Department of Veterans Services | Veterans Hall of Fame - Class of 2011


Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame

On Thursday November 10, 2011 at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial in Columbus, Ohio, Governor John R. Kasich and Thomas N. Moe, Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, inducted 20 members of the Class of 2011 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.
 
Balser  |  Burr  |  Caipen  |  DeLillo-Storey  |  Doxsee  |  Ennis  |  L. Hart  |  R. Hart  |  Hartnett  |  Knepp
Marsh  |  Mechenbier  |  Phillips  |  Ross  |  Stobbs  |  Stults II  |  Taber Jr.  |  Toombs  |  Turlo  |  Young

Licking County
United States Army Veteran
Korean War

 
Mr. Balser has been a member of the American Legion since 1974, and has held many appointed and elected offices throughout the years. He was district commander in the late 1990s and was commander for the Department of Ohio, overseeing all Legion posts in the state, from 2005 to 2006. For the last several years he served at the national level for the American Legion's Homeland Security Commission. He is a frequent speaker on veterans issues and patriotism in elementary and high schools. Mr. Balser is also a member of AMVETS Post # 345 and the Korean War Veterans Association. As a member of the Licking County Veterans Alliance, Bill participated in 193 military funerals last year and 125 so far this year. He has coached Little League and Babe Ruth League Baseball. Bill also coached baseball at Ohio State University – Newark Campus. In addition, he umpired baseball and refereed basketball at the high school and college level for over 35 years. Bill epitomizes the term "A Veteran's Veteran."

Delaware County
United States Army Veteran
Korean War

 
Mr. Burr has served with distinction in a number of veterans' organizations, to include past Commander of the VFW Post #3761 and currently as the Vice Commander of the VFW Post #3297. Robert also maintains active membership in the AMVETS and Disabled American Veterans in Delaware, Ohio. He was past Ohio State Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart where he traveled to Washington, D.C. to seek legislative action for the veterans of America. Robert was honored as the Delaware County "Veteran of the Year" in 1997. Robert's youngest son Tommy was a hemophiliac, and his challenges were chronicled in a book by Dr. Thomas Morse entitled "Gift of Courage." In recognition of the need for blood donations in our communities, Robert became an active blood donor, and has contributed over 11 gallons to date.


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Portage County
United States Army Veteran
Korean War

 
Following military service, Mr. Caipen had a very successful career with Ohio Edison which spanned more than 38 years and increasing responsibilities. John has volunteered at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center and has accumulated over 8,259 volunteer hours. He received countless awards and recognitions for his service for hospitalized veteran patients. In September 2000, the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs recognized him for his dedication and support while serving as a member of the Honor Guard at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio. John is currently a member of the American Legion Post #496 in Kent, Ohio and has held many appointed and elected offices including past Post Commander and District Commander.


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Stark County
United States Army Veteran
Operation Desert Shield/Operation Desert Storm

 
Dr. Margaret Delillo-Storey retired from the United States Army after 23 years of service. She completed her degrees and was employed at Mercy Medical Center as an Addictions Counselor with the Impact Program. She then moved into the position of Chaplain specializing in the area of Trauma. During this time, Margaret was able to obtain a grant from the Sisters of Charity and along with a colleague began the Mercy Medical Trauma and Loss Counseling Center. This was a not-for-profit organization specializing in the treatment of persons affected by trauma and no individual was turned away. She is a core supporter, consultant and treatment provider to the new Veterans Honor Court in Stark County. Margaret is a recognized speaker in the area of trauma and PTSD. As a result of her efforts, Margaret was named Trauma Therapist of the Year. She is a founding Member of the Stark County Traumatized Child Task Force. She is currently employed at her Alma Mater, the Perry Local School System in the role of District Mental Health Counselor. Margaret continues to see individuals on a part-time basis at Northeast Ohio Behavioral Health. Her most recent accomplishment has been the opportunity to co-author a book titled "Write out Loud" which is a treatment guide and journaling experience for the military, first responders and their families. Margaret is an innovator, a role model, and a champion for the voiceless.


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Athens County
United States Army Veteran
World War II (Prisoner of War)

 
Dr. Doxsee returned from the war and went on to earn his doctorate at Harvard University. At the spry age of 87, he continues to be a leader in the Athens community. Gifford still volunteers at the Good Works Shelter for people without homes, and is a weekly volunteer at the Appalachian Community Hospice in Athens, Ohio. He is founder and multi-term board member of the Athens County Historical Society and Museum. He also volunteers for the Kairos Prison Ministry and served for several years as secretary for the Advisory Council for the Kairos Prison Ministry which serves the Hocking Correctional Facility in Nelsonville, Ohio. He held many elected and appointed offices with the American Ex-Prisoners of War, Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter and the 106th Infantry Division Association. In May of 2011, he was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. Mr. Doxsee has spent his life serving his fellow man and truly exemplifies what it means to sacrifice for others.


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Cuyahoga County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Mr. Ennis followed his military service with a spirit of volunteerism and leadership that has been a key to many veterans' and civic organizations. He has been involved with the March of Dimes for over 20 years. His devotion to the March of Dimes is driven by his concern for birth defects caused by Agent Orange dioxin. He is a board member and trustee of Honor Flight Cleveland (a group that takes World War II veterans to Washington D.C. to view the WWII Memorial). Sean works as a volunteer at the Cleveland airport USO and also volunteers as a goodwill ambassador at the airport. He serves as a volunteer/advisor at the Vietnamese Tax Clinic in Cleveland. As a board member of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Buckeye State Council he actively pursued and obtained several federal grants to assist veterans in Ohio. He served as President of VVA Chapter 15 and currently serves as 1st Vice President. He is Past Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2533 and currently serves there as Chaplain. Sean's continuing involvement in his community has benefited both veterans and citizens of Cuyahoga County.


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Butler County
United States Navy Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Mr. and Mrs. Hart are first-time husband and wife inductees for the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. They both grew up in the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home and both served in the Vietnam War. After the war, Linda returned home and obtained her nursing degree while Richard continued to serve his country by enlisting in the United States Air Force. He retired from active duty, with 23 years of service, as a Master Sergeant. Together they have been extraordinary supporters of troops around the world. The couple has hosted fundraisers every year since the Iraq War began in 2003 to pay for care packages, scholarships and postage, and have mailed care packages to overseas troops nearly every week since. The Harts host the Slippery Step N.C.O. Club in their basement with arcade games, food and old jukebox music in order to entertain troops at home and to raise funds for troops overseas. Together they have raised funds to help pay for a fellow Vietnam veteran's liver transplant. They adopted an entire platoon in Iraq and kept them supplied with everything they could not get in-theater, for the most part at their own expense. The Harts also raised ten thousand dollars in scholarship awards in the name of a Marine killed in Iraq. Linda and Rick work together to benefit veterans, opening their home to any soldier coming through their city and putting them up for as many nights as are needed.


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Butler County
United States Marine Corps and United States Air Force Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Mr. and Mrs. Hart are first-time husband and wife inductees for the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. They both grew up in the Ohio Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home and both served in the Vietnam War. After the war, Linda returned home and obtained her nursing degree while Richard continued to serve his country by enlisting in the United States Air Force. He retired from active duty, with 23 years of service, as a Master Sergeant. Together they have been extraordinary supporters of troops around the world. The couple has hosted fundraisers every year since the Iraq War began in 2003 to pay for care packages, scholarships and postage, and have mailed care packages to overseas troops nearly every week since. The Harts host the Slippery Step N.C.O. Club in their basement with arcade games, food and old jukebox music in order to entertain troops at home and to raise funds for troops overseas. Together they have raised funds to help pay for a fellow Vietnam veteran's liver transplant. They adopted an entire platoon in Iraq and kept them supplied with everything they could not get in-theater, for the most part at their own expense. The Harts also raised ten thousand dollars in scholarship awards in the name of a Marine killed in Iraq. Linda and Rick work together to benefit veterans, opening their home to any soldier coming through their city and putting them up for as many nights as are needed.


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Richland County
United States Navy Veteran
Korean War

 
After his time in the Navy, Mr. Hartnett was a teacher and coach for several school districts in North Central Ohio, and served in the education field for more than 30 years. He devoted a large part of his life to helping youth, serving as Superintendent of the Madison Local School District, Vice President and interim President of North Central State College, and as an adjunct faculty member at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio. He was also a committed and dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly to advocate for Ohio's veterans. Bill was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives and served from 1998 to 2006. He received the AMVETS Department of Ohio Legislative Award in 2001. In 2008, Bill was appointed to the Governor's Cabinet as the first Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services. He is a past President of the Richland County Chamber of Commerce and helped bring businesses into the county. He also served on many boards and foundations and is a life member of the Korean War Veterans Association, Chapter 51. Bill is an honorable and charitable man who continues to give back to his community, state and nation.


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Clermont County
United States Army Veteran
Korean War

 
Mr. Knepp followed his military service by actively serving Milford, Ohio, for more than one-half century in endeavors that have spanned various sectors of the community. He spent a long career in private business and is frequently called upon to speak to business students at Live Oaks Vocational School in Milford. He was also a guest lecturer to marketing students at Harvard Business School. Bill has made dozens of appearances at area elementary schools to talk with students about the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, the legacy of veterans, and the importance of patriotism in his role as Clermont County's Town Crier. As a member of the Milford Jaycees, Bill founded the Milford Jaycee talent show, which was a not-to-be-missed event for over 20 years. He also founded the Miami Glen Performing Arts Association. This group sponsored musical and theatrical performances for the Milford area. In addition, he established the Korean War Veterans United Committee to construct a Korean War memorial in Clermont County. With his energy and dedication in giving back to his community, Bill is an inspiration.


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Lucas County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Marsh grew up on a farm, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Ohio Wesleyan University, and achieved his Juris Doctor degree at George Washington University Law School. He practiced law in Toledo and Maumee beginning in 1955 and continues to do so. His practice has been broad-based, including representation of the City of Maumee and other local governments. Ben has volunteered his skills and services to numerous causes. He has been appointed to various foreign posts by Presidents and the State Department, for example, Elections Supervisor in Bosnia; U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission; Special Ambassador to the Tenth Anniversary of the Independence of Botswana; and Delegate to the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris. Ben's appointments by Governors of Ohio include the Ohio Elections Commission, Ohio State Dental Board and the Board of Trustees of the Medical College of Ohio. His memberships currently include the Rotary Club of Maumee and Toledo Torch Club, where he serves as President. Ben endowed the Benjamin F. Marsh Lectures on Public Affairs at Ohio Wesleyan. He is also a 55-year member of Toledo Post #335 American Legion and a past Commander of the post. Ben Marsh has been recognized in a number of ways: "Outstanding Young Man of Toledo;" "Outstanding Citizen of Maumee;" "Sylvania Schools Hall of Fame;" "Distinguished Achievement Citation" (Ohio Wesleyan); and "Who's Who in America."


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Greene County
United States Air Force Veteran and the Ohio Air National Guard
Vietnam War (Prisoner of War)

 
General Mechenbier's distinguished military career extended over 44 years of service in the United States Air Force, the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. He retired at the rank of Major General in 2004. During his career he was presented with the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, and was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Silver Star. After his illustrious service in the military he joined the Board of Trustees of the American Veterans Heritage Center, which serves to promote and preserve the historical infrastructure at the Dayton VA Medical Center. He has served as Master of Ceremonies and keynote speaker at many events around the world. Ed is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and other veterans' organizations. He is also heavily involved in activities in support of the Blue Star Mothers and VA hospital outreach programs. In addition, Ed serves on the Board of Advisors of the Dayton Chapter of A Special Wish Foundation. Ed is an exceptional leader and a consummate patriot.


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Richland County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Mr. Phillips started his own machine shop in 1967 before being drafted into the Army in 1969. Upon his return from Vietnam, he reopened Phillips Machine and Welding and continued in the tool and die business. Ralph also acquired and purchased new businesses, and in 2000, his annual sales for the Phillips Family of Companies exceeded $60 million, and he employed over 200 people. The success of his companies gave him the means to help a tremendous number of people in the Shelby, Ohio area and beyond. He participated in international humanitarian efforts through Rotary International in Guatemala, Haiti and Belize. Ralph also participated in the AMVETS, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion posts in Shelby. He sat on several boards of directors: Shelby Chamber of Commerce, Shelby Foundation, Richland County Foundation, North Central State Foundation, and the Community Improvement Corporation. He was a contributor and mentor to the Boy Scouts of America and Future Farmers of America. Ralph's legacy is truly alive in his community and in the people whose lives he touched.


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Tuscarawas County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Mr. Ross is a life member and three-year past commander of VFW Post #3303, a life member and three-year past commander of American Legion Post #431, a life member and nine-year president of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 532, a life member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and a 15-year member and current commander, for eight years, of the Newcomerstown Honor and Color Guard. Denny, as he is known, was the first recipient of the Kelly Ault Memorial Patriotism Award for Veteran of the Year from the veterans' organizations in his hometown. He was also Vietnam Veterans of America Buckeye State Council Veteran of the Year in 2005. His latest venture has been designing a monument for all veterans of Tuscarawas County, which will be placed at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Ohio. He is also designing a pin that is a replica of the monument. Denny is always willing to participate in programs at area schools and youth groups to educate the young about veterans and past wars. Denny makes monthly visits to veterans living in local nursing homes and in hospice. He also works with area funeral homes to make sure that veterans receive a proper military funeral. Denny is the "go-to guy" for help, guidance and support.


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Belmont County
United States Army Veteran
Vietnam War

 
Mr. Stobbs has been a public servant and advocate for veterans since his Army days.
His most recent achievement was serving as chairman of the Ohio Gold Star Family Committee. In that capacity he coordinated Ohio's legislative efforts with numerous veterans' groups to make the new Gold Star license plate a reality in Ohio, visibly honoring those who lost loved ones in service to our country. Dick is active with the Martins Ferry American Legion Post #38; AMVETS Post #44, Disabled American Veterans Post #117, Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter #625, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #8848, the Blackhorse Association, 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia, Ohio Veterans United, Combat Veterans for Congress, and the National Rifle Association. A former sheriff of Belmont County, he continues 30-plus years of public service by serving with the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Ohio and as Law Enforcement Liaison, Ohio Attorney General's Office. Most importantly, Dick was married to the late Jo Ann Stobbs for 34 years. Dick exemplifies the ideals of a veteran who served in the military, in combat, and still serves.


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Stark County
United States Army Veteran and the Ohio Army National Guard

 
Mr. Stults followed his military service by starting a career as a traffic manager at Buckeye Feed Mills, incorporated in Dalton, Ohio and retired there as President and CEO. His leadership skills have been in high demand from civic and veterans' advocacy groups, to which he freely gives both of his time and financial support. Major beneficiaries have included Doctors Hospital of Stark County, Walsh University, the American Heart Association, Wreaths Across America, and the 555th Honors Detachment, a group of veterans that performs military funeral services at Western Reserve National Cemetery. Ted is a life member of the Reserve Officers Associations of the United States, Military Officers Association of America, Ohio National Guard Association and the 37th Division Veterans Association. He is also a member of the Civil Air Patrol, a volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. He received three Civil Air Patrol Commander's Awards and voluntarily participated in over 50 search and rescue, counter-drug and homeland security missions. Ted continues to make a positive and lasting impact in his community.


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Seneca County
United States Marine Corps Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Taber was a very active member of the VFW when he came back home from the Marines. He served on many post, state and national committees and was a past State Commander. Art's views mirrored the VFW's: to maintain a strong military defense through legislation and to care for widows and children of military members killed in war. He assisted and counseled numerous veterans and widows about VA benefits and drove veterans to the local VA clinic, as well as to the Ann Arbor, Michigan VA hospital. He spearheaded the provision of state VFW funds for the Ohio Veterans Home Chemical Dependency building and program, as well as the purchase of American flags to line the Ohio Veterans Homes' roads on patriotic holidays. The VFW planted a tree and built a bench with his name to honor the many hours of volunteer work he provided to the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky. Art served as Farm Manager at the United Methodist Children's Home for 10 years and began a fundraiser for the athletic boosters of the high school in Bellevue, Ohio that continues today. He was also a member of the Moose Lodge, Eagles, Masonic Lodge, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, AMVETS, and the Marine Corps League. Art was a quiet and unassuming man but had the leadership skills to bring the best out in people. One of Art's sayings was, "That to guide one's self, one should use his head, but to guide others, one should use his heart."


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Scioto County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
Following World War II, Dr. Toombs used his G.I. Bill educational benefits to obtain his medical degree in 1950. During his 50-year practice, Dr. Toombs held many different positions in addition to his private practice. He was an anesthesiologist, surgeon and later Chief of Staff at Scioto Memorial Hospital, and also served on the Ohio State Medical Board. The doctor and Mrs. Toombs donated over one-half million dollars to Shawnee State University; this gift was an endowment to the Children's Learning Center. This center serves local children from ages 1-5, accepting children from all walks of life. The center is recognized as a leader in pre-school education in Scioto County. In 2008, Dr. Toombs was honored by Scioto County Medical Association as Physician of the Year. His life has been marked by service to his country, patients and community.


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Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

 
Mr. Turlo returned from the Army and was working full-time at Western Electric in Chicago when he began to volunteer as a member of the Board of Directors at the Hawthorne Club, which is widely recognized for its charitable work in the area. As a volunteer he arranged and secured tickets for frequent visits to the Cubs and White Sox baseball games for under-privileged children. He also collected and delivered toys and clothing for the needy for schools and other charitable organizations. Ed moved to Columbus, Ohio where he continued working with inner city youths. He was one of the principal founders of the Columbus Area Development and Training School (CADATS). The school taught courses in clerical, auto repair, machine shop and the building trades. Ed served as President of CADATS for well over 12 years, which resulted in the job placement of hundreds of students who became productive employees. He is an active member of VFW Post #2398, where he is senior vice commander and also serves in the post's Honor Guard unit. He volunteers two days a week at the local food pantry and participates in taking students from the Ohio School for the Blind to the circus. Ed has been instrumental in lifting up many youths to become productive citizens.


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Pickaway County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II

 
Following his time in the Navy, Mr. Young had a successful career at Ross/Abbott Laboratories. He developed his own consulting firm, National Engineering Design Company (NEDCO), where he gave back to his community by consulting on several civic projects. He was active in many veterans' organizations; in particular, his membership in the Soldiers Monumental Association of Pickaway County has changed the community of Circleville, Ohio. Ned did the design work for fences, gates, signs, flagpoles and stone placements for old run-down cemeteries which allowed them to be restored as appropriate places of rest. He stepped in to help the Amanda-Clearcreek Alumni Association when it was on the brink of extinction due to lack of funds. Under Ned's leadership, the group became strong in fundraising and now provides over $90,000 in scholarships to Amanda-Clearcreek High School graduates annually. In addition, Ned was honored twice by the Ross County Shrine Club in Chillicothe, Ohio, as Outstanding Shriner of the Year. Ned has truly served his country and community in many different ways.