Honoree Profiles

 

Neil Allen
Superintendent of Schools
1968-1973, 1977-1983
Inducted June 3, 2000

In 1949, Neil Allen graduated from Delphos Jefferson High School. His activities: basketball – 4 years; baseball – 4 years; football manager – 4 years; and ECHO – school newspaper. He came to Ada, attended ONU, majored in Health and Physical Education, and graduated in 1953. While attending ONU, Neil served as manager of the football and basketball teams and, for two years, as student assistant track coach. In his senior year, he received the ONU Athletic Service Award.

After two years with the U.S. Army, he continued his education, earning his MA from Western Reserve University in 1963, and he began his career as a public school teacher and administrator.

His career began as a teacher and coach at Hawthorne Junior High School in Lorain, Ohio; continued as teacher and coach, assistant junior high principal and junior high principal in the Lima Shawnee schools. In 1968, he was selected to be superintendent of the Ada Exempted Village Schools. He left the Ada schools in 1973, to pursue new avenues in Upper Sandusky, and then was persuaded to return in 1977, retiring in 1983.

He didn’t stop there...since his retirement, Neil has served as interim superintendent for three school district, interim treasurer and business manager for eight school districts and as a consultant for three districts. Presently, he serves as a consultant for two districts and is an elected member of the Erie-Ottawa County School Board. His other activities include the Lakeside Heritage Society, realtor with Smith’s Realty in Lakeside, Firelands Civil War roundtable, Ohio Northern University Alumni Board.

He has been a lecturer at ONU, a high school football official, a 40 year member of the Lions Club with 38 years of – perfect attendance and an active beekeeper.

In 1970, Neil received the “Boss of the Year’ award for Hardin County, and in 1998, the ONU Alumni award. When this award was presented, Dr. DeBow Freed, president emeritus stated: “Mr. Allen spent over 45 years as an active teacher, coach and administrator in our public schools. His reputation is one of a dedicated, knowledgeable and hard-working team player. In Ada, he was known as one of the nicest gentlemen ever to be a part of the Ada schools...Mr. Allen has gone about his professional life of service to the schools of Ohio and his volunteerism without fanfare... In all of the communities that he has been in, he has totally immersed himself in the life of the community. Neil Allen has dedicated himself to his family, (to) the community at large (and to) the school children of Ohio...His wife, Kamille, and his two children have joined him this evening. In the nomination of her father, Eileen, a graduate of AHS, state: “I feel my father should be selected to the Hall of Honor because of the leadership he gave the Ada schools...He is a wonderful father and a true gentleman. He spent many hours working with me after school...tutoring me in math, algebra and geometry...He truly is a wonderful man with many accomplishments.”

 

Herbert Anspach
Class of 1944
Inducted June 3, 2000

He is a man of hard work and life-long learning. When you’re up at 5 a.m. to do chores, off for a full day at school, followed by hours of football or basketball practice, then homework and more chores, you certainly learn the meaning of hard work. While he was never a “slave to his job” in corporate life, he also never rested on his laurels. He continued to develop his skills and intellectual acumen throughout life. He went from high school to University and earned an Engineering degree. After working as an Engineer, he went back to earn a Law Degree, after which he practiced Patent law in both Washington D.C. and then corporately at Whirlpool. He rose through the corporate ranks through a variety of cross-functional assignments to ultimately become the President of Whirlpool, a large multi-national Fortune 500 corporation. In his “retirement” years he traveled the world as a consultant and lecturer, going back to “school” part-time to become a commodities broker (ie. to trade soy bean futures as a full-circle extension of farming soy beans as a kid). He has always had a huge intellectual capacity, although he modestly claimed that being smart is no more than curiosity and hard work.

Upon graduation, Herbert Anspach was predicted by his classmates to one day be the football coach for The Ohio State University. While football was not ultimately his career, he has been a life-long coach to many. As professional mentor, university speaker, corporate “guru” on several topics, founder of scholarship funds, loyal friend to many and devoted husband, father, and grandfather...he has always supported others in their endeavors both professionally and personally.

He is a man of strong character, and truly one of the great coaches of all times.

As a prelude to the official “information Form”, I believe a comment on character is appropriate. Achievements in themselves are impressive, but they are moreover a manifestation of character. It is my father’s character which is most admired and respected by those who have known him.

This character is largely inspired by the community and educational environment in which one spends the formative years of life. As a hardworking farm boy, who happened to be blessed with a keen intellect and natural athletic skills, my father put everything he had and learned to work for him. As he progressed through life with great determination, he always maintained the principles and values of his early years.

He has always been a man of integrity. He is a straight-shooting, honest man who people trust and respect. He sees the truth and respects others who also live by the truth, no matter who they are and where they come from. That has been a critical quality in his ability to successfully transcend social strata’s (from factory workers to CEO’s) and nationalities in business (Americans, Canadians, Japanese, Europeans, and Brazilians). People follow his lead because he earned their trust and respect.

He has always treated people with respect and fairness. When I was a child and he was a rising executive he always taught me that it is a human crime to believe you are better than anyone else. Everyone has their value; everyone has the capacity to make a meaningful difference. If you are honest and hard working, you deserve respect. Rooted in his humble beginnings, this character not only earned him the respect and loyalty of others, it enabled him to affect his world and family through inspiration and empowerment.

On behalf of my father, I am proudly submitting this profile of Herbert Anspach to the selection committee for the Ada High School Alumni Association Hall of Honor.

My father’s life has been marked by significant achievements. He has been a respected business leader in the US and internationally, a conscientious upstanding citizen of his country and communities, and an inspirational father to me. He has made a significant contribution in every respect to the businesses, communities and people in his life.

Above all, he is a man of principle who has always been anchored in his roots and the values formed in his years growing up in Ada, Ohio. From his early days on the farm through his rise to professional notoriety, he remained a man of integrity, fairness and hard work. He is, as I’ve always maintained, a true representative of the “American Dream.”

Despite his accomplishments, he is humble in nature. It is this humility that inspires me to paint his portrait, with the hope that the Alumni Association will share our pride in the accomplishments of this kid from Ada.

Submitted by Heather McKenzie Anspach Fraser

Dr. Robert Elliott
Class of 1944
Inducted June 3, 2000

We know him as Doctor Elliott, Doctor Bob, Doc Elliott, Doc Young and/or Doc Jake and as a husband, father and grandfather. He was born in Ada; he graduated from Ada High School in 1944...four years in band, four years in chorus, four years playing football, and was selected to the National Honor Society. He continued his education at Ohio Northern University, majoring in Biology and Chemistry, graduating in 1949. In 1953, he received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Cincinnati. He is now a retired physician.

And, oh, what he has achieved in those “in-between” years. Margaret, of Taft, Louisiana, became his wife; they raised a family of five children and now enjoy their grandchildren. His family practice of 40 plus years was here in Ada; he delivered 2500 babies (almost the population of Ada); he made house calls day or night in emergencies and for those who were elderly or incapacitated.

Doctor Elliott was Hardin County Coroner for many years; was named Ohio Family Physician of the year in 1985; was named Ada’s Citizen of the Year by the Town and Gown; was a member of the Ada Schools Board of Education, serving as President for several years; and a member of the Presbyterian Church.

To paraphrase a quote from one of the persons who nominated Dr. Elliott: “For many years, he was a dedicated doctor who gave his entire support to Ada public schools...as long-time president of the school board, giving free school physicals to athletes, being team physician and attending all the home football games. For the newspaper, he wrote letter to support levies, and he served on committees in support of the schools. He was well respected in the entire county, but he was a “champion” in Ada, and especially in the Ada school system.” And to quote another: “Dr. “Bob” has always been a caring, honest and sympathetic person. I know him in the doctor/patient capacity, and he always was genuinely concerned. He always made you feel like you were the only patient he had. His time “really was your time”.

Arden Roberson
Class of 1943
Inducted June 3, 2000

Graduate of Ada High School in 1943; outstanding athlete for the Bulldogs. After graduation, he, like many of his classmates, joined the Navy and saw the Pacific in W.W. II. Upon his return to Ada, he entered ONU, lettering three years in both football and basketball. He has been inducted into the ONU Athletic Hall of Fame. One day, his father, C.C. Roberson, who was superintendent of the Ada schools, was interviewing a young lady by the name of Fran Detrick. While she was being interviewed, Stretch walked into the Superintendent’s office; she caught his eye and a love affair lasted 50 years.

Stretch, with Fran, began his high school and coaching career at Huron High School...with not a good win-lose record. He joined his AHS friend Lee Tressel, and they went to Mentor High School, won 43 straight games (an Ohio high school record), and Stretch received a Coach of the Year award. They then went on to Massillon and enjoyed more success. The next step was Baldwin Wallace College; Lee was head football coach, Stretch was assistant football coach and head basketball coach. During this time, he received his Masters degree from Kent State University.

In 1960, Stretch returned to ONU as football coach. The program was at a low point; he turned the program around, and when he retired, he was the winningest coach in ONU history. Stretch has been inducted into the Ohio Northern Athletic Hall of Fame and has received Ohio Northern Faculty recognition.

It was then his wife Fran became ill with Multiple Sclerosis. Rather than being with “the boys”, out having a good time and/or being devoted to his football team, Stretch spend the next 22 years being a husband and caregiver, dedicating his life to taking care of Fran. Fran lost her battle with MS this past winter. She is with all of us in our hearts.

Stretch is now enjoying being a grandfather to his seven grandchildren. And from what I understand, his mother, Garland, at 87 years of age, is still trying to keep him on the straight and narrow.

To quote from the person who nominated Arden Robertson: “He is such a booster of Ada as a village, and of Ada High School and Ohio Northern University. He was an educator and a coach....a loyal human being. I cannot list his achievements during his professional life because I don’t know them. I just know he is a decent person. His deep devotion to taking care of his wife, Fran, is a lesson for all of us.”

Karl Roider, Jr.
Class of 1961
Inducted June 3, 2000

Karl graduated from Ada High School in 1961. He was a member and officer of various organizations; president of Student Council; played in the band and lettered in football; selected into the National Honor Society; was Valedictorian of his graduating class.

From Ada, he went to New Haven, Connecticut, graduating from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts in History, in 1965; then on to California and Stanford University, receiving his MA in 1966, his Ph.D. in 1970. During those years, he married Sue Evans, began his family and started on his professional journey at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. And what a journey it has been: he has moved “up the ranks” at LSU...from instructor to assistant, associate and full professor, chairman of the History Department, and is now Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. His teaching of history is rich and varied; he even makes Western Civ interesting! Among his teaching honors, he was elected “Most Popular Professor” in an annual contest sponsored by the student yearbook GUMBO, for the academic years 1979-1980 and 1980-1981, and has just received the LSU Alumni professor award for effective teaching. His academic honors and awards have included the National Endowment for the Humanities Teaching Fellowship and the Fulbright Award for Research in Austria. In his area of interest and expertise, he has held several offices in national organizations and has had published several books and numerous articles. His services to the History Department, to the College of Arts and Sciences, to the University itself, and to the community of Baton Rouge have been most extensive and continue to be so. Karl is there! ...from advisor to first-year students --- to the University Faculty Senate --- to the University Curriculum Committee – to the Committee on Student conduct --- to the University Budget committee – to serving as a Sunday school teacher in the University United Methodist Church --- to being a volunteer on WRKF, Baton Rouge public ratio --- to United Way volunteer – to being there for his family. And if you cannot find him, look behind his home, in the renovated garage. Most likely he is there, relaxing and happily playing with his electric trains... Lionel, 027 gauge...a hobby begun when his father gave him his first train, but no engine, the Christmas of 1946.

His education and experiences in the Ada Public Schools were a foundation, and on that foundation he has built a satisfying and successful personal, professional and community life.

It was a pleasure to nominate him...he was selected on his own merits. On the nominator’s form, the question was asked: What factors influenced your nomination? His “human”-ness, his sense of humor, his ability to relate to and work with people; his knowledge of and interest in his profession, in his area of expertise and in the world, community and everyday events; his interest and love for his family. And of course, he is my brother of whom I am most proud.

Submitted by: Ruth M. Roider

E. Ruth (Stober) Ferguson
Class of 1943
Inducted June 9, 2001

Ruth’s parents graduated from AHS; her brother and his wife both graduated from AHS; her late husband, John, graduated from AHS, as did his sister; John and Ruth’s two sons, Joseph and Fred, graduated from AHS; and two of her grandchildren, Adam and Jamie, graduated from AHS. An AHS family! Shortly after John and Ruth’s marriage, they went into full time farming; in 1956, they entered the business of insurance (and continued to farm). She is active in the Grange and continues to write the Grange news for the Ada Herald. John passed away in 1995. Ruth goes into the insurance office very day, stays active in the Ada Community, and enjoys being a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Lee J. Tressel
(Posthumously)
Class of 1943
Inducted June 9, 2001

Player – Coach – An Academic – Mentor – Husband – Father. While in high school, Lee excelled and won honors in both football and basketball, was Sports Editor of the Purple and Gold in his senior year and was an honor student. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Baldwin-Wallace College, his Master’s Degree from The Ohio State University and his Doctorate from Indiana University. He coached football at Ada High School, Mentor High School, Massillon High School and Baldwin-Wallace College – thirty- three (33) years, with a record of 224W – 73L – 6T. Husband of Eloise Schaefer, Class of 1943; father of Dick, Dave and Jim.

Robert D. Hubbell
Class of 1947
Inducted June 9, 2001

While in high school, he was a member of Hi-Y and Chorus, played football and baseball, participated in Interclass and the Class Play, was on the Senior Scholarship Team and was Senior Class President. Among his honors and achievements: Ohio National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, Liberty Township Trustee, Hardin County Board of Elections; Chairman Special Soap Box Derby for Handicapped Kids; and Hardin County Commissioner. He is retired from forty-five (45 years with Sprint Telephone and thirty-eight (38) years in the U.S. Army Reserve. Bob is married to Wilma Mansfield and is a father and grandfather.

 

Ronald Parshall
Class of 1952
Inducted June 8, 2002

Born in 1934, lived on South Union Street in Ada, graduated from Ada High School in 1952. He was President of the Senior Class; earned 10 Varsity “A”s in four sports; selected to represent Ada High School by the Ada American Legion for Buckeye Boys State. Ron attended Ohio Northern University part-time for two years, then served in the Army for two years. In 1956, Ron married Mary Earl and began working for Columbia Gas of Ohio in 1957, retiring after 33 ½ years and moving back to Ada. While in Ada, Ron served six years on the Ada City Council and was elected mayor, serving from 1996-2000. "He is proud to be a past member of the Ada Exempted Village Schools' Board of Education." Ron and Mary now reside in Holiday, Florida.

 

Eloise Schaefer Tressel
(Posthumously)
Class of 1943
Inducted June 8, 2002

Born in Cleveland, graduated from Ada High School in 1943. Eloise participated in Intramurals, Band and Orchestra; was a member of GAA; was on the Annual Staff and was Purple and Gold editor her senior year. She was selected for the National Honor Society and was Co-Valedictorian of the Class of 1943. In 1947, she earned her R.N. from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing and in 1972, graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College with a major in Speech Communication. She married Lee J. Tressel, was the mother of Jim, Richard and David, and was the grandmother of eleven grandchildren. Eloise passed away in August of 2001 and it was stated in her obituary, “....a Berea community activist who was known as the matriarch of Ohio College football...”

 

Robert Allen, Jr.
Class of 1947
Inducted June 7, 2003

Robert Allen, jr., Class of 1947, was a busy high school student, participating in many activities. He worked for Hindall Roofing company, farmed, was a Nationwide Insurance Agent and worked in the chemistry department of Ohio Northern University for twenty-seven years. Bob served as an Ada councilman and as mayor of Ada from 1984 until 1991, and was on the Regional Planning Commission. He was proud of the Ada Schools and of the Village of Ada.

 

Jo Tressel Kindle
Class of 1954
Inducted June 7, 2003

Jo Tressel Kindle, Class of 1954, was a lovely, caring person and an inspiration to us all. Jo attended the Ada School system all her life; her favorite class was gym class. School and classes always came first for her children and she was very supportive of her grandchildren’s school activities. She served on the Ada Exempted village School Board, was Ada’s Centennial Queen, was a 4-H leader for thirteen years and worked at the Ada Herald Newspaper.

 

Lowell Reese
Class of 1931
Inducted June 7, 2003

Lowell Reese, Class of 1931, played quarterback on the Ada Bulldog team. He attended Ohio Northern University, lettering twice in football and three times in basketball. His teaching career began in 1935; he returned to Ada High School in 1942 as head football coach and had an undefeated football season. After serving in World War II, he returned to teaching and coaching, and returned to Ada High School in 1952. He was honored by the Town and Gown Association and was long-time associated with the War Memorial Park Board.

 

Betty Doersam Plummer
Class of 1940
Inducted June 5, 2004

Betty Doersam Plummer, Class of 1940, enjoyed volleyball and basketball intramurals while in High School. She was a member of the G.A.A. and an assistant to the Home Ec. Teacher. Mrs. Plummer was very active in her children’s school activities including being a room mother, Brownie leader, Cub Scout leader and helped with Girl Scout Day Camp. For many years, she served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Athletic Boosters. She helped with the school carnival where she became known as the Pick-A-Pocket Lady. She is an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ada serving as an Elder and as a Deacon. She is a member of the Women’s Guild and director of the Ada Food Pantry. Her hobbies include flower gardening, collecting Bulldogs, Longaberger baskets, Hummels and David Winter cottages. She and her husband, Joe, are the parents of eight children, Irene Plummer Kouba, Wayne Plummer, Marie Plummer Bischoff, Karen Plummer Smith, Bob Plummer, Joe Plummer, Jeff Plummer and Laura Plummer Buschur, all of whom graduated from Ada High School.

 

Isabelle Hubbell Nelson
Class of 1941
Inducted June 5, 2004

Isabelle Hubbell Nelson, Class of 1941, was active in girls and mixed choruses at Ada High School. She was also a member of the National Honor Society. Mrs. Nelson graduated from Lima Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1944. Upon her retirement, Mrs. Nelson was supervisor of the Critical Care Unit at L.M.H. where she had worked for over 30 years. She is active in American Legion Auxiliary, Ada Unit 185 and Church activities. Mrs. Nelson has dedicated most of her life to the nursing profession. She served as a visiting nurse early in her career, established the Critical Care program at LMH and her program for Coronary Care was accepted as an accredited course by the State of Ohio. She taught Coronary Care for many years and was the first nurse elected to the Board of Directors at LMH. Her hobbies include music, hiking and reading. She and her husband, Willis, are the parents of three daughters, Anita, Annette and Alane, all of whom attended and graduated from Ada High School.

Beulah Spar Hays
Class of 1942
Inducted June 4, 2005

Beulah M. Spar Hays is a 1942 graduate of Ada High School. She served as a class officer; was a member of the National Honor Society; band; orchestra; choir; Girls Athletic Association and Girls’ Reserve. She was the 1941 football homecoming queen and the 1942 junior/senior prom queen. After graduating from Ada High School she attended Bliss Business College in Columbus and graduated in the field of secretarial/bookkeeping in 1943. She also graduated from Lima Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1947 as a registered nurse. Together with her husband Ralph, they own Hays Family Partnership and have developed the Hays Subdivision located in the southeast section of the Village of Ada. Beulah is active with her church and serves as both a choir leader and teacher. She has also been a member of the Cleff Club; EMT Squad; American Legion Auxiliary; Red Cross and the Farm Bureau Council. She enjoys traveling, genealogy, sewing, singing and helping farm. Beulah refers to herself as an “ordinary housewife and homemaker who has had a very interesting life and been blessed with a loving family and many friends.” She and her husband Ralph are the parents of five children, Bruce, Janis, Donald, Brad and Rex.

Ruth M. Roider
Class of 1958
Inducted June 4, 2005

Ruth M. Roider graduated from Ada High School in 1958. While attending Ada High School she was active in GAA; FHA; Y-Teens; French Club; Chorus; Annual Staff; Interclass and the class plays. Following graduation, Ruth attended the University of Rochester and received her degree in art education from Kent State University in 1963. She received her M.Ed. degree from Bowling Green State University and attended the University of Akron for post-graduate study. Ruth is a retired elementary art teacher after teaching for thirty-one years. Ruth assisted at the Ohio Northern University’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts and was Editor of the Freed Center newsletter. She has helped with the Harvest and Herb Festival by making signs and coordinating the parade. She served as a member of the Ada Sesquicentennial Committee. Ruth has been very active with the Ada High School Alumni Association and has served as secretary, President-Elect; President and Chairperson of the Hall of Honor Committee. She was instrumental in the reorganization and reactivation of the Ada High School Alumni Association after is expiration several years ago. She also started the Hall of Honor and started a scrapbook to be kept as a record. Ruth remarks that among her many achievements in life are “owning my own house and making it a home, wherever; learning to see and accept each individual as he or she is; and having the courage to be ME!”

 

H. Arden Searson
Class of 1953
Inducted June 4, 2005

H. Arden Searson graduated with the Class of 1953. While attending Ada High School he was active in football, FFA Chapter Farmer Ton Litter Club of the Year; Livestock Judging Team; Honorary Chapter Farmer; Student Council; Class Plays; Interclass Contestant; Band; Chorus; Orchestra; Hi-Y Church Club and Projection Club. Following graduation, Arden attended The Ohio State University. Together with his late wife, Jean, they are the owners of Searson Farms located on County Road 44 near Ada. Arden has been a farmer for many years. He is also a lifetime member of the First United Presbyterian Church. He has participated and served for 51 years with the F&M Picnic. Other clubs and activities that he has been involved with include the Ada Boosters Club, Earth Day Exhibiter in Kenton and a participant in the Harvest and Herb Festival Parade. He has been a 21 year member of the Liberty National Bank Board of Trustees. He chaired the Ada School Levy Committee in 2004 and has served on community advisory groups for both Ada High School and Ohio Northern University. Arden has been an advisor to the Liberty Boys 4-H Club for over 20 years. Arden enjoys attending Ada football and basketball games, collecting tractor’s and Indian artifacts and attending events his grandchildren are involved with. Arden and his late wife are the parents of two children, Herb and Marie.

Maxine Deringer McBride
Class of 1950
Inducted June 3, 2006

Maxine Deringer McBride graduated from AHS in 1950. While attending high school she was very active and involved with numerous activities including President of her sophomore and senior class; President of the National Honor Society; 1949 Homecoming Queen; Valedictorian of her class; member of the band, choir and newspaper staff. She attended ONU and retired as Executive Secretary from Ada Schools in 1989 after serving the District for 36 years. While working for Ada Schools she worked as a secretary as well as treasurer for four years. She served on the Town and Gown Board, United Way, Ada Baptists Women’s Group; Secretary/clerk for the First Baptist Church Board for 17 years; Treasurer of the Ada Public Library; President of the Ada Business and Professional Women’s Club. She and her husband, Howard, served eight years as Missionary Support People at the Crosslands Navajo Mission in New Mexico.

Maxine and Howard have one son, Mark. After retiring, Maxine now makes her home in Michigan near her son, Mark, daughter-in-law, Denise and granddaughter, April.

 

Robert B. Minto
Principal and Teacher 1969-2001
Inducted June 3, 2006

Mr. Minto is a former art teacher and high school principal at Ada High School for 32 years. Mr. Minto was high school principal for AHS for five years and while teaching art classes at Ada, his students won many awards. He graduated from Findlay College in 1969 and also received degrees from the University of Dayton. He currently owns and operates Fallen Willow Pottery in Mt. Cory, Ohio. Mr. Minto is a member of the Buckeye Western Horse Club. His hobbies include his art work and working with his horses. He and his wife, Karen, have one son, Bruce. Mr. Minto refers to himself in his alumni questionnaire as “Just an Ordinary Joe!”

Helen Spar Ludwig
Class of 1940
Inducted June 2, 2007
(Posthumously)

Helen Spar Ludwig graduated from AHS in 1940. An active student at Ada she held class offices, was a member of the band and orchestra and excelled in intramurals. She graduated from ONU in 1944. At ONU she was an outstanding athlete in volleyball, basketball, archery and badminton, was a member of the ONU debate team and Theta Phi Delta sorority. After graduation she worked in Greenbrier, West Virginia as a physical therapist helping soldiers who returned from WWII. She married Everett Ludwig in 1945. Together they farmed outside of Ada all of their married life. From 1953-1962 she taught health, physical education and biology at AHS. She also coached girls’ basketball and softball. She received her Master’s Degree in Education from Bowling Green State University in 1965. By 1963 she had joined the ONU staff and served the university for 21 years as Director of Women’s Physical Education and head of women’s athletics in addition to teaching and coaching basketball, volleyball, track, softball and tennis. She was honored for her contributions to women’s athletics by being inducted as a charter member of the OAISW Hall of Fame in 1984 and the ONU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. She was the first woman to make the list.

Helen and Everett had three children, Gary, Jim and Jacque, who all graduated from Ada High School.

Samuel H. Beckley
Administrator
Inducted: May 31, 2008

Mr. Samuel H. Beckley has been in the field of education for over forty years. Mr. Beckley is a 1962 graduate of Jackson High School; a 1966 graduate of Ohio Northern University; and earned his Master’s Degree from The Ohio State University. Mr. Beckley served the Ada Exempted Village Schools as both the High School Principal from 1987 to 1995 and as Superintendent of Schools from 1995 to 2003. Prior to working at Ada Schools, Mr. Beckley was an elementary principal and special education director for Lima City Schools. He also worked for six years as Director of Student Activities and Organizations at Ohio Northern University. Mr. Beckley is a member of the American Association of School Administrators Buckeye Association of School Administrators; Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators; Phi Delta Kappa and Rotary International. While working at Ada Schools, Mr. Beckley was instrumental in reestablishing the AHS Alumni Association and Alumni Banquet and he worked with the Ohio School Facilities Commission to help make our new K-12 building a reality.

Mr. Beckley, and his wife, Jean, who is employed by the Ada Schools and has over thirty-five years of teaching to her credit, are the parents of two children, Brian Beckley (1994 graduate of AHS) and Susan Beckley Hart (2000 graduate of AHS). Mr. Beckley enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and traveling.

 

Thomas E. Dearth
Class of 1960
Inducted: May 31, 2008

Mr. Thomas Dearth is also known as “Pastor Tom” to many in our community. He is the current Pastor of the County Line Church of the Brethren. Mr. Dearth is a 1960 graduate of AHS. While in high school, Tom served as a class officer all four years and was Class President his senior year. He graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1965 majoring in Industrial Arts. Mr. Dearth taught Industrial Arts at Allen East Schools for four years before coming to AHS. Thirty-one years later, Mr. Dearth retired from the Ada Schools. He has served the Ada Schools as Athletic Director; coached football and basketball; was an advisor of the Industrial Arts Club; Class Play Director; President of the Ada Education Association; Driver’s Education Instructor for thirty years and also drove school bus for seventeen years. Mr. Dearth can frequently be seen on WTLW-44 TV with Church of the Week, Ask the Pastor. Mr. Dearth’s hobbies include woodworking, baking, and helping others.

He and his wife Janice, who is also retired from Ada Schools after serving 27 1/2 years as a bus driver and cafeteria worker, are the parents of three daughters, Trudi Dearth Vermillion (1984 AHS graduate); Tammi Dearth Vaughn (1986 AHS graduate) and Amber Dearth Clum (1990 AHS graduate).

 

Jay E. Epley
Class of 1965
Inducted May 31, 2008

Mr. Jay Epley is recognized locally as “Chief Epley” as he has served the Ada Liberty Township Fire Department since 1971. As a volunteer, he has served as treasurer and Assistant Chief before becoming Chief of the Department in 1978. Mr. Epley is a 1965 graduate of AHS. While attending high school, he was actively involved with Senior High Marching and Concert Band; played football earning the NW Ohio Honors Junior Year Offensive Tackle and All Ohio Honors Senior Year Defensive Nose Tackle awards. He was a sprinter on the track team and was a member of the Hi-Yi Club. He graduated in 1966 from Greer Technical Institute in Chicago, Illinois with a degree in Basic Diesel Mechanics and Basic Welding. Mr. Epley worked for Columbia Gas of Ohio for over thirty years. He served in the Ohio Army National Guard for twenty-two years, retiring as an E-7 Platoon Sergeant. During this service he was State activated for Prison, City, Truckers and Campus Riots and was activated for the removal of the snow from Ada streets during the Blizzard of 1978. Mr. Epley served the Ada Community as an EMT with the Ada-Liberty Rescue Squad. He has been active with the Ada Schools through both the AHS Music Boosters and Athletic Boosters.

Jay and his wife, Linda (Lenhart), a 1966 AHS graduate, are the parents of two daughters, Laurie Epley Nagle (1987 AHS graduate) and Nicole Epley Hackworth (1989 AHS graduate) and have five grandchildren.

Bonnie Mansfield Eddy
Class of 1952
Inducted:  June 6, 2009

Bonnie Mansfield Eddy is a 1952 graduate of Ada High School.  While in high school she was active in 4-H; Head Typist for the Annual Staff; Accompanist for the Boys’ Glee Club; Cheerleader; Choir and Accompanist; Chorus; Concert Band; GAA; General Scholarship Team; Girls Basketball; Girls Glee Club; Girls Trio; Interclass Contest; Junior Class Play; Junior Class Vice-President; Junior Red Cross; Latin Club; Librarian; Life Guard at the Ada Pool; Majorette and Drums in the marching band; National Honor Society; Orchestra; Prince of Peace; Purple and Gold Newspaper; Secretary at the First Methodist Church and active in youth fellowship, choir and solos; Social and Assemble Committees; Solo and Ensemble Contests; Senior Scholarship Team; Typing Contest; Y-Teens and was Valedictorian of her class.

She graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree, cum laude.  She received her Master’s Degree and did post graduate work at BGSU and the University of Toledo.

She has served as Director of Henry County Area American Cancer Society; Supervisor of Student Teachers at Defiance College; Elementary Principal at Sylvania City Schools; Supervisor of Special Projects at Lucas County Office of Education; Teaching Fellow at BGSU; Elementary Principal at Napoleon Area Schools; Choir Director at St. Paul Methodist Church in Napoleon; Director of Sixth Grade Camp Palmer for Napoleon Area Schools; and was a sixth grade teacher at Napoleon Area Schools.

Honors and memberships she has received include the Martha Jennings Holden Scholar Award; Napoleon Area School Board of Education; member of the 4-County Career Center Board of Education; Teacher Advisory Committee for BGSU; Ohio Citizen Bee Judge for the State of Ohio; NWOSBA Executive Committee; OSBA President to name a few.

Her hobbies include music, playing the piano/organ at home, church, gardening, reading, writing poetry, traveling and “keeping her husband happy.”

She married John Eddy, a 1949 graduate of AHS and together they have three children, Cindy, Connie and John and five grandchildren.

Bonnie is quoted as saying “I really believe that we’re here to give back.  I felt like I could help other people.  The belief of giving back – that’s part of everything I do.  I have a deep belief in God.  I have to make my life mean something while I’m here.”

C. Eugene Fries
Former Faculty
Inducted: June 6, 2009

C. Eugene Fries, Jr. is a 1954 graduate of Jackson Center High School.  While in high school, he was active in sports, music and drama.  Upon graduating from high school, he worked in industry four years before attending college.  He also worked in industry while earning his B.A. Degree from the University of Findlay.  He later earned his Master’s Degree from Miami University and did additional graduate course work at Indiana University, University of Dayton, Wright State University, Western Michigan University, and Bowling Green State University.

His teaching career began in 1961 at New Knoxville H.S., where he worked for eleven years as a teacher, counselor, Athletic Director and coach.  He came to Ada in 1972 and worked at AHS for ten years as a teacher, Assistant Principal, and coach.  While serving as Ada’s Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach, his teams were Northwest Conference Champions the last seven consecutive years he coached.  His teams had a ten-year overall record of 175 wins and 37 losses.  While coaching Cross Country for five years at Ada, his teams won three consecutive Northwest Conference Championships.  In 1982 he went to Norwalk H.S. and worked as a counselor and coach for one year.

In 1983 he returned to Ada as Superintendent and served for nine years.  During this time the additional gym was constructed for elementary physical education, Junior High Athletics and other activities.  He secured grants to remove asbestos, lower ceilings and install new lighting and heating in much of the building.  Computers were installed for students and teachers.  In 1992 he accepted the position of Superintendent of Buckeye Career Center in New Philadelphia, Ohio.  He held that position until he retired in 2005.

He is a member of the Elks and Buckeye Association of School Administrators.  He is a past member of the Rotary Club of Ada, the Library Board of the Ada Public Library, the Ohio Career Technical Administrators Association, and Trustee of the Community Improvement Corporation of New Philadelphia, Ohio.

He married Velma Regula and together they are the parents of four children, Peg, Jeff, Doug and Holly, all of whom graduated from AHS.

He and his wife enjoy sports, music events, travel and spending time at their condo at Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Alan Hetrick
Class of 1957
Inducted:  June 6, 2009

Mr. Alan Hetrick is a 1957 graduate of Ada High School.  While attending school at AHS he was active in sports.  He attended Ohio Northern University’s College of Engineering and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Colorado State University.  He earned his Masters Degree from Ball State University.  After finishing school in Colorado he returned to Ohio to teach and coach at Versailles in Darke County.  He worked as a guidance counselor for Versailles High School and was their Varsity Football Coach.  He coached for 38 years and compiled a record of 334 wins, 95 losses and 4 ties.  His teams had 42 wins and 10 losses in the football playoffs, they were regional champs and won six State Championships.  He had the privilege of coaching 21 All-Ohio Players in Division IV and V.  He retired from teaching in June of 1995 and continued to coach football.  He has been very active in the Versailles community and has impacted the lives of many students and football families during his years of teaching and coaching. 

He has served on the Board of Directors of the Miami Valley Football Foundation; received the Community Pride Award from the Versailles Rotary Club in 1993; was honored with the Citizen of the Year Award from the Versailles Community in 1990; awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Versailles Jaycees in 1989;  Coach of the Year from Franklin Life Insurance Company in 1990; Ohio Coach of the Year in Division IV in 1995; three years he was honored as Southwest District Coach of the Year; received the Mike Kelly Special Award in 1996; and was selected to the Ohio Football Hall of Fame in 1997. 

His hobbies include hiking/walking, racquetball, woodcarving, outdoor activities and enjoying his black labs.  Mr. Hetrick married Vickie Bennett and they are the parents of two sons, Mitchell, who is deceased, and Michael.

John Deringer
(posthumously)
Class of 1942
Inducted:  June 5, 2010

Mr. John Deringer was born June 23, 1924.  He graduated from AHS in 1942 and married Kathleen Joyce Moore on November 2, 1952.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from ONU in 1957 majoring in the field of Chemistry and Science.  He worked for the Ohio State Highway Department as District Deputy Director of District I.  Mr. Deringer volunteered for service in the Army Air Force and trained to fight in WWII and the Korean War.  He learned to pilot an aircraft during his years in the service.  He was honorably discharged as a second lieutenant in March, 1953.  He and his brother George pursued their love of flight by operating the Ada Airport.

His passion was instructing and training pilots at the airport; however training did not garnish the best wages so he pursued a degree in science and chemistry from Ohio Northern University.  He then began a career with the State Highway Department as an engineer’s aide.  He continued studying civil engineering and became a professional engineer on June 1, 1957.  While working at the Ohio State Highway Department he was appointed the Deputy Director of District I, supervising eight counties in northwest Ohio. 

Mr. Deringer was a devoted family man and helped raise his two younger brothers when his father died and also helped support and take care of his mother.  He and his wife raised five daughters, Teresa, Cheryl, Joyce, Laura and Peggy.  He served on the Hardin County Hospital; Board; surveyed and mapped property for land owners; spoke at various meetings and frequently was found at ONU’s engineering classrooms.  He spent many hours teaching people to fly airplanes but still found time for his family.  Mr. Deringer passed away March 17, 1978 at the age of 53.

Donald Gunn
Class of 1958
Inducted: June 5, 2010

Mr. Donald Gunn is a 1958 graduate of Ada High School.  While attending AHS he was very active in football; Hi-Y; Senior Class Play and noted that he was “never in trouble.”

After high school, Donald served five years in the U.S. Submarine Navy.  He served aboard a WWII diesel submarine and subsequently a Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine while conducting Cold War Patrols above the Arctic Circle evading Soviet Bloc Attack submarines.  He is a Life Member of the U.S. Submarine Veterans and served as Commander Tri-State Base serving submarine veterans in MD, VA and WV.

Mr. Gunn subsequently worked for British Aerospace Engineering Systems (North American Division) for forty years retiring in 2003.  He was a Senior Systems Engineer and provided U.S. Submarine Fleet Ballistic Missile Weapons support to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy Submarine Service during the Cold War.

Mr. Gunn went on to college for thirteen years of both part-time evenings and full-time achieving:  an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Mitchell College (Honors); a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Science from the University of Connecticut (Honors); and a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of New Haven Connecticut (Honors).  While at Mitchell College, Donald was inducted into the Mitchell Society of Scholars for notable scholastic achievement in the year 1971-1972.

At his local church, he was active in teaching Sunday School; religion classes for Eagle Scout Merit badges; Maintenance Committee Chair and Outreach Comptroller.  In addition, he was a Little League Coach and supported Boy Scouts.

Mr. Gunn is active in the Connecticut Poetry Society and Poets of the Sound.  He is a published poet and has had several stories published in regional fishing magazines.  Mr. Gunn is an award winning artist being awarded Second Place in the 61st Annual Connecticut Artists Exhibition for his piece, “IX, XI, MMI.”  This artwork was an abstract commemorative painting of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on our country.  Mr. Gunn was in Arlington, VA, less than a mile from the Pentagon when the attack occurred.  He witnessed the attack first-hand from a seventh floor conference room.

Mr. Gunn presently enjoys boating on Long Island Sound and painting and writing poetry.  He and his wife, Linda, make their retirement home in Groton, CT.

Robert “Bob” LaRue
(posthumously)
Member of the Class of 1933
Inducted:  June 5, 2010

Mr. Robert “Bob” LaRue was born July 19, 1915 in Hardin County.  He attended AHS but did not complete graduation requirements due to the war.  Mr. LaRue served the Ada Schools for thirty-three years as a janitor and bus driver.  As noted by the individual who nominated Mr. LaRue for the Hall of Honors, “His wisdom and common sense surpassed many others.  He was an ordinary person doing a great job.”

While driving bus, he was a primary driver for extra curricular trips.  He tried his best to make every student feel important, by encouraging them to do their best and always had a friendly disposition topped by none.

Mr. LaRue was honored as the 1969 Ohio Association of Public School Employees’ (OAPSE) custodian-maintenance employee of the year.  He served on the Ada Village Water Board and was very civic oriented.  Mr. LaRue and Jud Shadley built one of the shelter houses at the Ada War Memorial Park.  His hobbies included woodworking and small repair jobs.

Mr. LaRue did not receive any major awards or honors but who gives tribute to a janitor?  His wisdom and common sense surpass all the awards available and his kind and gentle personality was a welcome inspiration to all.  He was down to earth and a practical common sense man who served the Ada Schools for many years.  Mr. LaRue was married to Gertrude for 45 years and together they had three children, Robert “Butch” LaRue, Norma LaRue Preston Rex and Shirley LaRue Clark Erwin.