Class of 1997


On Thursday November 6, 1997, 29 members were inducted into the Hall of Fame during a public ceremony held at Veterans Memorial in Columbus, Ohio. Secretary of State Bob Taft and Debra R. Bowland, administrator of Ohio Bureau of Employment Services (co-sponsor for the Hall of Fame) presented the awards. The Enshrinement Ceremony was held on Wednesday May 20, 1998 at the Ohio Veterans Home.
Albert Allen
Albert L. Allen Jr.

Richland County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

  • Bataan Death March survivor and POW for 3 ½ years in Mukden, Manchuria
  • Career U.S. Army Reserve; retired in 1973
  • Mansfield Rotary Club's "Man of the Hour" for Chairmanship of "Project Humanity" that supported the Vietnam POW / MIA cause
  • Named "Mr. Military of Mansfield" by Mansfield Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Trustee, Mansfield Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building
  • Former Commissioner, Richland County Veterans Service Commission
  • Past President, Mansfield Insurance Board, Mansfield University Club and Richland County Reserve Officers Association
Carl Bair
Carl L. Bair

Fairfield County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II

  • Chair, Membership and Poppy Sales Committees, and member, Youth Activity, Americanism and Voice of Democracy Committees, Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • All-State Post Commander in 1973-1974
  • Member of the nationally recognized State Champion Baltimore Ritual Team
  • Started an annual Thanksgiving dinner for widows, widowers and senior citizens
  • Member, American Legion Post 11; Eagle Lodge Aries 2120; Fairfield Fish and Game Club; and Trinity Reform Evangelical Church
Samuel Barney
Samuel Barney

Fairfield County
United States Marine Corps &
United States Air Force Veteran
Korean War and Vietnam War

  • First active duty person elected Post Commander in 1974
  • Past member and Chair, Board of Trustees, Ohio Veterans Home, 1989-1994
  • Lancaster Service-Safety Director for two terms; lobbied city council to permit free parking for former prisoners of war and disabled veterans at metered spaces in Lancaster
  • Ordinance remains in effect
  • Post Commander, District Commander, and State Commander, American Legion; Alternate National Executive Committeeman, Department of Ohio
  • "War on Cancer" raised over $140,000 for cancer research while he was Commander, American Legion Department of Ohio in 1989-1990
  • Member, American Legion Magazine Commission since 1990
Paul Brown
Paul E. Brown

Hamilton County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II

  • Successful football coach at high school, college, military service, and professional level
  • One of the movement leaders who brought the old American Football League into the NFL
  • Member, Pro Football Hall of Fame; second person to receive the "Mr. Ohio Award" from the Ernie Godfrey Chapter, National Football Hall of Fame
  • Founded the Cincinnati Bengals in 1967
  • Instituted numerous innovations that revolutionized the game of football
William Brown
William E. Brown Sr.

Mahoning County
United States Army Air Corps Vet
World War II

  • Fire fighter and inspector, Youngstown Fire Department
  • Chair, St. Jude's Hospital Fund Raising and Collection Committee, 1961-1971; recipient, Danny Thomas's Chairman Award for fundraising efforts
  • Counselor for troubled youth, Mahoning Valley Vocational School, 1961-1965
  • Chair, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Bicentennial Committees
  • Commander, Tri-Village Veterans Council, 1976
  • AMVET's Silver Helmet recipient, 1977
  • Past State Commander, AMVETS Department of Ohio, 1981-1982
Walter Churchill
Walter A. Churchill

Lucas County
United States Marine Corps Reserve Veteran

  • Member, Marine Corps League since 1925; Past National Commandant (1960)
  • Past President, National Association of Retail Grocers; Ohio Automobile Association; Toledo Automobile Association; and Toledo and Northwestern Ohio Food Distributors Association
  • Instrumental in the formation of the United States Marines Youth Foundation and its support of the Marine Corps League Youth Physical Fitness Program
  • Chairman of the Board and CEO, Churchill's Super Markets, Inc.
  • Worked seven days a week into his nineties
  • Board of Directors, Toledo Better Business Bureau and Toledo Small Business Association
  • Associated Grocers' "Grocer of the Year" Award, 1976
John Clem
John L. Clem

Licking County
United States Army Veteran
Civil War

  • Ran away from home and tried to join the Union Army when he was not yet 10 years old in the spring of 1861
  • Tagged along with the 22nd Michigan Regiment that adopted him as their mascot
  • Officially enlisted in the 22nd Michigan Regiment in May 1863
  • Known as the "Drummer Boy of Chickamauga" and as "Johnny Shiloh"
  • President Grant commissioned him a 2nd Lieutenant in 1871
  • Retired from the Army in 1915 with the rank of Brigadier General; was the last Civil War veteran on the Army rolls at the time of his retirement
Dorothy Cornelius
Dorothy A. Cornelius

Franklin County
U.S. Navy Nurse Corps Vet
World War II

  • Executive Director, Ohio Nurses Association, Columbus, Ohio, 1957-1983
  • Only person to have been president of the American Journal of Nursing Company (1967-1968), the American Nurses Association (1968-1970), and the International Council of Nurses (1973-1977)
  • Served on numerous committees and commissions at the request of Presidents Eisenhower, Johnson and Nixon
  • Appointed by several Ohio governors to numerous committees, councils and task forces concerned with citizen health and safety
  • First woman to run for Reynoldsburg City Council; elected Ward Committeewoman; chaired Reynoldsburg Civil Service Commission; member, Reynoldsburg Planning and Zoning Commission
John Dolibois
John E. Dolibois

Butler County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

  • Assisted in the interrogation of high ranking Nazi war criminals for the International War Crimes Tribunal, Nuremberg
  • Miami University's first full-time alumni director
  • Received Boy Scouts of America's Silver Beaver Award, 1957
  • Named Oxford Citizen of the Year, 1963
  • Appointed by three Presidents to the U.S. Board of Foreign Scholarships which administers the international Fulbright programs
  • Named Distinguished Eagle Scout, National Council of the Boy Scouts, 1970
  • Named Ambassador to Luxembourg by President Reagan, 1981
  • Presented the Grand Cross of the Grand Ducal Order of the Crown of Oak, Luxembourg's highest decoration by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, 1985
Robert Feller
Robert W. Feller

Cuyahoga County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II

  • Signed Cleveland Indians baseball contract in 1935 at the age of 16
  • Struck out 15 batters in his first start, 1936; established a major league record - 18 strikeouts in a single nine-inning game, 1938
  • First pitcher to win 20 or more games before age 21
  • Most victories (109) ever recorded by a pitcher at the age of 22 years when he enlisted into the service
  • Voted Indians "Man of the Year" twice; played on 9 All-Star teams; and participated in two World Series
  • Career spanned 20 years with the Cleveland Indians: 266 victories and 162 losses; 2,581 strikeouts, and established the single-season league record of 348 in 1946
  • Inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame, 1962
Joseph Fields
Joseph W. Fields

Franklin County
United States Air Force Veteran

  • Raised by foster parents because his parents were unable to care for him
  • Worked two jobs for an extended period to help pay for a college education for each of his four children
  • Convinced Columbus City Council to install street lights and to resurface streets in the American Addition neighborhood
  • Received Bachelor's in Business Administration, Ohio Dominican College, 1975
  • Coordinated support and transportation for youth programs at the Neighborhood House
  • Key organizer of North Central Area Commission in Columbus, which covers 2,150 acres, 3,966 dwellings and ten civic associations; later became its chair
John Fox
John R. Fox

Hamilton County
Medal of Honor Recipient
United States Army Veteran
World War II

  • Awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty for calling artillery fire upon his own position in the vicinity of Sommocolonia, Italy on December 26, 1944, to stop the advancement of the enemy
Richard France
Richard G. France

Cuyahoga County
United States Army Veteran
Korean War

  • Elected official, Tile Layers Local 36 Union for 18 years; instructs apprentices in Local 36's Tile Layers School
  • Organized the Catholic War Veterans in southeast area of Greater Cleveland, 1958
  • Cuyahoga County Chapter Commander, Catholic War Veterans, 1964 and 1965; Department of Ohio Commander, 1968-1969; and National Department Chairman of Catholic Action and Americanism Committees
  • VA hospital volunteer with over 300 hours
  • Organizes and directs the volunteers who decorate the 17,000+ veterans graves in Calvary Cemetery
  • Member and Past President, Greater Cleveland Joint Veterans Commission; named "Outstanding Veteran" for 1974 and 1988
Clark Gable
Clark Gable

Harrison County
U.S. Army Air Corps Vet
World War II

  • "King of Hollywood" made seventy-two films during his career (six were silent pictures)
  • Made five additional films during WWII for the U.S. Army Air Corps
  • Won Academy Award for role in "It Happened One Night," 1934
  • Most famous role was that of Rhett Butler in "Gone with the Wind"
  • Final film was "The Misfits" with Marilyn Monroe; this was said to be the film of which he was most proud
David Gilliam
David T. Gilliam

Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
Civil War

  • Graduated from the Ohio Medical College of Cincinnati
  • Chair of Pathology in the Columbus Medical College
  • Chair of Physiology, and Professor of Obstetrics and Diseases of Women, Starling Medical College
  • Originator of many gynecological surgical operations that were used worldwide
  • Prepared many important scientific papers: "Pocket Book of Medicine," 1882; the "Essentials of Pathology," 1883; and "Practical Gynecology," 1903
  • Member of the Franklin County Medical Society and the Columbus Academy of Medicine
Anna Gray
Anna E. Gray

Summit County
U.S. Naval Reserve Vet
World War II and Korean War

  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism (Public Relations), Kent State University, 1948
  • Director, Public Relations and Nurse Recruitment, Aultman Hospital, Canton
  • Wrote, produced and directed a musical featuring student nurses that was highly successful in recruiting nursing students for four hospitals and two branches of service
  • Assisted in bringing a Nazi submarine into Lake Michigan for permanent display adjacent to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry
  • Worked with the Ohio Adjutant General to obtain a 200-bed Field Hospital for the Canton area for use during a disaster
  • Developed and practiced "Fire, Safety, Disaster and Evacuation Plans" that utilized boy and girl scouts to role play as casualties; one scenario simulated a nuclear explosion that earned a letter of commendation from President Eisenhower
Asel Hagerty
Asel Hagerty

Defiance County
Medal of Honor Recipient
United States Army Veteran
Civil War

  • Awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty for capturing flags from the enemy in engagements at Saylers Creek, Virginia on April 6, 1865, resulting in the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia
Michael Jackson
Michael E. Jackson

Miami County
United States Air Force Veteran

  • Nationally recognized expert on aviation history and education
  • Executive Director, National Aviation Hall of Fame, the only Congressionally chartered organization dedicated to honoring America's air and space pioneers
  • Crucial to the successful negotiation of the National Aviation Hall of Fame's (NAHF) first-ever agreement between the Department of Defense, the US Air Force, and the State of Ohio to build a state facility on federal property, operated by a private organization that insured that the NAHF remained in Ohio
  • Board member, National Aeronautic Association
  • Member, Ohio Committee on Aerospace Education
  • Organized and chairs the Ohio Aviation and Aerospace History Education Week
David Kaucheck
David J. Kaucheck

Delaware County
United States Army Reserve Vet
Vietnam War

  • Director responsible for the review of all goods and services purchased, contract negotiation, and vendor review for a major insurance company
  • President, Plaza South (1970-71), and Keetington (1973-74) Home Owners Associations
  • Vice President for Finance, St. Raphael Parish Council, 1977-78
  • President (1981-82), and Vice-President of Finance (1984-85), Dublin Youth Athletic Association
  • Volunteer coach for Dublin Youth Athletic Association in football (1984-85), soccer (1983-84) and basketball (1984-85)
  • Member, Indiana State Insurance Advisory Committee, 1991-92
  • Volunteer, Mid Ohio Food Bank (1995-97), Take it to the Street (1996-97), Columbus Symphony Orchestra (1996-97), and Delaware County United Way (1994-97)
James Kilbourne
James Kilbourne

Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
Civil War

  • Graduated from Kenyon College in 1862, and two years later received the degree of Master of Arts
  • Graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Law
  • Founder of Kilbourne and Jacobs Manufacturing Company
  • Director and, in 1895, President of the Columbus Board of Trade
  • Vice-President, Franklinton Centennial Commission, 1897
  • President, Board of Trustees, Columbus Public Library
  • President, Columbus Children's Hospital; Columbus Neighborhood Guild Association
  • Member, Ohio Centennial Commission
Curtis LeMay
Curtis E. LeMay

Franklin County
United States Air Force Veteran

  • Pioneered aerial navigation, especially celestial navigation for long distance flights over water
  • Instituted training system to make pilots proficient instrument flyers in all kinds of weather
  • Developed system of flyaway kits (repair parts) and the dispersal of small maintenance teams for aircraft support
  • Established Global Weather Central system that provided worldwide weather to air crews standing alert twice a day
  • Pioneered aerial routes over the South Atlantic to Africa and Persia, and over the North Atlantic to England, 1941
  • Developed concept for research and development teams that is essentially unchanged today
  • Directed and led the Berlin Airlift, 1948
Paul Maple
Paul E. Maple

Scioto County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

  • Officiated basketball and other sports for the Ohio High School Athletic Association for forty years
  • Directed the McClain Junior High Track Relays, "Ohio's finest junior high track meet"
  • Elected President, Greenfield Teachers Association, 1960
  • Biology teacher, varsity track coach and assistant football coach, Wilmington City Schools, 1961-1964; varsity track teams at Wilmington were South Central Ohio League Champions 1962, 1963 and 1964
  • Organized and served as President, Wilmington Officials Association, Ohio High School Athletic Association, 1966-1971
  • Superintendent of Schools, Wheelersburg Local Board of Education, 1971-1981
Ralph Mershon
Ralph D. Mershon

Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
World War I

  • Elected President, Ohio State University Alumni Association, 1910
  • Pioneered research on high-voltage, long distance transmission of electricity
  • Accumulated 93 U.S. patents including the 6-phase rotary converter, the compensating voltmeter, and numerous other electrical devices; first patent issued in 1894
  • Designed electrical power plants in the United States, South Africa and Japan
  • Principal organizer and first president of Inventor's Guild
  • One of four Ohio State faculty and alumni who designed The Ohio Plan which linked land-grant university cadet training with federally granted Reserve commissions in 1916; this laid the foundation for the Reserve Officer Training Program
Harry Meshel
Harry Meshel

Mahoning County
United States Navy Veteran
World War II

  • Chair, Ohio Democratic Party from 1993-1995; member State Democratic Executive Committee
  • Ohio State Senator, 33rd District from 1971-1993; President and Majority Leader 1983-1984; Minority Leader 1981-1982; Assistant President Pro-Tem 1976-1980; Democratic Majority Whip 1974-1975
  • Member, Democratic National Committee and Democratic Leadership Council
  • Real Estate Broker; Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Ohio University; Faculty Member (limited service), Youngstown University, School of Business and Social Science; Urban Renewal Director, City of Youngstown, 1969
  • Guided the Handicapped Bill of Rights into law that opened employment, educational and civil rights opportunities for the infirmed
  • Helped create the Northeastern University's College of Medicine
Stuart Satullo
Stuart J. Satullo

Cuyahoga County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

  • Member, last mounted regiment of the U.S. Army Horse Cavalry
  • Senior member, American Society of Appraisers
  • Past member, Board of Trustees, Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home, 1958-1971
  • Past State, District and Post Commander, AMVETS
  • Past National Commander, AMVETS, 1957-1958
  • Served for two years on the AMVETS National Service Foundation
  • Delegate, World Veterans Federation, 1958 and 1963
  • Member, Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials
Dante Spagnolo
Dante E. Spagnolo

Franklin County
United States Coast Guard Vet
World War II

  • Post Commander, Adjutant, District Commander, and National Executive Committeeman, AMVETS
  • Executive Director, AMVETS Department of Ohio, 1950-1962
  • Past National Commander, AMVETS, 1962
  • Representative, United States Council to the World Veterans Federation 10th General Assembly
  • Freedoms Foundation Judge, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1962
  • National Executive Director, AMVETS, 1963-1965
Bobbie Sterne
Bobbie Sterne

Hamilton County
United States Army Veteran
World War II

  • Cincinnati City Councilwoman since 1971 except for one two-year term
  • Devoted volunteer to a wide range of service agencies in the Cincinnati community
  • First woman Mayor of Cincinnati, served second term in 1979
  • Viewed as the conscience of Cincinnati's City Hall for her constant insistence on adequate funding for human services
  • Initiated legislation to make streets and new buildings accessible to wheelchair bound and handicapped persons long before the American Disabilities Act
  • Member, county-wide task force that established the Easy Riders program to provide transportation services to the special needs population
Robert Teater
Robert W. Teater

Franklin County
United States Army Veteran
Korean War

  • Assistant Professor, Agronomy Department, The Ohio State University, 1957-1961
  • Executive Assistant to Director, Assistant Director, and Director, Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Home Economics, and Director, School of Natural Resources, The Ohio State University, 1969-1975
  • Elected to Columbus Board of Education, 1991 and 1995; served three years as president
  • Chair, Low-Level Radioactive Waste Siting Commission, 1995 to present
  • Member, Columbus Riverfront Commons Corporation; Reserve Forces Policy Board; and Ohio Historical Society Board
  • Man of the Year Award, Woods and Waters Club of Cleveland
  • Ohio Conservationist of the Year, 1969, Shikar Safari Club International
William Welsh
William R. Welsh

Franklin County
United States Army Air Corps Vet
World War II

  • Director of Americanism and Youth Activities for the Ohio American Legion, 1962-1991
  • Administered and supervised the American Legion's youth programs: baseball, Americanism and Government Test Program, Boy Scouts, and High School Oratorical Contest
  • Instrumental in getting the American Legion involved in the Special Olympics program
  • Director, Buckeye Boys State, the largest Boys State program in the nation, 1962-1991
  • American Legion Buckeye Boys State Hall of Fame, 1982
  • Chair, National Boys State Directors Conference, American Legion National Headquarters
  • Boy Scouts of America's Silver Beaver award for outstanding service
  • Chair, American Legion Boys National Selection Committee