint in the military was over he returned to Wickliffe with his wife and became a successful businessman.
He did not volunteer for the service, nor was he recognized as a hero. His induction into the Hall of Fame honors all the thousands of American men (and women) who answered the call of their country and served it well during its time in need.
Joseph Dimberio (1910-1972)
Inducted 1996 in the Safety Forces category
The most memorial moment of Joseph Dimberio’s life came in 1960 as Joe, then a Wickliffe police officer, followed closely the car carrying presidential candidate John F. Kennedy in a motorcade parade down Euclid Avenue in Wickliffe.
Joe joined the Wickliffe Police Department in 1946. In 1971, his dream came true as he made Detective Sergeant. He received many meritorious awards during his tenure from the Police Department and Wickliffe High School. He was also a member of the Wickliffe Civil Defense Force and FOPA
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1910, he and his family moved to the Blue Rock area of Cleveland before settling in Wickliffe in 1934.
He retired from the force in 1972 and enjoyed his retirement until his death in 1983.
Joseph DiOrio (born-1998)
Inducted 2001 in the Medical category
Joseph DiOrio was a lifelong resident of Wickliffe and a charter member of the American Legion Post #7 of Wickliffe. he entered the Army in 1942. After basic training, he was one of 3,000 volunteers that were recruited for a “dangerous and hazardous” mission. They were sent to Trinadad for seven months of special training in jungle warfare. Under the command of Brig. Gen. Frank Merrill, the 3,000 volunteers became known as Merrill’s Marauders and were sent to the China-Burma-India Theater of operations.
He was named one of the outstanding heroes of the war. Fighting had been described as the fiercest for the soldiers of the Pacific Campaigns. He was in command of one of two machine guns, which rebuked a strong Japanese attack in which 650 enemy soldiers were killed and attackers practically wiped out.
All Merrill Marauders received the Presidential Unit Citation in 1964. A rare distinction for all members to receive a Bronze Star.
He married his wife Delma in 1987. Joe died in December 1998.
Michael J. Elias (born-present)
Inducted 2002 in the Arts category
The people of Wickliffe remember Michael Elias standing on the fifty-yard line directing the award-winning Blue Devil Swing Band. Throughout his twenty-four years at Wickliffe High, “Mike” imbued in his students a love of the art of music.
During his tenure, he created the “swing band” and hosted twenty consecutive Marching Band Festivals, which became popular within the community and throughout Ohio. While his Marching Band achieved first place ratings in the national competitions, his concert bands received superior ratings in the OMEA Adjudicated Events.
As Music Department Chairman for the Wickliffe Schools, he encouraged elementary and middle school students to continue their music education throughout high school.
Along with teaching, Michael maintained his performance abilities by studying clarinet for 15 years with Thomas Peterson and Daniel Gilbert of the Cleveland Orchestra, passing on that musical knowledge to his students.
As concertmaster and principal clarinetist of the award-winning Lakeland Civic Band for seven years, he has guest conducted and performed solos with the Band and elsewhere.
He is active with the music ministry of St. Noel Church in Willoughby Hills.
He adjudicates solo and ensemble contests for the Ohio Music Education Association and gives private and group instruction.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University and a Masters Degree in School Administration from Cleveland State University.
His daughters, Lori and Kimberly, are musicians and teachers. He resides in Sagamore Hills with his wife, Rose Marie (a pianist) and their grandson Nicholas.
Charles D. Fatica (born-present)
Inducted 2002 in the Education category
Charles was born and raised in Wickliffe and was graduated from the former Wickliffe High School (now the Wickliffe Middle School), class of 1948.
Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy; completed recruit training at Great Lakes, Illinois; served two years with Patrol Squadron Eight (VP-8) at the Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island; and served two years aboard the U.S.S. Mindoro, a training carrier for fighter pilots. He was honorably discharged as an
Aviation Storekeeper, 3rd Class in 1952.
He attended Ohio State University and was graduated from The Youngstown State University in 1958 with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. He was enrolled in the Master of Educational Administration Program at Kent State University.
He was a dedicated faculty member of the Wickliffe Schools for 32 years, having retired in 1990.
He was a member of the Wickliffe Teachers’ Association, Ohio Education Association, National Education Association, lifetime member of the Lake County Teachers’ Association; and the Alpha Phi Delta Social Fraternity.
He married Kay Chiara, a former librarian at Wickliffe High School in 1961. They have two sons, James, present Band Director at Wickliffe Middle School and Jeffrey, a Chaplain in the U.S. Army.
Fielding Featherson III (1942-1969 MIA)
Inducted 1994 in the Military category
Fielding Featherson III was one of the most decorated officers among his contemporaries in the U.S. Air Force. The Valedictorian of his Wickliffe High graduating class, Fielding went on to study at Case Western Reserve University in the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Upon graduation, he was commissioned to the rank of Captain and joined the U.S. Air Force as a fighter pilot.
On December 31, 1969, his plane was shot down over Laos. He was 27 years old. A search was conducted but no one was ever reportedly found. For him, there were three passionate loves: love of his family, love of his country, and love for an F-4C Phantom jet plane.
The City of Wickliffe, in 1978, chose to officially pay tribute to one of its grandest hometown heroes by renaming Ridgewick Park to Featherston Park. He remains listed as MIA and his spirit is a legacy, which will always be with us.
Dr. Frederick Fennell (Born-Died)
Inducted 1998 in the Arts category
Dr. Frederick Fennell had a rare musical personality that was uniquely American. His recordings were the models for educators and performers everywhere for the past four decades.
Following a long and distinguished career as a conductor at Eastman School of Music, where he founded the Eastman Wind Ensemble in 1952, he served as Associate Music Director of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. He was Conductor-in-Residence at the University Miami School of Music, and Director of the University of Miami Symphony Orchestra and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
He was the recipient of many honors and awards and his definitive recordings are known around the world.
He was Principle Conductor of the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra in the 1980s. The concert hall in Kofu, Japan was named in his honor in 1992.
Born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania: Nancy traveled to Cleveland to attend college at Cleveland State University. While in school Nancy landed a job at the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library. This is where she got her first taste of the library work environment.
While at CSU Nancy met husband, Bruce Fisher; he was there for her then … always providing support and friendship and has been apart of her life for more than 40 years.
As luck would have it the library kept her on staff and the Friends of CH-UH PL offered scholarships to staff members to gain a Masters degree in Library Science. Nancy received one! The opportunity paved the way for a very full filling career.
In 1990, (April Fool’s Day) when Nancy Fisher was hired by Wickliffe Public Library to be it’s fifth Director. Nancy says “this was a terrific move … it felt like home.” Wickliffe Library provided a supportive group of Trustees and a community that was proud of its Library. It was an opportunity for all to grow together to continue to provide the best in library service.
During her years at the Library the community passed two levies and a Bond Issue; excellent services were secured for many years. It was under her leadership that the Library automated and became part of CLEVNET; and that the facility was enlarged. In addition, the Friends were energized and a Library Foundation was formed.
Nancy was active in Wickliffe United Way (now A part of United Way Lake County), Chamber of Commerce, Lubrizol Advisory Panel, Rotary Club of Wickliffe and many school and community panels, committees and organizations. She is a graduate of Leadership Lake County and continues to be active with the organization. She was part of the group who started the “Lights on After School” program and member of the Board for the Wickliffe Scholarship Foundation.
Nancy says, “ It has been a wonderful experience to be part of a “jewel in the crown” of a great community.”
Frank Fitz (born-present)
Inducted 2007 in the Sports category
After spending the first nine years of his life in Cedar Grove, PA, Frank Fitz arrived with his family in Wickliffe and developed a relationship with the city that has left him as perhaps the most recognizable person on its streets.
As a teen, he applied his love for sports, competition, and hard work into a masterful athletic career at Wickliffe High School. It included seven varsity letters (three each in football and basketball; one in baseball). On the basketball floor, however, is where he left his greatest impression. As a Senior in 1963, he led the Blue Devils to a 16-4 record and a Freeway Conference title. Along the way, he was named All-Ohio. He holds numerous Wickliffe High records, most notably as the school’s all-time greatest scorer (1,180 career points) and rebounder (1,025).
Additionally, he was honored as one of the top ten area high school basketball players of the 20th century by the News-Herald in 2001, as well as being selected as an inaugural inductee into the Wickliffe High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005. After receiving a full athletic scholarship to the University of Missouri, he transferred to Youngstown State University to continue his playing career closer to Wickliffe. For the Penguins, he emerged as a three-year starter while averaging nearly 15 points and 11 rebounds.
After college, he returned to Wickliffe to serve as the city’s first full-time Recreation Director. Taking over in 1969, he inherited a department that had a few loosely organized sports programs for children. By his retirement in 2004 after 34 years of service, Frank had developed nearly 75 different year-round programs for children and adults.
He lives in Wickliffe with his wife, Gerry. He has four grown children: David, of Wickliffe, Michelle of Mentor, Robin of Cincinnati, and Katie of Willoughby. He is also the proud grandfather of eight.
Carol and Bill Foster
Inducted 2001 in the Arts category
Carol and Bill Foster have spent their entire lives in the Performing Arts. They performed as a professional dance and musical team with such stars as Bob Hope, Ed Ames, Vaughn Monroe, Homer & Jethro, and the Four Coins. Their career took them from coast to coast entertaining for corporate banquets, conventions, supper clubs, fairs, etc.
In 1970 they joined Carol’s parents, who had founded Stanford Studio of Dance in Wickliffe in 1959. While the performing arts of ballet, tap and jazz remained as the cornerstone of the renamed Stanford-Foster Academy, Wickliffe, Carol and Bill introduced the art of rebound gymnastics, which includes trampoline and tumbling and coached the competitive team of Stanford-Foster Eagles. National and World Class competitors and champions were from Wickliffe and the surrounding communities in the tri-county area. Stanford-Foster Academy had the original Tumlebus (gymnastics on wheels) taking the art of gymnastics to day care centers.
Through this community involvement, Carol and Bill Foster touched the lives of many children, some of them second generation. Their students performed in Wickliffe parades, at Home Days, senior centers, nursing homes and other local functions.
In 1997, they sold the academy and now reside in Crystal River, Florida. They are still involved in teaching, but this time it is safe boating education. Their daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Steve Ward also live in the same county with their children Ashley and their twin siblings Steven and Kelsey.
Charles Frank (born-present)
Inducted 2004 in the Education category
Charles Frank was born in Athens, Ohio on August 4, 1932.
He served in the U.S. Army in the Ninth Division Band in Germany from 1955-1956.
He and his wife, Marjorie, were married on August 22, 1954. Their family includes daughters Heather Ambrus and Lisa Berkemeier and three grandchildren.
He was the founder of the Wickliffe High School Marching Swing Band. As an educator, he taught in the Wickliffe City Schools for 13 years, and at Lakeland Community College for 16 years.
From 1987 until his retirement in 1998, he served as the Executive Director of the School of Fine Arts in Willoughby.
He also served as President of the Lake County Music Educators.
He is a former faculty member and currently the Director of the Lakeland Community College Civic Band.
Fraternal Order of Eagles – Wickliffe Aerie #4086
Inducted 2009 in the Organization category
In April 1984, the Fraternal Order of Eagles instituted the Wickliffe Aerie #4086. At that time, the Aerie, dedicated to the Eagles’ motto of ‘People Helping People,’ began its mission to serve Wickliffe. Through its contributions to charities and service to the community, the Wickliffe Eagles organization has lived up to its motto.
After a humble beginning in the basements of other organizations and after the Women’s Auxiliary formation in 1986, the Eagles moved into their current home in 1990. Since then, the former McDonald’s Building has served its members not only for socializing, fundraisers, and functions, but also for the greater good of Wickliffe.
The membership consists of proud Wickliffe residents and neighbors looking to make a positive difference in the community. Many of the members, such as Wickliffe Hall of Fame member, Joe Oboczky, have played active roles in the youth sports leagues over the years. Others tend to the flowers along Euclid Avenue that help to ‘Keep Wickliffe Beautiful’. Each Christmas, a Wickliffe family receives aid to better their holidays. The Eagles and the Auxiliary have donated financial aid to Wickliffe schools, its athletic leagues, the Police and Fire departments, and many local charities. Because of their commitment to helping people, the Eagles have helped families in crisis and have volunteered for many other City projects and events.
An aerie is an eagle’s home. To its 300 Aerie and Auxiliary members, the Wickliffe Aerie serves as a second home – a place to get away from the pressures of ordinary life and to see friends that they would invite into their own homes. Membership requires only that one has sponsors and has the character that if one ‘cannot speak well of an Eagle, (one) will not speak ill of him.’ The Aerie provides its members the opportunity where as an individual, they may not have had the means, but as a group, to make a difference.
The Wickliffe Aerie and Auxiliary proudly contribute to Wickliffe and plan to continue for another 25 years and beyond.
John “Jack” V. Freeman was born on October 13, 1950 in East Cleveland Ohio. After moving to Wickliffe with his parents and sisters Vickey, Dale, and Kathie, he attended first grade at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Jack graduated from Wickliffe High School in 1969 and went on to join the U.S. Navy. Once he returned to Wickliffe from his time in the service he found employment with The Lubrizol Corporation and has held several positions throughout his 39 years with the company. He purchased his first of three homes in Wickliffe in 1974, married in 1976 and had two great children, Sara and John III.
Jack takes great pride in helping local veterans and the Wickliffe community. Throughout his 55 years in the city, community has been a high priority for him. As Jack’s children attended O.L.M.C., he was an active coach for both boys and girls sports and spent countless hours volunteering for the Mount Carmel festival. He has been a participant on the City of Wickliffe Cemetery Committee, was a part of the previous Wickliffe Civic Center board, and various other committees and activities.
Serving in the Navy during Vietnam, although not directly fighting in the war, inspired his patriotism for Country and City. He has been an active member of the Wickliffe American Legion Post 7 for over 21 years holding many positions such as Sergeant at Arms (2 yrs), Finance Officer (2 yrs), Commander in Post (3 yrs), Color Guard (18 yrs), and Building Chairman (20 yrs). His efforts at the American Legion range from helping to maintain the building, the finances and funding, combining community and military as well as perpetuating the spirit of patriotism through the Sons of the American Legion. To celebrate our local veterans, he has run the Wickliffe Memorial Day parade for the past 11 years. He has volunteered at local VA hospitals and strives to keep our local veterans informed of their rights by working with the Painesville Veterans Association.
Jack continues to work at Lubrizol and is still an active member of the American Legion. He enjoys camping golfing and fishing as well as helping his neighbors and family in his free time. He is also the proud grandfather of Madelyn, Katelyn and Nicholas Freeman and visits at every opportunity
Ruth Kendall Fuller (Born-Died??)
Inducted 1993 in the Education category
Hired to teach at Wickliffe Senior High School in 1925, Ruth Kendall Fuller taught Government and History to Wickliffe students for 35 years before retiring in 1972.
A member of the school’s 12 member staff, Ruth Kendall was forced to resign upon her marriage to Kenneth Fuller in 1932. However, the status of married women changed with the onset of World War II, and she was rehired in 1944.
Mrs. Fuller graduated from Hiram College. Primarily a Social Studies teacher, she also coached the girl’s basketball team. In 1963, she was responsible for organizing the school’s chapter of the Junior Council on World Affairs.
Mrs. Fuller was awarded the Valley Forge Classroom Teachers Medal. The Veterans of Foreign Wars awarded her The Voice of Democracy Award; the Rotary Club of Wickliffe presented her with the first ever, Key to the City.
Robert B. Fulton (1925-
Inducted 2005 in the Business category
Robert Fulton was born in Cleveland, Ohio on August 20, 1925. He was a Wickliffe resident for 13 years and for over 30 years has served the public in various ways, such as WW II Veteran and Safety Specialist for Cleveland Transit System. He was elected Wickliffe Councilman for three terms. Other political offices he held were Lake County Commissioner and Lake County Charter Commission.
He comes from a family of 16 where he was the youngest boy. At an early age, he learned how to get along with people and take responsibility. His words to live by for success are, “Live well; laugh often and love much.” His father was a master painter and decorated many of Cleveland’s churches and schools. His mother took pride in raising her children to become good citizens. His passion and warmth for others has unleashed generosity of spirit and deed almost too broad to cover. He is a leader in church, civil, labor, and service organizations.
When he first moved to Wickliffe in 1953, natural gas was not yet available. At the time, Lake County Gas Co. was four times higher in price than East Ohio Gas Co. He took it upon himself to see the Governor and campaign for lower rates, which finally occurred when East Ohio Gas Co. came to Wickliffe. Fulton was also instrumental in getting the railroad-crossing overpass for Worden Rd. and the swimming pool on the north side of town.
In addition to his governmental pursuits, he has always helped his community. He was charter member of the Wickliffe Lions Club. He has been a member for 42 years and served as President and Treasurer. He was active in the Wickliffe PTA and was a Little League Baseball and football team manager for eight years. He was Cub Master for Cub Scout Pack #189 and assisted for six years.
Other organizations he participated in include Lake County’s Irish-American Club where he served as President from 1966-67; he was also Trustee, Vice-President and President of A.F. of L. I.U.D.T.W. Union.
Robert has been married to his wife Gertrude for 59 years. They have four children: Robert Jr., retired Principal from Crestview School System; Judy Hedge, Reading Specialist for Dublin Schools; Gary, Mentor business owner, and Cindy O’Janpa, an English teacher for West Geauga High School. They have seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Ida Gamiere (1980-2004)
Inducted 2002 in the Business category
Ida was born November 28, 1908, to Carmen and Anglina Trivisonno. She had four brothers, Anthony, Mike, Carmen, Jr., and Louis. She was a lifelong resident of Wickliffe.
She attended Wickliffe schools until the 11th grade. She played basketball and softball. She began working immediately.
Met John A. Gamiere in July and was married on September 12, 1930. Her husband died November 23, 1967. They had two children, Robert and Dennis.
Her parents opened a general store at 29501 Euclid Ave in 1911. She completely managed all the inventory, purchases, and operating functions from 1925 until 1951.
She was an operating partner for the J&L Motel, 29508 Euclid Ave. The motel was built in 1950 and sold in 1977. Her responsibilities included all housekeeping and accounting functions.
She retired and lived at 29500 Euclid Ave since the home was built in 1922.
She was a lifelong member of the Wickliffe Italian-American Club, which was started by her brother, Mike. She was also a member of the Blue Star Mothers and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish since its inception in Wickliffe. Her father, Carmen, was on the original crew, which built the first Our Lady of Mt. Carmel at East 296 St. and Euclid Ave.
Ida passed away on January 14, 2004.
A resident of Wickliffe for 50 years, Bill Gargiulo has spent much of his career as a good steward of the city. He has served the city for dozens of years, first as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and legal advisor to the Wickliffe Board of Zoning Appeals and the Wickliffe Planning Commission, and then as Director of Law, his current position.
Bill is past president and member of the Wickliffe Rotary International, chairman and member of the Wickliffe Civil Service Commission, trustee for the Wickliffe Dispensary Association Well Baby Clinic, a member of the Wickliffe City School’s Business Advisory Council, and legal advisor for Wickliffe’s Building Together program.
An active Ohio trial lawyer for more than 30 years and active member of the Lake County Bar Association and the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association, Bill was accepted for inclusion in Who’s Who in American Law.
A former Wickliffe High School and St. Joseph High School English teacher and wrestling coach at St. Joseph High School, Bill brings an educator’s perspective to his work. He has spoken to parents and students about the dangers of illegal drugs during his tenure as executive director for the Lake-Geauga Narcotics Unit and as Assistant Lake County Prosecuting Attorney. He is a certified instructor for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Program and has served on Lakeland Community College’s Advisory Committee for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement.
Bill’s work in education and law led to opportunities to write and publish. One of his earliest ventures as an author was for the city of Wickliffe. He wrote “The Wickliffe City Park Swimming Pool Personnel Manual for the Assistant Manager, Learn-to-Swim Director and Lifeguards.” Bill went on to an accomplished writing career and published articles about coaching and wrestling in various leading athletic journals. He authored scholarship tests for the Ohio Department of Education, and was the legal research writer for World Publishing Company’s Jefferson Encyclopedia. As an attorney, Bill published articles in the Cleveland State University Law Review and the New York Law Journal, and was the winner of the American Jurisprudence Prize for Excellence in Legal Bibliography.
Bill received his Juris Doctorate Degree from Cleveland State University, John Marshall College of Law, and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Ohio University.
He was accepted for inclusion in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities.
James Garman (born-present)
Inducted 2002 in the Civic category
He grew up in Warren, Ohio and enlisted in the U. S. Navy two weeks after graduating from high school in 1943.
After 34 months, he mustered out as an Aviation Machinist Mate, Second Class.
In 1947, he came to Cleveland to enroll at Fenn College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
In May 1950, he married Irene Roth and they have two sons, Dennis and Daniel. In 1957, they moved to Wickliffe.
In 1963, when son, Dennis, joined Boy Scout Troop 289, he attended the meetings. He became Scoutmaster in 1970.
In 1987, Jenny McCartney contacted Jim to recruit scouts to help in the “Cleanup-Pick-Up” projects of the Clean City Commission. Before long he was asked to join the commission. Now, it is known as the Keep Wickliffe Beautiful Commission.
With the Red Cross blood program, he has donated more than 17 gallons.
Also, on his church property board, he helps with the building maintenance, landscaping, and the Willoughby Food Bank.
John Geither is a decorated Korean War veteran. He was assigned to the 8th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 49th Fighter Bomber Group, at K-2 Air Force Base, and Taegu, Korea.
He flew 91 combat missions in a F-84, Thunder Jet, primarily in close support and interdiction. He spent one year in Korea and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. He also received the Air Medal and Three Oak Leaf Clusters for his participation in the Korean War.
John was accepted into the Air Force in 1951. He began his basic flight training at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas, and advanced training at Williams Air Force Base in Mesa, Arizona. After receiving his wings in the Class of 1952A, he spent three months at Luke Air Force Base training in air-to-ground gunnery school.
On returning from the Korean War he married “the love of his life”, Lillian Grega. They spent the first two years of married life at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida. While at Tyndall, he flew as an ‘all weather instructor pilot’, flying a T-33 Lockheed Jet.
John was born on August 9, 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio to parents Harold and Constance Geither. He graduated from John Marshall High School in 1947. He later attended engineering classes at Ohio State University and Fenn College.
After his four years in the Air Force he completed his education at night school at Cleveland State University. He graduated as a mechanical engineer in 1960.
Lillian and John have lived in Wickliffe for 54 years. During that time they were members of Mount Carmel Church. He spent six years as an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 189. He was a leader in the Weblos and Explorer Scouts.
He worked at Addressograph Multigraph and Picker X-Ray as a mechanical engineer and until retiring in 1995.
After retiring, both he and Lillian have spent over ten years doing volunteer work with Eaton
Corporation’s “REV’D UP” Group in the Cleveland Area.
Lillian and John have five loving children: David (Sue), Debbie (Dan), Lynn (Jeff), Ronald (Gina), and Cindy (fiancee Steve).
They have 14 grandchildren and three great grandchildren, with one more great-grandchild expected in 2014.
Kenneth Godfrey (Born-1981)
Inducted 2001 in the Civic category
Ken Godfrey became active in Wickliffe community and school affairs as soon as he moved to Wickliffe in 1956. He encouraged young people all his adult life.
Born in Suffolk, VA, he served in the Army Air Force during WW II. He spent 22 months as a prisoner of war in Germany.
He married his wife, Martha, in 1951 and they had four sons.
An accountant for Oster Manufacturing Company in Wickliffe, he was elected to the Wickliffe Board of Education for two terms and served as president of the High School Athletic Boosters.
He was an active member of the Covenant Baptist Church for 25 years.
He was active in Worden School PTA, High School Band Boosters, Little League Baseball, Midget Football, and developing the Wickliffe High School Athletic Complex.
He retired from Oster in 1977 and died four years later, in 1981.
Lowell Grimm (1944-present)
Inducted 2004 in the Sports category
Lowell Grimm was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1944. His family moved to Wickliffe in 1949. In 1962, he graduated from Wickliffe Senior High School.
In 1966, he was hired by then Superintendent of Wickliffe City Schools, Gerald Michel, as an Industrial Arts teacher at Wickliffe Junior High School.
He began his coaching career as the ninth-grade football coach. He continued coaching football, basketball, and girls’ softball for a period of 34 years. He so enjoyed being with the schoolchildren that he chaperoned and served as a DJ at the school dances.
In November of 1994, he returned to the classroom showing his dedication after being involved in a tragic incident while teaching at Wickliffe Middle School.
After 35 years of teaching, he retired in 2001.
Since retirement, he volunteers as a girls’ softball coach at Wickliffe Middle School.
Harry Grubbs (1939-present)
Inducted 2007 in the History category
The Grubbs family moved to Wickliffe in 1935, and four years later, Harry was born. He attended Wickliffe schools from kindergarten through graduation in 1958.
After high school, he took a job as a housekeeping porter at Huron Road Hospital. Soon, he was offered a job as animal caretaker in the research laboratory. Fascinated by the workings of the lab (primarily open heart research), he would assist lab technicians and soon was offered the opportunity to train as a technician. In three years, he became Chief Technician. Here, he was exposed to a variety of laboratory procedures and surgical research, which included heart and kidney research.
He continued his formal education and earned an Associates Degree in Biology and Chemistry from Cuyahoga Community College. He was granted a Bachelor’s Degree after attending Akron University.
Over the years, he observed the need for specialized healthcare services such as cardiac support, hemodialysis, and autotransfusion. Traditionally, patients were sent to larger institutions for these services. In 1982, he started the North Coast Extracorporeal Services, Inc. to meet those community needs. To date, they have serviced over two dozen hospitals and nursing homes, providing dialysis and autotransfusion machines and other equipment, supplies and certified technicians and nurses for technical operation and support.
He helped found the American Society of Extracorporeal Technicians in 1962 (now an international organization). He was one of the original clinical instructors at then, Cleveland Clinic/Lakeland Community College’s School of Cardiovascular Perfusion. He has invented equipment and improved techniques, which are still in use today and continues to teach other medical professionals the techniques used by his staff. Today, assisted by his daughter, Andrea Rufus (who handles N.C.E.S. scheduling and organizational requirements as well as performing technical duties), he continues to head the business.
Besides still being a homeowner in Wickliffe, Harry and Beverly boast of their forty-eight years of marriage, their two children; Jeffrey and Andrea (both Wickliffe High School graduates), five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Raymond J. Grubiss Sr (1941-present)
Inducted 2007 in the Religion category
Raymond Grubiss Sr. was born on February 13, 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio He was one of eight children and was born to Joseph and Marion Grubiss.
He attended St. Aloysuis School. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1959. He attended Griswald Electronic School and upon graduation, he worked for R.C.A. Services.
He joined the Navy in 1962. While in the Navy, he as an Electronic Technician on the USS Pocono until 1966. His most eventful time was during the Dominican Crisis. When he left his ship in the shipyard, he would go to and install vital electronic systems aboard the USS LaSalle where he upheld 90% of unbroken communication for two weeks. He was awarded a Navy Accommodation Medal along with his honorable discharge. He is now a self-employed heating and air conditioning contractor.
After his discharge, he fell in love with his lovely wife, Geraldine, and was married on September 16, 1967. They have now been happily married for 40 years. They have seven children and seven grandchildren.
He is a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church where he volunteers at the church festival, driving the van on Sundays and has hosted charitable events dressed as Santa along with his Mrs. Claus, for seven years.
He joined the Knights of Columbus and made his First Degree in March of 1991. He made his Second Degree in October of 1992. He also made his Third Degree in November 1992, where he was a Scribe, Warden, Deputy Grand Knight, and a Grand Knight. He then moved on to make his Fourth Degree in May of 1994. He served as a Sentinel, Scribe, Pilot, Captain, Navigator, Faithful Navigator, Admiral and Trustee.
He has served the Knights of Columbus for over 16 years. He helps with the Special Olympics the Charity Committee of the Knights of Columbus. This committee helps raise money to take care of those less fortunate.
He has received many honors such as Past Grand Knight from 1999-2000, the Pete Christopher Award, Knight of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.
He saw an opportunity to join another worthwhile organization, The American Legion. He joined the Legion in 2005 and has been the Sergeant of Arms for the last two years.
Raymond goes above and beyond the call of duty in so many ways including, but not limited to, taking care of the needy, supplying help to those who cannot afford it, and just being a true man of God.
Raymond has enjoyed the many walks that life has had to offer.
Arthur Guhde (born-present)
Inducted 2005 in the Civic category
Arthur Guhde is an active member of the Wickliffe community. From serving his church to coaching athletics to volunteering his time on city commissions, he embodies that of a great community servant.
Art married Adeline 57 years ago, the same year they moved to Wickliffe. In 1957, he volunteered to coach football and became part of the group that founded the Wickliffe Midget Football League. He was Secretary/Treasurer and served for 4 years.
In 1959, he became active in Little League Baseball and was Manager for 10 years.
He started the Athletic Program at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and served as its first football coach and Athletic Director in 1960. He became a Certified Football Official and served in that capacity for 34 years and later became a Certified Official for Basketball.
He retired from officiating in 1995.
He served as City Councilman for 3 months after Daniel Supancic became Lake County Treasurer during 1961. In 1962, he was appointed to the Wickliffe Planning Commission, serving for three years.
He served on the Civil Service Commission from 1965-69 and as Chairman for three years.
He was appointed to Wickliffe Board of Zoning Appeals and has served continuously until the present time. He spent half of that time as Vice Chairman.
In 1995, he volunteered to become Manager of the Community Center of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. He is very active at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel as Eucharistic Minister, Reader, Counter and Server for funerals.
For the past ten years, he’s been active with Deepwood Special Olympics.
They raised six children.
They include: Susan, James, David, Thomas, Kathy and Maria.
Joseph Haase (born-2001)
Inducted 2003 in the Sports category
Joseph Haase was a talented golf professional and community minded resident of Wickliffe. He was the late husband of Terri, and the son of Carmela and Sam. He and Terri raised two children, Elissa and Andrew. His brothers are Tim, Tom and Jim.
Joe, a graduate of Wickliffe High School Class of 1969, was Golf Pro at Pine Ridge Country Club in Wickliffe. His career as a Golf Pro took him to Buffalo, New York and in 1990, to the Shaker Heights Country Club.
He is revered for his help with children. In 1995, the National Panel of the Professional Golf Association accepted his thesis on Teaching Golf to Attention Deficit Children. He received the honor of a PGA Master by the organization. Only 1% of the members have this recognition. He was also Past-President of the Northern Ohio PGA.
A loving father, he passed away in 2001.
James Donald Hall (1914-1986)
Inducted 1995 in the Business category
James Hall, the founder of Wickliffe’s Hall Chemical Company, was born on
January 11, 1914 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. When he was two, his family moved to
Cleveland where he eventually graduated from Western Reserve University with a Bachelors Degree in Science and Masters Degree in Research Chemistry.
He worked for the Harshaw Chemical Company as head of the Catalyst Department, and during World War II, and with the Manhattan Project on the development of the hydrogen bomb.
He founded Hall Chemical in 1945 and his patents were many and significant.
Mr. Hall considered his tenure as President of the Wickliffe Chamber of Commerce one of this valued honors. He passed away in 1986.
Mark Hannan (1932-present)
Inducted 2009 in the Religion category
Mark Hannan has been involved with volunteer work his entire life. His father was the President of Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Euclid, Ohio and he followed in his footsteps by joining the Knights of Columbus and serving at the Shrine. He enjoyed teaching Religion to seventh and eighth graders at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for 20 years. He is involved with the Special Olympics through the Knights of Columbus. Now, at the age of 77 years, he volunteers two days a week at Lake West Hospital; delivers food to Project Hope, and serves at funeral Masses at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
He worked at Dow Chemical Company for 19 years and then worked in the Maintenance Department of his parish, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, for 10 years.
He was born on May 20, 1932, to Jim and Marie Hannan. His family was of Irish-Catholic decent. He was the youngest of eleven children. He attended Christ the King School in Cleveland and continued his education at Shaw High School. After graduation from high school, he was drafted into the United States Army serving during the Korean Conflict.
Before leaving for the Army, he married his high school sweetheart, Louise Pinardo, in July 1953. They were blessed with five children: Mark, Susan, Jeffrey, Rosemarie, and David. The family has been further blessed with 17 grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Francis D. Hardaker (Born-Died)
Inducted 1998 in the Military category
From now on, flags will fly over City Hall until the end of the war. The Mayor and members of City Council carried out this action during WWI thanks in part to Francis Hardaker. A true patriot, Francis Hardaker, wanted the people to remember the struggles and sacrifices made on the battlefields. Francis was a veteran of the Civil War. He entered the war at the young age of 14. He participated in 55 engagements. After his honorable discharge in 1863, he reenlisted as a veteran. He served until the end of the war in 1865.
Francis married Lauretta Curtiss in 1866. He moved to Wickliffe in 1880, where he opened a blacksmith shop on Euclid Ave.
Francis died in 1924 and was buried in Wickliffe Cemetery. His granddaughters Harriet Edwards and Loretta Martin constantly tend to his grave. He is also honored at Willoughby’s Square. There you’ll find his name scribed on the cannon.
LeRoy Heavilin was born 1884 in Archer Twp., Harrison Co., Ohio, and died 1925 in Wickliffe, Ohio. During this short 41-year life, LeRoy accomplished quite a lot. One of ten children born to a sheep farmer in Harrison county, he entered Ohio Wesleyan in 1907 and graduated in education from Mount Union College. He became a Manual Training teacher in the Bedford School district upon graduation. (The Manual Training movement was the precursor to the vocational training programs in our schools today.) In 1918 Mr. LeRoy Heavilin became the first Superintendent and Principal of the newly formed Wickliffe Junior High School which was a part of the Willoughby Rural School District. He was also the school’s Manual Training teacher. The Wickliffe Village Schools were formed in 1919 and LeRoy Heavilin was named the first Principal of the Senior and Junior High schools (the current Middle School), as well as the district’s Superintendent. By 1924 Leroy Heavilin continued as Wickliffe’s first Superintendent of the newly formed Wickliffe Village Schools while still maintaining his classroom duties as the high school Manual Training instructor. In 1924 he presided over the first Wickliffe High School graduation class of three students. The next year LeRoy died while still serving as the superintendent, and Manual Training teacher. An article written in a local paper describes the “Universal Sorrow” that resulted from his untimely passing.
“The joys of the coming summer vacation were spoiled for the pupils of the Wickliffe Schools and many friends were saddened to hear of the untimely death of LeRoy Heavilin, 41, at his former home in Wickliffe Saturday, May 28. … Sympathy for the bereaved widow and the citizens of Wickliffe has been county wide, as the dead man was known and loved both in educational circles and in a social way. He had been Superintendent of Wickliffe Schools for five years and was principal of the high school there for two more years. He came to Wickliffe from Bedford where he was a schoolman for twelve years. … In Wickliffe, on every hand, exclamations of sorrow at his untimely death were heard. He was unusually active in civic affairs and in anything which concerned the welfare of the village…Afterwards (after the funeral,) school was dismissed for the day as a mark of respect. ‘He was a public man of great understanding, who had given his life for his work. He will be greatly missed,’ said R.J. Little (acting school superintendent.) He was one of the senior elders of the Presbyterian Church and was on the board of directors of the Wickliffe Health Center. He was a director in the Wickliffe Improvement Co. The county joins with Wickliffe in expressing sympathy to the bereaved.” From the Painesville Telegraph, May 1925.
A small memorial plaque that reads “In Memory of LeRoy Heavilin Supt. of Wickliffe Schools 1918-1925” rested below a tree in the side yard of the Lincoln Elementary (now Wickliffe Elementary School,) for many years. The Heavilin legacy lived on for many years after LeRoy’s passing. His wife, Blanche Heavilin taught elementary school (4th grade and substitute,) for a number of years after his death and his granddaughter, Betsy (Heavilin) Benz taught first grade from 1986 until she retired in 2008. For many years Betsy lived in the same house that LeRoy built and lived in on Maple Street while he was Superintendent.
LeRoy Heavilin–an education pioneer for the newly emerging Village of Wickliffe school system. LeRoy Heavilin, truly a Founding Farther of Wickliffe Education!
Ed Henry was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1940.
He attended St. Benedict School and was an altar server and sang in the boys’ choir.
He served in the United States Army and was a founding member of the Army Fife & Drum Corp. stationed in Washington D.C.
Ed married Georgine (Bogatay) at St. Vitus Church in 1967 and raised two daughters; Michelle and Theresa, both are married. They moved to Lake County in 1970 and to Wickliffe, Ohio in 1973.
He has been a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church since then and has participated as a Lay Minister, Pre-Cana team member, Christ renews our Parish program, festival volunteer and currently part of the Music Ministry serving as an organist for liturgical functions.
He has served as an organist for St. Justin Martyr, St. Mary Magdelene, and was the Music/Choir Director for Holy Trinity Church in Bedford Hts.
He has also sang in the Lake County Messiah Chorus for ten years. He is currently is a board member and volunteer at the Wickliffe Senior Center and Meals on Wheels Program.
He is a member of the following organizations: Knights of Columbus (3rd Degree) Council 5405; St. Joseph Lodge 120 (Czech Catholic Union); U.S. Army Fife & Drum Alumni; American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS); Western Reserve Theatre |Organ Society; Lifetime member of the U.S. Army “Old Guard” Association.
Ed retired in 2007 after over 40 years in the plumbing and heating wholesale industry.
Rev. Fr. C. Ernest Hepner (Born-present)
Inducted 1998 in the Religion category
Rev. Fr. Ernest Hepner was ordained as a priest in Rome, Italy in 1962. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Fr. Hepner attended John Carroll University, Borromeo Seminary,
Case Western Reserve University and St. Paul’s University on this way to the priesthood. His first assignment was at Holy Rosary Church in Cleveland. He joined the faculty at St. Mary’s and St. John’s Colleges before being assigned to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Wickliffe in 1978, where he was co-pastor with Father Horst. He later became pastor after Fr. Horst’s retirement. During his 10 years at OLMC the parish flourished with enthusiasm and a great sense of community.
He led the way for the building of the new parish hall. He initiated the RCIA program and was co-founder of the Breadth of Life program at OLMC. He will be
remembered for his spiritual leadership and guidance. At that time, he retired from the administrative aspect of ministry and moved to Ailsen, S.C. He was introduced to Bishop Robert Baker, who is Bishop of the Charleston diocese, which covers the entire state of South Carolina, at that time.
He continued his ministry as pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Bedford Hts., Ohio, until January 7, 2001.
Since that January in 2001, the Bishop to “temporarily” has called him upon serve in various capacities. Father has found this ministry fulfilling, fun-filled and fruitful, and he plans to continue as long as he is needed and as long as he is able to do.
Ralph E. Hillier (Born-present)
Inducted 1998 in the Military category
Ralph Hillier has been an active member of the American Legion Brewer-Tarasco Post No. 7 of Wickliffe for 52 consecutive years holding every office including Post Commander twice.
He served as Lake County Commander in 1959 and on various committees in the 9th District, which encompasses five counties and he was on the uniform committee for five years with the Department of Ohio. In 1986, he was presented with a plaque as the “Outstanding Worker of the Year” at the Department Convention of the American Legion.
He has participated in every Memorial Day Parade in Wickliffe for the 52 years and has coordinated many of them over the years.
He enlisted in the Army June 5, 1942, and served 28 months in the European
Theater of Operations. He served in five campaigns and two invasions.
Walter A. Hintz (Born-present)
Inducted 1997 in the Education category
“I have never met a teacher with more love of life and more respect for our planet than Mr. Walter Hintz. I have never met a teacher with more love of his students than Mr. Hintz.” – Richard Benz, Wickliffe Biology teacher.
He taught Biology and Science during his 17 years at WHS. He coached drama, chess and Academic Challenge teams and coordinated the construction of the “Land Lab”. He retired after 31 years of teaching. The Charles Darwin/Walter Hintz Biology Scholarship was named in his honor.
After retiring, he developed an outreach program involving making visits to elementary schools teaching physics and science. An 18-year board member of the Wickliffe Public Library, he also worked with Wickliffe City officials on environmental issues and helped develop the Wickliffe Nature Trail at Coulby Park.
Mayor John A. Hoffman (1889-1952)
Inducted 2006 in the Government category
John Hoffman was born on Feb. 15, 1889 in Heron Lake, Minnesota. His parents, Johann and Mary Hoffman, had moved there from Connecticut. About 1895, the family moved to Santa Cruz, California.
He was the fourth of six sons. His father died in 1898. Following his death, the family move back to Torrington, Connecticut were he attended public schools and went on to pass his machinist apprenticeship.
Around 1915, he sought employment in Cleveland. It was there that he met Minola McQueen. They married in 1916. They decided to move to the suburb of Wickliffe. They purchased property on Arthur Ave. In the summer of 1918, he personally built a 3-room cottage, their first home.
He was hired at the Cleveland Crane Co. and eventually became a foreman.
While building a larger home, he began to realize the village needed many things in the form of new roads, water and sewer lines, and electricity. In 1925, he ran for City Council. He was elected and served from 1926 through 1927 to implement some of his ideas. He was elected Mayor n 1927 and served for four years.
One of his first actions, as Mayor, was to create a police force and select a police chief. As Mayor, he presided over the weekly police court. During his administration, the city began to plan and contract for water and sewer lines in parts of the village that had no service. Likewise, pressure was put on the utility companies to expand electric and phone services. While serving as the Mayor, he headed a committee consisting of many organizations and churches to help raise funds for the needy. Those were the depression time and unemployment was running at 59%.
After stepping aside as Mayor in 1931, he was elected again to City Council. In 1944, he was appointed to the Zoning and Planning Commission.
During his time in village affairs, he continued to work at Cleveland Crane. In 1947, he decided to retire and move to Titusville, Florida.
He died in 1952 and was buried in Morovia, California.
After getting out of the Navy, John’s son Paul, moved his family into his home on Arthur Ave.
It was a blessing he retired when he did. For several year’s he was able to do some of the things he never had time to do, due to his lifetime of public service.
One of his proudest and happiest achievements was to acquire a string of net laying boats and to open up a small fishing business in Titusville.
Alfonso D. Holman (Born-Died?)
Inducted 1995 in the Civic category
In 1934, Alfonso Holman eloped with Ernestine Jones to Erie, Pennsylvania where they were married. Fourteen years later they moved back to Wickliffe where they raised their son, Ronald.
He worked for Clark Control Company, and although he retired in 1973, he believed a person should be “kept busy”. He served as chairman of Wickliffe’s Civil Service Commission for several years. He received his pilot’s license in 1956 and served as President of the Willoughby Flying Club.
Al was active in many organizations. He was a member of the Senior Citizens Board, the NAACP, the Chamber of Commerce, the Lake County Council on Aging and the Wickliffe Outlook Club.
He was one of the original sponsors of the ORCA House in 1947. He also served as President of American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Judge Richard A. Hoose (1917-Died?)
Inducted 1996 in the Government category
Judge Richard A. Hoose received the “Excellent and Superior Judicial Service Award” ten times by the Ohio Supreme Court.
A former Wickliffe Councilman and Vice-Mayor, he went on to serve in the Lake County Judicial System from 1971 until his retirement in 1990. He served as Judge for Willoughby Municipal Court and Court of Common Pleas for Lake County Juvenile Division.
He was born in Cleveland in 1917, married Eva Elizabeth in 1943 and raised eight children. He received his law degree from Cleveland John Marshall School of law in 1950. He also served in the U. S. Air Corps and U. S. Army Engineers.
Other awards he received include “Service to Humanity Above Self Interest” and “Helping Hand – Outstanding Community Service” from the Alcoholism Advisory Council.
Melvin House Sr. proudly joined the Wickliffe Fire Department in 1956 as a full time firefighter. In 1962, he was promoted to lieutenant (the first lieutenant position in the history of the department). He advanced to assistant chief in 1969 and retired in 1987 after 30 plus years of service. Mel is now a life member of the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association.
Although Mel contributed greatly to the success and growth of the Wickliffe Fire Department during his 30 plus years, his most enduring legacy is the establishment of Wickliffe’s emergency medical service in the early 1970s, which was one of the first in Lake County. He also assumed the responsibility of writing the specifications for the rescue and fire fighting vehicles, which were purchased.
In addition to his work as a firefighter, Mel served his community in other ways. From 1954-1956 prior to working for the city, he worked as a mail carrier for the Wickliffe branch of the U.S. Post Office. He was always proud that his father, Harry House, had been a mail carrier and had the first walking mail route in Wickliffe. Mel was a member of Shoreview Kiwanis, serving as president in 1972. After retirement he enjoyed helping people as a Laketran bus driver for ten years and a
Wickliffe Senior Bus driver, retiring only when forced to do so because of a stroke in 2003.
Mel is a lifelong resident of Wickliffe and graduated from Wickliffe High School where he played football for the Blue Devils. After graduation he served two years in the Navy on a destroyer escort, attended Kent State University, and after becoming a firefighter continued his education through fire training courses. A little known fact is that Mel was raised in a log cabin, which was one of three his family built on land which is now Grand Boulevard and Oakwood Drive. The other two cabins belonged to the Todds and to the Hilliards. Mel’s uncle, Bob Hilliard, later served as mayor of Wickliffe.
Mel and his wife, Pat, have four grown children (Mel Jr., Robyn, Christine, and Barbara) who also grew up in Wickliffe and graduated from Wickliffe High. Twelve grandchildren and two great grandchildren complete the family. Mel has fond memories of attending his children’s football games, basketball games, baseball games, and band concerts. He even enjoyed coaching his daughters’ softball team. Mel is happy knowing he was able to share his love for Wickliffe with his family.
The 2015 Induction Ceremony will be held on September 27 at 12 noon.
Location: Normandy Party Center, 30310 Palisades Parkway, Wickliffe, OH 44092
The ceremony will feature a lunch followed by the induction ceremony.
Tickets are $30 per person.
Inductees will receive invitations at the May 27 board meeting to reserve seats.
Tickets for the public will go on sale in the fall.
We look forward to seeing you there.
Josef Intihar (1948-1968)
Inducted 1995 in the Military category
Being called a great newspaper carrier is not what most people would think of as a legacy. However, when life ends suddenly by a sniper’s bullet at the age of 20, there isn’t much time for a successful career or a life of giving. But giving is what Josef Intihar did. He gave his life defending his country in Viet Nam.
He was born in Spital am der Dray, Austria in 1948. He later moved to Wickliffe with his family in 1954. The oldest of four children, he would win the hearts of neighbors and friends signing up new customers for his paper route. The route was continuously oversold. His salesmanship rewards were trips all over the country, the country he would grow up to defend.
As a member of the 25th Infantry Division in the U. S. Army, he earned two Purple Hearts and the Gold Star.
While serving in Viet Nam, he was fatally wounded on August 7, 1968.
The City of Wickliffe officially named Intihar Park in his honor, a tribute to their fallen hero.
Dorothy F. Janes (1915-present)
Inducted 2006 in the Education category
Mrs. Dorothy Janes taught at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Wickliffe for three years and spent the next 22 years teaching Kindergarten at Mapledale Elementary School. It was here, in 1967, that she established and supervised the Perceptual Motor Skills Training Program, and evaluated Kindergarten students from both Mapledale and Lincoln Schools. Her approach was unique. In those days, she specifically designed lesson plans to meet each child’s individual needs. Also during this time, she co-founded the Northeast Ohio chapter for Children with Learning Disabilities.
She received her B.A. from Fenn College (now Cleveland State University), and was the co-founder of her sorority, Gamma Nu Sigma. She was a member of Theta Rho Honorary Society. She did her graduate studies at Case Western Reserve University.
Her first position was a Psychologist and Vocational Advisor for the Veterans Administration, where she wrote a testing manual for V.A. Counselors use during World War II. Her commitment to helping our military did not end there. She and her sister regularly published a newspaper called the “Hometown News,” which was sent to servicemen stationed overseas.
Her civic activities included: President of her Slovenian Lodge, co-author of their newsletter and an active member of Betsy Ross A.F.U. She was a lifetime P.T.A. member of St. Gabriel’s Church School and Girl Scout leader for Troop 140. She was one of the original volunteers for Special Friends Handicapped Youth Bowling League.
She was born in the Collinwood area of Cleveland in 1915. She lived in Wickliffe for 30 years. She married Peter J. Janes and together raised five children: Connie, Peter, Carole, Sharon and Tom.
Throughout her life, she displayed a profound love of children which was seen in her relationships with her school children, and in the attention she bestowed upon her own children and grandchildren.
She loved to read, sew, bake potica and strudel, and travel.
Robert J. Jindra (1946-1967)
Inducted 1995 in the Military category
We have many fond memories of our brother, Bob. To most of us, he was our big brother. For Richard, the oldest, Bob was a tag-along buddy, always there whenever they needed an extra ballplayer.
As children growing up in Wickliffe, we remember the many ball games behind Worden School, the family picnics at Nehls Park and cheering for Bob on Saturday nights at his high school football games.
Bob possessed many special qualities that were admired by his family and friends. He was honest, kind, and he always looked for the good in people. We depended on his guidance and leadership, always seeking his advice.
His character exemplified a genuine caring for humanity. His unwavering love for God, his family, friends, and country, will always remain in our hearts.
Robert James Jindra was born in 1946, in Cleveland. His family moved to Wickliffe in 1953. As a Specialist 4, 9th Infantry, U.S. Army, he received a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star while serving in Viet Nam.
Bob was killed in action June 19, 1967.
The City of Wickliffe named Jindra Park in his honor.
In 1817, Clarissa Clark Jones with husband Williams Jones came from Haddam, Connecticut, with their daughter, and brother-in-law, Abner C. Tarbell and his wife Lucy Parks (Jones). They had traveled in two covered wagons drawn by three oxen and one cow, making the journey in six weeks. First they went to Cleaveland which was discovered by Moses Cleaveland (The name was later changed to Cleveland), but finding the soil to sandy for farming, they retraced their steps for fifteen miles to what became Wickliffe. On a knoll they built a double log cabin, which they were able to replace in three years with a clapboard house.
The Wickliffe Historical Society Newsletter dated Summer 1987 quotes an article, “Sketches of Our Old Folks”, from the Willoughby Independent circa 1880. The article recounts an interview with Clarissa Clark Jones, wife of William Jones, who gave a brief sketch of Wickliffe as it appeared in 1817. “The principal building of the settlement was a hotel, a thing of considerable importance in those days. It was kept by a man named Freeman . . . Freeman’s father lived near the Eddy Farm. The father of Willoughby townsman Barnes Davis occupied a house that stood across the street, and a little west of Stray’s store. Judge Strong lived on Carman farm. Rodney Strong’s house stood on the Taylor farm and Walter Strong had his abode in a house that stood near the residence of Simon Arnold. John Clark and his family lived in a log house near the side of the Graves’ house. These were nearly, if not all, the families who were living in Wickliffe. Mrs. Jones came to that locality. Some of these had been located at least seven years prior to 1817; some perhaps ante-date that period by a few years.”
This area, Range 10, Township 9 (a small portion of the Western Reserve’s three million acres) eventually became the City of Wickliffe, Ohio.
The Jones and Tarbell and other early settlers family graves are located in Wickliffe cemetery.
J. Milford Jones (Born-Died)
Inducted 1997 in the Civic category
J. Milford Jones is a fifth generation resident of Wickliffe. In 1917, the Jones family was among the first settlers of the city. He worked for Lubrizol before serving his city for over 42 years. He has been affiliated with city government since 1954 when he was appointed to the Planning Commission and served as chairman for six years. He was Wickliffe Building Commissioner from 1972 to 1984. He returned to the Building Department in 1986 as a part-time employee until 1997.
Upon returning from the Army after WWII, he helped with the purchase of the Coulby property and building, saving an historic building and securing the future City Hall. As President of the Wickliffe Jaycees, he initiated the 4th of July fireworks.
He was proud of his heritage and the part his family played as early settlers, and he considered Wickliffe one of the finest communities in the Western Reserve.
In 1817 Williams Jones came from Haddam, Connecticut, with his wife, Clarissa, daughter, brother-in-law, Abner C. Tarbell and wife Lucy Parks (Jones). They had traveled in two covered wagons drawn by three oxen and one cow, making the journey in six weeks. First they went to Cleaveland which was discovered by Moses Cleaveland (The name was later changed to Cleveland), but finding the soil to sandy for farming, they retraced their steps for fifteen miles to what became Wickliffe. On a knoll they built a double log cabin, which they were able to replace in three years with a clapboard house.
Early histories have recorded that the land was purchased from the Connecticut Land Company at $5 per acre. The Wickliffe Historical Society has a recorded deed that indicates William Jones purchased the land from Theron Freeman on December 4, 1817.
This area, Range 10, Township 9 (a small portion of the Western Reserve’s three million acres) eventually became the City of Wickliffe, Ohio.
The Jones and Tarbell and other early settlers family graves are located in Wickliffe cemetery.
Phil June (Born-Died?)
Inducted 1995 in the Arts category
Born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Phil June took violin lessons at the age of 10 attending
Indiana Teachers College Conservatory of Music known today as Indiana State University.
During 1926, the June family moved to Wickliffe. Phil was 16 years old. Playing violin for the Presbyterian Church, he would then go to the Catholic Church and likewise play for their Sunday services.
He attended Wickliffe High School and was a 1929 graduate. During those years, he played first violin for the school orchestra. As a self-taught saxophone and clarinet musician, he was granted permission in his junior and senior years to organize a small band to play for public dances in the school auditorium.
During WW II, Phil played as a member of the 83rd Division Army band; he later played with many top Cleveland bands. He formed his own dance band in 1965 and became known as “The Guy Lombardo of Lake County”.
Victor June (1918-1996)
Inducted 1995 in the Sports category
Victor June was born in 1918 in Indiana, Pennsylvania. While a student and all around athlete at Wickliffe High School, he started at fullback and linebacker with the football team. He led the 1937 Blue Devils to their only regional championship game.
He continued to serve as a promising fullback at Akron University, but a head injury suffered during a game prevented him from pursuing such a career.
During World War II, he served both in Europe and in the Asian Theater.
His outgoing personality, contagious grin and fun-loving spirit made him popular with young and old. Whether serving as a wartime hero defending his country, or as one of Wickliffe’s finest athletes, he was a hometown hero that will never be forgotten.
Victor passed away in 1996.
Timothy R. Karpy (1950-2004)
Inducted 2005 in the Military category
Tim resided in Wickiffe since 1956 with parents, Walter and Ann, and older brothers, Ken and Ron. Raised to have pride in his community and love for his country, Tim was active in the Boy Scouts of America, Explorers, the Little League and local Softball Leagues, earning accolades as an outstanding athlete and first baseman.
Upon graduating from Wickliffe High School in 1969, he continued the family tradition of military service and enlisted in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War era. He traveled the world on ships USS Harry E. Yarnell and the USS Valcour, and was stationed in the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean until his Honorable Discharge in 1971.
Returning home, he began a 30-year career with the Wickliffe Service Department doing a variety of jobs. He took such pride and enjoyment in his painting duties and skills that his signature “T.K.” initials remain on much of the work he did throughout the city.
He and his brothers became members of the Brewer-Tarasco American Legion Post No. 7 in 1989, while their father, Walt (fellow Wickliffe Hall of Fame member) was the Vice-Commander. He held many positions at the Post such as Sergeant of Arms and Historian, as well as a member of – and subsequent Captain of – the Color Guard. Since he also actively promoted new membership to the Legion, upon his passing, the Tim Karpy Fund was established in order to pay the first year’s dues for newly elected members of the Post. He participated in many events, fund-raisers, pancake breakfasts, fish frys, and proudly marched in parades carrying the Legion and American Flags while also attending ceremonies honoring deceased members, veterans, and generously gave his time to help family, friends, and residents – never asking anything in return.
He was a loving and dedicated father to daughters Tara and Malloy, attending school and sporting activities, life events, offering support and encouragement. He and Cheri were married in 1995 at Coulby Park. He became a friend and mentor to stepson, Nicholas, guiding him by his example of service to the community and the Legion. Unassuming, soft-spoken and kind, his untimely passing in June of 2004 left a void in the hearts of everyone he touched. As one of Wickliffe’s devoted sons and cheerleaders, he left behind a legacy of love, loyalty, and honor that will be forever remembered.
Walter L. Karpy (1919-1988)
Inducted 2000 in the Military category
Known as “The Gentle Giant” Walter Leo Karpy was best known for his service to his country during WWII where he received the Purple Heart after being wounded at the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944.
Walter was born in Cleveland in 1918. He attended Shaw High School.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 1942.
An active member of the American Legion Brewer Tarasco Post #7 for over 35 years,
he served 10 years as First Commander.
He married Annamae Saunders and together they raised 3 sons, Ron, Tim and Ken, who because of his patriotism, followed in his footsteps as active American Legioneers.
He served as Scout Master of Wickliffe Boy Scout Troop No. 289 for 14 years.
Walter passed away in December 1988 leaving a legacy of devotion to his family and his country.
William Kendra (born-present)
Inducted 2009 in the Education category
A graduate of Ohio University and Kent State University, Bill Kendra was hired by past Superintendent Gerald Michel in 1964 and taught in the Wickliffe School system for 32 years. He taught Vocational Education and Science, with a specialty in Chemistry and Physics. He was fortunate to receive a number of National Science Foundation (NSF) grants and continued his professional development by attending Hope College, Bucknell University, Knox College, Case Western Reserve, and Princeton, being nominated as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in 1988.
While at Wickliffe High School, he coached football, wrestling, and track. He loved being challenged and being remembered by all of his students.
He has lived in Wickliffe for 41 years with his wife and long-time friend, Lavon, and their three children, Renee, J. Scott, and Beth, all of whom went through and received a great education from the Wickliffe Schools.
He was a board member for the Wickliffe Public Library for over 22 years and helped usher in the new Library in 1994. He was a member of Wickliffe Teacher Association, Ohio Education Associate, NEA, American Chemical Society, American Association of Physics Teachers, and Theta Chi Fraternity at Ohio University.
Jayne Kennedy is a pioneer; breaking ground at every turn in her extensive entertainment career that brought her acclaim as an award winning international actress, corporate spokeswoman, model, singer, dancer, writer, producer, speaker, and most notably as one of the first female sports broadcasters in network television as co-anchor on the previously all male desk of the most popular network sports show in TV history, CBS’s NFL TODAY (1978-1980). Her long list of credits includes well over 100 television shows, 8 feature films, 25 commercials, 3 syndicated radio series, 4 albums, 2 theatrical stage productions, and a highly acclaimed series of exercise products entitled, Love Your Body. Jayne has also helped to raise over a billion dollars for children’s hospitals through her work with the Children’s Miracle Network. And her biggest role to date is “Mom” to her four daughters; Cheyenne, Savannah, Kopper and Zaire Overton.
But in Ohio, she is first known as Jayne Harrison, Miss Ohio 1970, the first African American woman ever to win that title in the Miss USA Pageant. However, that was only one of many times that she represented her state. In 1969 she also served as the Ohio delegate to the National Junior Achievement Conference at the University of Indiana as well as the Ohio Senator to Girls Nation in Washington D.C. where she won the office of the Vice President of the United States of America.
But in Wickliffe she is known as daughter to Herb and Virginia Harrison. Jayne, her four sisters and one brother (Shirley, Alise, Christine, Brenda, and Herb Jr.) grew up in Wickliffe. They went to Covenant Baptist Church in Wickliffe. She graduated from Wickliffe High where she was voted “Most Likely to Succeed”, and she then set her sights on Hollywood when she was only 19. Within one month she earned a spot as a series regular on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, performed with Bob Hope in Vietnam for the USO’s Bases Around the World tour, and with the Dean Martin Show for three years. Throughout her career she has worked with some of the greatest talents in showbiz: Sammy Davis Jr., Burt Reynolds, Clint Eastwood, Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Marie Osmond, Marilyn McCoo, Joe Namath, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson, Jim Brown, Merlin Olsen, Phil Donahue, Arthur Ashe, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Johnny Carson, Flip Wilson, Johnny Cash, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Dick Clark, and many many more!
As one of the first female sports broadcasters, she destroyed the myth that women couldn’t make it in the world of sports broadcasting, blasting the doors wide open for women in sports beyond competition. Many women on the sidelines and in the booth today owe their success in part to the doors opened by Jayne Kennedy.
Jayne’s honors and awards are numerous: an Emmy Award for her 1981 Rose Parade coverage, an Emmy nomination for her Speak Up America segment Korea & The DMZ, an NAACP IMAGE Award for “Best Actress” in the film Body & Soul which she co-produced, a CEBA Award for her work in the commercial industry, a NAACP Theatre Award for “Best Producer” for her staged musical production of The Journey of the African American, chronicling 400 years of African American history in song and dance, a Black Achievers Award as a role model in the African American community. And in the 1980s, Coca Cola USA named Jayne “The Most Admired Black Woman in America” and Ebony Magazine crowned her “One of the 20 Greatest Sex Symbols of the 20th Century”.
Now, after 42 years in Hollywood, Wickliffe is proud to once again claim Jayne Harrison Kennedy Overton by adding her name to the Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame.
William Koches (born-died)
Inducted 2005 in the Military category
In 1957, Bill answered the call of the U.S. Army with courage, honor, and pride. His pride as an American was maintained for life. He was a life member of the American Legion Post No. 7 serving in many capacities. He established the POW/MIA Program, which was developed to heighten awareness of military personnel missing in action. he had great respect for the American flag and worked to establish a program allowing citizens to drop off tattered flags for disposal with honor. He was on call for honoring deceased veterans for Memorial Day and the salute at gravesite. His favorite activity was his many years as chairman of the Post No. 7 Children’s Christmas party; organizing, shopping for toys and the best part, being Santa Claus for hundreds of children.
He and his wife, Carol, moved to Wickliffe in 1960 where, as his son, Tim, would tell you, he started his most important activities. Being a great husband, a wonderful Dad to his sons, Tom and Tim and being a Little League Football Coach. Over the course of seventeen years he coached hundreds of kids as the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs for the WMFL. Many of these kids would remember him, long after they were through playing football.
He served the Community in many ways. As Santa Claus, he was a key participant in the Wickliffe Christmas Lighting Ceremony and the Children’s Christmas Party. As a Past-President and State Officer of the Jaycees he chaired many
In 1995, after twenty-five years of service, he retired as Supervisor of Transportation for the Wickliffe School System.
On a personal note, he was a longtime Cleveland Browns fan. Through seventeen seasons he and his son, Tim, attended all but one home game together, as well as, traveling to a least one away game each year. Golf was an important pastime and he enjoyed sharing this game with the guys. He even had a hole in one, almost, the first tee shot was to the water, but when he teed the second time, the ball found its way into the cup. His son and two good friends witnessed this. These are the happenings from which memories were made.
Many people, for many reasons, will remember Bill for many years.
Ernest J. Koenig (Born?-)
Inducted 1996 in the Civic category
As a young child, Ernest Koenig performed in plays and studied the piano. While attending Fenn College, he became involved in various musical productions in which he either acted or sang. He has been involved in many productions for Catholic organizations, Explorers Theatre Troup 84 and Wickliffe Civic Center performances.
He co-founded the Mt. Carmel Players. His talents also include directing and teaching theater and square dancing. He has helped many talented area youths become successful.
He was born in Cleveland and married Rita. Together they raised three children.
He established the Wickliffe Civic Center. As a member of the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce, he was recognized as “Business Person of the Year” in 1989. Other awards include “1981 Outstanding Man of the Year” by the Wickliffe Jaycees and “Ernest Koenig Appreciation Day in the City of Wickliffe” in 1990.
Rita S. Koenig (Born-present)
Inducted 1998 in the Civic category
Rita Koenig has been a vibrant supporter of many Wickliffe civic organizations. From the start of the Civic Center (WICCI) to assisting with the youth programs for the CYO, her church, (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel) and Boy Scouts, Rita is a mainstay in Wickliffe activities.
She was awarded the Bronze Pelican Emblem for her 10-year contribution to scouting by Boy Scout Troop 84. She conducted the business side of many CYO theater productions and assisted many directors. Rita was the first president of the Mt. Carmel Players and remains as an active participant after 35 years.
She was recognized as Volunteer of the Year for WICCI in 1988. She continues as an important board member and heads the Bingo Kitchen where she attributes her many successes to her staff.
She joins the Hall of Fame with husband, Ernie, as truly a dynamic duo enriching our lives with their many talents.
Richard A. (Dick) Koss was born in Cleveland, the son of Edward and Marie Koss. Dick has one older sister, Marilyn Lekan. His daughter Christine lives in Del Ray Beach, Florida.
Dick grew up in Euclid and graduated from Euclid Senior High in 1955. At the age of 14, he began his musical career as an accordionist in several bands throughout the high school.
Following high school, Dick joined the Army. He spent two years in Germany serving in the Third Armored Division. He was discharged in 1958. He attended John Carroll University and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Kent State University.
He was a senior auditor for Arthur Anderson & Company in the 1960s. He spent the next 10 years in corporate financial management positions and earned his CPA certificate. In 1980, became a partner in the firm Prijatel & Koss. For several years, Dick was an instructor with the Becker CPA Review Course formerly headquartered in Cleveland. He is the sole practitioner of Richard A. Koss, CPA in Euclid. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Ohio Society of CPA’s.
During his college years and throughout hi professional career, Dick continued moonlighting as a lead accordionist/keyboard man with many bands, most notably, George Cook, Eddie Platt, Kenny bass, and occasionally with Frank Yankovic. Orchestra, and well over a decade with the Johnny Singer Orchestra who’s most famous Slovenian member was Dick’s favorite bass player, and friend, the late great Stan Slejko. Even while continuing to play professionally, Dick always found time over the years to enjoy spontaneous gatherings and jam sessions with fellow musicians at the Recher hall Clubroom, participating in fund raising events. He also served as the CPA for the Slovenian Society Home on Recher Ave. in Euclid for 15 years and still finds time to visit and entertain residents of the Slovenian Home for the Aged. Dick continues to devote a substantial portion of his accounting practice to helping senior Citizens (in many cases pro bono). With assisted living decisions, tax returns, and other personal matters. He was honored in 2010 as Slovenian Man of the Year from the Euclid Recher hall Slovenian Society Home.
Dick lives in Wickliffe and is still playing his keyboard and accordion with the “Revue,” and group, which includes veteran musicians, Bob McGuire, Mike Dragas, and Bill Ross. As a Wickliffe resident, he is always available to contribute his time to the community.
David Krych has served the City of Wickliffe as councilman for 12 years. He has volunteered for many organizations and was recognized as a “Home Town Hero” by the City of Mentor during a house fire.
Dave’s parent’s family moved to Wickliffe in 1956. He attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel School and graduated from Wickliffe High School in 1971. He joined the United States Air Force in 1971, stationed in Texas and North Carolina. After the service he returned to Wickliffe. His hobbies include: skiing, boating, cycling, bowling, fishing, walking and hiking. He has also been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane four times!
David married Laurie Krieke. They raised three children: Michael (US Army Reserve), Kimberley LPN (Reno), Daniel (Mindy) and grandfather of Joseph. Kaitlyn, Johnathan, Collin, Lilly Anne, Guiliana. Laurie, a Wickliffe Hall of Fame inductee, passed away in 2011.
Dave belongs to OLMC Parish and is the current Wickliffe City Council President. He previously served as Council-at-Large for the City for eight years.
Dave was honored as a “Hometown Hero” by the City of Mentor in 1990 for alerting a family of their burning house, on his way to work, so that they could escape and then assisted the owner in fighting the fire with a garden hose, prior to the fire department arriving.
His long list of volunteer ism are as follows:
• Former delegate, Lake County AFL-CIO
• U.S. Air Force Veteran, Aircraft Maintenance instruction graduate with honors, Sheppard Air Force Base Texas, Sergeant, U.S. Air Force – Crew Chief, C – 130 Aircraft
• USPS Retired, Willoughby, 33 years,
• Past Commander, American Legion, Post 7 Wickliffe
• President, Wickliffe Rotary Club
• Member, Wickliffe City Club
• Past Member, Wickliffe Planning Commission
• Western Lake County Area Chamber of Commerce
• Member, Wickliffe Community Neighborhood Watch
• Wickliffe Holiday Lighting Ceremony Committee.
• Past Member, Keep Wickliffe Beautiful Commission
• Wickliffe Euclid Avenue Redevelopment Committee
• Past Chairman, Wickliffe Legislation & Welfare Committee
• City Council representative to the Senior Center Board
• Wickliffe Senior Center Volunteer 30+ hours a month
• American Red Cross, Disaster Services Relief Volunteer
• Past Chairman, American Red Cross, Lake County Chapter
• American Red Cross Volunteer for Hurricane Rita in Texas
• Wickliffe Cemetery volunteer
• Inducted into the Wickliffe Schools Alumni Association Achievement Hall Of Fame
• R.S.V.P. of Lake County Volunteer
• Past Volunteer for Neighboring of Lake County
• NEO Special Olympics Volunteer
• 10 year NALC Annual Food Drive Volunteer
• Delegate, Lake County AFL-CIO 1987 – 2003
• Wickliffe Civic Person of the Year 2002 with wife Laurie from the Wickliffe Chamber of Commerce
• Wickliffe City/Wickliffe City Schools, Collaboration
• Past Lake County Fair Board Director
• Lake County Central YMCA special events and desk 1980s
• Board Member March of Dimes 1989-1997
• Co-chairman, March of Dimes Lake/Geauga
Walk America 1995 – 1999
• Combined Federal Campaign/United Way Loaned Exec.
• Member, Lake County Catholic War Veterans Post, John Paul II 1959
Laurie Krych’s community involvement centered on the beautiful – her beautiful flower garden designs in her yard on Twin Lakes and the Wickliffe Cemetery. Her beautiful floral designs were created for friends and neighbors. Her lighting display at Wickliffe’s City Hall is enjoyed by thousands of annual visitors.
Following in her councilman husband, David’s, footsteps, Laurie jumped right in to make a five-year plan for the City’s Holiday Lighting ceremony come to fruition with her outdoor lighting design. She helped the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce with their many plant sale projects and worked on the Rotary International’s campaign to eliminate polio.
Her best efforts were made to the City as she joined the Wickliffe Cemetery Commission and after much toil, along with her Commission members, transformed it into a picturesque place of beauty. Her plans and hundreds of work hours made for a respectful setting for the American Legion’s annual Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery as well as future visitors.
As an active member of the Legion’s Women’s Auxiliary she participated in many Memorial Day parades and City Hall ceremonies. She made the poppy corsages for the Poppy Girls and wooden crosses to place at veteran’s gravesites at Easter and Christmas.
Laurie, a Wickliffe High School graduate, was a very talented artist and painter. She was a 28-year exhibitor at the Lake County Fair where she managed the Fine Arts Building with husband David.
She was instrumental in resurrecting the “Little Garden Club of Wickliffe” and created the Butterfly Garden design at the Wickliffe Public Library.
She appeared on the HGTV television show on “Room by Room” instructing the television audience on how to create their own custom color designed hand painted clear glass floral vases.
She worked as a floral designer and instructor for Michael’s Arts and Crafts. After her work career ended, she continued by teaching floral designs to many at the Wickliffe Senior Center. She even helped David with his Wii Bowling program for the seniors.
She was a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. Her membership in other organizations included: Keep Wickliffe Beautiful, Wickliffe School’s Alumni Association, Wickliffe Community Neighborhood Watch and Neighboring of Lake County.
The Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce honored her, along with husband David, as “Wickliffe Civic Persons of the Year” in 2002.
Laurie left us far too soon, passing away on May 4th, 2011. She left behind her husband of 38 years, David, her daughter Kimberly, two sons, Michael and Daniel and grandchildren, Joseph, Kaitlyn, Johnathan Collin and Lily Anne Rose.
Living in Wickliffe since 1953, Fred Kuhar has successfully pursued many interests.
The Fred Kuhar Orchestra performed locally and throughout the United States from 1967 to 2005 including appearances on TV, at the Nashville Palace, Minnesota’s Ironworld, Tangiers, Hilton Head, Seven Springs, and at Playhouse Square’s Palooza arts festival. The band’s recordings have sold over 16,000 copies. Fred also has been nominated as a Lifetime Honoree by the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame.
A founder of the Polka Hall of Fame, Fred served as its President from 1990 through 1999 and researched and wrote the biographies of 132 honorees and 14 hit songs.
Fred is an attorney and CPA with a Bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Notre Dame. Fred is the retired President of Curtis Industries, Inc. and an alumnus of Ernst & Young.
Fred is President of the Slovene Home for the Aged Foundation and is on the National Law School Advisory Council of the University of Notre Dame. Fred has also served as the chair of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s Parish and Finance Councils.
Earl R. Lane (Born?-1990)
Inducted 1995 in the Military category
Earl Lane was born in Redbird, Oklahoma, a Negro town formed after the Civil War to enable freed salves to live with economic independence and dignity. He moved to Wickliffe when he was ten. He attended Wilberforce University and CWRU, and received a law degree from John Marshall Scholl of Law.
He served in the Army Air Corp from 1944 to1948. He was a member of an elite group of Negro pilots trained at Tuskegee Institute. As a member of the 332nd Fighter Group, he was awarded eight medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross for being one of the first of three Tuskegee Airmen to shoot down a German Messerschmitt. In 1958, Earl Lane returned to Wickliffe to the house he and his family had built on Robindale Street.
He continued to pilot planes until the late 1970’s when he was forced to discontinue because of his health. His love for flying never diminished. Earl died in 1990.
Levi Lane (born-died?)
Inducted 1993 in the Civic category
Described as a “soft-spoken but steadfast and unmovable worker,” Levi Lane was a Civil Rights Activist long before the Civil Rights Movement was popular.
Moving to Wickliffe near the start of the Great Depression, Levi helped to fund the Outlook Club and served in all of the positions on its board. He expressed a sincere commitment to the City of Wickliffe through his participation with Wickliffe Day Care, Antioch Baptist Church, and the Wickliffe Senior Center. Even in his occupation, he exhibited dedication and persistence in a lengthy career with the Bailey Meter Company.
Still active in his civic duties, nearly 30 years after retiring, Levi Lane has been recognized for his strong sense of civic duty, for which, appropriately, Civic Park, a gift to the city through the achievements of Mr. Lane, exists as a reminder.
Salvatore LaSpina (1900-1984)
Inducted 2006 in the Business category
Salvatore “Sam” LaSpina was born on July 22, 1900 in Catania, Sicily. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1921 and became a citizen in 1939. In 1929, he married his wife, Angela, in the old Our Lady of Mount Carmel church in Wickliffe. They had four children, five grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
During the depression years, after deciding to go into business for him, he purchased a used truck and became a street vendor, selling fruits and vegetables. He was a very compassionate man and understood the needs of Wickliffe’s large families making sure they could afford his produce by offering them affordable prices. He was famous for calling out “Pero, Pero” and singing Italian songs with his beautiful tenor voice, attracting customers during his route.
In 1949, he opened “Sam’s Beverage and Delicatessen Store”, where he served pizza, prepared by his wife, Angela. The store became the first drive-in pizza store in Wickliffe.
Sam was a devoted husband and father enjoying his grandchildren and he gave them special attention and guidance. He enjoyed playing cards with his many friends at the kitchen table. Being an excellent cook, he loved to entertain.
His spectacular garden included heirloom tomatoes, many fruits and fig trees, which were his pride and joy.
Since his passing in 1984, many treasured memories and amusing stories are still heard and shared among family and friends.
Gino Latessa served as President of the Wickliffe Italian-American Club from 1994 until 2009. He was elected Vice President in 1992 and served on the Board of Directors in 1989. He has been a member of the Wickliffe Italian American Club since 1987.
During his presidency, Gino lead the Italian-American Club through many activities and projects, some of those under tough economic times. The party center underwent two major remodeling projects; the club room was remodeled and expanded; the food pavilion was added in 1997, new playground equipment was purchased, a beautiful Piazza with commemorative bricks was added, and the bocce courts were expanded and covered.
Under his leadership, the Annual Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce Tournament, held on the grounds of the Italian-American Club, has grown to be one of the largest bocce tournaments in the Midwest, bringing in thousands of players and spectators to the City of Wickliffe.
With his generous community mindedness, Gino has helped the Italian-American Club sponsor high school student scholarships; host the local Special Olympics and Red Cross Blood drives; distribute Christmas food baskets to the needy in Wickliffe; was instrumental in working with several other Italian American clubs, holding fundraisers for the Abruzzi Earthquake Relief Fund, donating over $90,000 to the cause; and many more family, community, and club-sponsored causes.
He was born to parents, Lester and Josephine Latessa in 1946, where he lived with them, his brother Lester and his paternal grandfather, Gennaro Latessa on Rockefeller Road in Wickliffe. He and his grandfather were very close, making wine, tending to the garden and making homemade pasta every Sunday.
He attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School through the eighth grade, then attended Wickliffe Junior High School during the ninth grade, graduating from Wickliffe High School, class of 1964.
Since 1964, Gino has worked in the fresh produce business, a passion of his, which he inherited from his grandfather.
His family includes his wife, Cheri (who he met in Washington State) married 17 years, two sons, Seth and Todd, and one daughter, Heather. He also has two grandchildren, Antonio, age 5 and Ava, age 4.
Gino is appreciative of his wife, who never complained for the long hours he committed to the Club, and to all the members of the Wickliffe Italian- American Club for their time, dedication and hard labor for the betterment of their club and community.
Joseph Legarth (1920-Died??)
Inducted 1993 in the Military category
At the age of 21, Joseph Legarth, a resident of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, was inducted into the United States Army to serve in World War II in the 805th Tank Destroyer Battalion.
Two years later, in 1943, after conflicts in Scotland, England, Algiers, and Africa, Joe was taken prisoner by the German forces and was held as a POW for nearly three years before being liberated in 1945. Held for most of that time in Danzig by the German SS, Joe survived intolerable conditions to be one of the 350 survivors of 1,700 Russians, Canadians, Italians and Americans taken. Upon his release, Joe was discharged from the armed forces. He married his childhood sweetheart, and the two moved to Wickliffe in 1954.
A member of the American Legion Post #7, and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Joe was recognized for his dedicated years of service and his 804 days of imprisonment.
Michael Lenenski (Born-present)
Inducted 1999 in the Education category
Michael Lenenski, music educator/teacher was the first Music Department Chairman in the Wickliffe Schools from 1955 to 1981. At Wickliffe High “Mr. L” organized one of the finest choirs in the state. Choirs sang on radio and television with many concerts in Lake County and the Cleveland area. Many will remember his choirs’ rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” each holiday season.
Musicals and tours to New York (45 as of 2004) helped inspire many students to also become music teachers.
During his tenure as a teacher, he helped create Lake County Music Educators and Baldwin Wallace scholarships for deserving students.
Upon his retirement in 1981, a vocal music scholarship was created in his name for the outstanding vocal music students at Wickliffe High School.
He has since produced a CD with A Cappella Choir – Boys and Girls Glee Clubs, which is entitled “Those Wonderful Years of Choral Music at Wickliffe High” (30 years.)
Brian LeQuyea (1941-present)
Inducted 2009 in the Business category
As a teenager, Brian LeQuyea worked at the gas station at the corner of Lincoln and Euclid Avenue. Being committed to the Wickliffe community, he opened Bryan’s Heating & Air Conditioning in 1968. His sons have worked in the business since they were youngsters and it was in 1998 that they officially came into Bryan & Suns Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., thus giving the company its new name and the present location at the west end of Wickliffe on Euclid Avenue.
Not only is he committed to the community, but also to his country. Anyone passing his place of business will notice the 28 American flags placed in memory of the 28 Wickliffe men who gave their lives during WWI, WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War. Also flying are the U.S. Air Force flag, POW/MIA flags, and Support Our Troops flag.
He was born on December 22, 1941 to Ruth and Tellys LeQuyea. The family home was located on Luxona Road in Wickliffe. His sisters are Diane, Donna, and Lorna, and his brother is Denny. He grew up in the Wickliffe community and graduated from Wickliffe Senior High School. As a youngster, he delivered newspapers in the
He married his high school classmate, Mary Sajovic in 1968. They reside in Wickliffe on Elmwood Avenue. They have two sons, Patrick and Michael (wife Maryrose). Their daughters are Theresa (husband Dan McBennett) and Ann Marie (husband Nick Raddell). The family is blessed with three grandchildren, Justin and Luke LeQuyea and Ella Raddell.
He is still active in his business, as well as being involved with church activities and his grandchildren.
Elizabeth Ludwig Fennell (Born-Died)
Inducted 1998 in the Arts category
Born in Cleveland, Elizabeth first studied piano and, while attending Collinwood Junior High School began the violincello. After marriage to Carl Ludwig, since deceased, she became involved in the publishing business was the owner of Ludwig Music Publishing. She and second husband, Dr. Frederick Fennell, were both members of the Cleveland All-City Orchestra.
She was the first woman to be admitted to the ABA with the nickname of “Brother Betty”. She is also an honorary member of Tau Beta Signa, an Honorary Life Member and recipient of the Golden Rose Award from the Women Band Directors Association and received the Gold Metal of Honor of the Sudler Order of Merit in 1990.
The Green Room at Kent State University was dedicated in her name on May 8, 1993.
Gene J. Maher (Born-Died)
Inducted 1999 in the Business category
Gene Maher, along with his wife, Roberta (both deceased 1989) looked forward to meeting people of all walks of life, during their many years as owners of their antique shop, Wickliffe Exchange. The long-standing business opened in 1962 and has been operated by Roberta and Gene for over 36 years.
Born in Cleveland, Gene graduated from John Marshall High School and Cleveland School of Welding. His career at TRW spanned 35 years until his retirement in 1974.
He married Roberta Griffin in 1938 and raised four children; Roberta, Eugene, Jr., Penelope and Christopher.
With a kind heart to his customers and generosity to many causes, Gene Maher exemplifies a person who truly believes in giving back to the community. He is especially proud of calling Wickliffe his “all American Town”.
John and Angie Mancisio (born-died)
Inducted 2004 in the Civic category
John and Angie were married on June 30, 1951. Their family includes the late Peter; Carmie (husband Denny); John (wife Faith); and Vince (wife Jean).
They made Wickliffe their home for over 51 years and are members of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish. In 1972, John received the Wickliffe Jay-Cee’s distinguished service award as “Man of the Year”.
They were active in Scouting with Cub Pack 289 for 25 years. Angie was a den mother coordinator while John was Head Cub Master for 20 years.
Angie was active with Muscular Dystrophy Association for many years and was a member of the Mt. Carmel Society.
Being active with the Wickliffe Midget Football League, John was a coach for three years and together, they ran the concession stand for 28 years.
They were volunteers for the Wickliffe Senior Center delivering Meals on Wheels.
Richard (Dick) Mann’s career athletic accomplishments have him inducted into the following Hall of Fames: Ohio Association of Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches (OATCCC); Cleveland Heights High School, Case Western Reserve University; Cleveland Heights High School’s Distinguished Alumni; and the Over the Hill Track Club. In 2006, The Plain Dealer sports staff named him one of the area’s top 10 high school coaches in any sport. In 2012, the OATCCC gave him an award for a combined 103 years in Track & Cross-Country. On Jan 8, 2013, Cleveland Heights-University Heights school board honored him with a resolution, recognizing his service and contributions to the district.
Born on October 12, 1932, Dick Mann grew up in Cleveland Heights and was the only three-sport athlete at Heights High participating in football, basketball and track. Before graduating in 1950, he won national crowns in the 440-yard dash and mile relay at the AAU Jr. Nationals and was named MVP. While at Western Reserve University, his track honors include All Ohio and All MAC, member of two national champion relays in AAU and held indoor school records for 300 and 440-yard dash. In football, he was named MVP freshman, All Big Four, 2nd Team MAC and Outstanding Defensive Back. In 1954, the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams drafted him.
In later years, Dick competed in Masters and won 15 national championships/All-American honors for his age group throwing the discus, javelin, shot put, hammer and weights.
Dick’s coaching career began as an assistant football/track coach at Cleveland East High (1956-1960). In 1960, he became the head coach for football/track at Lincoln High.
In 1961, his 36-year career began at his alma mater, Heights High. He coached boys track, boys/girls cross-country, and launched the girls track and boys indoor track programs. He guided the boy’s track teams to winning a share of the state championship (1982) and state runner-up (1991). The boy’s cross-country teams were state runner-ups twice. He was named LEL Coach of the Year 21 times, NEOTCCC Coach of the Year (1978 and 1980), Ohio Coach of the Year (1982) and Ohio Career Coach of the Year (1996).
At John Carroll University (1998-2003), he coached men’s/women’s track, indoor track and
cross-country. He led men’s track to its first OAC championship in 25 years and was named OAC Coach of the Year (2001 & 2002). He produced 3 national champions and 16 All-Americans.
At Lakewood St. Edward High School (2004-2010), he was head indoor/outdoor track coach. At Laurel School (2006-2012), he was assistant cross-country coach, as well as being assistant track coach for the last two years.
His combined record as a high school track/cross-country head coach was 781-181-2.
His high school teams combined had, 1 state championship, 3 state runner-up, 3 regional championships, 20 district championships, 26 Lake Erie League track titles and 145 Invitational wins. His runners set 17 state records, had 11 state champions, 10 state runner-ups,
7 regional champions, 28 district champions, 102 All-Ohioans and 3 All-Americans.
Dick Mann moved to Wickliffe in 1958 with his first wife, Evelyn. They raised four Wickliffe High School graduates – Cheryl (1975), Tod (1977), Scott (1980) and Leigh (1983). He later remarried in 1982 and remained in Wickliffe with his current wife, Donna until his death on Dec 31, 2012, after battling four years of colon cancer.
David Marinello (1893-1964)
Inducted 1999 in the Safety Forces category
In 1946 David Marinello became Wickliffe’s first full-time Fire Chief. A former Cleveland Crane Engineering employee, he worked part time in 1916 as a firefighter and police officer at the age of 23. He grew in the ranks of the fire department to Chief. He served the Wickliffe Fire Department for over 47 years, 25 as Chief, until his retirement in 1963 at the age of 69.
Born in Ripolamisano, Italy in 1893, he immigrated with his family in 1902 at the age of nine. He married Anna Tompa in 1912 and raised two daughters, June and Rita. The family attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel where he was instrumental in raising funds for the first Mt. Carmel Church.
He served three terms on Wickliffe City Council and was one of the charter members of the Wickliffe Italian American Club. He passed away in 1964.
He was a brave man who took on the difficult and dangerous jobs of a police officer and firefighter to which we are indebted.
Carman Marsh (born-1961)
Inducted 2002 in the Safety Forces category
A son of immigrant parents from Campobasso, Italy, Carman Marsh would eventually rise in rank from a Wickliffe Patrolman to become sergeant and during Police Chief Leon Montgomery’s tenure, Acting-Chief, Carman joined the Police Force in 1940. He was proud of the moment he met fellow lawman, Elliott Ness. He also served as President of the Fraternal Order of Police.
He was active in his Wickliffe community, working for charities, holding Christmas parties for children, and for those that were sick and couldn’t attend. He would personally buy gifts. He donated his time as Security for his church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and helped improve the baseball diamonds for many years.
He was married to Jennie Graniteo in 1937. Together, they had four children: Annette, Rosemarie, Louis and Cecelia. Carman died in 1961. A plaque hangs in the Wickliffe Police Station as a tribute to his dedication as a Policeman and for his generosity.
Kathleen Kay Martin (born-1982)
Inducted 2006 in the Civic category
Kay Martin was born Kathleen Margaret Cleaver in 1925 in Cleveland. Like many children from her generation, she had to quit school much too early in order to go to work to help support her family.
She married Bill Martin and together raised three children, Tom, Don, and Patti. They moved from Cleveland Heights. to Wickliffe in 1953 and settled in the Worden School neighborhood on Elgin Rd. They later moved to Bridle Path Trail. she showed great pride in her community when she became involved in the PTA while her children attended Wickliffe Public Schools. She was also an Assistant Girl Scout leader and Manager of a Pony softball team, which won a championship one year.
She became an Election Day poll worker and joined the League of Women Voters. She became Treasurer and Adviser to many political campaigns showing her dedication to her work. She loved to help others. Her activities with this group introduced her to many city, county and state officials. One of her greatest joys was to shake the hand of president John F. Kennedy.
She served as Secretary, Vice-President and President of the American Legion Post No. 7 Auxiliary. She visited many veterans’ hospitals with concern for them.
She was appointed to the City’s Parks & Recreation Commission in the early 1960s, serving for 11 years and some as Chairperson. She worked with John Mulally on the Summer Youth Day Camp.
She loved parades. She was proud to march in the city’s Memorial Day parade each year.
She is probably most remembered best by the baby boomers as the Office Secretary at Wickliffe High School. As a former student explained, “She was my second Mom and I loved her dearly.”
Unfortunately Kay was diagnosed with diabetes in her early 40’s. Sadly, for family and friends, God called her home in 1982 when she was just 56 years young.
She will be remembered fondly for proudly serving the government, veterans, youth, and the elderly in the City of Wickliffe.
Anthony B. Massey (1943-present)
Inducted 2009 in the Civic category
Anthony (Tony) Massey is a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #5405 and is a past Grand Knight and a recipient of the Knight of the Year Award in 2006 and the Religious Award in 2007. He has recently revitalized and updated the call-out list. During the past three years, he has been instrumental in the success of the annual Chinese Auction fundraising event. He helps with the Special Olympics. He is a member of the 1st and 2nd Degree Team and is the Recording Secretary of the Knights Charities Committee, as well as being a 4th Degree Knight with the Cardinal Newman Assembly of Lake and Geauga Counties.
As a member of the Wickliffe Senior Center, he leads the daily prayer for blessing of the food and works at the front desk. He developed and now maintains a membership database for the Senior Center, with over one thousand members.
One of his greatest accomplishments is being a Big Brother in the Lake County Big Brothers program. He served for nine years and received the Big Brother Award in 1996.
Being a member of the Brewer-Tarasco American Legion Post #7 in Wickliffe, he played an instrumental part in the Four Chaplains Program for three years.
He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on January 18, 1943. His family moved to Wickliffe in 1952. His parents raised nine children, all of whom attended the Wickliffe schools. He graduated from Wickliffe Senior High School in June 1961.
After working one year at Bailey Meter, he joined the United States Air Force, following in his brother Louis’ and Uncle Robert’s footsteps. All three men served in Anchorage, Alaska. His tour of duty was from 1962-1967.
He met his lovely wife, Catherine, in Riverside, California. They were married on June 20, 1964. They have three daughters: Anthonette, Angela, and Alisa. The girls played summer sports in Wickliffe and graduated from Notre Dame Academy in Munson Township.
He worked 28+ years at The Lubrizol Corporation in Wickliffe. Catherine worked at Bailey Meter for 34 years. The family has attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church since 1952. He serves as a Eucharistic Minister at Masses, as well as an adult server for funerals. He is a member of the Parish Council, volunteers at the parish festival, attends perpetual adoration, and assists Life Teen as a parking lot security volunteer.
Tony is most proud of his family, his faith in God, and his grand kids.
Andrew M. Matteo (1929-present)
Inducted 2000 in the Civic category
Andrew Matteo, son of Lydia and Michel Matteo, was born in 1929 in Cleveland.
His family moved to Wickliffe shortly thereafter. He has lived in Wickliffe ever since. He graduated from Wickliffe High School in 1947.
He graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Agriculture in 1953 and later spent two years in the Army. He married Shirley Tremaglio and they have five children, Michele, Louis, Susan, Kathleen, and Michael.
He chaired Wickliffe’s first Beautification Committee under Mayor Norm Allison.
He helped to build the Wickliffe High School Athletic Complex and landscaped the Middle School grounds. His community involvement includes membership in American 0Legion Post #7, Knights of Columbus, Wickliffe City Club, Wickliffe I&A Club, Chamber of Commerce and the Sign Review Board. They are members of OLMC Church and are very proud of their Italian, Finnish, and Catholic upbringing.
Dr. Michael Matteo (Born-Died??)
Inducted 1993 in the Medical category
Born and raised in Wickliffe, Dr. Michael L. Matteo served as a general practitioner in Wickliffe for over forty years. “Doctor Matteo Day”, founded in 1981, recognized his accomplishments in the area of medicine and his several years of service to the city through other venues.
A graduate of Wickliffe High School, Dr. Matteo was involved in several sports, and later served for ten years on the Board of Education. He offered free examinations to all students involved in athletics. They were guaranteed to see Dr. Matteo cheering in the crowd.
Dr. Matteo graduated from the St. Louis University School of Medicine and the Case Western Reserve Medical School. He was a member of the City Club, Chamber of Commerce, American Legion Post #7, and was elected an honorary member of the Italian-American Club.
Rev. Fr. David McCafferty (1938-present)
Inducted 2003 in the Religion category
Fr. David McCafferty became the Pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Wickliffe in 1989. Since his appointment, he was instrumental in spearheading the building of the Community Center, in 1995, and has seen the growth of the parish school and parish involvement in over 30 organizations.
Born in 1938 to Edward and Marie McCafferty, he and his brother James were raised in Akron. After the eighth grade, he attended St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. He completed his education at Borromeo and St. Mary Seminaries. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Cleveland in 1964. He had served in several parishes in the Cleveland area before coming to Wickliffe.
Fr. McCafferty is also recognized for starting OLMC’s preschool program and opening the Rectory Chapel to Perpetual Adoration in 1994. He reestablished the annual parish festival and is revered for his work in educating thousands of children.
Grace McCullough is a woman of deep faith, love, devotion, and compassion. It all originates from her heritage, parents, education, friends, family, City of Wickliffe, and the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Community.
Although much could be said of her, it is her religion, faith, duty to God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, and the Virgin Mary that are most important to Grace. She can be found at mass nearly every day at either OLMC, St. Paul’s Shrine in Cleveland or at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Euclid.
Grace became a member of the Mt. Carmel Society in 1978, and later an officer.
With encouragement from Mary Biondolillo (then OLMC Society President), Grace began to organize one and two-day pilgrimages to places of religious significants. Most pilgrimages in Ohio and Pennsylvania carried busloads of OLMC Society members and parishioners to see and hear the messages from God.
These small trips would change in 1987, when a small OLMC group talked about a village in Yugoslavia named Medjugorje. The Blessed Virgin Mary was appearing to 6 children. Catholics and non-Catholics from the world over traveled there hoping to see the Virgin Mary and receive her blessings. Knowing this, Grace had to go. She helped organized a seven-day Pilgrimage to Medjugorje. After experiencing the Virgin Mary’s blessings and presence, she organized three more Medjugorje trips.
Heeding Gods call, Grace organized pilgrimages to Italy, Portugal, France, Turkey, Spain, Greece, Slovenia, Guadalupe-Mexico, as well as various USA trips.
In 1990, Rev. Nicholas Taylor (OLMC) asked if she would arrange a bus trip to a Marion Conference in Chicago. So inspired by the speakers, community, and Holy Spirit, that when she returned, a group was formed of Fr. Taylor, Tom Hummar (Bus Mgr), Celine Dudley (Attorney) and Grace to plan the Cleveland Marian Conference. The first conference was held in 1991 at the Cleveland Convention Center and three more followed in 1992, 1993 and 1995. Most volunteers were from the Mt. Carmel Society and OLMC parish.
In 1991, Grace joined a prayer group at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine. For 18 years, every Friday night the group met and prayed. They prayed what has become known as “The Divine Mercy Chaplet.” Fr. Emmanuel Buenen (Order of Franciscan Monks) began teaching about Divine Mercy and its feast day. Since 2001, OLMC has celebrated Mercy Sunday (the 1st Sunday after Easter) and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Grace and Rev. John Sturmac were the organizers.
In 1993, Grace helped organized the Perpetual Adoration Chapel. The Perpetual Adoration Chapel is where someone is present at OLMC’s Chapel seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Anyone can pray, adore Christ in the Blessed Sacrament because of this. Grace is a fixture on Wednesday’s at 3 pm.
In 2000, Grace became a Eucharistic Minister after the encouragement of Rev. Thomas Stock (OLMC).
In 2005, after three plus years of religious studies, Grace became a Secular Franciscan. This is a community of Catholic men and women in the world who seek to pattern their lives after Christ in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi. Franciscan’s are members of The Third Order of St. Francis. St. Francis of Assisi founded it over 800 years ago. One of the vows of St. Francis’s spirituality was simply… “Observe the Gospel”.
Born in Collinwood to first generation Italian Americans, Anthony and Josephine Laddis, she is the second of five children (Loretta, Lewis, Anthony, Barbara). Grace raised three sons, Ken, Jr., Gary, and Anthony. Graces life has been an incredible journey filled with deep faith, love, and devotion.
Earl A. McFarland was born in Cleveland, Ohio on February 15, 1944 to Gilbert and Florence McFarland. He had one sister, Diane who is deceased. Earl attended school in the Cleveland School System and graduated from Collinwood High School in 1963. Following graduation, Earl enlisted in the United States Air Force. He completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and technical school at Lowry Air Force base in Denver, Colorado. He worked for the SAC Directorate of Intelligence in Omaha, Nebraska and was honorably discharged in 1967 with a rank of Sergeant.
He was employed at Lindsay Wire Weaving Company following discharge as a computer operator.
He has been employed by Mutual Metal Products, Parker Hannifin, Ohio Health Choice, Catholic Diocese of Cleveland and PPOM. He is presently retired.
Earl has always had a special place in his heart for the physically and mentally challenged and because of this he developed a bowling for handicapped program at Wickliffe Lanes in 1977, the program remains active and has grown significantly. He was also responsible for the development of the Special Olympics Spring Games in Wickliffe. The program is going into its 29th year.
Earl married Judith A. Bender on November 9, 1968. They will celebrate 42 years of marriage this November. Earl and Judy have three children: Michele Hanzak (married to Kevin Hanzak), Cherie Kozlina, and Earl M. (married to April Nardy). They have three grandsons: Ryan and Kyle Hanzak and Jack McFarland. Earl and Judy have resided in Wickliffe since 1970.
They have been members of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish since 1979. Earl has been actively involved in the parish and has served on the Parish Council and the Liturgy Commission. He has been a Eucharistic Minister and Minister of the Word. He presently serves as a Minister of Welcome and he and Judy are members of the Pre Cana team. Earl has always been a devoted husband and father. He has been involved in the community during his children’s early years as he was a coach for the softball leagues, football league and CYO basketball. He presently coaches children’s bowling.
Earl was an active member of the Wickliffe Jaycees for many years and served many offices during those years including President of the organization. Earl has been an active member of the Wickliffe Knights of Columbus since 1980. He is also a Fourth Degree member of the Cardinal Newman Assembly. Earl served many offices with both organizations and was Grand Knight and Faithful Navigator. He was recipient of the Knight of the Year, Religious Man of the Year and Earl and his family were honored as Family of the Year on two occasions.
Carolyn McFaul (1933-present)
Inducted 2008 in the Civic category
Carolyn was born on November 4, 1933 to Gladys and Bernard Davern, at St. Ann’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated from St. Peters High School in Cleveland. On November 14, 1953, Carolyn married Edward J. McFaul at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Cleveland. They have been blessed with seven children, eighteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. With her busy life raising her children, she was also able to volunteer at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church where she has been a member for 43 years.
After the children were out of the nest, she was able to extend her volunteering and get a job with the City of Wickliffe, where she worked from 1988 to 2003.
She has been a member of the following organizations: Past Board Member of the Wickliffe Civic Center; Wickliffe Cemetery Board; Lake County Health Board; Parish Council for three years and past member of the League of Women Voters. She also served on Wickliffe High School’s PTU Forum Board.
At Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, she is an usher, being one of the first women in this position. She also helped with the Mt. Carmel Players. She is a lifetime member of the Provo House Guild; Member of the Lake County Ladies Democratic Club; Member of the Eastside Irish Club; Member of the Evangelization Team: and a member of the Legion of Mary of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel; and volunteers for the Meals on Wheels Program.
Her awards include:
• Wickliffe Rotary Club “People’s Choice” Top 50 Award.
• Certificate of Appreciation from Keep Wickliffe
Beautiful Committee for her work with their clothing drive and Arbor Day activities.
• City of Wickliffe Employee of the Year in 1999
• Volunteer of the Year for WICCI in 1999
Leo T. McHugh (1922-1996)
Inducted 2007 in the Military category
Leo McHugh was born on June 4, 1922 in Plymouth, PA.
He entered the Army in February 1942 and served in the 305th Infantry, 77th Division as Staff Sergeant. After being seriously wounded in the Battle of Okinawa, he was hospitalized at Walter Reed Hospital for 18 months. He was discharged from military service in December 1946.
Military decorations earned by him include The Bronze Star, Service Stars for participation in the Mandated Island Campaign, Philippine Liberation and Ryukyus Campaign, Purple Heart Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon; American Theater Ribbon, and a WWII Victory Medal.
After graduating from the Bulova School of Watchmaking in 1948, he became a watchmaker by trade. He also worked for Bell Aero Systems on missile-guidance systems.
He was the loving husband of 47 years to Mary Grace Gilgallon. He enjoyed weekends at his hunting camp in Elk County, PA. He was a 40-year resident of Wickliffe and a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
Leo McHugh passed away on November 3, 1996.
Reverend Ralph J. McMonagle (1898-Died?)
Inducted 1994 in the Religion category
Born in Cleveland on May 25, 1898, Reverend Ralph J. McMonagle was educated in the Cleveland Public Schools for eight years before attending St. Ignatius High School.
He later earned a degree from John Carroll University. Reverend McMonagle received his seminary training in Rochester, NY and St. Mary’s on Lakeside Avenue. Archbishop Joseph Schemes at St. John’s Cathedral ordained him in 1923.
He became the first resident priest at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Wickliffe in 1934 and served there until he became Pastor at Holy Cross in 1948.
Rev. McMonagle was instrumental in constructing the beautiful church that stands on Euclid Avenue today.
Gerald H. Michel (1901-Died?)
Inducted 1996 in the Civic category
Gerald Michel is recognized as the founder of the Rotary Club of Wickliffe in 1946, where he served as its first President.
He had two passions in life: his family and the thousands of young people who have passed through the doors of the many schools he has been responsible for in his 42 years as an educator. At the age of 95, he had the rare opportunity to see the results of people excelling in their professions because of the good start they got in the excellent schools he helped to create.
He and his wife, Ruth, have been very devoted to their three sons and their families.
Born in 1901, he was educated in the Geneva Public Schools. He was a teacher and administrative head at North Kingsville, Waynesburg, and Wickliffe Schools before becoming Superintendent of the Wickliffe Schools.
Leon Montgomery (1912-2000)
Inducted 1994 in the Safety Forces category
Leon “Monty” Montgomery served as Police Chief for the City of Wickliffe for 34 years. He was born in 1912 in Horton, Kansas. He patrolled the streets of Wickliffe as one of three patrolmen for the 3,000 residents in the 1930’s. Duties of his job included selling license plates to the children for their bicycles when the station was on Euclid Avenue. He became Chief in 1940 and managed the 20-man police force when the station was moved to Coulby Mansion (Wickliffe City Hall) after 1950.
Always one with a smile and good laugh, a serious Monty led the Police Department and gave it the fine reputation for professionalism that it has today.
Monty married Helen and between them, they raised two sons, Leon R. “Skeeter” and James.
He retired in 1974, and moved to Florida where he could enjoy his excellent golf game. Chief Monty passed away in 2000.
Lloyd J. Morse (Born-Died)
Inducted 1997 in the Education category
Each year, the Lloyd J. Morse Scholar-Athlete Award is presented to a Wickliffe High School student.
He taught in the Wickliiffe School System and was a Wickliffe resident for 28 years. It was under his leadership as Curriculum Coordinator from 1962 to 1969 that Wickliffe’s current curriculum evolved. He was the high school’s Assistant Principal where he taught Social Studies, Biology, Health and Physical Education. He was Wickliffe Junior High School’s first Principal and Assistant Superintendent. He was Athletic Director for four years at the high school. He coached golf, football, basketball, track, and baseball.
He received his degrees from Baldwin-Wallace College and Western Reserve University. He served in the Navy from 1942 to 1945. He married Betty with whom he had three sons. He retired in 1980 and resides in Arcadia, Florida.
The tuning of an orchestra pit, the heat of the spotlight, the scent of freshly painted scenery, the fit of a costume; for 40 years the Mt. Carmel Players of Wickliffe, Ohio have been partaking in this sensory extravaganza with their annual musical…
There’s no denying the uniqueness or the level of dedication that flows through the veins of the Mt. Carmel Players. The voyage began under the direction of Associate Pastor Fr. James Costello in 1971 when the concept of this closely-knit troupe was created.
Letters were sent to all parish organizations asking for a member from each group to join the board to help plan yearly musicals. Six organizations responded, joined the board and named the program “The Mt. Carmel Players”.
The first show, South Pacific, incorporated 200 parishioners to build scenery, sew costumes, work backstage and perform and in order to finance these early shows, seed money as sought by selling patron ads for $1.00 in the program. Rehearsals were held at the old and new church halls. Due to the growing number of costumes, props, and equipments, a permanent building was eventually built near the church rectory.
The first five shows were held at the Wickliffe Jr. High, and then moved to Lake Catholic High School, when finally due to popularity and sold-out crowds the productions traveled to Lakeland Community College where the performers currently grace the stage. The Mt. Carmel Players have been captivating audiences with shows such as Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma, Music Man, Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, Hello Dolly, Children of Eden, and most recently in 2009 Titanic, The Musical.
For 40 years the Mt. Carmel Players have entertained thousands and made generous donations to their church. They have allowed parishioners to display their many musical and acting talents to brighten and create a marvelous community.
Remember that that this success was no accident. It comes as a direct result of hard work and cooperation of many folks. It is the work and cooperation that makes success taste so sweet. None of the success of these shows would have been possible without the dedicated labor of hundreds of workers and the financial support of the businesses in our community- for this we say; CONGRATULATIONS AND THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!
Carl Mueller (Born-Died)
Inducted 1998 in the Business category
In 1996, the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce, an organization he so proudly served as president from 1976-1979, named Carl Mueller “Business Person of the Year”. Carl, president of CPM Realty, has served his community well over the past 40 years. In the 1970’s, he helped rejuvenate the Chamber of Commerce. His involvement in the community includes: appointment to the City’s Sign Review Board, former member of the Wickliffe Fraternal Order of Police
Association, and past president of the Lake County Board of Realtors. He was among the original members of the Ohio Commodores; an organization formed to encourage foreign investment in the state, and has participated in several overseas trade missions.
Carl’s deceased wife, Jane, was also a licensed realtor, and was proud of Carl’s commitment to the residents of Wickliffe and the business community.
Joan Mueller (born-present)
Inducted 2007 in the History category
Former “Miss Wickliffe”, Joan (Humiston) Muller was a featured soloist on Cleveland radio and television shows, Wickliffe Rotary Club Revues, Euclid Lyric Guild Concerts, and Lakeland College Civic Chorus. She was a soloist and contestant in the “Miss Ohio Pageant” of 1952.
She has performed at retirement homes and senior centers and occasionally sang with the well-known Phil June Orchestra. She is skilled in classical music and Broadway show tunes, and was a professional church soloist and Director of Music for children’s and adult choirs at St. Hubert’s Chapel in Kirtland Hills, Ohio for 41 years.
She entertained during the 1940s at Crile Hospital for patients recuperating from their wounds as a result of WW II and performed for servicemen and servicewomen at the “Stage Door Canteen” in Cleveland, Ohio.
She was Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors of the Lake County American Cancer Society and Chairperson of the Wickliffe Annual Cancer Fund Drive.
She is a soloist and Assistant Director with the Painesville Women’s Chorus and guest soloist at several local churches and civic functions.
John T. Mulaly (1910-1986)
Inducted 1995 in the Civic category
John Mulaly was born on August 27, 1910 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served as the Recreation Director for the City of Wickliffe. His contributions to the well being of Wickliffe residents were many and outstanding.
He also served as the Coordinator for Wickliffe Senior Citizens, founder of Teen Town, initiator of Little League Baseball and Midget Football, founder of the Golden Age Club, and developer of the playgrounds in the City.
These accomplishments, among many others, gave him a distinguished and superior standing in the community. After spending 41 years as a proud and contributing citizen of Wickliffe, he passed away in 1986.
In his honor, the Wickliffe Senior Citizens Center was renamed the John T. Mulaly Senior Citizens Center.
Frankie Mullec (1920-2009)
Inducted 2009 in the Arts category
Frank Mullec, better known as Frankie Mullec, accordionist and bandleader since 1937, gained notoriety in the late forties and early fifties by recording polka music such as “The Cleveland Polka,” “Tell Me a Story,” a song that the he wrote, also “There Was A Time” and many others. According to Billboard Magazine, he was one of the acknowledged masters in the polka field. Appearing on the television, radio and ballrooms all over the Midwest, traveling became tiring. When in the early fifties, he, his wife, Terri, and his Mom, opened Frankie Mullec’s Lounge. Finding an organist that would fit the bill was unsuccessful; he decided to do it himself. Switching from the accordion to the Hammond organ was difficult. The transition was comparatively successful. In the 1970’s, Frankie Yankovic was asked to work with him at his Yankovic’s Steakhouse in Cleveland where he played for seven years.
In 1994, he was inducted as an Honorary Member into the “National Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame.
He was born in Cleveland in 1920 to Slovenian parents. Beginning at age 14, he started
playing at parties.
In 2001, after his CD “High Kickin’ Polkas” was released, he was invited to appear for the “Muscular Dystrophy Foundation” in Enon Valley, PA. where he played the accordion for the first time in 50 years. Shortly after, he was invited to volunteer playing the organ at the “Slovene Home For the Aged,” which he enjoys very much.
E. Patricia Mulroy (born-present)
Inducted 2007 in the Civic category
Pat (Cleary) Mulroy was raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Upon graduation from Ohio University as a Speech and Hearing Therapist, she taught in Euclid, Ohio. She married Jim in 1956, and together, they had five children, Eileen (Anthony Gazzuolo), Michael (Jodee), Jimmy (deceased), Terry, and Maureen (John Zelina) and nine grandchildren; Michelle, Dominic, Katie, and Susan Gazzuolo, Steven, Johnny and Timmy Zelina and Madelyn and Michael Seamus Mulroy.
She was a Board member of the Wickliffe Playschool where she taught part-time for eight years, a secretary of the Altar and Rosary Society, and President of the Wickliffe Isabella Guild where she helped initiate eye screening for preschoolers in the Wickliffe area.
She worked for 26 years for the Willoughby- Eastlake School System, serving two terms as President of the Tri-County Speech and Hearing Therapists and being a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, the teacher’s honorary organization. After retiring in 1996, she worked part-time for three years in the Wickliffe Schools where she helped organize the Ohio Reads Program at Wickliffe Elementary School.
Her volunteer experience is immense. She is a board member for Christ Child Society where she chaired a Daisy Golf Classic Fund Raiser. She continues to help with the famous Mt. Carmel spaghetti dinners. She was an organizer and secretary of the Mt. Carmel Credit Union. She was also a founding member of the Mt. Carmel Players and was on their Board of Directors. She is currently a member of the Mt. Carmel Contemporary Choir.
She currently volunteers at Wickliffe Elementary and Willoughby-Eastlake Schools, doing speech and hearing screenings. She has helped with the Meals-on-Wheels program in Wickliffe, delivering meals with her husband, Jim. She has worked on the Victorian Teas. Her intense love for the City of Wickliffe is apparent, whether she is delivering literature in support of the school system and recreation center or cheering on the Blue Devils from the football stands on a cold Friday night. She still camps out in front of Wickliffe Middle School for the annual Memorial Day Parade, as she has for over the past 20 years, knowing practically everyone in the parade.
All can feel Pat’s sunny attitude and genuine caring spirit. She is always willing to help her friends and neighbors.
James T. Mulroy (Born-present)
Inducted 1997 in the Civic category
After attending Ohio University, serving in the U.S. Air Force, and playing professional baseball, James T. Mulroy married and moved to Wickliffe in 1958. He and his wife, Pat, have five children. He became active in church and city organizations, serving as president of the Holy Name Society and in the Wickliffe Midget Football League. He was co-founder and first Grand Knight of the Wickliffe Knights of Columbus.
Because of his interest in his city, he was elected to City Council, serving eight years – the last two as Council President. In 1970, he helped co-found the Mt. Carmel Players, where he worked either on stage or backstage in their productions.
Both he and Pat are retired but remain active in various organizations. They have nine grandchildren and enjoy traveling. However, they consider Wickliffe to be their roots where many friends and happy memories still exist.
Paul Muschella (1906-1985)
Inducted 1995 in the Education category
Paul Muschella was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, in 1906. He was an all-around sportsman. During high school and college he won championships in track and field events (shot put and discuss) as well as participated in baseball, football, and basketball.
Upon graduation from Indiana State Teachers College in Indiana, PA., he moved to Wickliffe, where he taught math and social studies at Wickliffe High School from 1940 to 1977. He also served as Football Coach, Athletic Director and Faculty Manager.
He received the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Wickliffe Jaycees in 1971 for his involvement at the high school, Chamber of Commerce, Civic Center, and Knights of Columbus. He was instrumental in the construction of the high school football field.
Paul Muschella, sportsman, coach, educator and friend to many passed away in 1985 at the age of seventy-nine.
Harry Nakagawa (born-1970)
Inducted 2003 in the Military category
Harry Nakagawa served with the U.S. Army 64th Engineers Topographical Battalion during WW II. He was inducted in 1944, following his incarceration in 1942, at the Fresno Assembly Center where he met his future wife, May, during the wartime Executive Order 9066, to incarcerate Japanese Americans and loyal Japanese aliens. He received many commendations during his wartime service and was discharged in 1946.
Both Harry and May were born in California during the depression years. They were married in 1947 and raised three children: Gordon, Cynthia and James. They moved to Wickliffe in 1959. He became involved with the Wickliffe Brewer-Tarasco American Legion Post #7, where he served as a board member.
Harry passed away on January 11, 1970. He will be long remembered as a true American, where despite incarceration, he loved and supported his country in wartime and at peace.
Michael Nasco (born-present)
Inducted 2003 in the Business category
Michael Nasco moved to Wickliffe from New York City in 1917. The son of immigrants, Dominic and Giuseppina, of Spinoso, Italy, he was one of the eight founders of the Wickliffe Italian American Club in the 1920s.
A successful businessman, he owned and operated many businesses in Wickliffe. They included a confectioners store, a grocery store, and Maples Tavern, a nightclub. With the purchase of five acres at the corner of Euclid Ave. and Mt. Carmel Dr., he built the largest structure in Wickliffe, at that time. It eventually became Lloyd Motors. In the 1950s, he joined Vincent K. Smith, founder of Lubrizol, Corp. in a venture to create an automated wire-wrapping machine for electric rotors and stators.
At the age of 100, Mike was awarded a patent for a roller-cane for the elderly, which he invented.
Reverend Philip Nicholas (1898-Died?)
Inducted 1995 in the Religion category
Philip Nicholas was born in Salonika, Greece, on December 25, 1898. His family immigrated to America in 1907 and settled in Philadelphia where he was educated.
He enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 and served in World War I on a destroyer doing convoy duty across the Atlantic. Philip heeded the call to the ministry at the age of 23 and earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Princeton Seminary. He ministered in churches in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. During World War II, he again entered the Navy and served as a Chaplain.
He left active duty in 1953 and became Pastor of Wickliffe United Presbyterian Church on Euclid Avenue, where he served for twelve years and was instrumental in building the new church, at E. 300 and Ridge Rd.
Doris Mae Noble (1928-present)
Inducted 2006 in the Religion category
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish has been a big part of Doris Noble’s life, especially in the last 20 years. She belonged to the Legion of Mary, serving as President for a number of years. She presently belongs to the Mount Carmel Society and the Altar and Rosary Society. In September, 2006, She will begin her 11th year teaching in the Public School Religious Program, preparing second graders to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. She has also participated in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Program. She is a Eucharistic minister and active with the Home-Bound Ministry, visiting as many as eight to ten people weekly. She has also been in charge of organizing participation in Perpetual Admiration at Our Lady of Mount Carmel for the past twelve years. These activities are very dear to her, as they have been a large part of her life for so many years.
She was born June 16, 1928 in Cleveland, is the daughter of the late Herbert and Maizie (Schoenbeck) Print. Three and one half years later they had another baby, a boy, Herbert Jr., and to this day she refers to him as her baby brother. She attended public school for kindergarten and first grade, and then it was on to St. Timothy’s and St. Jerome’s – both Catholic elementary schools. She received her high school diploma from Collinwood High in 1946.
She married her high school sweetheart, John D. Noble in 1947 after he completed two years of service in the Navy during World War II. They had two daughters, Gloria Jean and Michele Ann. The families grew with marriages of both daughters and births of Gloria’s children, Allison and Aaron, and Michele’s daughter, Kari.
Doris Mae has lived in Wickliffe, Ohio for over 50 years. She and John bought a house in Wickliffe in 1954, and she still resides there although her husband passed away in 1991. Her family is very important to her, and she cherishes visiting them and having them home for the holidays.
Betty Jane Novak (born-present)
Inducted 2008 in the Arts category
Betty is a retired elementary school teacher, who taught at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Willowick for six years and thirty-five years at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Wickliffe.
In 1982, the Wickliffe Jay-C-Ettes named her Outstanding Grade School Educator.
Betty, or “BJ” as many friends knew her, was born at home in Cleveland. She graduated from St. Francis Elementary School, Villa Angela Academy and attended classes at Ursuline College and John Carroll University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Fenn College, now known as Cleveland State University.
Her favorite pastimes are being outdoors and walking along the shore of Lake Erie at sunset. She enjoys being with friends, eating out, watching sports, working puzzles, playing cards, and helping others. During the summer, you will find her tending her vegetable garden, flowers and lawn.
She is a Eucharistic Minister at her parish, Holy Cross, Euclid Hospital, and the Slovene Home for the Aged. At the Slovene Home, she transports residents and is involved in various activities.
Time spent with the ill and elderly is a humbling and rewarding experience for her. She is happiest amongst friends, patients, and residents. She claims she is still learning from her experiences and the wisdom of others.
Nothing can take the place of her love for teaching and children. She says, “Children are great little people eager to learn and experience new adventure”.
Betty Jane will always have a special place in her heart for the children who have passed her way through the years.
Edward V. Novak (1924-present)
Inducted 2008 in the Military category
Edward Victor Novak was born on November 15, 1924 in Cleveland, Ohio to Frank and Jennie Novak. He had an older brother, Frank, and a younger sister, Eleanor.
In 1943, he joined the Navy where he served four years during World War II as a second-class torpedo man. From 1943-1945, he was stationed in San Diego where he trained pilots with the dropping, recovery, and overhauling of torpedoes. In 1945, he was deployed to Guam and served on the aircraft carrier, Princeton, in the Pacific Theater.
He was discharged from the Navy in 1947 and returned to Cleveland where he completed a GED. He continued his education at Cleveland Engineering Institute and earned a mechanical engineering certificate. Upon completion of his certificate, he was employed in drafting positions and retired from General Electric after 32 years of service.
In 1948, he met Matilda Bencina and they married in 1950. They moved to Wickliffe in 1959. Together, they had two children, Mary Beth and Edward Frank. He joined the American Legion in 1970 and was Adjutant for nearly 20 years.
Gerri Novak (Born?-1990)
Inducted 1994 in the Arts category
Gerri Novak moved to Wickliffe with her family in 1960. During her life in Wickliffe she gave much to our community through her involvement in many organizations. She was active in the League of Women Voters, participated in election year, “Candidates Nights”, and served on the Spiritual Life Committee at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
The facet of her wonderful life we knew best was her contributions to the Mt. Carmel Players. As one of the founders in 1970, she starred in their first production as Nellie Forbush in “South Pacific”.
Her many achievements also included stints as Public Relations Manager and member of the Board of Directors during her 20 years as a Mt. Carmel Player.
Gerri passed away on March 31, 1990. We remember her great courage and zest for life in her own words, “Life is worth living, every single moment of it.”
Joe Oboczky (1924- present)
Inducted 1996 in the Sports category
Joe Oboczky gave unselfishly of his time and devotion enriching the lives of our young people. He was co-founder of the Wickliffe Midget Football League and was recognized for his participation in the Special Olympics program. He was a member of the Wickliffe Eagles, F.O.P., Wickliffe City Club and President of the Wickliffe High School Boosters.
He was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on May 10, 1924. He married Josephine in 1947 and raised seven children. He retired from Lincoln Electric after 36 years of employment.
A veteran of WWII, he was instrumental in having our veterans recognized in the Memorial Day Parade.
His greatest endeavor was in saving the life of one of our Wickliffe residents who was choking. We proudly salute Joe Oboczky, our hometown hero.
Mark Oesterlie (born-present)
Barbara Oesterlie (born-present)
Inducted 2008 in the Religion category
Mark and Barbara have been parishioners at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for over forty-two years. They have been involved in many areas of ministry to the parish throughout this time. They were certified as Eucharistic Ministers in 1978 by the Diocese of Cleveland and have served in that Ministry for over thirty years. For many years, they were involved in the Pre-Cana Program helping engaged couples prepare for marriage. In the 1970’s, Mark served as the High School Principal for the Parish School of Religion. They have also served as leaders of the Parish Festival Committee since its inception in 1991. In addition, they are part of the volunteer team that drives the parish van on weekends, providing transportation for seniors to attend Mass.
They grew up in Euclid, Ohio and dated during their high school days. They were married on Mary May 21, 1960, at St. Felicitas Church on Richmond Rd. In October of 1966, they bought a new brick ranch on Ashwood Dr. in Wickliffe and moved in with their three small children and lived there for thirty years. In 1997, they moved to a new home on Bonnieview Dr. and reside there at the present time. They have truly enjoyed volunteering at their parish church and in the community throughout their married lives.
Individually, Barb has volunteered at Lake West Hospital for 18 years and is current at the front desk every Wednesday morning. She was also a long-time volunteer at the St. Joseph Christian Life Center. In the 1970’s, while her children attended OLMC school, Barb was Treasurer of the PTU and participated in the Tuesday morning OLMC Womens’ Bowling League.
Mark has served on the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Council and is a member of the St. Vincent DePaul Society, a Third Degree Knight in the Wickliffe Knights of Columbus Council #5405, and currently serves as an acolyte at funeral masses.
He worked for the Cleveland Metroparks for 40 years and retired as Director of Operations. He is also a Licensed Land Surveyor in the State of Ohio. He was recently named a Commissioner on the Lake Metroparks Board. He has also served as a Wickliffe Councilman and Chairman of the Wickliffe Planning Commission.
They have three children, Sheryl (Steven Short), Kathleen (Ted Riddell), and Mark (Pamela Dudash) and nine grandchildren, Bradley and Leighan Short; Kellie, Teddy, Mark, Michael John and Mary Grace Raddell; Bretton and Jamie Oesterle.
Jerry Olivo (born-present)
Inducted 2003 in the Business category
Jerry Olivo has owned and operated Jerry’s Dari-Pride on Euclid Avenue since 1952, the year he graduated from Cleveland Heights High School. There, you’ll find Jerry, his children, and grandchildren, serving up your favorite summertime treats. He has served many generations, over the years, enjoying watching families grow.
He is a generous supporter of the youth of Wickliffe, giving many their first opportunity to work. He is best known for his involvement in the community, especially the Wickliffe Baseball League, Wickliffe schools, and many other local organizations. He is also a member of the American Legion and Wickliffe Eagles.
Jerry and his wife, Dolores, are members of the Boat-a-Bout Club in Florida, where they spend their winters with family and friends. They will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in 2003. They have four children and five grandchildren.
Frank Oravecz (born-died)
Inducted 2001 in the Sports category
Frank Oravecz was a pioneer in the development and growth of the summer baseball leagues in Wickliffe in the 1950’s and 60’s. Through his tireless efforts, he insured the success of the Little League, Class F, and American Legion baseball. He served as Commissioner of the leagues, managed teams, umpired games, and built and maintained two baseball diamonds.
In his early years, he worked in the coalmines and played baseball on company teams. He was scouted and signed in 1937, to a professional contract to play in the St. Louis Browns organization (today the Baltimore Orioles). With the advent of WW II, he enlisted in the Army and was
stationed in Hawaii where he witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
In 1946, he married his wife, Jennie. In 1950, they moved to Wickliffe where they raised three children – Mark, Frank Jr. and Valerie – and where he spared no effort to support the Wickliffe baseball leagues.
Louis R. Orlando (1926-1978)
Inducted 1993 in the Business category
Louis R. Orlando was a generous businessman who helped families in need. As the owner of Louis Orlando Funeral home, he often defrayed funeral expenses to those who couldn’t afford it. His funeral home, built in 1954, was the first to be built in Wickliffe.
Louis was born August 30, 1926, in Wickliffe, Ohio. He attended Wickliffe Public schools and was graduated from Wickliffe High School in 1944.
He served in the U.S. Navy, as a medical person.
After his discharge from the Navy he entered the Cleveland College of Mortuary Science.
He married Marge Riccio in 1953.
The funeral home is still located at 29550 Euclid Avenue. He owned and operated his business until his death in 1978.
Following the death of a Mt. Carmel Society member, Louis would pay to have a limousine carry the Society members, who served as honorary pallbearers, as part of the funeral procession. A practice that continues today.
The business, now known as Orlando-Donsante Funeral Home, is owned an operated by his two nephews, Bruce Orlando and Anthony Donsante.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Society
Inducted 2008 in the Organization category
In the early 1920s, a mission priest, Father Nash, traveled via streetcar, to say Mass in a Euclid Avenue storefront for the Catholics in the Village of Wickliffe. As time went on and the population grew, the need was apparent for the construction of a church.
Once Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church was dedicated in 1924, Father Nash enlisted the help of the women of the parish to help offset the cost of the many needs of the newly founded church.
The Mt. Carmel Society was organized in 1926. The original membership of the Mt. Carmel Society consisted of four women. These women knocked on neighborhood doors, requesting donations of food items to prepare for the first spaghetti dinner–the original event that was designed as a way to help the church in its early years.
Now, in 2008, the Famous Spaghetti Dinners of the Mt. Carmel Society continue.
Twice a year, the membership of 80+ women, along with other dedicated parishioners and friends, gather over a four-day period in devotion to their parish to provide camaraderie and a wonderful family-style dinner, the proceeds of which are donated to the parish. Truly a labor of love, the dinners are held in the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Community Center.
Thomas O’Brien (1933-Died?)
Inducted 1993 in the Civic category
In 1957, Thomas O’Brien, then a one-year resident of the city, joined the Wickliffe Jaycees. Within 13 years, he had served in every one of its offices before becoming its President. An active member of city government, he was a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals, Wickliffe Recreation Board, and the Fraternal Order of Police Association.
Born in 1933, Tom married Delores in 1954, with which he raised five children and had five granddaughters. In 1967, he was a leader in the city’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, which raised money for the Wickliffe Scholarship Committee.
With the Jaycees, he assisted in the
construction of the pavilion at Coulby Park, where he and the Jaycees sponsored the Fourth of July celebrations. He served as Parliamentarian for the Eastside Irish American Club and was also a member of the Five Waters Radio Club.
Grant Penley (1919-died)
Inducted 2005 in the Religion category
Grant was born in Horton, Kansas in 1919. He served in the Army in WW II from 1941-1945. Upon returning home from the war he married Phyllis Meyer on Sept. 15, 1945. They moved to Wickliffe that same year and have lived here ever since.
He became interested in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and offered his services. He became the head usher in 1997. He headed the team and enlisted new members to serve. These services included funerals as well as the Masses. Grant even fills in as an alterman serving at the funerals.
He is also a member of the St. Vincent DePaul Society. He served as Sunshine Chairman for his Wickliffe Knights of Columbus No. 5405, where he is a 4th Degree member.
Now retired, he was a US postal worker for 20 years and later became known as the man that painted the fire hydrants around town for the city. He not only painted them but also tested them for good working order and always a happy smile and wave of the hand as residents drove by.
Grant and Phyllis were married 60 years in Sept. 2005. Their family consists of son, Thomas, daughter Nancy and son-in-law Bob McCabe and their three children James, Robert and Amanda.
According to his wife, Phyllis “Grant enjoys everything he does for anybody”.
In 1974, Pat Penrod received his Master’s degree in Theatre Education from the University of Montana, and he was on his way to bringing new ideas to Wickliffe High School’s Theatre program.
Pat was born in Akron, Ohio in 1942. After graduating from East High School, he went to Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, and earned his B.A. in Speech and Theatre.
He taught for two years in small country schools, then, in 1966, he began a 29-year association with the Wickliffe City school system. During this time, he produced three plays a year, giving Wickliffe students exposure to a wide range of plays, from Moliere to Neil Simon and John Steinback to Woody Allen. Students were also given the opportunity to see live theatre in and around Cleveland on a regular basis.
“It has been a great joy,” Pat says, “to see former students go on to be successful in professional theatre. And, there has been much satisfaction in seeing Wickliffe students, on all levels, participate in the theatre program and benefit from doing so. They have gained confidence, made friends, and learned something about themselves. They have also learned how to work with others and have become better members of their community because of their participation.”
“It has been my pleasure to work with the Wickliffe community as well,” he added. “This includes the Mt. Carmel Players and the Wickliffe Civic Theatre.”
“But above all, the greatest thing about Wickliffe is its people. Having an opportunity to work with and get to know entire families has been a joy. These include the Mulroys, Ruffners, Cicirellis, Ivancics, and many others to numerous to mention. I was able to work with Pete Wolfgram to establish the Rockefeller Road Revue and collaborate with Mike Lenenski and Mike Elias to produce quality music programs. At any time we could go to City Hall and get the cooperation needed in order to give our students a better experience. The teachers, administrators and staff at Wickliffe High were always ready to help. But above it all were the students – it was always the students. They were ambitious, hard working, talented, respectful and a joy to be around.”
“All of the aforementioned allowed me to be true to my personal theatre philosophy:
We don’t do grandma shows, we do good theatre.”
“If you stay true to that philosophy you can be proud of what you do – And I am!”
William Pepoy (1922-present)
Inducted 2008 in the Safety Forces category
Bill Pepoy was born on January 1, 1922 in Scalp’s Level, Pennsylvania, to Hungarian immigrants, John and Mary. When he was five years old, his parents, one sister, and four brothers moved to Cleveland, Ohio.
He attended Holy Trinity Elementary and then East Tech High School in Cleveland. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy in 1942. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he was assigned to a naval destroyer. It took him to the European Theater where he saw much combat and he was injured by mortar fire during the invasion of Sicily.
Subsequently, he was transported to New York City for hospitalization and rehabilitation. This is where he met his first wife (Helen, deceased) and had two children, a daughter, Gail (deceased) and William. They moved to Connecticut where they raised their children and he attended the University of Connecticut. He moved back to Cleveland in 1961, at which time he continued his career as a tool and die maker. He also worked as a lead lifeguard at a popular resort, Lake Plata, just southeast of Cleveland. He also joined the Geauga Sheriff’s Department in 1962, and was appointed Major in charge of the newly formed “Special Deputies” under Sheriff Robusky. To this day, he is still an honorary deputy.
In 1968, he purchased 25 aces of apple trees in Geauga County and Pepoy’s Bountiful Orchard was founded. In 1971, he met Norma Jean Bodo. They were married in 1974. Norma had a son, Joe, and Bill became a loving stepfather. He had a great love of food and people, so it was only a matter of time until Bill and Norma founded “Blazin’ Bill’s Restaurant” in that quaint and quiet apple orchard in Troy Twp. They both worked hard and honestly for 16 years until they were able to sell the business and retire. They have been avid parishioners of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and have volunteered for many years for the church festival and many other events. He brought his love of cooking to the parish and started the “famous” chicken dinner Sunday BBQ where it was a huge success for many years during the festival. He also resumed his career with the Sheriff’s Department in Geauga and Ashtabula County working on the D.A.R.E Program. He had great respect from the Amish Community and brought the program to the Amish Schools.
They have lived in Wickliffe since 1964. He is the father of three, grandfather of five; and great grandfather of three.
Sister Mary Petronella (1914-Died?)
Inducted 1996 in the Religion category
Anna Rita Petronella, the fourth of eight children of Barbara and John Huzicka, was born on
December 4, 1914 in Campbell, Ohio. After attending Ursuline College she entered the community of Vincentian Sisters in 1932. She pronounced her vows and took the name Sr. Mary Petronella in 1935, the same year she started her career in education.
She served as a teacher and principal to several area schools for 20 years. When Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School opened in 1955, she was appointed its first principal.
She headed the staff of Vincentian Sisters and 1,300 students. Her motto, “To Serve God Through His People” was lived by her generosity and caring for both her students and the sisters.
Upon leaving OLMC, she spent many years at the Mother House in Bedford and continued her ministry work and living out her motto at The Holy Family Parish in Parma.
Dr. Silvio Petti (1929-died)
Inducted 2008 in the Medical category
Silvio Petti was born January 13, 1929 in Cleveland, OH. He was raised in Collinwood and graduated from Cathedral Latin High School, John Carroll University, and Case Western Reserve School of Dentistry. His military service spanned 1952-1954. He married Francis Trombetta in 1954, and together, they had three children; Lisa, Lesly,
and Steven. His hobbies include travel, gardening, and golf.
He opened his dental practice in Richmond Hts in 1958. In 1960, he purchased
Dr. Anthony Spronz’s dental practice next to the old post office on Euclid Ave. in Wickliffe. In 1964, he moved to the present location at 29090 Euclid Ave. The century home was owned by family physician, Dr. Stork. The present Petti Building was built in 1987 and valued items from the original house were donated and are on display at the Wickliffe Historical Society.
He started a true family practice. Over the years, his wife and daughter, Lesly, worked in the business office. His children, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Steven, joined him in his practice. Since his retirement in 2000, they continue his passion for dentistry and love for the Wickliffe community.
The Most Reverend A. Edward Pevec (born-present)
Inducted 2000 in the Religion category
The Most Reverend A. Edward Pevec was one of the “Seven Holy Founders” of Borromeo Seminary, founded in 1953.
He served as Teacher, Principal and Rector-President and then in residence at Borromeo as the Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland for over 40 years.
(Anthony) Edward Pevec was the oldest of four children of Anton and Frances Pevec.
He earned his M.A. from John Carroll University and PhD from Western Reserve University.
He later attended St. Mary’s Seminary,
He was ordained in 1950. In 1975, he was appointed pastor of his home parish, St. Vitus in Cleveland.
Pope John Paul II named him Auxiliary Bishop in 1982.
Bishop Pevec was honored with many awards from a number of religious, community and Slovenian organizations and is known to many in this area because of his ministry as a Priest and Bishop.
Alphonse Piacente (1912-1982)
Inducted 1995 in the Safety Forces category
Alphonse Piacente was born in Cleveland on July 14, 1912 and moved to Wickliffe with his family when he was five years old.
A Wickliffe High School graduate in 1930, he would later become one of Wickliffe’s few police officers on a three-man force in 1936. He normally worked 12-hour shifts, six days a week. From issuing traffic tickets to catching runaway horses, the three policemen, including Chief Chris Silsby and Leon Montgomery, were kept quite busy maintaining law and order for the growing city. For all this he made only $125 a month.
He retired from the force in 1944. He was well known for his melodious whistling, professional wrestling, green thumb gardening, and helping out at “Spaghetti Dinners” at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
Alphonse passed away in 1982 at the age of seventy.
John F. Platz (Born-present)
Inducted 1999 in the Government category
John Platz was Wickliffe Ward 2 Councilman from 1968 to 1972 where he also served as Vice-Mayor and on the Planning Commission.
He was elected six terms as Lake County Commissioner from 1973 through 1996 and held the office of President eight times. During his tenure as Commissioner, he
established the Enhanced 9-1-1 System, built a new County Jail, created the Human Service facility, Laketran, Solid Waste facility, Water System, new Administration Center, Crime Lab and reorganized the Lake County Hospital System.
In 1998, he was elected Chairman of the Lake County Democratic Party, appointed to the Lake County Board of Elections and Trustee of the Lake County Hospital System.
He was a charter member of the faculty of Lakeland Community College serving as
professor of Political Science for 32 years until his retirement in 1996.
He established the “John F. Platz Good Government Scholarship” for Lakeland students.
He is married to Connie and they have five children: Karen, Elizabeth, Linda, Connie and Eric.
Michael (Sonny) Powall was born on June 19, 1935 in Collinwood, Ohio, where he met his wife, Marlene Palermo of Wickliffe. After his graduation from Benedictine High School, Sonny attended John Carroll University. Upon completion of his two-year military commitment in the U.S. Army, Sonny and Marlene were married at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Wickliffe in 1957. They have resided in Wickliffe on Greenridge Drive for over 50 years, raising seven children who all attended the Wickliffe school system except for his youngest son Dominic, who went on to attend Sonny’s beloved alma mater, Benedictine.
Sonny served as president of the Wickliffe Italian American Club for four years in the early 1970’s and is still an active member today. He also is a member of the Wickliffe Knights of Columbus, the Collinwood Memories Club and the Benedictine Italian Heritage Club where he was the first member to be honored with “Man of the Year” award. Sonny takes an interest in Wickliffe politics and will periodically attend city council meetings. In addition, he devoutly attends weekly Eucharistic adoration at Our Lady of Mount Carmel church.
Sonny was employed by Pick-n-Pay supermarkets for 23 years, where he worked his way up from stock boy to manager, and eventually taking on the role of planning and logistics for area stores. In the fall of 1973, with his seventh child on the way, Sonny boldly took on a new venture. With the help of family and friends, he purchased the old Avenue Bar located on the corner of Euclid Avenue and Rockefeller Road and launched “Sonny’s Place”, his first of three well-known Wickliffe establishments.
Sonny’s love of his Italian heritage, combined with his passion for cooking and serving traditional food, created a festive social environment which made “Sonny’s Place” a success…. Continuing for five years strong before giving way to the opening of “Sonny’s Other Place” in 1978, located on Euclid Avenue by Empire Road in Wickliffe. Finally, in 1980, he established “Sonny’s Side of the Street”, located in the heart of Wickliffe on Euclid Avenue – which went on to become a Wickliffe institution.
From the very beginning, Sonny’s was a family affair. His wife, Marlene, had input into many of the recipes served at all three establishments. All seven of his children took part in the operations of the business. Vince managed the bar and kitchen. Nick, Rick, Mike, and Dominic worked the bar, and Lisa and Denise served in the dining room.
Even today, although he is retired from the bar and restaurant business, Sonny is still an active member of the Wickliffe community. Each season, he can be seen at nearly all the Wickliffe Midget Football games, as well as the Wickliffe High School football games where for years, he has proudly supported his Blue Devil sons, cheerleader daughters, and now supports his Blue Devil grandchildren as well.
His family includes his sons Vince (Mary Fran), Nick (Debbie), Rick (Diane), Mike (Connie), Lisa Rosson (Gino), Denise Bortnick (Steve), and Dominic.
The grandchildren include Chase, Chelsea, Sydney, Ryan, Mitchell, Mariah, Julia, Angelo, Justin, Jake, Danielle, Hannah, Angelina, Gino, Francesca, Ariana, Mia, Sophia, and Marco Sonny.
William F. Provo (1872-Died?)
Inducted 1993 in the Business category
William Provo was one of 13 children born to Peter and Margarita Provo. He was born in 1872 in Willoughby Township, later becoming the City of Wickliffe
One of eight sons, he worked for The Cleveland Crane Company.
He was a dedicated volunteer to many civic organizations and the Wickliffe Public Schools.
A plaque was placed in his honor, located at Wickliffe High School, following his death.
The plaque was later moved to the front lawn of his home, Provo House, formerly known as “The House on the Side of the Road” because of its close proximity to Euclid Avenue. The house most recently is known as Provo House.
Provo’s house was built around 1883. The property consisted of a 110-acre farm. It had several owners before the Provo’s purchased it in the early 1900’s. The 15-room house served as a florist shop, cobbler shop, dry cleaner, and a gift shop. It was one of the first Federal designed homes in the area.
The Provo family eventually sold the house in 1952. It was purchased by the City of
Wickliffe in 1990, to allow for expansion of the Wickliffe Cemetery. The cemetery occupies the land north of the home, the original farm.
The Provo House was renovated and became the home of the Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame in 1992. It is also the home of the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce, Christmas In April (now Rebuilding Together Lake County) and the Wickliffe Baseball League,
This historic building is one of the few original buildings still remaining in Wickliffe.
1. There are 11 categories for individuals. They include: The Arts, Business, Civic,
Education, Government, Heritage, Medical/Health, Military, Religion, Safety Forces and Sports
2. Each year an organization may be elected into the Hall of Fame
3. Not all categories need to be represented on any year’s ballot
Rules for Nomination
1. Persons being nominated must be 60 years of age during induction year
2. Nominees should have made a notable achievement or significant contribution to the City of Wickliffe
3. Nominees must have been a Wickliffe resident for at least 10 years or may be a business owner with his/her establishment in the City of Wickliffe or worked in the City for at least 10 years.
4. Organizations being nominated should have made significant contributions to the City of Wickliffe
Nominations to the Ballot
1. Nomination forms will be posted online, printed in the Wickliffe Connection newspaper and are available at the Wickliffe Community/Senior Center and Wickliffe Public Library.
2. Nominations must be in written form and presented prior to the deadline. All information must appear on the nomination form and contact information by person making the nomination.
3. The board of directors has the right to change a person’s category if they feel it is necessary.
4. Nominations will be presented to the board of directors for review and voted on by the committee.
Election to the Hall of Fame
1. Board members will meet and review nominations..
2. Board members will vote for the candidates, by category, with a majority required vote to be elected.
2. A persons nominated as the only candidate, must receive at least 75% board member votes to be elected.
3. A quorum of nine board members must be present for the vote to be official.
4. The board of directors reserves the right to deviate from the prescribed rules with a 75% vote of the entire board of directors.
Nomination Forms must be received by March 16, 2015
Completed Nominations should be mailed to:
Nomination Committee, 29841 Arthur Ave., Wickliffe OH 44092
Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame Membership
Memberships are open to the public and are accepted year-round but especially in January and February. There are three types of annual memberships and lifetime membership:
Individual & Family $10
- Organizations and Small businesses $25
- Large Corporations $50
- Lifetime Memberships for Families $100
Rolland G. Rees (born- )
Inducted 2005 in the Education category
Rolland’s career in the Wickliffe School System lasted over 26 years. He served 18 years as Mapledale Principal, one year as Assistant Principal at Wickliffe Elementary, two years as Worden School teacher and five years as a Mapledale teacher. He was active in the Wickliffe Elementary Camping Program. He served as Director of Adult Education and received a Lifetime PTA membership.
He was system wide WVIZ representative and served on the Wickliffe Country Place Board of Directors.
A graduate of Ohio State University in 1948, Roland received his M.A. from Appalachian State University in 1954.
He entered the US Army in 1950, and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry. This two-year stint earned him three Bronze Stars, the Korean Service Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal of Japan Medal.
He was the only son of Hattie and George Rees. He has an older sister, Ardele.
He married Mary Louise Cook in 1957. They raised two daughters, Beth and Heidi.
His community service interests since retirement are numerous. He delivered Meals on Wheels from the Wickliffe Senior Center for over eight years. He was a Lake West Hospital volunteer where he received the “1,000 Hour Award”. He earned the Volunteer of the Year Award entitled, “Pet Visitation” for the Lake County Humane Society in 1998, Volunteers of America, and volunteer for Lake County Senior Transportation Service. He was co-organizer and charter member of Lake County Huffers and Puffers – a senior citizen slow pitch softball league.
William R. Reid, Sr. (born-died)
Inducted 2006 in the Government category
Bill Reid’s early interest in government started while attending Wickliffe city schools, being ‘elected’ Ward II Councilman during Student Government Day, chosen to attend Buckeye Boys’ State at Ohio University and being elected Senior Class President, 1960. His long association with the city began in the summer of 1956 with a job working for the Recreation Department with John Mulally. While attending college, he worked summers for the Service Department, at that time as one of only two summer workers hired. After graduating from Ohio University in 1965, he was hired by The Cleveland Trust Company. He then spent 24 years with the Lincoln Electric Company. He became Wickliffe’s Deputy Finance Director/Tax Commissioner in 1991, and retired from that position in 2001.
His services to the city began with his election as Councilman-at-Large in 1973 and he was elected the city’s first Council President in 1975. He was elected Mayor in 1979 and served three consecutive two-year terms. He was elected Council President in 1985 and again in 1989. After retiring from the Tax Commissioners position, he was again elected Council President in 2001-2005.
His civic involvement also includes the Wickliffe Jaycees, serving on the first Wickliffe Environmental Commission, coaching in the Wickliffe Baseball Leagues and serving as Chairman of the Lake County Junior Olympics for 20 years (1971-1991). In 1969, he began to donate blood to the American Red Cross, and to date, has donated 27 gallons.
He and his wife, Terry, have raised their four children; Bill Jr., Shawna, John, and Angela in Wickliffe and are now enjoying their six grandchildren: Cullan, Halle, Erin, Ryan, Jason Jr., and Kate.
Doris Reik (born-present)
Inducted 2009 in the Medical category
Doris Reik has been involved as volunteer educator and speaker for the Alzheimer’s Association since 1990. She recently accepted the role of Volunteer Coordinator for one of the Lake County Alzheimer’s Disease caregiver support groups. In 1996, the Cleveland Alzheimer’s Association presented her with the Arlene Ellis Award as Volunteer of the Year for her work in Educational Program Development.
In the past, her community involvement included being a member of the Wickliffe Board of Education 1976-1980; a member of Wickliffe Parks and Recreation Commission, President of the Wickliffe Swim Team, Chairman of the Suburban Swim League, and President of the Wickliffe League of Women Voters.
She was born in Cleveland in 1941 and has lived in Wickliffe since 1966. She has been married to Donald Reik for 48 years. They have five children and 13 grandchildren.
She graduated from Fairview Park Hospital School of Nursing in 1962 and is currently a Registered Nurse and a Clinical Nurse Specialist.
From 1967 until 1984, she served as a Nurse Educator for the Cleveland Chapter, American Red Cross. In 1990, she received a Master of Science in Nursing Degree from Case Western Reserve University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, with majors in
Psychiatric and Geriatric Psychiatric Nursing. She worked as the Coordinator of the Geriatric Assessment Program at Lake Hospitals and as the Coordinator and Supervisor of the Psychiatric and Geriatric Programs at University Hospitals Home Care. She served as Director of Professional Education at Laurelwood Hospital until late 2006, when she retired. In 2003, she received the Laurelwood Hospital WOW Award for Peer Recognition for employee achievement.
She has been the organist for Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Mentor for 40 years, in addition to serving as the Choir Director and Stewardship Co-Chairperson. She has also assisted fourth graders at St. John Nottingham Lutheran School in Cleveland. She is a member of Show Biz Kids, Lake Metroparks, and RSVP.
Domenica C. Rice (1930-1998)
Inducted 1998 in the Education category
Domenica C. Italiano (Mamie Rice) was born on July 16, 1930 in the Little Italy section of Cleveland, Ohio. She moved to Wickliffe in 1944. During her years at Wickliffe High School she was the first homecoming queen in 1948. An Ohio University graduate, she married Edward Rice in 1952. Her 30-year teaching career started at St. Augustine Academy in Lakewood, Ohio. She taught and was the Physical Education and Health Chair at Wickliffe High School until her retirement in 1983. Mamie was also the cheerleading sponsor for 13 years.
The Delta Kappa Gamma Society, an Education Honorary Society, recognized her as the Outstanding Educator in 1982. After retirement, she was active in the Christ Child Society and many organizations. She passed away in 1998 and will be remembered for her love and dedication to teaching, to the community, and to her family: Edward, her husband; Stephanie and David, her daughter and son-in-law; and her granddaughters.
Bernice Ritter (born-present)
Inducted 2005 in the Civic category
Bernice is a dedicated volunteer to her city. Having lived in Wickliffe for 27 years, she along, with her husband, Jim (a Wickliffe Hall of Famer), has volunteered thousands of hours serving her community and her county.
Her volunteer involvement includes many organizations. She serves Meals-on-Wheels for the Wickliffe Senior Center; she helps with the biannual Spaghetti Dinners at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church where she is also in the Choir. She also started the OLMC Credit Union and assisted with the start up of the Parish festival. A regular volunteer at Lake West Hospital, she has over 2,000 hours of volunteering. She is a member of the American Legion’s Auxiliary Unit and has volunteered for over 12 years at Willoughby’s Little Red School House.
She is a member of the Isabella Guild supporting her husband’s Wickliffe Knights of Columbus #5405.
She was awarded “Volunteer of the Year” at the Wickliffe Civic Center (WICCI). In addition, she chaired the Appreciation Dinner for Don and Ann Siders.
Bernice and Jim are proud parents of five children: Patty, Vicky, Jim (Rusty), Michael, and Laura.
Jim Ritter (1929-present)
Inducted 1999 in the Civic category
Jim Ritter’s involvement in the Wickliffe community is unrivaled. Named “Mayor” by his neighbors, while living on Homewood Dr., Jim fought for improvements to his community. He has been involved with the City’s Recreation programs, Lake County West Hospital, Little Red School House and Knights of Columbus.
He was the Civic Center’s Volunteer of the Year in 1988.
His volunteer work at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel includes; founding the Credit Union, singing in the choir, and reestablishing the Parish Festival.
He was born in Barberton in 1929. He married Bernice Johnson in 1948 and they raised five children.
They moved to Wickliffe in 1969.
Together, he and Bernice Ritter have worked side-by-side enriching the lives of all who have come to know them.
Franklin Rockefeller (1845-1917)
Inducted 2002 in the History category
Franklin Rockefeller, a millionaire Cleveland businessman, built his summer estate (Lakeland Farm) on Ridge Road in 1888. The caretaker’s cottage, now serving as Wickliffe Board of Education, is all that remains of the estate on Rockefeller Road (formerly Bell St.). The house, cottages and half-mile racetrack were raised in 1938. He was instrumental in bringing the first Italian immigrants to Wickliffe to work his farm.
Frank was born in 1845 on a farm near Moravia, NY, to parents William and Eliza.
He had two brothers, William and John D. Following his three years as a soldier in the Civil War; He joined his brother, John, as co-founders of The Standard Oil Co.
He married Helen Scofield in 1870 and raised five children. He passed away in 1917. His eulogy states his concern for the common man, his religious values, and loyalty to his friends. He was generous with his means and was held in high esteem.
Michele Marguerite Rogers was born in Akron on Valentine’s Day 1933, and like the central message of the holiday, her life was dedicated to love – that of her family, her friends, and her patients. Michele graduated from St. Vincent Charity Hospital School of Nursing in 1954 as class president. In her career as a registered nurse, she worked at St. Vincent Charity Hospital, Wade Park Veteran’s Administration Hospital, Booth Memorial Hospital, and De Paul Home for unwed mothers and St. Ann’s Hospital.
She married Ronald Keith Rogers in 1956 and together they quickly began raising a family. They moved to Wickliffe in 1976 where she, along with her husband and nine children, participated in many activities, playing various sports, swimming at Orlando Park, watching annual fireworks at Coulby Park, and attending Mass at our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
In 1974, her desire to provide a broader spectrum of accessible, quality and continuous healthcare to women and their families led Michele to co-found BirthCare, which shortly thereafter became Womankind Maternal and Prenatal Care Center. Her life as a nurse filled Michele with deep purpose as a caregiver and advocate for pregnant women and their babies. Not only did this organization provide free prenatal care and delivery services for pregnant women, it also treated women with many other medical needs. During the thirty-five years Michele served there, she and her husband frequently opened their own home to women who had nowhere to turn and no place to live. Her children relate that it was common to come home and find strangers who would share their bedrooms or relegate them to sleeping on the couch.
Womankind, which will celebrate its fortieth year of service in 2015, continues to provide medical care and support to approximately 1500 women each year and averages 400-child births annually. In her work there, her colleagues as having describe Michele taught them patience, compassion, and listening skills. With a vision of untiring love of others and welcoming hospitality, she is remembered as treating each person who walked through the clinic’s door with kindness. Michele respected her clients, relating that they were, “some of the strongest women she knew.” A co-worker expressed that Michele, “Treasured her children, my children, your children and the waiting room children.” She consistently challenged those she worked with to love without limit; especially the most difficult clients whom she recognized were often the individuals needing it most.
Michele had a great sense of humor, a wild sense of adventure and a delightful sense of mischief. Theater and acting were her great loves and she was larger than life even without a stage. She created. She made things happen and fostered an environment where everyone could be their best. Her advocacy and concern for her fellow nurses and the nursing profession led her to help organize the nurse’s union at St. Vincent Charity Hospital. In 1980, because of her work related to prenatal and infant care, the March of Dimes recognized Michele as Ohio’s Nurse of the Year.
Michele died at home surrounded by her loving family on April 25, 2013. She found her deepest
enjoyment in the hours she spent with her children, grandchildren, her sister Joan and her nieces and
nephews. Michele respected life. She treasured life. And she fully lived hers!
Thomas R. Rosneck (1948-present)
Inducted 2009 in the Sports category
Tom Rosneck’s teaching career spanned the years 1970-2005, with Health and Physical Education assignments at Lincoln Elementary (1970-1972), Wickliffe Junior High (1972-1979), and Wickliffe High School (1979-2005). Through his teaching career, he was Assistant Coach for basketball, football, and track, becoming Head Football Coach (1978-1988), head basketball coach (1989-2000), and Athletic Director (1998-2005).
Under his direction as Head Football Coach, Wickliffe teams won 71 games and lost 39, with 2 ties. He coached more games and won more games than any other Head Coach in the history of the school.
As head basketball coach, Wickliffe teams won 155 games and lost 86, which is the highest winning percentage in school history. During his final five seasons as Head Basketball Coach, Wickliffe teams won an average of 18 games per season.
He earned many ‘Coach of the Year’ awards during his years as Head Coach. In 1991-92 and 1997-98, The Plain Dealer named him Coach of the Year for the Greater Cleveland area. He was named Lake County Football Coaches Association Distinguished Citizens Award winner in 1997. The Ohio High School Athletic Association also recognized Tom in 2000, as the recipient of the Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Award from a pool of 800 coaches from throughout the state.
He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1948. His family moved to Wickliffe from Euclid in 1954. He attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School for grades 2-8. He then attended the Wickliffe Schools for grades 9-12, graduating from Wickliffe Senior High School in 1966. Tom participated in basketball, baseball, and track while in high school. He graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1970 and received a M.Ed. from Kent State University in 1975. He participated in basketball at Baldwin-Wallace College during his freshman and sophomore years.
In 1970, he and Marcia Gleason were married. They have three children: James, Heather, and Mark. Their grandchildren are Jackson, Riley, and Nolan. The Rosneck children all graduated from Wickliffe High School. For 25 years, he has worked with the Knights of Columbus, Wickliffe Council #5405, assisting with the Special Olympics track event.
Elsie M. Rudman (Born-Died)
Inducted 1997 in the History category
One of Wickliffe’s noted historians, Elsie Rudman, had been a constant source of historical information for the city and many civic organizations. She was co-editor of Wickliffe-In-Action, a book about the history of Wickliffe, written in 1952 for the League of Women Voters. She also produced her own book entitled Wickliffe – A Pictorial History: 1817-1972. The text provides a photographic tour of Wickliffe’s history.
She was chairperson of Wickliffe’s Bicentennial Commission during 1975 and 1976. She devoted many hours to her hobby, crewelwork, and a kind of embroidery. Thirteen Liberty Bell embroideries were gifts to many public leaders including Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. Her embroidery works have been on display at Cleveland State University.
Elsie was married to Al, her husband for over 50 years. They have three daughters and a son.
Education begins at an early age when we learn that we are part of a larger universe. Parents and teachers begin us on the lifelong path to learning. Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, that path began there, where he grew up and eventually to moved to Wickliffe – more than half-a-century later.
After graduation from Wickliffe Senior High School and Kent State University, he was privileged to teach during a “golden age” of education in Wickliffe where creative support began at Worden Elementary School from the principal down to the professional colleagues with whom he taught. The entire team included the support staff from the secretaries, nurse, cooks, librarian, cafeteria and playground aides, and the ever-patient custodial staff. The boys and girls provided life and energy to the process.
With his interest in Early American History, he spent 14 years as a seasonal Park Ranger / Historical Interpreter at Colonial National Historical Park – Jamestown / Yorktown, Virginia where he not only learned of, but also shared our national past with hundreds of visitors from across the country and around the world. The two seasons serving in the Student Education Program at Gettysburg National Military Park took him into another pivotal era of our American history.
Closer to home, he shared our Western Reserve history with schoolchildren at Century Village in Burton, and spent over a quarter-century as historic interpreter and Director of River’s Bend Parks at the Lorenzo Carter Log Cabin at the Heritage Parks in Cleveland. Serving as a guide in Little Italy allowed him to learn and share the unique situations that immigrants faced when assimilating into America – situations that were experienced by all immigrants regardless of their nation of origin.
He assists Michael Lenenski, retired Choral Music Director of Wickliffe High School, in planning educational components of the Annual Wickliffe / New York City Theatre Tour. These trips allowed him to research and share stories of that metropolis with those participating in the tours.
He states his motivating factor has always been – that from whatever era, history is the story of people, and people who were not all that different from us in our basic needs. We can learn from them. And if we don’t, we are destined to repeat history – be that good or bad.
He is proud to share his induction into the Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame with his parents, Herman and Margaret, now deceased, and his sister, Susan Bocci, with those outstanding educators of Wickliffe City Schools- from elementary through High School- who influenced and challenged him on the path of education, to those distinguished colleagues with whom he taught and those who encouraged him to share knowledge in life’s journey wherever we might find ourselves.
Tom Ruffner served eight years as Mayor of the City of Wickliffe from 2002 to 2009. He also served on Wickliffe City Council for 24 years. He was elected Ward 2 Councilman and Council-At-Large. His involvement in government offered him the opportunity to make for a stronger City through strong fiscal responsibility and fairness and compassion to its residents and business owners.
During his years as councilman he was fortunate to contribute his ideas for the building of the Peter Christopher Aquatic Center, new police and fire stations and continued improvements to Wickliffe’s seven city parks.
As Mayor he had the good fortune to build the Wickliffe Community/Senior Center on Worden Rd. His vision for a more attractive business district was accomplished with the completion of the first phase of the Euclid Avenue Streetscape. He states one of the City’s proudest moments, while serving as Mayor, was when the residents supported the cause to purchase Green Ridge Golf Course.
He implemented the “Lights On After School Program” in 2005 for Wickliffe Middle School children.
He created the Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame along with Mayor Robert Aufuldish in 1993.
He initiated State of the City addresses and Town Hall Meetings in the evenings, making it possible for residents and business owners to attend.
Tom was born to parents Howard and June Ruffner in 1947 and lived in Lakewood, Ohio until graduation from Cooper School of Art in 1969. One of seven brothers, he married Louise Miola in 1971 and they moved to Wickliffe in 1975.
His family includes his wife Louise of 39 years and three Wickliffe High School graduates Joseph, Emily and Thomas. He is the proud grandfather of four granddaughters, Isabella, Sofia, Addison and Elizabeth.
He joined many Wickliffe organizations over the years, included are: the Jaycees, Rotary Club, City Club, Historical Society, Civic Center (WICCI), United Way, Knights of Columbus #5405, American Legion Post #7, Italian-American Club, and Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce where he was chosen “Civic Person of the Year” in 1997.
He was proud to work along side his teammates in Wickliffe government including: former mayors, council members, and all the employees of the City. He owes much of his success to having a caring wife and family that sacrificed some of their lives together so he could serve others.
Raymond F. Sack (1914-Died?)
Inducted 1993 in the Civic category
A councilman for 32 years, Raymond F. Sack was a prominent member of city government throughout three decades, years of marked progress and change in the city, state, and country.
Born in Wickliffe in 1914, He attended Wickliffe City Schools and worked for Chase Brass for 40 years. A member of the International Association of Machinists, He was appointed to city council in 1941. He served as the Vice Mayor for six years and founded the Wickliffe Community Gardens in 1977, which he directed for the last 11 years of his life.
A former President of the Italian-American Club and the Lion’s Club, “Papa Sack” was committed to organizations that benefited others, whether through the United Way Council, lifetime member of the Ohio Parent Teachers Association, teaching gardening to city residents, or playing his guitar with his lifelong friend, Gene DiPetro.
Angela L. Salotto (born-died)
Inducted 2000 in the Business category
Angela Lombardo Salotto was born and raised in Euclid, Ohio. She started her successful Real Estate Career at 21 years of age. She named her first Real Estate Office Lombardo Realty. By the 1960’s, after her marriage to Vittorio Salotto, and the birth of her two daughters, they settled in Wickliffe.
Her long list of contributions to Wickliffe began with the opening of Salotto Realty in a beautifully refurbished building on Euclid Avenue. She continued with the beautification of the Avenue by coordinating the “Geranium City” theme.
She served on the first Litter Control Board, United Way, and served as President of the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce.
In 1994, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of opening a restaurant – Vittorio’s Buon Appetito. She was able to share her hospitality, good food, warmth, generosity, and unconditional friendship with so many.
(Deceased, 1910 –2000)
“Morry”, as his friends called him, owned and operated Savitt’s Market, a grocery store in Wickliffe, for over 25 years. Morry loved people. If you wanted something that was not on his store shelves, he would special order it for you. If you walked to the grocery store and bought more than you could carry, he would drive you home. If you overspent and didn’t have enough money to pay for your groceries, he would say, “pay me next time.” When Ken Conti was in high school and couldn’t afford to go to prom, Morry reached into his pocket and gave him the money so he could attend the dance.
If wealth was measured in how you treat and care about others, Morry Savitt was a wealthy man. His ability to carry on a conversation about anything with anyone was truly unsurpassed.
When he retired from the grocery business, he could not just stay home. People were his life. He helped out in the kitchen at Petti’s Restaurant until he passed away at the age of 90.
Morry loved Wickliffe. He served two terms as president of the Wickliffe Lions Club, helping many people in need.
Morry received his accounting degree from Fenn College. Money was tight after graduating and he needed a job. He moved up in the grocery business by working hard seven days a week, 10-12 hours a day. He was a manager of both Food Town and Pic-N-Pay stores before eventually purchasing his own grocery store in Wickliffe.
Morry served proudly in the army in World War II. He was one of seven brothers and sisters, all now deceased. His beloved wife, Rose, passed away on February 2, 1997. He is survived by his son, Dr. Sid Savitt (Dianna Austin); daughter, Debbie Haffner (John); grandson, Matt; granddaughter, Lindsey; and great-grandson, Matthew.
Thomas Schmidt (1947-present)
Inducted 2009 in the Safety Forces category
Tom joined the Wickliffe Police Department on August 1, 1970, and served under four Police Chiefs during his career. He made many friends in Wickliffe and those close friendships continued through the years. He proudly served the City of Wickliffe for
25 years when he was shot in the line of duty on November 7, 1994, in the Wickliffe Middle School. He retired in May 1995.
He was born on February 6, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Thomas and Gertrude Schmidt. He has two older sisters, Gertrude Oker and Ocena Otto. He attended St. John Lutheran School and Lutheran East High School. In April 1966, he joined the United States Army and did a tour of duty in Germany and a tour in Vietnam,
being honorably discharged in April 1969.
He and Diane Whiteman were married on October 11, 1969. They welcomed Robyn Renee into their lives on July 25, 1971.
He enjoys his retirement, especially having watched his granddaughter, Elizabeth Renee, since she was 12 weeks old. He spends much time with his daughter, Robyn, and son-in-law Scott. Elizabeth is now ten years old and he enjoys watching her play softball. He works at Lost Nation Golf Course.
John J. Schneider, Jr. (1926-present)
Inducted 2007 in the Business category
John Schneider, Jr.’s father, Otto, was a German immigrant and his mother, Mame, was of Irish descent. He was born November 8, 1926. He was the second of three sons, between Bill and Jim. Otto was a hard worker and always believed in owning your own business.
He married his wife, Elizabeth (Urquhart), on May 24, 1947. His first business was a Soda Shop. After many late nights, and a second child, he sold his shop. He decided to work for someone with regular hours. He took a job at Chase Brass Co. He worked there a short period of time when his father’s words, and his wife’s support, led him to buy a business. He searched the classifieds and found a carpet business for sale. He contacted the owner, called his younger brother, Jim, and they bought the business. They knew nothing about carpeting but were determined to learn and be a success. They thought Wickliffe was a growing community and a great location so they bought the 29334 Euclid Avenue address. They named their store Location Carpet Co. and have been there since 1953. In the mid-70’s, he decided to semi-retire to find new ventures.
With the constant love, support, and belief of Elizabeth, he was able to accomplish their dream to have a reputable, honest family business! They had as he says “a half dozen” children. In some way, all of them have been involved. His three sons, John Jr., Terry, and Tommy are now running the business, allowing John Sr. to enjoy a semi-retirement. He helps whenever and however he can! Timmy, who has developmental handicaps, works every day, which was Ellizabeth’s dream to include all of her children. Timmy has been a real blessing to everyone and a favorite of all of the customers. Maureen worked in Sales and Mary Kay worked part time. The dream to have a family business has exceeded “a half dozen.” John has nine of his 19 grandchildren working at Location Carpet. His two sons-in-law are also involved in the business: Phil Jalwan is their accountant and Bob Viscomi does H.R. consulting. There are eight great grandchildren. What a legacy for John Sr. and Elizabeth.
John Sr. has always believed in giving back to the community. He volunteered at Rose-Mary Home and St. Pat’s Tuesday Free Meal. He has donated carpet to many people in need and helped Father Bob Begin open Templum House for battered women and their children. They always were involved in Church. They belonged to many organizations and served people in need. They were great role models.
John Sr. and his sons have grown the business together, added on to their building and opened two other stores. Their main store is still Wickliffe! John Sr. is grateful that 53 years ago he bought a “car wash to start a flooring business!” His Location Carpet Co. now installs carpet, custom ceramic, vinyl flooring, wood flooring, tile, carpet and ceramic cleaning, designer rugs, and provides the best individual customer attention!
Andrew H. Schroter (1902-1990)
Inducted 2004 in the Business category
The residents of the City of Wickliffe have posthumously elected Andrew Schroter to the 2004 Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame in the Business Category.
He was a lifetime resident of Wickliffe.
He was married to Bessie Burkhardt and was the proud father of three daughters: Evelyn, Lois, and Elaine.
He worked at the Wickliffe Lumber Company for over 35 years.
The Lincoln Shell service station was owned and operated by him in the 1950s and 1960s.
He was supportive of the youth of the community and gave many Wickliffe High School students their first job experience. He supported their school activities and backed many local Little League Baseball teams.
Joe Seifert (born-died)
Inducted 2007 in the Safety Forces category
Many Wickliffe residents who knew Joe Seifert remember him as a hard-working, fun-loving, family man. His love and pride for the City of Wickliffe was apparent by the active role he took in the community.
In 1946, after serving in the Marines in WWII, he and his wife, Victoria, moved from Collinwood to Wickliffe where they raised their four children, Charles, Joseph, Louise, and Michael. The house key used by him in 1946 to unlock the door to the family home located on Rockefeller Road in Wickliffe, is still unlocking the door for his family today.
In 1952, he joined the Wickliffe Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter. He was
honored to serve the community in this capacity until 1992. His commitment and pride in his work as a volunteer inspired his son, Charles, and grandson, Joseph, to volunteer with the Wickliffe Fire Department as well.
He worked for Chase Brass for 35 years and along with his two older sons, Charles and Joseph, established and ran Seifert and Sons Landscaping. Though the company name did not mention Joe’s daughter, Louise, she was an active and hard-working member of the Seifert and Sons Landscaping team, also. His youngest son, Michael, would not allow age to stand in the way of his rightful place in the family business. At the age of four, Mike would often appear right along side his father and siblings laying sod on a job.
In addition to his volunteer work with the Wickliffe Fire Department, he (Cowboy Joe) was an active member of the Wickliffe F.O.P.A., the Wickliffe Italian-American Club, the American Legion, and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
Enric M. Serrat (1925-present)
Inducted 1998 in the Civic category
Enric Serrat is a man of all peoples. Speaking five languages fluently has enabled him to help thousands of persons worldwide. A decorated Rotarian, achieving the coveted Paul Harris Award twice, he was nominated for the Noble Peace Price for his efforts in the El Salvadorian Civil War. Armed with a medical team and supplies he and his group forced a cease-fire to enable them to inoculate many children from polio for Rotary International’s Polio Plus program. He
continues to help persons here in Wickliffe and around the world as a seven-term President of the Rotary Club of Wickliffe.
He was born in Barcelona, Spain on June 10, 1925. He came to the US in 1965. His civic contributions include: charter member and Past President of the Wickliffe City Club; volunteer for the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Cleveland; involvement in many local organizations and district treasurer of Rotary International World Community Service. He is married to Wera, also a Paul Harris recipient.
Louis Siciliano (1920-1972)
Inducted 1996 in the Business category
Louis Siciliano opened Petti’s Pizza in 1963, in what was to be one of the most familiar restaurants in Wickliffe. The original family-run business was located at Lloyd Rd. and Euclid Ave.
For Lou, who has always wanted to run his own business, this was to be his best venture. At the age of 22, he opened a grocery store on Robindale, his first of several businesses including a tavern, another grocery store and restaurant.
Born in 1920 in St. Marco Argentina, Lou moved with his mother to join their father in Wickliffe at the age of three. The oldest of six children born to Joe and Mary Jane Siciliano, he was quite a storyteller.
In 1969, a fire destroyed their home. His strength and belief in his family helped them rebuild just as he had persevered with his business goals. He died in 1972 at the age of 62.
Ralph Simmonds (Born-Died??)
Inducted 1993 in the Sports category
When the coach of the Wickliffe High School Blue Devils’ basketball team was promoted to assistant principal in 1958, the vacancy was filled by the coach of the JV team, Ralph Simmonds, who was to serve as the longest tenured basketball coach in WHS history, retiring nearly thirty years later in 1985.
The “Lanky Blue Devil cage master”, as he was described in a 1965 press release, graduated from Bowling Green University and taught in Wickliffe for nearly 30 years, where his students, players, and colleagues held him in high esteem.
Upon his retirement, the Ohio House of Representatives recognized his contribution to athletics in the city of Wickliffe: “As head coach of the Blue Devil’s varsity basketball team since 1958, you have demonstrated exceptional coaching abilities, and the members of your teams emerged from tough competition as winners both on and off the court”.
Phil Simon (1933-present)
Inducted 2006 in the Sports category
Phil Simon was born on April 7, 1933 to Joe and Mildred Simon (Simeone was our given name, changed for economic reasons before Phil was born). He was the youngest of four and joining sisters Marge and Louise and brother Joe.
In his youth, he played lots of baseball and street football before turning to hockey in 1948. After hanging around the locker room of the old Cleveland Arena, they made him stick boy for the visitor’s team in 1950. The next season he was so well liked that he was moved up to the Barons stick boy for two seasons. His claim to fame was drinking from the Calder Cup when the Cleveland Barons won it all in 1953.
After graduating from East High School in January of 1953, the U.S. Army came calling. His unit was training for Korea when the war ended in July of 1953. He served stateside and upon his return to a new home in East Cleveland, he immediately picked up his old job with Cleveland Department of Shade Trees.
His new home and neighborhood brought him together with the girl next door; Rita Ciasullo He took her to her first hockey game in 1955.
He started as a Service Technician with Ohio Bell in March of 1957. In October of 1957, he and Rita were married at Christ the King Catholic Church in East Cleveland. They immediately moved to Wickliffe. All of the then Barons greats, attended their wedding.
In 1959, their first son, Christopher, was born, followed by Phillip, Jeffrey and daughter, Susan. The children went to many, many games with Phil and Rita. He was asked to be Goal Judge in 1962, thus starting that part of his hockey career. He was Goal Judge for the only NHL team to hit Cleveland.
He retired from SBC in 1994 and started as an Assistant Equipment Manager. “I’ve been affiliated with the Old Cleveland Barons, Cleveland Crusaders, Lumberjacks and lastly, the “new” Cleveland Barons” said Phil.
He was inducted into the Cleveland Barons Ring of Honor in March 2005, along with Bob Whidden and Johnny Bower.
He is the proud grandfather of Alex, Joseph Simon, Phillip, and Isabelle. Along the way, they have seen many hockey games in different cities. “Threw the Years” by Kenny Rogers, says it all as they plan to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary in October 2007.
John S. Sintic (born-present)
Inducted 2006 in the Business category
John Sintic was born in Cleveland on November 26, 1943, and moved to Wickliffe in 1949. he attended the Wickliffe City schools: Lincoln Elementary and Wickliffe High School. He earned numerous awards in sports and was co-captain of the football team. He graduated in 1962.
He worked most of his life in the family business. His first job was at John Sintic & Son Construction and then a Cleveland Executive Account Representative for a major commercial food supplier.
He co-produced and co-directed numerous cable television programs
including: “Polka Town,” the “Front Porch Polka Show,” “Repac News,” Kidspeak,” and the “Single File Program”.
He was inducted June 10, 1969, into the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam. He received two Bronze Star Medals, First Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Certificate of Appreciation from President Nixon, and a letter from W.C. Westmoreland, Chief of Staff.
He lives in Wickliffe and enjoys family get togethers, the Cleveland Browns, and the Ohio State Buckeyes. He especially enjoys his son, John III and his two grandchildren. And of course, he is still a great dancer.
His biggest hope is that governments of the world will come to understand that they are there to elevate a better quality of life for their people and ignore the greed of the special interests that steal the resources and exploit the labor of its populations. He prays for peace on earth.
Ernie Sivak (1927-died)
Inducted 2001 in the Sports category
Ernie Sivak was ranked No. 5 on The News-Herald’s list of the top 10 boys basketball players of the 20th century. He played a starring role in popularizing basketball in Northeast Ohio.
He was a senior at Willoughby Union High School in 1945, where he averaged 15 points and 16 rebounds per game when entire teams only scored 25 points per game.
During his senior year he was voted MVP and selected as 1st team in the All Lake Shore League. During the District All Northeast Ohio tournament, he was also selected to the 1st team.
He also played on the football team and the track team where he set the school’s pole vault record.
Ernie was born in Willoughby in 1927 and worked over 30 years for Cleveland Metro Parks. He and his wife Pat, raised three children in Wickliffe: John, Mary and Jim.
Bob Smith was born and raised in Cleveland, spending the first twelve years in the Tremont neighborhood before moving to the West Side off of West 65th Street for the remainder of his childhood. After graduation from Cleveland’s West High School he attended Baldwin-Wallace College where he played football and received his Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology and a minor in health.
Bob’s career in Wickliffe began in the summer of 1973 helping to coach the Lake County Save-A-Sight All Star football game. Coaching football, wrestling and track was an important facet of the first eighteen years of his career.
During Mr. Smith’s thirteen year teaching career he developed an elective class called Biology of Fitness and Conditioning, which was unique in Northeastern Ohio. In 1986, Joel Eisen recruited Bob to be his high school Assistant Principal. He served in that position for four years before taking the reigns as the high school principal for eleven years.
In 2001, he went to the board office as the Director of Curriculum and Special Services and in 2003, became the Superintendent where he remained until his retirement in 2008.
Mr. Smith has always been grateful to have worked in Wickliffe and values the many relationships he has developed with colleagues parents, and students. He also considers himself blessed to have a beautiful and supportive wife, Pam, two great children, Emily and Ben and good friends.
Bob Smith will always cherish the memories he has from Wickliffe.
Charles “Chas” Vincent Smith (1957-2007)
Inducted 2008 in the Arts category
Charles was born on September 28, 1957. He was the third of five children of Stanley and Theresa Smith. He attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Wickliffe and then St. Joseph High School. In his junior year, he transferred to Wickliffe High School. Upon graduation in 1975, he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. After several months of radiation and a major surgery that resulted in the removal of his spleen, his cancer went into remission. From that day forward, he viewed his life as “bonus time”. He began playing and touring with several Cleveland punk bands including “The Pagans.” After that, he decided to put his musical talent to use. He completed his Masters Degree in Music at Cleveland State University. He went on to teach the History of Rock and Soul at CSU. This class became one of the most highly enrolled classes. He also hosted the “Einstein Secret Orchestra” (ESO) radio program on 89.3 WCSB for over 20 years. Charles died on October 16, 2007 of complications from pneumonia.
During his life, he experienced everything he wanted to, including sharing his knowledge through teaching and writing. He published three textbooks for his classes he taught at CSU. Chas will forever live on through the lives he has taught and touched.
Kent Hale Smith (1894-Died?)
Inducted 1993 in the Business category
A 1911 graduate of East High School, Kent Hale Smith was born in Cleveland in 1894. He received a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Case School of Applied Science in 1917.
In1928, Thomas James and Alex Nason were attempting to individually market a lubricant and the applicator they had invented. The applicator kept the graphite constantly mixed and more effective. Through Kent Smith’s initiative, the inventors incorporated with his brother, A. Kelvin Smith, and David Ford to form the Graphite Oil Products Co.
Kent Smith served as the plant’s first president, and under his direction the company thrived during the Depression and outgrew its original Cleveland location by 1932. That year, assuming a new name, the Lubrizol Corporation was moved to Wickliffe, where its corporate headquarters still stands today.
Fergus Bowden Squire (1850-1932)
Inducted 1995 in the History category
Fergus Squire was born near Exeter, Devonshire, England in 1850. He immigrated to Cleveland in 1860 and started work five years later as an office boy with Alexander Schofield & Co. He and John Teagle began their own company. Later Fergus returned to Standard Oil in 1879 and became co-manager with Frank Rockefeller. He became the sole manager and President of Standard Oil. Mr. Squire is credited with building the first oil tank wagon in 1892.
In the early 1900’s, he built his estate at the brow of the hill at Ridge and Bishop Roads, the tower of which still stands across the street from City Hall.
He built “River Farm Estate” which later became known as “Squire’s Castle” during the 1890s. The building was only intended to be a “gatekeepers lodge”. The original plans called for a large country estate to be built behind the lodge. He used the home as a weekend retreat in the early 1900s. Its design is that of English castles, Fergus being of English heritage.
He retired in 1909 and lived in Wickliffe until 1930. His neighbors were Harry Coulby and Frank Rockefeller. He served as Wickliffe’s second Mayor from 1922 to 1923.
He died on July 20, 1932 at the age of 82.
George J. Staiduhar (1945-
Inducted 2006 in the Arts category
George Staiduhar was born February 9, 1945, and was the product of E. 185th Street, Cleveland, Ohio, an area rich in Slovenian style music and culture. He started lessons at age six under the auspices and teachings of Bill Sneller of Euclid, Ohio. His training and study was focused on classical music, which he incorporated into his own Cleveland style polkas and waltzes.
During the ‘50s and early ‘60s, he participated in many accordion contests and received No. 1 and No. 2 recognition for the State of Ohio in his age group playing an overture and one of Mendelsohn’s violin concertos.
Having played with various bands from Cleveland’s Eastside, during and after his high school years, and after discharge from the Army in 1968, he formed the “George Staiduhar Orchestra” becoming one of Cleveland’s most sought after groups in the early 70’s.
He released his first recording in 1970 entitled, “Polkas on the Slope” followed by “Polka Swingin with Staiduhar”.
Throughout the ‘70s, the George Staiduhar Orchestra appeared on Cleveland’s Channel 5 TV “Polka Varieties,” once having received “Most Popular Band of the Year” Award.
In the 1980’s, he was asked to join the Harry Faint Revue and in 1990, released a cassette entitled, “Polkas by George.” In 1991, that recording was Album of the Year voted by the Cleveland Polka Hall of Fame. Again, all the music was written and arranged by him, who included their signature tune, “Mozart’s Polka.” That tune received recognition in 2003 by the Cleveland Polka Hall of Fame as an All Time Greatest Hit. He was also voted by the Polka Hall of Fame as Musician of the Year in 1991, 1994, and 2000.
He released “Cadillac Polkas” in 1993.
In 1999, the name of the band was changed to “George Staiduhar and the Revue.” In 2000, the Staiduhar Revue released a CD entitled “Y2K Polkas.” It was nominated for a Grammy.
In 2004, he retired from music after 45 years and he culminated his musical career by receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, again, from the Polka Hall of Fame. It is the highest honor award given.
He works as a Federal Court Reporter with the U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio.
Dottie Stanford (Born-Died)
Joe Stanford (Born-Died)
Inducted 1999 in the Arts category
Dottie Stanford-Althoff and Joe Stanford were a dance team and dance teachers who owned the Stanford Foster Dance Studio for more than 25 years.
In 1960, they opened their dance studio, in Wickliffe, with the help of their daughter, Carol and her husband, Bill Foster.
Together, they trained many local and area award-winning students in gymnastics and dancing.
Many of their students performed during Wickliffe’s Home Days, marching in the parades down Euclid Avenue, led by Dottie, for many years.
They met in Toledo, Ohio where Joe was an acrobatic teacher. They formed a team and were booked as the “Stanfords” dancing duo performing from Broadway to Tokyo, and were the opening act for stars such as Rudy Vallee, the Ink Spots, Mickey Rooney, and Red Skelton.
Dorothy H. Steen (Born-present)
Inducted 1997 in the Civic category
Dorothy Hogan Steen was born in 1927 to Scandinavian parents, Jenny and Harry Hogan. She earned her BA in Journalism from The Ohio State University. She married Bob Steen in 1952.
Her work career included Assistant Librarian at Euclid High School, sales at PMC in Wickliffe and in the Personnel Division at Lubrizol for over 30 years.
While her community service included involvement in the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way and Boy Scouts of America, Her chief focus was the Wickliffe Civic Center, for which she served as a founding committee member, board member and newsletter editor, among various other roles, culminating in her selection as “WICCI Volunteer of the Year” in 1992.
She was recognized by the Rotary Club as one of the “Top 50” who has made contributions to the city of Wickliffe.
Nora Stoneman (Born-1974)
Inducted 1993 in the Education category
Nora Stoneman started her teaching career in Cumberland, Ohio at the tender age of seventeen. To get the job she said she had to lie about her age. That was the easy part. Each morning she would walk the two miles to the one-room schoolhouse and start up the stove to warm the building for her students.
She then taught in the Parma School System starting in 1927. During her long and successful career, she served as Principal at Parma’s Broadview and John Muir Schools from 1929 through 1934 and as Principal of Lincoln School in Wickliffe from 1937 to 1969.
She worked at the Wickliffe Board of Education from 1970 to 1973, a year before her death. A dedicated teacher, friend and principal, she was a shining example to all who knew her.
Rev. Mr. John M. Strmac (born-present)
Inducted 2001 in the Religion category
Rev. Mr. John Strmac has been a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church since 1969, when he and his wife, Ann, moved to Wickliffe. Active in many areas of the church, he was one of the original twelve chosen to be lay distributor of the Holy Eucharist, the first lay director of Christ Renews His Parish, and a charter member of the Parish Council.
In 1997, the Cleveland Magazine chose Deacon John as one of Cleveland’s 50 most interesting people, commending him for his service to the church and family. He was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacon. Deacon John assists at Eucharistic liturgy, preaches the gospel message, witnesses and blesses marriages, celebrates the sacrament of Baptism, and officiates at the Rite of Christian Burial.
He represents OLMC in the Knights of Columbus #5405 Wickliffe Council.
He and his wife, Ann, were married in 1962. They have four children – Laura, Lynne, Lisa and John – and six grandchildren.
Albert Strukel (born-died)
Inducted 2005 in the Safety Forces category
Albert served as a Wickliffe Police Officer for 27 years, retiring in 1984 as a Lieutenant. He was a veteran of WWII, having served in the Navy.
During his seven years with the Police Department, he served as a Training Officer, Range Officer, and Crime Prevention Officer.
With his help, obtaining donations from local businesses, the building of the police pistol range became a reality. Along with securing the funds, Al helped design and build the range. He and his uncle did the concrete work.
In 1981, he was instrumental in the creation of the first Wickliffe Block Watch Program. Under his leadership, the Block Watch became very active in the fingerprinting and videotaping of children. CB patrol, bike rodeos, and even filming a TV show about crime prevention that aired on a local cable channel. He introduced us to “McGruff the Crime Prevention Dog”. He continued to lead the Block Watch even after his retirement from the Police Department.
He also worked for the State of Ohio as a Breathalyzer instructor. He traveled to various cities throughout the state training police officers in the use of the breathalyzer equipment.
He and his wife, Vida, raised their family of three children in Wickliffe.
Joseph and Mary Ann Surtz have been invaluable volunteers for the City of Wickliffe and Lake County for many years. Their volunteerism has shown their love for people. They have volunteered at the Wickliffe Senior Center, the City’s Children’s events, The Little Red Schoolhouse and at their church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, to name a few.
Joseph L. Surtz was born at St. Ann’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio on December 8, 1936 to Joseph and Julia Surtz. He was one of five children.
Mary Ann Surtz was born in Cleveland on April 30, 1938 to parents Michael and Mary Chinchar. She was also one of five children.
Their first date was going to Mass at St. Felicitas Church In Euclid. The dated for over five years and were married on May 14, 1960 at St. Stephen’s Byzantine Church.
The couple moved to Wickliffe in 1963. They have lived in Wickliffe for over 50 years and love living in this community. Their goal was to celebrate their 50 years of marriage, because both their fathers died young.
Joe went to our Lord on May 2, 2011, just one year shy of their 50th wedding anniversary.
Together they raised five children: Cindy (Wozniak), Joseph M., Cathy (Stover), Connie (Jones), and Brian. They have 16 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Joe’s favorite hobbies were gardening and building things with wood.
Mary Ann’s hobbies are sewing, cooking and baking and raising their family.
They were tent campers and traveled all of the states east of the Mississippi River.
They love their God and all people and enjoyed every minute of their lives together.
Nicholas Gene Tagliaferri (1923-1998)
Inducted 2007 in the Government category
Nicholas Tagliaferri, was born July 8, 1923, in Cleveland, Ohio to Joseph and Angelina Tagliaferri. He married Jane Jenkins on August 23, 1947. They had three boys, Tim, Tom and Nick; two granddaughters, Jodie and Angeline (Tagliaferri) Thompson; and two grandsons, Nick and Victor.
He served in the Army during World War II. Upon returning to Cleveland, he began Tag Cleaners in Cleveland Heights. They and their children moved to Wickliffe in 1952.
He became an independent insurance agent and purchased Terrill Insurance Agency (later Tag-Terrill Insurance Agency and then Gene Tag Insurance Agency) located in a remodeled home on the site Ohio Savings occupies.
He later built a building on Euclid Avenue east of Rush Road and relocated his insurance agency there.
The 46-year Wickliffe resident served on City Council from 1964 to December 1967, when he became Vice Mayor. He became Mayor in December 1968 through 1969. He returned to Council in 1970 and served his last term until December, 1973.
He remained a life-long member of the Boy Scouts of America. He was an active member of the following: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Holy Name Society, Wickliffe American Legion No. 7, Commander of Wickliffe American Legion 7, Knights of Columbus, Wickliffe Italian American Club, Chamber of Commerce, 40 and 8, and Well Baby Clinic.
As a local businessman, he always provided trustworthy and honest service to his customers. As a government official, he provided commitment and dedicated leadership to the Wickliffe community that he so loved.
Gene died in Englewood, Florida, on February 5, 1998 at the age of 75.
The Precious Metal Plating Company has been in business for forty-five years; thirty-three of those years have been in Wickliffe. For twenty-five years; Tom Talty, the owner, was a trustee with the Wickliffe Chamber of Commerce.
Tom’s beginning in plating began when he was 12 years old. His father had a music store and a plating department in the basement.
Since he wasn’t interested in musical instruments, he was assigned to the plating department. He would work there for ten years until he graduated from John Carroll University in 1958. He left his father’s business and sold plating chemicals and equipment for two companies until 1965 when he started Precious Metal Plating Company. The business was started in his aunt’s basement in a 20×10 sewing room. In 1968, the company moved into a 3,000 square feet building on Tungston Road in Euclid. It stayed there until February 1977, when Frank Berzin had completed the new building on Palisades Parkway in Wickliffe.
Precious Metals does copper, nickel, tin, brass, silver and gold plating, and has a full in-house lab facility. Their work takes them all over the United States and to our fiftieth state, Hawaii.
Tom would like to thank his lovely wife, Rita, for being by his side all of these years; also his children and their spouses.
Tom gives special thanks to his partner, Steve Kubofcik and son, Tommy, who have taken Precious Metal Plating Co. to its present level.
Dominic A. Tarasco (1920-1944)
Inducted 1996 in the Military category
Dominic Tarasco was a member of the famed 82 Airborne Division. He participated in the invasion of North Africa, Sicily, Selerno, Anzio Beachhead, and Italy. He was also among those chosen to spearhead the D-Day invasion of France.
He was killed in France on June 12, 1944, at the age of 24. He was the first WWII casualty from Wickliffe.
He entered the Army in 1942 and was selected for airborne glider infantryman training at Camp Maxton, North Carolina. His tour of duty in Europe began in March 1943.
Born in 1920, he was raised and educated in Wickliffe. He was an accomplished athlete at Wickliffe High School. He married Catherine in 1941 and had a daughter, Donita.
The Brewer-Tarasco American Legion Post No. 7 was named in his honor along with Merwin Brewer, the first casualties of WWI and WWII.
Inducted 2004 in the Civic category
Barbara Taraska is married to Vincent and they are the proud parents of seven children and nine grandchildren. The Taraska family has lived in Wickliffe since 1967.
she is an active member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, serving as a Eucharistic Minister, choir member, Cantor, Mt. Carmel Players member, and a member of the Arts and Environment Committee.
She has been involved in both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for over 28 years. She is an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 289 in Wickliffe, through which she received the Boy Scouts of America District Award of Merit in 2003. Barbara is on the Lake-Geauga Catholic Committee of Scouting and has received the Bronze Pelican Award for her work in religious scouting programs.
In Girl Scouting, she received the Elizabeth Ann Seton and the St. Ann Religious awards.
She is a member and 20-year officer of the Independent Order of the Foresters (IOF) Branch Redwood. She was awarded the Fraternalist of the Year Award in 1996 for the IOF Mid Eastern United States.
Other past volunteerism activities of her’s include Wickliffe Swim Team, YMCA Swim Team, WICCI member, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School and its Futuring Committee, St. Justin Martyr School’s Futuring Committee, Rebuilding Together, and St. Kasmir Lithuanian Saturday School.
One of her favorite volunteer activities has been the weeklong scout summer day camp. She was on he staff of the 2001 National Jamboree
She is a librarian/enrichment teacher at St. Justin Martyr School in Eastlake.
Fr. Thomas W. Tifft was born October 5, 1942 to William and Catherine Tifft. He spent his early years in East Cleveland and attended St. Philomena Parish. He was a proud “Viking” and an alumnus of St. Joseph High School in Cleveland, Ohio.
Fr. Tifft graduated from Borromeo Seminary in 1965 and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Saint Mary Seminary in 1969. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Cleveland on May 31, 1969 and served his first assignment as Associate Pastor of St. Bridget Parish in Parma, Ohio.
He earned a Master of Arts degree in 1974 from John Carroll University and a doctorate in Philosophy degree in History from the Catholic University of America in 1979.
In 1973 he was appointed to the faculty of Saint Mary Seminary and taught courses in Church History including a most popular course on the History of the Diocese of Cleveland.
In June 2001 he was appointed President-Rector of Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology. He will long be remembered for his assistance and guidance in the transition of relocating Saint Mary Seminary from the Ansel Road facility to the newly formed Center for Pastoral Leadership (located on the grounds of Borromeo Seminary) in Wickliffe, Ohio in 1991.
Fr. Tifft was an avid follower of history, especially the local Catholic Church in Cleveland as well as following his favorite All-American pastime … baseball! His love and devotion to the Tribe, through all the wins and losses, was known to all who knew and loved this great man … priest … professor … and fan!
Fr. Thomas Tifft suffered a massive stroke on July 6, 2012 and died on July 9, 2012.
Clyde O. Timlin (1893-1979)
Inducted 1993 in the Safety Forces category
Clyde O. Timlin became Marshall/Police Chief of Wickliffe from 1916 to 1932. He was the Village’s first and only police officer from 1923 through 1928.
After organizing the First Volunteer Fire Department in 1921, he served as its first Fire Chief.
During Prohibition, he worked with Elliot Ness on a local raid at the Mounds Club.
He was born on March 30, 1893, in Brockway, Pennsylvania. Moving to Wickliffe in 1908, 16-year-old Clyde intended to play professional baseball, a career that he pursued through most of his life. While working for Honeywell Construction, he pitched against Satchel Paige in an exhibition game.
He married Grace Beck in 1916. They raised two children, Harold and Jeannette. The family lived on Taylor Road.
After retiring from the police force he went to work for Euclid Road Machinery in Euclid, Ohio. He then transferred to Hibbing Minnesota working as Service Director for Euclid Road in the Mesabi Iron Ore Mines.
He retired from Euclid Road Machinery and settled in Eustis, Florida. He passed away in 1979.
Henry Tirabasso (1920?- died )
Albert Tirabasso (1921?-died )
Both inducted 1994 in the Business category
Born in 1920 and 1921 respectively, Henry and Albert Tirabasso have lived their entire lives in Wickliffe and owned and operated the A&H Hardware Store approximately 40 years. Although after the service, they were encouraged by their father and grandfather to build the hardware store at 29420 Euclid Avenue.
On May 26, 1949, they opened the Jim Brown Town &Country Hardware Store (later to become A&H Hardware). The two brothers have seemed inseparable over the years. Organizations they have both served in include the American Legion, Wickliffe Italian & American Club, Wickliffe Chamber of Commerce, VFW, and the Wickliffe Athletic Boosters.
In 1984, Al and Henry were recognized as the Chamber of Commerce’s “Businessmen of the Year.” Now retired, these two classy gentlemen bring happy memories to the minds of the many Wickliffe residents who have known and loved them both.
Henry Tirabasso (1920?- died )
Albert Tirabasso (1921?-died )
Both inducted 1994 in the Business category
Born in 1920 and 1921 respectively, Henry and Albert Tirabasso have lived their entire lives in Wickliffe and owned and operated the A&H Hardware Store approximately 40 years. Although after the service, they were encouraged by their father and grandfather to build the hardware store at 29420 Euclid Avenue.
On May 26, 1949, they opened the Jim Brown Town &Country Hardware Store (later to become A&H Hardware). The two brothers have seemed inseparable over the years. Organizations they have both served in include the American Legion, Wickliffe Italian & American Club, Wickliffe Chamber of Commerce, VFW, and the Wickliffe Athletic Boosters.
In 1984, Al and Henry were recognized as the Chamber of Commerce’s “Businessmen of the Year.” Now retired, these two classy gentlemen bring happy memories to the minds of the many Wickliffe residents who have known and loved them both.
Jean C. Toth (Kuger) was born May 6, 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio. She was the oldest of four.
She was married to Blase A. Toth in 1963. They had a son, Blase, together. They lived in Sheffield Lake, Ohio until they moved to Wickliffe in 1974, when Jean started her running career.
Since then she has run over 50 marathons and hundreds of 5K, 19K, 10mi., and half marathons. She even ran a 50-mile race in Maryland in 1985 with a time of 9 hours, 28 minutes. She competed in the Boston Marathon twice.
Jean worked at Wickliffe Lanes bowling alley, in the nursery, for over 35 years and saw generations of children who attended with their parents.
She helped with track teams in the area and was active in Scouting.
She belonged to many running groups and is currently a member of the Northeast Running Club.
She tired of running in 1991 at the age of 55 and got into bodybuilding. She competed in the lightweight division and won trophies against girls younger than her daughters. She then got the running bug again and is still going strong even after having open-heart surgery for a valve replacement.
With her first husband, she had four children: David, Carol, Christine and Denny. Between them they have eight grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Ernest Treichel (born-
Inducted 2006 in the Military category
Ernie Treichel served his country, honorably in the United States Army during World War II. He saw extensive action in Europe and was awarded two battle stars. He was a resident of Wickliffe from 1953 through 1980 and currently resides in Mentor, Ohio. He is retired from the Art Grevure Corporation, affiliated with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where he worked as a machinist.
He distinguishes himself as a community leader, a veteran, and member of Brewer-Tarasco Post No. 7 of the American Legion, Wickliffe. He is a 42-year member and has served as Commander for three terms. He was Commander when Post No. 7 honored the Safety Forces of Wickliffe for their heroism following the tragedy of the middle school shooting. In addition, he has served as Second Vice Commander, Chairman of the Children’s Christmas party for eight years, Canteen Chairman for five years, Chairman of the Flag Pole Committee, Section Leader for the annual American Legion Memorial Day Parade, and a member of the Senior Honor Guard. This last position provides cemetery services for deceased veterans and includes a 21-gun graveside salute, taps, and the presentation of an
American flag to a family.
He has represented Post #7 at the county, district, and state levels and has served as a Delegate to state and national American Legion conventions.
For over 30 years, he has been involved with the Poppy program conducted by the Ladies Auxiliary. This program raises money for needy veterans and their children. He also visits Brecksville Veterans Hospital for “Hospital Treats” and was involved in Veterans Day programs at local nursing homes.
For three years, during the 1950s, he was a member of the Civil Defense Corp, and was involved in rescues following natural disasters including a flood and a tornado. He also commanded a water tanker providing additional water for local fire departments.
Donald L Trimboli (Born-Died)
Inducted 1997 in the Sports category
Donald Trimboli has dedicated his life to instilling children with good sportsmanship. He was not only active in sports but also assists the Wickliffe City Club and Wickliffe Midget Football League helping the less fortunate. He helped organize the Wickliffe Midget Football League, coaching 37 years. He worked handling the chains at the Wickliffe High School Football games for over 25 years.
His volunteering include charter member of the Wickliffe City Club; Wickliffe I&A Club, the Irish American Club, America Legion Post No. 7, DAV and Lake Democratic Party.
As a veteran, he served in World War II in the Marine Corps
He was the Park and Buildings Foreman for the City.
He was the devoted father of eight, the exceptional stepfather of three, the loving grandfather of 10, and the great grandfather of one.
Anthony J. Trivisonno (Born-1992)
Inducted 1997 in the Business category
Anthony J. Trivisonno was the owner and operator of the Wickliffe Department Store, the first of its kind in the area. He opened the store in 1931 and ran it successfully with his wife, Caroline, until 1962. He also built the first off-street parking shopping center in Wickliffe (and the first in Ohio) at the corners of Lloyd Road and Euclid Avenue in 1949. His brother-in-law, Doctor Michael Matteo, housed his medical practice in the shopping center for many years.
He served on the Wickliffe Planning Commission for over 27 years overseeing many improvements to the city during his tenure. He was a member of the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce, Wickliffe Rotary Club, Willoughby Knights of Columbus and Wickliffe Italian American Club.
Born in Cleveland in 1904, his family moved to Wickliffe one year later. He married Caroline Matteo on June 22, 1929. They raised four children: Maryann, Anthony, Jr., Angela and Thomas – in Wickliffe.
He passed away on July 28, 1992.
Fiorentino Turi (born-1996)
Inducted 2001 in the Business category
In 1925, Fiorentino Turi opened a shoemaker shop and dry goods store in Wickliffe. His merchant business was located on Euclid Ave., across the street from Wickliffe’s first City Hall.
He was very kind to the people of Wickliffe and to the schools. At his business, he sold to people “on trust” if they did not have cash. He purchased property on Lincoln Road and Euclid
Avenue, including the plots where the Sunoco Gas Station and Wickliffe Library stand today. Later, he sold the property to the schools for a low price because of his concern for the children.
Born in Italy, he settled in Wickliffe in 1924. He and his wife, Esther, lived on Rockefeller Road, where they raised two children, Joe and Mary.
A resident of Wickliffe for over seventy years, Fiorentino passed away in 1996 at the age of 95.
Louis Turi was one of three children born March 4th, 1923 in Mt. Kisco NY. One of his favorite lines when asked for his birth date was “ March 4th…the only date that makes a statement!” He died on February 13th, 2013 at Hillcrest Hospital.
Lou’s early education was split between Ohio and New York. He attended grade school at Lincoln Elementary and spent the middle years in White Plains. He graduated from Wickliffe high school and from John Carroll College. He graduated from Cleveland-Marshall Law School and worked a number of jobs to support his education. He often mentioned Addressograph-Multigraph as some good years and he did also sell insurance.
He and his sister and brother lived in their parents’ home in Willoughby until they were married. The marriages were all in the same year, 1958. Lou married Patricia Butters from Franklin, Pennsylvania. They met skiing in 1958 at Seven Springs, a resort in Pennsylvania. They have seven children and eleven grandchildren
Lou passed the bar exam in 1955 and was the first attorney to open a practice in Wickliffe. It was in a building shared with Roy Miller Realty that is now Location Carpet. In 1956 he bought a building on Craneing Road, split it in half, had it moved to it’s current location in front of the city cemetery. It was reconnected and he had his office at that location with a partner, Eugene Adelman. He retired from his last office in the Wick-Willow Professional Building in 2010.
After his love for his family, his other two passions were Italy and his years in Wickliffe. His Italian heritage grew stronger as he got older. He was a proud member of the Italian/American Club where he served as an officer and often aided the club in legal matters. He was instrumental in forming an Italian language class for club members and friends. And, of course, he loved Bocce and made sure you pronounced the name correctly. He made four or five trips to Italy to meet his father’s relatives and kept in touch with them over the years. He found the town of Turi and photographed the road sign for posterity. Lou collected maps of Italy and enjoyed studying them.
He was also a member of a committee sponsored by Lakeland Community College that arranged to bring a group of Italian students to the U.S. for a summer tour in exchange for a group of Lake County students that went to Italy. Many international friendships were formed from this exchange.
Lou was also known for his stories about Wickliffe in “the good old days”. He, his parents and brother and sister lived in many different houses in Wickliffe. One was an apartment above the now non-existent Clarks’ Market that was near the Fifth-Third Bank location. Another was in a double house near where Spinner’s is located. The most fondly remembered one was on the corner of Rockefeller and Meadowbrook. When the family was young and Lou was driving them for ice cream at Foster’s, there was a chorus of “Daddy’s old house” repeated a couple of times.
As you probably know, Lou loved to tell stories and many of them were about days in Wickliffe. The names of streets when they were streetcar stops, skipping school and riding horses around town, having a root beer at Wimpy’s Barrel or a hamburger at the Skyway Inn.
Lou was a very loyal Italian and Wickliffian.
Joseph Unetic (born-present)
Inducted 2009 in the Government category
Joseph Unetic was the City of Wickliffe Director of Finance from June 1984 until June, 2003, having been hired by Mayor William Reid. When he took on the responsibilities as Director of Finance, his first goal was to clear the City of a $10 million of debt. His plan was to pay cash for everything, while saving a little at a time for the future. It took 19 years, but when he retired, Wickliffe was debt-free. During his tenure, the City was able to pay cash to build a new police station, a new fire station, and the aquatic center at Coulby Park. In addition, the former Worden School was purchased for use as the City’s civic center. Over $2 million of road and sewer projects were performed each year, while maintaining first-class equipment for the Police, Fire, and Service Departments. All these accomplishments were made without going to the residents for levies or additional taxes.
He created Wickliffe’s City Income Tax Department in 1988. The ability for the city to collect its own income taxes, proved very instrumental in putting the City in a solid financial position. Collections were increased by almost 18% and the cost to run the department was 34% lower than the outside source. Joe feels that that his department staff members were, and still are, the most hardworking and conscientious group within the City.
He attended St. Jerome School, St. Joseph High School, and John Carroll University, with a degree in Business, major in Accounting. His background includes employment with Eaton Corporation as an Internal Auditor; Ford Motor Company as a Cost Analyst; and a food distribution company as a controller.
He and his wife, Kathy, have lived in Wickliffe since 1968. They have three grown children and four grandchildren. He enjoyed coaching his sons’ baseball teams for 12 years and now looks forward to watching his grandsons play golf.
Helen (Minadeo) Vespe was just 22 years old in 1944 when she said to her mother she wished to join the U. S. Coast Guard at the height of World War II. Despite her mother’s pleas against her joining she eventually understood her daughter’s desires and acquiesced.
She was joining the Women’s Reserve of the U. S. Coast Guard Reserve program (officially nicknamed the “SPARs”), first established in 1942. A total of 978 women officers and 11,868 enlisted women served in the SPARs during World War II.
Gathering with many brave young women from the Cleveland area, they travelled by a rickety old train leaving from Terminal Tower, in downtown Cleveland, on an exciting and long journey to boot camp in West Palm Beach Florida. Her entire family was there to wish her off on her proud journey. Unsure of her next few days she ventured on determined to join the war effort.
Her fears of boot camp were diminished as she says, “It wasn’t that hard on us, mainly teaching us to march and learn the Coast Guard ways in three months time.”
Following boot camp she was assigned to Washington D. C. as clerical personnel for Coast Guard record keeping and general office work. She wasn’t there long before she heard her mother was ill and asked to be stationed near her home in Wickliffe. Her wish was approved and she was transferred to an office in downtown Cleveland.
Once in Cleveland she moved into the Coast Guard’s Quad Hall on E. 79th and Euclid Ave. Her days were spent in the Keith Building as a Coast Guard office worker.
Later due to her mother’s poor health she was allowed to live at home in Wickliffe while still working downtown.
Helen was born in Wickliffe in 1920 and lived almost all her years here except for the months training in Florida and working in Washington D. C.
Her mother, Lena Vitantonio married John Minadeo. Helen was the youngest of six children. Her siblings were: Jesse, Carrie, Dominic, Frances, and Antoinette. Her mother operated the Minadeo Grocery Store at 29522 Euclid Avenue in Wickliffe.
Fr. Nash, of Willoughby’s Immaculate Conception Church, traveled to Wickliffe to conduct the first Catholic masses in Wickliffe in the building next door at 29526 Euclid Avenue. This was prior to Our Lady of Carmel Church being built. Helen still lives in the apartment of the building that masses were held.
She left the Coast Guard in 1946 and went to work at Fisher Body in Euclid, Ohio. She later married Benjamin Vespe in 1959.
Helen doesn’t speak much of her years in the Coast Guard and feels she did little in the war. She was a brave young patriotic woman who volunteered to help the American cause. The members of the U. S. Coast Guard regard her as a vital part of a well-run machine. The many women (SPARs) like her, working behind the scenes, were just as important to the war effort as those on the seas and front lines, doing their part in keeping the world safe from tyranny and free.
Each month several hundred cars pass over the well-worn driveway. Their occupants, some older, some disabled, and some unemployed or underemployed, are on their way to receive some much needed food at the Vineyard Community Church food pantry. This is just one of many programs God has called the people of The Vineyard Community Church of
Wickliffe in support of the local community.
The Vineyard Community Church has been part of the Wickliffe community for over 40 years and in 1987 Pastor Brent Paulson, his wife Teresa, and daughter Bethany, moved to Wickliffe from Minneapolis and helped birth what is now The Vineyard Community Church.
The Church and its Pastors have a heart and
vision to demonstrate the love of God through simple acts of kindness and over the years that vision has taken shape in the form of the Vineyard Food Pantry which last year served over 30,000 people from Wickliffe and all over Lake and Cuyahoga County. We try our best to keep our focus on the community that lives outside the four walls of our church as we serve the least, last, and lost in this area.
Back in the early 1990s the church realized many in the community were not able to provide gifts to their children and so began the “Christmas For Kids” program, which has provided gifts for thousands of kids throughout the years. We partner with local schools and other church’s to meet the increasing need during the Holiday season. Around the same time, the Church began handing out water at the Memorial Day Parade along with providing music via a live performance of the Vineyard Worship Team on a mobile stage.
Vineyard Community Church has also been able to serve the community of Wickliffe over the years with its annual Harvest Party at Halloween, Vacation Bible School, various community outreaches and health events as well as providing community service opportunities for local High Schools and the Willoughby Municipal Courts.
Pastor Paulson and the other staff and members of the Vineyard Community Church desire to serve the City and its people so that people might “See the good works and glorify our Father in Heaven”.
We truly enjoy the partnership and relationships we have with the City of Wickliffe, its mayors, all the city workers the City Council, Police and Fire departments as well as the residents of Wickliffe. Everyone has been amazingly helpful in working with us as we seek to serve the city.
Bill Vitantonio (born-died)
Inducted 2001 in the Business category
Bill Vitantonio was part of the “Wickliffe Floral Company,” all of his life – although he was
actually a metallurgist at Chase Brass. He was a quiet, honest man who couldn’t say no to anyone. We will never know how many times over the years he furnished free flowers and plants to add a touch of color to Wickliffe events.
The Wickliffe Floral company was founded in 1927 by his father, Lucas Vitantonio, whose four sons and one daughter all learned how to develop soil, grow seedlings, design flowers arrangements, and run a successful business. After all his brothers died and his sister moved, he continued to run the business until his death in July, 2000. He and his wife, Lorraine, raised their daughter, Sally. He had three granddaughters and five great grandchildren.
He served as City Councilman from 1954-1958. He worked to establish Wickliffe as “Geranium City.”
He was honored as “Business Person of the Year” by the Wickliffe Area Chamber of
Commerce in 1984.
Rev. Eddie B. Walker
Inducted 2004 in the Military category
Eddie Walker was born in Deeson, Mississippi on January 12, 1920. He entered the Army on August 15, 1942 and was with the 432 AAF Base Unit in Portland, Oregon until October 25, 1945. From October 25, 1945 until his discharge on December 2, 1946, He was at the MacDill Field AAF Base.
He is married to Annie and they are the parents of seven children.
Reverend Walker was a pastor in Columbus, Ohio for six years and a pastor in Lockport, New York for three years. He was a Sunday school Superintendent for The Church of the Living God CWFF, covering Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and Ohio for six years.
He joined the Wickliffe American Legion Post #7 in 1987 and served as the Chaplain for 16 years.
Reverend Walker has inspired many with his devotion to God, country, and family.
Chester E. Whalen (1914-died)
Inducted 2000 in the Education category
Chester Whalen is a life-long supporter of learning. His active involvement, over the years, has led to better Wickliffe schools and a remodeled Wickliffe Public Library.
He was active with the predecessor to KIDS, Concerned Citizens for Wickliffe Schools. He has served as treasurer of KIDS, an organization supporting school levies and providing communication about the public schools to the residents.
Along with his wife, Dorothy, they have supported Wickliffe’s Chapter of AFS (American Field Service) for many years.
Chester was born in 1914 in Lake St. Louis Missouri, graduated from East Tech High School in Cleveland and attended Case Institute.
He began his career with Bailey Meter in 1934 and worked there until his retirement in 1983.
They moved to Wickliffe in 1956.
Martin H. White (1921-1961)
Inducted 2000 in the Arts category
Martin Henry White, a direct descendant and grandson of early Wickliffe settlers Martin and Helen White, was born in 1921 to Howard and Grace White. His sister is Betty White Wollpert.
He showed great talent as a musician. He was one of the youngest local musicians to play for orchestras and bands. At 11, he played trumpet for the Wickliffe High School Band. At 14, he played in George Marsh’s Orchestra as a professional. He received top ratings at regional and state solo ensemble contests as a high school student.
In college, he was a member of The Ohio State Marching Band and later attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music where he studied with future famous trumpet player Al Hirt.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army during WW II and played in the US Army Band.
Later, he played in Ray Anthony’s Orchestra. He retired from the orchestra in 1953.
He later entered the real estate field.
Martin passed away in 1961.
Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce
Inducted 2004 in the Organization category
The Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2004. The Chamber was founded by a group of local business people and community leaders “to promote business acquaintanceship among its members, to further the industrial and business development of the city, and in any other way to promote the welfare of the community.” The Secretary of State of Ohio issued a Charter to the Chamber on March 16, 1929. The original officers of the Chamber were J. Calvin Oldt, President; H.H. Reeder, Vice President; Harley L. Clark, Secretary; and W. F. Means, Treasurer. The Board of Directors included T.E. Rice, Dr. Frederick Stork, William McGuire, and Fred Avis.
The mission of the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce is to promote and create business development and community growth, while maintaining Wickliffe’s heritage.
It has greatly contributed to the growth and stability of our community. Wickliffe is home to over 500 businesses and the Chamber has 200 members, the majority from Wickliffe.
It maintains a website; offers networking opportunities for members to promote their businesses; offers free educational and business counseling programs; and hosts meetings on issues of interest to businesses. The Chamber also offers savings on the costs of doing business, i.e., Workers’ Compensation, health insurance, telecommunications, and occupational health services.
Since 1986, the Chamber Scholarship Foundation has awarded 36 college and technical school scholarships to Wickliffe resident high school seniors.
The Chamber honors a Business of the Year, a Civic Person of the Year and a Supportive Staff Person of the Year. Events sponsored by the Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce include the popular Victorian Teas, Community Geranium Sale and Festival, Supportive Staff Recognition Luncheon, Holiday Business Window Painting Project, and a Golf Outing.
The Wickliffe Area Chamber of Commerce is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Lake County Chambers of Commerce, the Lake County Visitors Bureau, and the Lake County Safety Council.
Wickliffe Athletic Complex Committee
Inducted 1999 in the Organization category
The members of the Wickliffe Athletic Complex Committee were the planners and the builders of the Wickliffe High School’s Memorial Stadium. The athletic complex, with a seating capacity of 5,000, took over 5 years to become a reality. Started in 1952, the $365,000.00 complex was completed in time for the 1956 football season.
It took hundreds of volunteers and thousands of man-hours to build the facility. Four men were the cornerstones of making the dream a reality. They included: Don Coburn, Nick Dimberio, Bob Pintar and Dave Hennie.
Under the direction of these men and the dedication of the many volunteers, Wickliffe High School, and the entire Wickliffe community, has benefited by hosting a myriad of sporting and civic events for over 40 years.
Don Coburn, Ken Godfrey, Ed Justin, Mary Kasunic, Dr. James DiMeolo,,Gil Foster, Sid Joseph, Rev. R. Kelder, Frank Orlando, Dave Sterlekar, Nick Dimberio, Jim Bueley
Holly Bleiweiss, Bill Allen, Bob Stojetz, Lynn Cox, Nick Dimberio, Jennie Adkin, Ed Joslin, Lloyd Morse, Dave Sterlekar, Chuck Fran, Don Coburn, G. Blakemore, Mary Kasunic, Bill Steen, Hank Tirabasso, Al Tirabasso, Al Sylvestro, Dave Hennie, Al Jacobs, Howard Morrison, Jack Yanesh, Lubrizol Corp., Bailey Meter, Wickliffe Midget Football, Starblock, James Spetz
Don Coburn,Bob Pintar, Nick Dimberio, Dave Hennie, Jim Beuley, Louis Key, Bracelli, Star Block & Concrete, Joe Siefert & Son, St. Clair Excavating, Jack Neff, Wickliffe Midget Football Members, Dave Geither, Wickliffe High Athletic Boosters, Wickliffe High Band Boosters, Wickliffe High Forum, Wickliffe Residents, Willard Gray, Holly Blieweiss, Wickliffe Service Department employees on personal time
The Wickliffe City Club was founded in May, 1984 by former members of the Wickliffe Fraternal Order of Police Association (FOPA).
The club’s mission was to maintain a group of individuals to advance the City of Wickliffe.
Members were to devise methods and suggest ways and to help the citizens of Wickliffe who are in financial or physical need and to recognize charities to donate funds. Annual fund-raisers include a reverse raffle and Frank Busci Memorial Golf Tournament.
In just the last 10 years the club has raised and donated over $45,000 to local charities and individuals as well as labor for service projects. Donations have been used for:
• Summer camps for the physically challenged
• Camp Ho Mita Coda
• Camp Sue Osborn
• New Avenues to Independence
• Broadmoor Summer Camp
• Frank Busci Memorial Achievement Awards
• A graduating Wickliffe senior high school student (10 since 2005)
• Christmas Food baskets to families in need
(averaging around 10 per year through the City’s Holiday Gift Program).
• Additional children’s Christmas gifts to those donated by ABB
• Funding 6th Grade Camp fees
• Special resident needs
• Financial hardships
• Handicap assisting projects
• Home maintenance projects (members volunteer labor)
Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month at Vittorios Buon Appetito.
The Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame was established in 1992. Its founders were: Thomas Ruffner, Robert Aufuldish and Mary Biondolillo Braun. The first class of 18 inductees was held.
The Hall of Fame’s purpose was to recognize those persons that created the history of Wickliffe and those making significant contributions to its growth. The initial categories for induction were: The Arts, Business, Civic, Education, Government, Medical/Health, Military, Religion, Safety Forces and Sports. In later years, the two new categories, Organizations and Heritage were added. Qualifications for induction were persons making significant achievements either for the City or their careers. The candidates had to have lived in Wickliffe for at least 10 years or worked in the City for 10 years.
The Hall of Fame was begun at Provo House, 28855 Euclid Avenue, where the first displays appeared. In later years the displays were moved to the Wickliffe Civic Center (WICCI). Following the razing of the Civic Center, the Hall of Fame displays were disbanded and kept in files at the Wickliffe Public Library. The library hosts the Wickliffe Community Hall of Fame “Books of Honor”. These books are comprised of the displays featuring the inductees’ photos and biography. Files of the inductees’ biographies are also on file at the library.
Its board of directors annually conducts elections into the Hall of Fame. Nominations are open in January and voting takes place, by the Board, in the spring. Meetings are held monthly to review policies and elect board chairs.
Its many inductees can be viewed on the Hall of Fame’s website. http://www.wickliffehof.com.
Raymond Sack, President
Florence Burkhardt, Vice President
Chuck Burkhardt, Secretary
Thomas Ruffner, Treasurer
Joanne Beal, Nomination Chair
Mary Biondolillo, Past President/Advisor
Charles Fatica, Ernest Koenig, Rita Koenig, Terri Jo Rotondo, William Margalis, Bernice Ritter, James Ritter, Vivian Yeager, Robert Aufuldish, Anthony Massey
The Wickliffe Dispensary had its beginnings during World War I. During the war years, Wickliffe women, under the leadership of Mrs. Harry Coulby, made bandages and anything else that was needed for the war effort. She opened the “Bay Tree House” on the Coulby estate to carry on the necessary work. Funds were received from the Red Cross and The Cleveland Foundation. Twenty sewing machines were placed in the building and a great number of Wickliffe women responded.
After the war, there was a substantial amount of funds left. There were health needs in the community. The Wickliffe Dispensary was the answer to those needs. On the fifth day of October 1921, a group of Wickliffe people met in the Marshall Building in Cleveland and formed the Wickliffe Dispensary as a nonprofit organization.
With the leftover funds, it was decided to build a small building to accommodate the dispensary. Mr. Harry Coulby donated the land and made many generous donations to help the operations. Funds were no longer received from the Red Cross or The Cleveland Foundation, as the village seemed to carry on fairly well on its own.
The little cottage-type building at 28864 Euclid Ave. has been open for over 8o years, with services free of charge to Wickliffe residents. It is the only type of dispensary left in the state of Ohio that does not receive any funds from the state. In 1934, a $25,000 endowment was given to the dispensary by Laura Mae Corrigan, widow of John Corrigan who owned ‘Nagirroc’ (Corrigan spelled backwards), today known as Pine Ridge Country Club. The dispensary still operates from the endowment.
Through the years, the clinic has always had a doctor and nurse available. At one time, under a joint program with the school system, a full-time nurse was employed. Home visits were part of her schedule. A dental clinic was once set up, as well as a speech and hearing clinic. An eye and throat clinic helped the needy purchase eye glasses and have tonsils removed. During the Depression, free milk was given to needy families. Newly enrolled children were carefully checked upon entering school.
The following is the clinic’s Summary of Operation for the year 1933:
• Milk and cod liver oil given to underweight children
• 50 baby clinics (attendance 459)
• 7 prenatal clinics (attendance 24)
• Tonsil clinics (attendance 31)
• Eye clinics (attendance 16)
• 383 children vaccinated
• Paid for 11 pair of glasses; 75 silver fillings and
• 1,020 home visits made by nurse
• 20 gallons of skimmed milk given out daily
Presently, a volunteer board, which meets quarterly, oversees the needs of the Wickliffe Dispensary – Well Baby Clinic. The current board members are: President Vivian Yeager; Treasurer Dawn Gargiulo; Secretary Eleanor Silvaroli; Members Kathie Fitz, Mike Fitz, Bill Gargiulo, Gordon Levar, and Connie LeBlanc.
Wickliffe Italian-American Club
Inducted 2006 in the Organization category
The Wickliffe Italian-American Club was established in 1937. Persons of Italian ancestry who live in the City of Wickliffe, started this fraternal organization. This community-based social club promotes and recognizes those of Italian cultural bond that they share. Its President is Gino Latessa.
The members are involved in many charity events and support local organizations. Each year, thousands of dollars are raised and given to charities and high school students by way of college scholarships.
Its main event is the annual Cleveland Challenge Cup of Bocce. The 2006 tournament was the it’s 23rd annual contest and it has grown to be the largest bocce tournament held in Northeastern United States. 84 teams from Canada to New York, compete the last weekend of August on the I&A courts.
Each May, it hosts the annual Special Olympics Bocce Tournament.
Member’s coach and assist the many participants in this noteworthy event.
The club has two banquet halls, outdoor pavilion, and seven bocce courts. Its piazza has the family names of its proud
members inscribed on bricks as a tribute to the heritage of their families and club founders.
The club also offers educational and social programs for the children and grandchildren of its members.
The Italian-American Club is located at 29717 Euclid Ave. in Wickliffe.
Wickliffe Knights of Columbus Council No. 5405
Inducted 2007 in the Organization category
If ever there was a success story written about the history of an organization, Wickliffe Knights of Columbus Council No. 5405 would need to be recognized as a serious contender for the title.
On May 2, 1963, the Wickliffe Knights of Columbus conducted their first official meeting in an old two-family house in Wickliffe. On November 3, 1973, the Wickliffe Council’s brand-new home at 29101 Euclid Avenue, consisting of meeting rooms and a banquet hall, was officially dedicated.
Forty-four Grand Knights have led Wickliffe Council No. 5405 over these past years. The sign of excellence in the Knights of Columbus is its adaptability to programs suggested by Supreme and State Councils and its ability to implement these programs into the individual Council’s yearly program. These projects are always centered on the primary philosophy of why the Knights were originally organized. This philosophy is centered on the promotion and adherence to charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism.
Recognition is granted by way of “Star Council” Awards, which only a small percentage of councils achieve. Wickliffe Council has received this award many times since its inception. It has never failed to meet its quota for the annual state-sponsored “State Youth” Program, which provides funds for promotion of youth programs on state and local levels. Most importantly, Wickliffe Council has always used its revenue from this drawing for the use it was intended – youth.
It, realizing that one of the Order’s main principles, charity, was a primary reason for its existence, began to promote this principle actively. Through fundraisers, it supports numerous organizations: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and School, Lake County Right to Life, St. Joseph Christian Life Center, Susan G. Komen Fund, Hospice of the Western Reserve, Deepwood Center, Special Olympics, Our Lady of Lourdes, Rose-Mary Center, and numerous food baskets are distributed at Christmas and Easter.
Twenty-five years ago, it actively pursued the sponsorship of the yearly Special Olympics in Ohio. On May 7, 1982, the Wickliffe Knights hosted the first Special Olympics Area Track Meet. Approximately 140 participants from Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake, and Lorain counties participated. Through its efforts, over 400 athletes have participated in this event through the years. One hundred Brother Knights, along with their wives and children, city government, the local school system, high school band, and food and beverage distributors, have helped this Council achieve the success of this Special Olympics program.
The Council has consistently contributed and participated in local areas. Because the City of Wickliffe has only one K of C Council and one Catholic Church, a bond has developed over the years between these two. Scholarship aids, financial assistance, and manpower assistance, when requested, have helped to establish a friendly and comfortable relationship with the pastors over the years.
The Knights of Columbus, knowing how important the family is, felt that the wives and families should become an integral part of their fraternity. In 1964, the Wickliffe Isabella Guild was formed that was open to any mother, wife, sister, or daughter of a Knight. Although their beginning was small like the original Council, the Isabella Guild has flourished over the years and the women have always made their help available to the Council with their time and financial assistance.
It is with a great deal of pride and a special prayer of thanks to God that Council #5405 has grown so successfully in the past 44 years. The Knights have been blessed by God’s good graces, along with an abundant number of good Catholic men. It is hoped that October 27, 2007, is only a milestone in the continued success and well being of the Wickliffe Knights of Columbus. Council #5405 meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952, moved to Wickliffe at the age of two. He attended Our Lady of Mt. Carmel grades 1 through 8 then attended Wickliffe High School graduating in 1970. After graduating he worked for the Wickliffe Service Department for three and a half years. Early in 1974, he began his career as a letter carrier for the United States Postal Service where he currently is in his 39th year of service.
Gary has been coaching or involved in Wickliffe sports for over 40 years whether it was coaching young children, teenagers or men’s leagues.
Gary began coaching in the Wickliffe Midget Football League in 1972 with the 49’ers and a few years with the Eagles.
He was also a member of Wickliffe Little League Baseball program as a manager and also served as the league’s vice president. He conducted the Little League draft during those years.
He coached in the Wickliffe Soccer League and as coach of the Chargers, won four straight championships.
At Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Gary was an integral part in starting the 4th, 5th and 6th grade CYO soccer program. As a first-year head coach in CYO, his team tied for the league championship. Gary then moved on to the 7th and 8th grade soccer coaching for seven years, winning two Cleveland Diocesan City Championships and never finishing lower than second place.
Gary also served as basketball coach at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel coaching the 4th, 5th and 6th grades. He was instrumental as an assistant football coach in bringing two Cleveland Diocesan City Championships to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
He began his high school coaching career as head coach of the Eastlake North Freshman program for two years. He was then hired as the junior varsity head coach and assistant varsity coach at Wickliffe High School. In 2001, he became the varsity soccer coach and continued the success of the program through 2005.
For the past decade Gary has become and continues to be the “Voice of the Blue Devils” announcing football games, boy’s soccer games in the fall and boys and girls varsity basketball during the winter.
In the community, Gary is a member of the Wickliffe Sons of the American Legion, serving as 1st Vice Commander, Wickliffe Italian-American Club, Knights of Columbus and the Cardinal Newman 4th Degree Knights of Columbus.
Gary married Rita Serra in 1975. They have three sons, Mark, Gregory and David. Mark is married to Mandy who is a wonderful daughter-in-law. They have two beautiful granddaughters, Lyla and Peyton and hopefully more to come.
Mildred R. Wilson (1917-died)
Inducted 2000 in the Civic category
Mildred R. Wilson was born in 1917 in Chauncey, Georgia. She, along with her husband Charles O., and their son, Charles Gregory Wilson moved to Wickliffe in 1955 where she was the first adult playground attendant at Civic Park. Her education, in Consumer Marketing Research and later, Gerontology, led to her placement with the Lake County’s Council of Aging.
She has served the community through her employment with Lifeline for the Empowerment and Development of Consumers and Council for Aging for over 20 years.
Her involvement spread to Wickliffe United Way where she served many years on its Advisory Board and as its Chairman.
Her devotion and dedication to her fellow human beings has been invaluable to the residents of Wickliffe and all the people of Lake County.
Peter Wolfgram rocks! For nearly 30 years Peter Wolfgram created and produced memorable talent shows at Wickliffe’s Junior and High schools in Wicklffe. His dedication in organizing students and faculty talents thrilled the many sellout crowds.
Peter Wolfgram was born in July of 1947 in East Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Chambers Elementary and Kirk Junior High before graduating from Shaw High School in 1965.
Upon earning a degree from Bowling Green State University in 1969 he began an extensive career with the Wickliffe City Schools. Initially hired in 1969 as a math teacher at Wickliffe Junior High, he retained that position for 13 years. When the High School was re-configured to include the 9th grade he was re-assigned to teach math at Wickliffe High, remaining in that role for 10 years.
In 1986, he married Karen Kole, and they settled in North Collinwood with her children Adam and Heather. Having obtained a masters degree in school counseling in 1977 from Cleveland State University, Peter accepted an invitation to fill a guidance position at the High School in 1992, where he concluded his full-time career in 2006. A part-time position in the High School Athletic Department followed.
During the 42-year span, Peter was also involved in coaching. He was an assistant football coach at the Junior High for two years before moving to the High School for 35 seasons. He coached wrestling at the Junior High for six seasons and was an assistant at the High School for an additional two years. Peter spent two years as the JV Tennis coach. Starting in 1991, he began coaching softball at the High School and has continued to do so at a variety of levels.
In 1978, he helped initiate a talent show at the Junior High. This became a yearly event which eventually moved to the High School in 1983 where it was renamed The Rockefeller Road Revue. This stage production combined student, faculty and alumni
musical and comedic talents within a script custom made for each show. Upon Peter’s retirement, in 2006, this entertainment showcase was skillfully taken over by a group of creative show alumni headed by Phil Motta. It continues to be a popular annual tradition.
Frederick Wollpert (1920-1993)
Inducted 1994 in the Sports category
Frederick “Fritz” Wollpert was born on September 11, 1920, in Wickliffe, a month before the Cleveland Indians won their first championship.
Fritz was an outstanding all-around athlete at Wickliffe High School where he excelled in football, basketball, and track. He held several honors in these sports and established a Lake County pole vault record.
He went on to play professional baseball in the minor leagues for teams in Macon, Georgia and Denver, Colorado. He made it to the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians.
Because of his contributions to Wickliffe sports, the Fred Wollpert Athletic Scholarship was established at Wickliffe High School, honoring the top athletes of the senior class each year.
Fritz passed away in 1993.
Jim Wuerthele (born-present)
Inducted 2003 in the Sports category
Jim Wuerthele has been an inspiration to baseball players for his continued play at the age of 78. A former Wickliffe resident, he played in over 129 softball league games in 2001. The year before, during 2000, he played in three leagues.
He played baseball at Wickliffe High School during his senior year in 1942; the first year the sport was offered. Jim married Norma Jeanne Bradley in 1943 and together, they raised their two children, Jim and Cheryl. He enlisted in the US Navy Seabees in 1942 and served in the Aleutian Islands. Returning from the service, he played for the Wickliffe Merchants baseball team in Wickliffe from 1946 to 1948. He played slow-pitch from 1950 to 1972 and from 1989 to the present (2003), and still playing.
He played in Solon and also in Willoughby for the Babes of 1916 where he batted over .748. During his Over 50 League playing days, he was the oldest player and designated hitter.
Mayor John C. Yanesh (born-2000)
Inducted 2001 in the Medical category
Jack Yanesh will always be remembered as the brash and colorful Mayor who strived for a better city. He served as Mayor three terms, from 1970-1976. He served as Wickliffe Councilman at Large and was a Democratic nominee for the Ohio Senate in 1975.
As Mayor, in 1970, he put Wickliffe “on the map” when he convinced the 5000-member governments of the National League of Cities to approve an eleven-point resolution demanding ethical treatment of the Prisoners of War in Viet Nam.
During his years as Mayor, the city greatly expanded its recreational facilities, the athletic complex at Wickliffe High School.
He was born in Wickliffe and graduated from Wickliffe High School in 1953. He served with the U.S. Army as a paratrooper.
Jack died in October 2000. He was married to Emilie for 44 years and raised four children: John, Lori, Dan and Suzy.
Vivian S. Yeager (born-present)
Inducted 2001 in the Education category
Vivian Yeager has been an active member of the Wickliffe Dispensary for over 30 years, serving as its President for the past 20 years. She is one of the founders of the Mapledale PTA and received the PTA Life Membership Award. She has been active in Band Boosters, Campfire Girls, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. She is also a Co-coordinator on Mike Lenenski theater bus trips to New York City each June.
A 30-year employee of the Wickliffe City Schools, She started her career as a Secretary and for the last 18 years has been Librarian at the Wickliffe Middle School. She has served, too, as a part-time employee of the Wickliffe School
Employees Credit Union for the past 30 years and has been on its Board of Directors.
A native of Wickliffe, she graduated from Wickliffe High School – Class of 1945. She married Clarence Yeager in 1950. Their family includes three children: Daniel, Sarah and Martha.
Charlene Yohe (born-present)
Inducted 2002 in the Religion category
Charlene has served Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish for 34 years where she was a teacher and Principal of the Elementary, Middle and High School Parish School of Religion (PSR) programs.
She has been a member of the Isabella Guild for 22 years and has been co-chairman for the Ways and Means Committee.
She is active with the St. Vincent DePaul Society.
She helped initiate the church festival 12 years ago and is the Personnel Chairman. She has been the moderator and coach for the CYO Hits and Misses Softball Team. She has been with the Mt. Carmel Players shows; worked backstage and co-chaired ticket sales.
She is a Eucharistic Minister and was one of the first couples to serve Communion during Mass.
She was on the Mt. Carmel’s Education Committee during the six years it existed and also a member of the committee to choose a new school principal. She co-chaired a committee that put on a workshop for religion teachers through the Lake-Geauga Board of Education.
In 1993, the Wickliffe Knights of Columbus chose Charlene and her family “Family of the Year”. She was Vice President and teller for the OLMC Credit Union. She was one of the original members for the OLMC Renewal Team.
Her family also consists of her children Charles, David and Lynn (Yohe) Hoopingarner.
Mary Yurick (1924-died)
Inducted 2005 in the Civic category
Mary was born on January 16, 1924 in Hope, Pa. and was one of five children of Paul and Margaret Hranctz of Footedale, Pennsylvania.
She attended Footedale Grade School and was graduated from the Germac Township High School, with the Class of 1942.
After graduation, she got a job at the Footedale Company Store #41, where she was employed for 18 years. She lived her formative life as a “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in a coal mining town and she fully understood the meaning of the song sung by Tennessee Ernie Ford – “I Owe My Soul to the Company Store.”
She met her husband, Steve, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania and they were married in St. Pracapious Church in New Salem, Pennsylvania on July 26, 1952. They moved to Wickliffe and still reside on Mapledale Road.
Steve was a senior citizen’s representative to the Wickliffe Recreation Commission for many years and was also an usher at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
She worked all of her life and was a cook at American Stamping Company on Lakeland Boulevard for 23 years. Upon her retirement in 1982, she joined the Wickliffe Senior Center and has been a member ever since. At the Senior Center, she oversaw the Craft Room, volunteered with the serving of meals at the Nutrition Center, assisted in the office and helped organize senior center trips and concerts in the park. Additionally, she sent out birthday cards to the members of the Senior Center, decorated the center for special occasions, assisted with annual flu shots and oversaw volunteer hours for volunteer work of retired volunteer programs (RSVP). Mary, who had a very generous nature, also donated crafts to the Legion of Mary for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
In May 2000, she was the recipient of an award from Lake County Council on Aging as the “Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Wickliffe Senior Center.”
Mary was a talented, compassionate, generous and dedicated individual.