The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame will induct the Class of 2013 in a ceremony at 11 a.m. November 7 at Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium in Columbus. The Ohio veterans’ community and the public are cordially invited to attend and honor the 15 Ohioans in this year’s class as they join the 428 others who are enshrined in the Hall.
The Hall is dedicated to recognizing Ohio veterans who, after their military service, put their skills and abilities to work in their local communities. They are veterans who have continued to serve others, and by their continued service and positive accomplishments, inspired their fellow citizens. This year’s inductees are:
ANNA K. BEALL
Dayton, Montgomery County - United States Army Nurse Corps Veteran – World War II
Anna was an Army nurse in the Pacific Theater during World War II. After the war, she worked at the Dayton Mental Health Center until her retirement in 1983. She has been a volunteer for 30 years at Hospice of Dayton and also a tour guide at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Anna also speaks to students at the Stivers School about her military experiences and service to country. She also volunteers with the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress.
STEPHEN J. BUTCHER
Pataskala, Licking County – Ohio Air National Guard Veteran – Persian Gulf War
Steve Butcher is a retired Sergeant Major from the Ohio Air National Guard. He has twice been elected Mayor of Pataskala. He is also the owner of Butcher’s Restaurant, which every year on dates close to Memorial Day and Veterans Day, serves free meals to veterans all day. As Mayor, he helped create a “Veterans Green” and was instrumental in raising funds to preserve an old theater, establish a community museum, and re-open a closed swimming pool.
ROBERT E. DERR
Cincinnati, Clermont County – United States Marine Corps Veteran – Korean and
Vietnam War Era
Robert “Bob” Derr enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17 and came home to establish a business he operated for 36 years. He’s been a volunteer for more than 35 years at a Clermont County children’s charity and over 30 years at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. He also chairs the Fallen Heroes of Clermont County Memorial Committee to commemorate the service of the 14 residents of Clermont County who fell during the Persian Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
HARRY A. DONOVAN
Fairlawn, Summit County – United States Navy Veteran – World War II
Harry Donovan is a World War II Navy veteran who became a Certified Public Accountant who later owned his own firm. He is an active supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project and has established a scholarship fund for children of veterans. He donates and volunteers with the Summit County Stand-Down for homeless veterans as well as at the new Valor Home for homeless veterans, named after his son, Harry Donovan, Jr. Harry has also served on many community and church boards.
CARLOS M. EASTERDAY
Pleasant City, Noble County – United States Army Veteran – Korean War
Carlos Easterday served during the Korean War, returned home and saw the need in his community to help those less fortunate during the holiday season. He and his wife began a tradition of offering a free community-wide dinner on Christmas Day, which has grown to serve 300 meals annually and deliver another 300. This effort is a tradition as well for many families of volunteers. Carlos has also recruited local teens to ensure a flag is placed on the graves of local veterans.
ROGER H. GARDNER
Warren, Trumbull County – United States Army Veteran/Ohio Army National Guard Veteran – Korean War Era and Vietnam War Era
Roger Gardner is a veteran of both in the active Army and the Ohio Army National Guard. He was instrumental in the construction of several veterans’ memorials in Trumbull County. He has logged over 2,300 volunteer hours at the Warren VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic and nearly 6,000 volunteer hours at the Youngstown VA clinic. Roger is a frequent speaker in the “Tell America” program in local schools, sharing his military experiences and encouraging patriotism.
DAVID R. HINDS
Dublin, Delaware County – United States Marine Corps Veteran – Vietnam War
David Hinds returned from Vietnam and tirelessly served veterans and others both in his hometown of Zanesville and later in Dublin. In 1979, he received the Presidential Outstanding Community Achievement of Vietnam Era Veterans Award. He’s led projects that include the Zanesville Vietnam Veterans Outreach Program, and the Zanesville Marine Corps League Toys for Tots. In 2013, he helped raise funds to establish a Grounds of Remembrance Memorial in Dublin Veterans Park.
ALEXANDER P. KISH
Newton Falls, Trumbull County – United States Army Veteran – Korean War
Alexander Kish is a Korean War veteran who was instrumental in bringing the Western Reserve National Cemetery to Rittman. He organized an Honor Guard of veterans’ organizations that provides military honors during burials there. He helped raise funds that purchased over 400 phone cards for veterans at the Brecksville VA Hospital and active duty soldiers at Fort Drum, New York. He has also organized a fundraiser to provide summer camp for underprivileged children in Trumbull County.
JOHN F. KUFFNER (deceased)
St. Mary’s, Auglaize County – United States Navy Veteran – World War II
Jack Kuffner served in the Navy in World War II and became an attorney who practiced in St. Marys for 50 years. He was Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Auglaize County for 24 years and later the Prosecuting Attorney, and also served as a Judge on the Auglaize County Common Pleas Court, receiving the Ohio Supreme Court Award for “Superior Judicial Service.” He was a member of several civic boards and was active in the Masons, Kiwanis and veterans’ organizations.
HARRY A. SEIFERT, JR.
Kettering, Montgomery County – United States Army Veteran – Cold War
Harry Seifert is an Army veteran and a Dayton businessperson who was a leader in the effort to revitalize Dayton’s downtown business district and neighborhoods. He is strongly involved in the restoration of the Wright Brothers, Paul Dunbar and VA campus historic areas. Harry’s leadership also brought together business and community leaders and the Dayton VA Medical Center to forge the Community Covenant to support the employment of veterans throughout the Miami Valley.
RONALD J. SEMAN
Parma, Cuyahoga County – United States Air Force Veteran – Korean War
Ronald Seman is a Korean War veteran who launched a long career in media. He originated “The Cleveland Veteran” radio program which promoted veterans’ activities and later wrote a weekly veterans’ column while at the Cleveland Press. He continues to write the “Veterans’ Beat” for several local newspapers. He is an active member of several veterans’ organizations and long-time supporter of the USO. Ron has also organized and em’ceed many veterans’ events over the years.
SHARON A. R. STANLEY
Circleville, Ross County – United States Army Veteran – Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Global War on Terrorism
Sharon Stanley was an Army nurse who serves at the national level as Chief Nurse of the American Red Cross. She is responsible for the training and deployment of Red Cross nurses and ensures they are up to current standards in all areas to include disaster response and blood collection and distribution. She has increased the presence of Red Cross volunteer nurses in both military and VA hospitals. The International Red Cross honored her in 2013 with the Florence Nightingale Medal.
CARL W. SWISHER
Columbus, Franklin County – United States Navy Veteran – Vietnam War Era
Carl Swisher returned from his Navy service and started his own business. He also became active in the American Legion and was both 12th District and Department of Ohio Commander. Carl chaired the Buckeye Boys State Committee for more than 15 years, and is active on several other American Legion committees. He has personally sponsored Veterans’ Day parade floats and youth sports teams. He now represents the Legion on the Franklin County Veterans Service Commission.
JOSEPH K. VRABEL (deceased)
Poland, Mahoning County – United States Army Veteran – Korean War
Joseph Vrabel served in the Korean War and devoted himself to serving other veterans. He was active in both the Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion. Joe was an avid promoter of Buckeye Boys State to which he generously donated and secured several local sponsorships. Joe was an active fundraiser for Gifts for Yanks, and helped obtain a van to transport veterans from Youngstown to the Cleveland VA hospital. He was known in his area as the “Veterans’ Veteran.”
JOHN B. WILLIAMS
Bexley, Franklin County – United States Army Veteran – World War II
John Williams served in World War II and later served his community in many ways. His complaint led to the development of an Affirmative Action Plan for the Columbus Post Office. John was a co-founder of the Reeb-Hosack Community Baptist Church and a contributing writer for the Columbus Call and Post. His work in South Linden led to the formation of the Greater Linden Block Watch Alliance. John’s favorite saying is, “I’d rather wear out in serving others, than rust out in idle retirement.”
The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was established in 1992 by former Gov. George Voinovich to recognize the post-military achievements of outstanding veterans. Charter members of the Hall’s Class of 1993 included the six Ohio military veterans who were elected President of the United States and all Medal of Honor recipients from Ohio. Honorees of the past 18 years include astronauts, government officials, police officers, community leaders, and veterans’ advocates.
The Hall of Fame Executive Committee, comprised entirely of veterans, serves as advisors for the Hall of Fame and selects no more than 20 inductees annually from nominations provided by all citizens of Ohio. Men and women chosen for induction into the Hall come from all eras, all branches of service and all walks of life. The members of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame are honored in a permanent display on the second floor of the Riffe Center in downtown Columbus.