Department of Veterans Services | Veterans Hall of Fame - Class of 2007


Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame

On Thursday November 8, 2007 at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial in Columbus, Ohio, Governor Ted Strickland and Timothy A. Espich, Director of the Governor's Office of Veteran's Affairs, inducted 20 members of the Class of 2007 into the Hall of Fame. A bronze plaque is dedicated to every class memorializing those veterans inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. These plaques, representing each of the classes inducted, are on display at the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Museum located in the I.F. Mack Building on the grounds of the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky. The bronze plaque for this year's Class of 2007 is displayed in the Statehouse at the 3rd Street entrance.
 
Anderson  |  Ausmus  |  Bebout  |  Brienik  |  Cornelison Jr.  |  Craig  |  Griffin  |  Gutzky  |  Hawkins  |  Huntington
Ingalls  |  Leidy  |  Maris  |  McAlister  |  O'Neill  |  Patton  |  Sheets  |  Taylor  |  Waite  |  Wiggins Sr.

Cincinnati, Hamilton County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Anderson has made a lifelong contribution to the Catholic War Veterans. He is the past State Commander (1961 and 1963) and has been an active member for over 51 years. In 2004 both the Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati Post named him Veteran of the Year. Mr. Anderson believes in giving back and has served over 2000 hours of voluntary time at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. He is the Sergeant at Arms for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter #3620 and was nominated "Patriot of the Year 2005/2006". Tom was awarded the Americanism Award for all of his involvement with local patriotic events, parades, school events and veterans volunteer programs for the last four years, where he has averaged 70 events each year. Mr. Anderson is a member of several veteran organizations including the American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Massillon, Stark County & Sandusky, Erie County
United States Army Veteran
World War I

 
With minimal education and financial resources, Mr. Ausmus made a distinctive contribution to the progress of early aviation. In 1912, at the age of 16, he built and flew his first airplane, establishing credentials for membership in the "Early Birds." He retired as an Erie County Veterans Service Officer where he made significant contributions to the well being of veterans and other citizens in the Sandusky area. Recognized by his peers, he received numerous awards and honors in both the aviation field and for his veteran and civic advocacy. Mr. Ausmus was a lifelong member and Past Commander of the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans. He was honored by the Sandusky Area Chamber of Commerce in 1968 with the Meritorious Service Award, and was a recipient, that same year, of the Sandusky Register's Outstanding Community Service Award. Mr. Ausmus was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Fourth Degree, and a member of the Holy Name Society.


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McConnelsville, Morgan County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
In addition to raising seven children, Mr. BeBout made time to be a little league coach, a Boy Scout leader, a school board member, Mason, and a Shriner, and the local project chairman for 4 years. He helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for the Crippled Children's Hospitals. A life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans and American Legion, he was honored for his service and named Legionnaire of the Year 2002/2003. In 2004, the French Government invited him to Paris on the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion where Mr. BeBout was made a Knight of the French Court and given the Legion of Honor, their Highest Decoration for service in the cause of freedom. Paul contributes to church Christmas programs for the needy, and has raised funds for scholarships for his local high school. Mr. BeBout is a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Post #625 Ohio.


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Youngstown, Mahoning County
United States Army Veteran
Cold War

 
Mr. Brienik served thirty-seven successful years with General Motors, rising to the level of management. Since 1992 he has accumulated over 25,100 hours of volunteer duties at veterans clinics and hospitals. He also maintains records for a number of volunteer Veteran Color Guard units for local funerals and at the Western Reserve Cemetery. He received "Legion of Honor" from the Chapel of Four Chaplains in 2002, and in 2006 he was awarded the "Youngstown Volunteer of the Year Award" by the Youngstown Volunteer Service Agency (VSA). In 2006, the 24th Masonic District of Ohio awarded him the "Community Service, Senior Award." He has been a member and held offices in the Korean War Veterans Association, Italian American Veterans posts, Marine Corps League and AMVETS.


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Cincinnati, Hamilton County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Cornelison established an enduring trust to assist post-graduate students with financial assistance for education and has awarded 25 scholarships to date. With 50 years as a Freemason he held several Chairs, and was awarded Masonic Master of the Year 1st Masonic District. Mr. Cornelison is an active volunteer with American Heart Association where he received an Instructor Certification and a Communications Award, and continues to volunteer at Jewish Hospital, the Gospel City Mission and Hospice of Cincinnati, and at Bethesda North. He is the epitome of a patriot and charitable American, who has contributed his time, expertise and money to the benefit of so many fellow countrymen.


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Wooster, Wayne County
United States Army Veteran
Korean War Era

 
Mr. Craig has had a very successful career as a radio announcer and newsman, and continues to volunteer his talent for several civic and veteran organizations. He is a noted speaker at schools, community, and service organizations concerning veteran issues and history. He has received numerous awards and honors for his many years of dedicated and faithful service to his community. He has served on numerous boards and committees, and currently serves as the Commander of AMVETS Post #250. He also served as trustee of Wooster American Legion Post #68 and as Service Officer for the North Central Ohio Chapter #8 of the American EX-Prisoners of War. A member of the Military Burial Honors Service at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, he has given his life to helping others, a champion for all veterans, particularly those in Wayne County.


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Cincinnati, Hamilton County
United States Army Air Corps Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Griffin was a Navigator in one of the sixteen B-25 bombers that participated in the famous Doolittle Raid. He was a Prisoner of War for 22 months in Germany. After the war ended he came back to Cincinnati and started his own successful accounting practice. He now spends most of his time speaking at various schools, businesses, and historical, aviation and church groups. In recent years he has been the guest of China, Great Britain, and many international and national organizations seeking to honor the Doolittle Raiders. For over 35 years he has been an active member of Kiwanis.


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Seven Hills, Cuyahoga County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Mr. Gutzky has held many appointed and elected offices within the Veterans of Foreign Wars, including State Commander for 2003-2004, Adjutant, and Trustee. He is dedicated to improving the many volunteer programs within the Post, earning the National Veterans of Foreign Wars National Community Service Award in 2005. He is very active in the Parma City Schools teaching military history and has earned the "National Blue Star Civic Award." He is a member of Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, Vietnam Veterans of America, Polish Legion of American Veterans and participates as the Joint Veterans Honor Guard for Military Funerals, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Fallen Hero's Welcome Home services.


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Wooster, Wayne County
United States Army and Ohio Army National Guard Veteran
World War II

 
His beginnings were humble. He started life as a poor, half-blind, young boy from the backwoods of West Virginia, but overcame adversity through simple and honest determination. With his wife Betty, he started a roadside fruit and vegetable stand that later developed into a chain of successful grocery stores and other business enterprises. Mr. Hawkins serves on several boards and committees, and was inducted into the Ohio Grocers Hall of Fame. He is a generous philanthropist of Ashland University where he was a member of the Board of Directors. He is also a generous supporter of Akron Children's Hospital. He wrote an autobiography, "My Experiences in War and Business," driven by the true American entrepreneurial spirit of never giving in, never giving up hope, and never yielding to disappointment.


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Trumbull County
United States Army Veteran
War of 1812

 
He was a man of small stature but of abounding energy, a natural leader, and a prominent founder of the State of Ohio. Perhaps his greatest contribution was his support of the doctrine of judicial review of legislative acts, now a generally accepted judicial principle. In 1802 he was elected Delegate to the Ohio Constitutional Convention, and served as the First Speaker of the Ohio Senate in 1803. In 1804 he was elected as Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, and in 1808 as the third Governor of the State of Ohio. He ended his service as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives.


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Forest Park, Cuyahoga County
United States Navy Veteran
World War I

 
Mr. Ingalls was the U.S. Navy's only Ace during World War I. In 1926 he was elected to the Ohio Legislature; and in 1929 served as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. After World War II, he served as the Vice President of Pan American World Airways. In 1954, he became President and Publisher of the Cincinnati Star newspaper, and Vice Chairman of the Taft Broadcasting Company. In his college years he played hockey at Yale, where the hockey arena is now named after him. He and his wife, Louise H. Ingalls, established a foundation in Cleveland focused on the arts, education, the environment, and health.


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Barberton, Summit County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
Vietnam War Era

 
Service to her country did not stop when she received her discharge papers. Ellen is an inspiration to all around her and is a role model for young and old alike. She is a life member of the Marine Corps League where she has held numerous positions and is the Junior-Vice Commandant for the Department of Ohio, past Commandant of Chesty Puller Detachment. She is a life member of the Women Marines Association and currently the President of OH-2. She is a Cub Scout, Girl Scout and Boy Scout Leader and a Senior Instructor for the Chesty Puller Young Marines. Ellen serves on the Governor's Advisory Committee for Women Veterans. She donates countless hours of her time and money in support of veterans' group programs and initiatives as well as worthy causes in her community. She participates in funerals, Toys for Tots, and Angel of Yarn that donates yarn and knits hats and blankets for the homeless, shut-ins and neonatal patients. Ellen also assembles and sends care packages to service members serving in Iraq.


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Ada, Hardin County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
His career in academia spans over 30 years where his teaching and research have been in management, organizational behavior, and strategy/policy. While at Ohio Northern University, Dr. Maris established the cutting edge Center for Cuban Business Studies, the only such organization in the country. Dr. Maris served 15 years as the Dean of the College of Business Administration. He is a former Chair of the Management Consulting Division of the Academy of Management and currently serves on the Board of Directors. He has traveled to nearly 70 countries as a speaker, lecturer, advisory, and consultant. Dr. Maris works diligently to educate and enlighten today's youth.


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Marysville, Union County
United States Women's Army Corps Veteran
World War II

 
Fifty-two years as a teacher and Principal allowed her to influence several generations of students. She was the President of the Delaware County Teachers Association for twenty years, and after retiring she became the Secretary/Treasurer for the Delaware County Retired Teachers Association for over 15 years. Her highest award was being honored for her teaching in "Lessons of the Century: A Teaching Gem" by Robert C. Johnson in Education Week magazine, September of 1999. Mrs. McAlister was a member of the Farm Bureau in Delaware County, and is a life member of the American Legion. She continues to speak at local schools and various patriotic events, and volunteered at the YMCA for 12 years. For the past five years Mrs. McAlister has been the President of the Gables Retirement Resident Council. At the age of 102 she continues to inspire those she meets.


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South Russell, Geauga County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
After returning home from Vietnam Mr. O'Neill exercised his GI Bill educational benefits to attain a Juris Doctorate. In 1984 he was appointed as an Assistant Attorney General and in 1996 was elected to the 11th District Court of Appeals. In 2001, he received his nursing degree to fulfill a lifelong dream to help children, and now serves as an on-call pediatric emergency room nurse. He has performed over 900 hours of volunteer service at pediatric emergency rooms in northeastern Ohio and has been an active participant in the Big Brothers program throughout his life. Mr. O'Neill is very involved with youth programs such as the Chagrin Athletic Association and has been recognized for his volunteer coaching contributions to the youth baseball, basketball, and softball teams. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.


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Batavia, Clermont County
United States Navy Veteran
Korean War

 
Mr. Patton spent the majority of his life helping people, mainly veterans; he was referred to as "Mr. Veteran" because he worked so hard on behalf of those veterans of Clermont County. He was instrumental in starting the Needy Kids Christmas Program through the American Legion County Council that helped over 5,000 children and their families. He was the past Commander of the American Legion Post #237, Forty & Eight – Voiture 105 Chef de Gare, a member of AMVETS and an associate life member of Vietnam Veterans of America. Mr. Patton served on a variety of boards and commissions to advance the goals and well-being of the veterans of Clermont County. He was instrumental in obtaining benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs for hundreds of disabled veterans, and played a vital role in implementing the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony on the banks of the Ohio River in New Richmond, Ohio.


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Mount Sterling, Pickaway County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Sheets is an active member of the Mt. Sterling American Legion, AMVETS, and the Marine Corps League, where he served as Chaplain and Senior Vice Commandant. He serves as the official bugler for the county and participates in over 80 veteran funerals every year. He tirelessly ensures that all service members' gravesites have the appropriate flags and are maintained, and volunteers at Chillicothe Veterans Medical Center for the spring, summer and Christmas parties. Joe is a member of Soldier Monumental in Circleville, where he works hard to maintain the history of all the local service members that have been put to rest. His slogan, "If a veteran is in need of service, I will be there."


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Cincinnati, Hamilton County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Mr. Taylor served as President of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #10, from 1990 to 1992 and again from 1995 to 1997. He also served as Director of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #10, Homeless Program from 1990 to 1995 during which time over 80 veterans from all eras were provided with housing, food, employment and educational opportunities. He served on the Hamilton County Standown committee in 1992, where hundreds of homeless veterans were provided with clothing and food, as well as medical and judicial assistance. Mr. Taylor spoke at schools and civic groups on the Vietnam War, and was a member of the AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Vietnam Veterans of America.


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Medina, Medina County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Waite served the Medina area as a Funeral Director for over 50 years and as past President of Tri County Funeral Director's Association. He is the past President of Medina Rotary Club where he has been a member since 1952. He served as President of the Medina City School Board of Education (1966 – 1974) and was Scoutmaster of Troup 501 for 30 years, receiving the Silver Beaver Award. He was inducted into the Medina City School Hall of Fame in 2002. He served as Buckeye Boys State Commissioner from 1968 to present, and has headed City Government for the past 12 years. In 2005 he was President of Buckeye Boys State. Mr. Waite served the Ohio Erie Rotary Youth Exchange Program as President and Chief Contact for 25 years. He served twice as Post Commander and is a life member of American Legion Post #202, of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #5137 and Medina AMVETS Post #1990. Mr. Waite is presently serving on the Honor Guard at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio. In 2006 he was appointed to the Medina County Veterans Service Commission.


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Cambridge, Guernsey County
United States Army Veteran
World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War

 
Mr. Wiggins is noted for distinguished service during 3 war periods. He is a life member and Past Commander 6 times for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Chapter 28, past President of Veterans Association of State Commanders and Adjutants for Ohio, life member and Past Commander of American Legion Post #84, and charter and life member of AMVETS Post #70 (Commander 4 terms). He is also a life member of V.F.W. Post #2901 where he was a former Jr. and Sr. Vice Commander. He served as the Guernsey County Veterans Service Officer for 21 years, was a member and President of the Guernsey County Veterans Service Commission, and an active member of Area Agency on Aging Regional Advisory Board. He is also a volunteer DAV van driver, a former Member of Governor's Office of Veterans' Affairs Advisory Committee, and a past President of Ohio State Association of Veterans Service Commissioners.