Department of Veterans Services | Veterans Hall of Fame - Class of 2009


Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame

On Friday November 6, 2009 at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial in Columbus, Ohio, Governor Ted Strickland and Bill Hartnett, Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, inducted 20 members of the Class of 2009 into the Hall of Fame. The bronze plaques representing each of the classes inducted are permanently on display at the Vern Riffe Building, 2nd Floor located at 77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.
 
Baker  |  Brothers  |  Fitzgerald  |  Jackson  |  Jakeway  |  Jenkins  |  Lawson Jr.  |  Meyer  |  Moe  |  Peto Jr.
Powell  |  Reynolds  |  Roese  |  Sedlacko  |  Seelbach Sr.  |  Shriver  |  Truitt  |  Twohig  |  Wells  |  Woods

Coshocton County
United States Army Air Corps Veteran
World War II (Prisoner of War)

 
Mr. Baker took adversity from being held captive by the Germans in World War II for 20 months and used it as a motivational tool to help his fellow veterans and Americans. After leaving the service, he purchased a grocery store and grew that small business into four stores and also became the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Associated Grocers. Lewis currently serves as the treasurer for the ex-POW Wooster Chapter and has been an advocate for countless POWs and widows. His efforts have helped numerous veterans receive their benefits. He is a Past Commander and an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. At 89 years young he still performs Honor Guard duty for his fellow veterans and was the 2007 Veteran of the Year in Wooster. In addition to his veterans' affiliations, he has served as a charter member of the Freeport Volunteer Fire Department, a member of Masonic Lodge for over 60 years, a 10-year member of the school board, a Past President of Lakeland Area Booster Club, and a member and Past President of the Lions Club. In 2004, Mr. Baker wrote a book on his World War II experiences, titled "My War." His passion for veterans and his community is second to none.

Trumbull County
United States Army Veteran
Korean War

 
Mr. Brothers is Past Commander of American Legion Post #106 in Niles and a member of Korean War Veterans Association Chapter #137 where he served as Chairman of the "Tell America" program. He is the Chaplain for the Trumbull County American Legion Honor Guard, offering full Military Honors at fellow comrades' funerals, and a member of Western Reserve Veterans Memorial and Korean War Memorial committees. Bob has served many years as Trumbull County Service Commissioner, an advocate of those who have borne the battle. Mr. Brothers was recognized as one of the 10 Community Stars in 2007, which is an annual event that recognizes ordinary people who make life better through extraordinary caring. Bob is a long time volunteer for community meals, serving the needy and lonely. He is also a volunteer for the American Red Cross Blood Mobile, and Past President of the Niles Historical Society.


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Summit County
United States Air Force and Ohio Air National Guard Veteran
Operation Desert Storm

 
Ms. Fitzgerald has volunteered with numerous organizations, including the Akron VA Clinic, Summit County God and Country Program, Women Veterans Health Conference, Summit County Stand Down for Homeless and Disabled American Veterans. As a registered nurse, Phyllis understands the care that the community needs and compassionately reaches out to those who need assistance. Phyllis serves as a volunteer for Interfaith Caregivers, an organization that makes home visits and phone calls to determine the service needs of homebound senior citizens. Currently, she serves as Chaplain of the Summit County American Legion Council and has served as the Commander of the American Legion Garfield Post #566 for three years. Ms. Fitzgerald served on St. Francis de Sales Parish Council, and is a member of Portage Lakes Community Council. Phyllis served as District 14 American Legion Commander from 2007-2008.


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Gallia County
United States Army Veteran
Operation Joint Endeavor

 
When people think of John Jackson, pastor and farmer, they think of his service through pastoral outreach, assistance to those in need, and all of his contributions to the community. John recognized the problem of domestic violence in his community and volunteered his services to assist the Domestic Violence Task Force where he counseled individuals in a group therapy environment for offenders. Pastor Jackson formed a support group for families of deployed service members. He served as Honorary Chairman of the United Way Campaign, Chairman of the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce Community Service Committee for Education, Past Director of the Gallia Farm Bureau, and as a member of the Gallia, Jackson and Meigs Counties' Board of Mental Health. John is a life member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was chosen as a member of Friends of Vietnam Veterans, Gallia County Chapter. In 2003, he received the Excellence Award for outstanding pastoral care from Holzer Health System and in 2001, he received the Public Health Service Award from the Gallia County Board of Health.


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Licking County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Jakeway is one of those people who, when he saw something was needed, volunteered his time to the community. He also was interested in civic work, serving as President of his the village council. When Don retired, he joined the local Kiwanis Club and developed multiple community programs. After the Kiwanis disbanded, Don persuaded the American Legion Post #254 to continue several of the community programs started by the Kiwanis. Past Commander of American Legion Post #254, Don was named Veteran of the Year in 2003, Legionnaire of the Year in 2004 and received the Inscho-Beasley-Mayfield Licking County Veteran of the Year award in 2008. While serving in World War II, he pledged to serve the elderly, children and others in need if he returned from the war. Don has established a scholarship program at the local high school and has had athletic fields named in his honor. He is considered a pillar of the community, supporting athletics and charities.


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Lucas County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
World War II and Korean War

 
Mr. Jenkins completed more than thirty successful years with Libby-Owens-Ford Glass Company, rising to management. He also gave of himself serving several local and statewide non-profit organizations, plus educational, healthcare, religious, military and civic groups. Ted served more than 20-years on and chaired the Military Affairs Committee of the Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce and served a term on the Chamber Board. He is an Emeritus Trustee and former Chair of the Mercy Health Partners Board. Ted currently serves as a Director and former Chair of the Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services Board. He is a Bowling Green State University graduate and has served as Chair of the Alumni Board and Vice Chair of the BGSU Foundation Board. Ted also has served on the Toledo area Boards of both the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts of America. He is a "Trustee for Life" and former Chair of the Toledo area YMCA and a former Trustee of United Way. Mr. Jenkins is a life member of the Marine Corps Reserve Officer Association and the Marine Corps League. A "Marine Mustang", he was commissioned from the ranks while serving as a Sergeant during the Korean War. He retired as a Colonel after 43 years of active and reserve duty.


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Allen County
United States Army Veteran
World War II and Korean War

 
After returning home from war, Mr. Lawson used his G.I. Bill education benefits to attain his Juris Doctorate. He was admitted to the bar in 1948. He was a member of Allen County Bar Association where he served as President in 1975 and a Life Fellow Member of the Ohio State Bar Foundation. Walter was the adjutant treasurer and a life member of Chapter #19, Disabled American Veterans and its Trench Rats, a life member of the American Legion Post #96 and its 40 et 8, and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1275 and its Military Order of Cooties. He was Past President of the Allen County Veterans Service Commission and the Judge Advocate of the Ohio Veterans Service Commissioners Association. Mr. Lawson was a charter member and Past President of the Governor for Ohio Optimist International; Past President of the Lima Noon Optimist Club, Lt. Governor for the Zone and Governor for the State of Ohio. He was awarded Optimist of the Year in 1984 and was inducted into the Ohio District Optimist Club Hall of Fame in 1993. In 1999, the Ohio State Bar Foundation awarded Walter the public service award for his 50 years of honorable service.


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Hamilton County
United States Navy Veteran
Korean War Era

 
Mr. Meyer had a very successful career with Procter & Gamble, spanning more than 35 years, with increasing responsibilities while traveling the world. Since his retirement, he has been an advocate for the military in a number of important roles. Jack is a life member of the Military Officers Association of America; he served as President of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter and Vice President of the Ohio State Council of Chapters. In these leadership positions, Jack initiated and led an Operation Iraqi Children project which recently gained national recognition for its 20th shipment of much-needed school supplies. U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan distributed these supplies to local children. In concert with his church, Mr. Meyer's tireless efforts yielded more than 2,400 kits of supplies. He also has served the Library of Congress' Oral History program, which focuses on recording World War II veterans' war stories for permanent records. He is a former board member of the Navy League and a life member of the Association of the United States Navy, the Reserve Officers Association, and the U.S. Naval Institute. Mr. Meyer serves as a Board member for the Council on Aging of Southwest Ohio and has enjoyed volunteering throughout his life.


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Fairfield County
United States Navy and United States Air Force Veteran
Vietnam War (Prisoner of War)
Operation Desert Shield

 
During his 30 years of distinguished military service in both the United States Navy and the United States Air Force, Mr. Moe was twice presented with the third-highest award for combat valor, the Silver Star. He is actively involved in a number of veterans' organizations associations including life membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, life membership in AMVETS, Order of Daedalians (a military pilots' association that grants scholarships to needy children of veterans), life membership in Vietnam Prisoners of War, and Military Officers Association of America. He also is involved in countless civic activities and organizations. During a public service career exceeding 45 years, he has served as an elected member of the Alumni Board of Capital University, a member of the Board of Directors of the City of Bexley Chamber of Commerce, a Cub Scout den leader, a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and a member of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency Logistics Tactical Committee. Mr. Moe is the quintessential embodiment of a citizen-soldier providing a lifetime of selfless service to our nation.


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Franklin County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. George Peto is actively involved in the First Marine Corps Division Association, the Belleau Wood Detachment of the Marine Corps League, the Marine Corps Association, the Veterans Roundtable, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He regularly serves as an honor guard during graveside services for his fellow soldiers and has participated in more than 60 funerals. George has traveled to 10 states to honor the burial of 14 Marines from his 81-millimeter Mortar Group. In addition, he has spent the past 20 years placing flags on the graves of veterans for Memorial Day services and was instrumental in placing a monument to World War II veterans at a local cemetery. His love of children is evident in his commitment to the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots campaign and in his volunteer efforts with the Boy Scouts of America, Simon Kenton Council. The Arrowhead District of the Simon Kenton Council honored him with its "District Award of Merit." For the past 10 years, he has been working with Marysville schools to write "Heroes of the Heartland," a series of books compiling the stories of World War II Veterans from Union County. An accomplished public speaker, Mr. Peto is known throughout the community for his presentations about his experiences with the First Marine Division during World War II.


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Morgan County
United States Women's Army Corps Veteran
World War II

 
Ms. Powell was an active member of several veterans service organizations, including the American Legion Post #24 and the American Legion Unit #24 Auxiliary. She also was a lifelong member of the Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Post # 4713. Doris was one of the first women to join into the local VFW, having served on active duty during World War II. She was very active in each of these organizations and volunteered her services on various committees to support veterans. Doris also was involved in numerous civic and fraternal organizations. Her tireless efforts and hard work constantly demonstrated her dedication to and support of the citizens of Morgan County. For 22 years, Ms. Powell was a member of the Morgan Local School Board, where she served seven years as president and five years as vice-president. She was a past president and active member of the Morgan Lady Shrine Club, a member of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women, and a member of the Morgan County Chamber of Commerce. As a veteran, she set an example for others to follow by her patriotism and loyalty to her country.


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Cuyahoga County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Mary Reynolds Powell served as a U.S. Army nurse at the 24th Evacuation Hospital at Long Binh, Vietnam in 1970 and 1971. Since her return from Vietnam, she has worked in community health and on community issues in four states. She currently resides in Cleveland. In 2000, Mary published "A World of Hurt: Between Innocence and Arrogance in Vietnam," an account of her own experiences and those of others who served with her. The book, which was published in Israel in 2005, is used in many colleges, and Mary lectures frequently on the Vietnam War. She is an active member of the Board of Trustees of Lawrence School in Sagamore Hills, and serves on the Board of the Forum for Volunteer Administrators in Cleveland. Mary also was a member of the Board of Directors for the Sharon Ann Lane Foundation, which honors the Canton nurse who was the only American servicewomen killed as a result of enemy fire in Vietnam. As president of Veterans for Peace, Northeast Ohio Chapter 39, she explores issues of war and peace, veteran suicide, and homelessness. Mary served her country and continues to serve her community. She is an advocate for people from all walks of life.


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Pickaway County
United States Coast Guard Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Roese had a very successful career with the Battelle Memorial Institute, retiring in 1984 with 32 years of service as a Research Scientist. Albert enlisted in the Coast Guard during World War II. After the war, he attended The Ohio State University and the University of Pennsylvania. In 1954, he re-enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserves and retired in 1984 as a Chief Warrant Officer. For 33 years, Mr. Roese served as the Mayor of South Bloomfield, retiring at the end of 2007 as the second longest-serving public official in the State of Ohio. During his tenure, the South Bloomfield Tree Commission was formed and has received the "Tree City USA" award for the past 16 years. He is an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, serving as the commander of Post 7941 since 1997. He also is active with AMVETS, and the Military Order of Cooties where he now is serving as the Seventh District Commander. Albert has logged more than 2,076 hours of volunteer service at the Chillicothe VA Hospital. He still actively speaks at schools and local civic organizations. Albert serves on the Pickaway County Planning and Zoning Board and the Berger Hospital Community Health Care Advisory Board.


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Mahoning & Franklin Counties
United States Army and Ohio Army National Guard Veteran
World War II and Korean War

 
Mr. Sedlacko has risen from humble beginnings as the son of an immigrant, to a distinguished career in the military. He is a member of the National Guard Association, AMVETS, the American Legion, the Catholic War Veterans, the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the 37th Division Veterans Association. Cyril was instrumental in reviving the 37th Division Veterans Association which nearly became extinct; he currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer. The 37th Division has assisted widows and family members in ensuring military burial details are arranged and has aided in the reintegration of National Guard troops returning home from overseas deployments. He is a former volunteer with United Way Campaign and the Boy Scouts of America, Dan Beard Council, where he received the Appreciation Award. In May, 2004, Mr. Sedlacko arranged for 40 veterans of the 37th Division and 60 of their family members to attend the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.


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Trumbull County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Seelbach's talent for and love of music is evident by his 32-year distinguished career as an instrumental music teacher. He received the "Freedoms Foundation Outstanding Teacher" award in 1968. During his musical career, Herb had a strong desire to make music accessible to the community. He has accomplished this as the Master of Ceremonies and Conductor of the WD Packard Band at the Packard Music Hall in Warren, where he has conducted more than 175 concerts. He also was a member of the Kenley Orchestra for more than 20 years. Herb was a role model for all music students in northeast Ohio who desired to succeed in the music business. A musician of his talent and connections certainly could have made a wonderful living in show business. Instead, he decided to dedicate his life to teaching, civic responsibilities and his community. Herb has been a member of the American Legion Post #235 for over 56 years.


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Butler County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II

 
Dr. Phillip R. Shriver, President Emeritus and Professor of History, has degrees from Yale, Harvard, and Columbia. Dr. Shriver has been awarded honorary degrees from ten other universities. He taught at Kent State University for 18 years, serving as a Professor of History and Dean of the College of Arts & Science. He wrote "Years of Youth" in 1960, a history of Kent State University. Phillip left Kent State in 1965 to become the president of Miami University until 1981. He oversaw enormous growth of Miami and was popular with students who nicknamed him "Uncle Phil." During and after his presidency, he taught popular classes on the history of Miami University and the history of Ohio. His Miami history lectures became the basis of a book, "Miami University: A Personal History." Miami University's student center is named the Phillip R. Shriver Center in his honor. He has served as president of both the Ohio Academy of History and the Ohio Historical Society. Most important is the impact he has made on the lives of thousands of university students. Dr. Shriver is one of the most respected and loved presidents in the long history of Miami University.


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Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Truitt had proven to be an exceptionally talented teacher and coach who trained and inspired his students to become champions at the local, state and national levels. Frank has devoted untold hours of his private life to promoting youth groups, veterans groups and community organizations in an effort to provide an opportunity for others to enjoy a successful and productive life. This is manifested by his fund-raising efforts for United Way and his service to Netcare, a charity organization for youth. He also has been active in Rotary International as a fund-raiser and director for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Mr. Truitt has been a featured speaker at numerous veterans' organizations, schools, youth groups, and churches throughout the state. He served as an inspiration and outstanding example for thousands of students during his high school and college teaching and coaching career. In the process, he rose to the highest levels of his profession.


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Mahoning & Stark Counties
United States Navy and Ohio Army National Guard Veteran
Vietnam War Era

 
Mr. Twohig spent 21 years as a County Veterans Service Officer. His pursuit of excellence is evident in his accomplishments. John was influential in persuading the Veterans Service Commissioners to authorize training for the county staff. He also established an on-the-job training program for new County Veteran Service Officers. He volunteered as an Employer Support of Guard and Reserve representative where he assisted personnel with re-employment issues in the northeast Ohio region from 2005 to 2008. As a member of the Ohio State Association of County Veterans Service Officers, John was chosen to be a committee member on the Governor's Advisory Committee for Veterans. John was selected to this committee and many others because the organizations that he represented trusted his sound leadership and knowledge of veterans' issues. After his retirement, John volunteered to assist veterans and widows at the House Loreta, two Canton nursing homes and Manor Care. In August of 2000, he was recognized by the Ohio Governor's Council on People with Disabilities. John was a true veterans' advocate.


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Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Wells had a successful career as an insurance agent. He became an USO volunteer and was honored as Volunteer of the Year in 1991 and again in 2006. Mr. Wells served on the Columbus Metro Federal Credit Union where he was elected Vice-Chairman. He has been an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and at 87 years young, he out-performs members half his age. He established an honor guard and served as the Commander until 2008. Since 1992, Mr. Wells has actively served on the Armed Forces Community Relations Council. Joe assists with the Stand Down held in Columbus each year, a day set aside to assist the homeless veterans by providing meals, legal, medical, and social services. He believes that no veteran's grave site should be neglected or without a headstone and has volunteered to ensure that this is carried out. Mr. Wells is called upon to speak at schools in order to enlighten the student body about his World War II experiences. He is a dedicated individual who not only gets results, but contributes his talent and time, willingly working with others.


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Butler County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Mr. Woods successfully owned and operated his minority, Native American-run company, which was awarded numerous "Excellent in Practice" citations by the Cincinnati Allied Construction Industry Association. Robert was active within his community by providing habitat home improvements for the disabled and the economically challenged. He is a life member of the Native American Veterans Association, the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Vietnam Veterans of America, the Non-Commissioned Officers Association, and the Association of the United States Army. Mr. Woods is the State Commander of Ohio's Patriot Guard Riders. a group of riders who honor those who have fallen, attending homecoming events for service members returning from deployment. Bob is a Master Mason 32nd Degree Scottish Rite and a member of the Shriners. He was inducted into the Honorable Kentucky Colonels in June of 2007. Bob is fueled by his sense of duty to make sure that all veterans, service members, and their families received the honor and dignity they deserve.