Whippet Echoes April 2023

This 198th edition of Whippet Echoes brings news of both academic and athletic successes plus a noteworthy retirement. 

Reactions to February 15 edition of Whippet Echoes:

  • “Thank you!” Barry Claytor ’72 
  •  “Thank you for another news-filled Whippet Echoes. You keep me informed about old friends and their generations.” Sharon Dillon ’64  
  • “Great read as always!  Thanks!” Joann Thomas Hipsher ’74
  • “Thanks for your hard work.” Robert Ross ’65   
  • “Thanks for all of your time and hard work. I enjoy reading the Echoes. I recognize a lot of the names.” Steve Rhodes – former SHS principal  
  • “Again, thank you so much.”  Nancy Nicholson Yoder  \’60
  •  “Thank you so much for faithfully keeping us all up to date on things of interest to us alumni of Shelby High.  I know it is a big task, but it is greatly appreciated by all who receive it, I am sure.  I always look in my inbox for Whippet Echoes.  The older I get and more health challenges I have, the more I appreciate hearing from and about others.  Once again, thank you for the GREAT work.”  Larry Jack Tackett ’65
  • “Once again, a thankless job well done! Thanks to your team. You are special connectors!” Dwight ‘Whitey’ Kollmeier ’70
  • ·“Just to say thanks seems inadequate.  Well done.” Tom Whitacre ’64

New Whippet Echoes Network Members:

  • Vince Huggins ’62 
  • Carla Weiland ’68 
  •  Dianne Schull Arter ’70 
  • Donna Gearhartee Ramsey ’70  
  • Chuck Shaffer ’70
  • Mike Gwirtz ’72 & Michelle Friebel Gwirtz ’72 
  • Mike Tarvin ’74 
  • Karen Milliron Kleer ’74  
  • Laura Kim ’85 
  • Susan Snyder Slone ’85  
  • Marsha Milliron DeVito ’86   
  • Kate Milliron Hlad ’88  
  • Sally Biglin ’95 
  • Heather Wheeler McClain ’01 


  • Gerald Fee ’51 died at 89 last November in Lexington, KY. 
  • The Roberts sisters – Rhonda ’74of Gahanna; Renae ’76 of Valrico, FL; Radell ’80 of Syracuse, NY – lost their mom when Joan died at 92 on Jan. 27 in Westerville.  Predeceasing Joan was Buddy, her husband of 68 years, in 2021. 
  • The Knapp Kids – Kevin ’76 of Lucas, Melanie Lapmarado ’78 of Strongsville, Susan Foliano ’84 of Madison, Alabama –  lost their mom when Jean Knapp died at 86 on Feb. 2.  She was a Crestline HS grad. Predeceasing Jean was John, her husband of 64 years, in 2019. 
  • Freelyn Gearhart ’61, Shelby resident, died at 80 on Feb. 8 in Ashtabula.  He was an Air Force veteran.  Surviving are wife Bertie and kids Dorinda Wagner ‘82, Shelby; Wayne ’87 of Lancaster, PA; Brenda and Jeff ’91, both of Loveland.   
  • Brothers Tim ’93 and Tom ’96 Winningham lost their mom when Sally Winningham, Shelby resident, died at 74 on Feb. 8 in Ontario. Also surviving are Jim, her husband of 25 years, and kids Deanna Bailey, Vrondy Browny, Elizabeth Stigall, Jeremiah Sexton, Steven Wren. 
  • Robert ‘Doc’ Scherer ’48, Shelby resident, died at 92 on Feb. 9 in Mansfield.  Surviving are sons Robb ’74 and Joe ’80, both of Shelby.  He was an Army veteran. Predeceasing him were wife Mary Lou in 2013 and daughter Barb Elliott ’76. 
  • Tim Guenther ’73 died at 68 on Feb. 15 in Lexington. Surviving are Betty, his wife of 35 years, and sister Lori Stewart ’79. 
  • James Will ’49 died at 92 on Feb. 15 in Shelby.  He was a Navy veteran.  Surviving are Sandra Boudinot Will ’55, his wife of 64 years, and kids Carrie Diebler of Bucyrus, Lucy McPeek of Shelby, James of Willard, Glenda Engel of Galena.   
  • The Walton kids – Ethan ’09, Eve ’10 – lost their dad when Roger died at 65 on Feb. 20 in Shelby.   
  • Lowell Jarrell ’56 died at 85 on Feb. 21 in Toledo.  Surviving are kids David ’78 of Severna, MD; Becky Brittenham ’80 of Toledo; Debbie Graham ’76 of Chesapeake, VA.
  • The Magers kids – Marcy Holton ’73 of St. Louisville, OH; Kim Magers ’77 of Mansfield; Kyle Perez of California; Sally Staton ’81 of Plymouth; John Magers ’84 of Shelby – lost their dad when Jim Magers, Shelby resident, died at 89 on Feb. 23 in Willard.  He was a Tiro HS grad.  Predeceasing Jim in 2021 was Janice, his wife of 69 years.
  • Ken Straw ’75 lost his daughter Janelle Straw when she died at 32 after a brief illness on Feb. 24 in Columbus.  Also surviving are Janelle’s aunts, Chris Straw ’63 and Lorraine Straw ’71.  Predeceasing Janelle was her mom Janet Straw ’76 in 2003.   
  • Willard ‘Willie’ McKinney ’68, Shelby resident, died at 72 on Feb. 25 in Galion.  Surviving are Chandra Bietner McKinney ’75, his wife of 46 years, and daughter Candace Blunk ’98.    
  • Sandra Payne Lybarger ’53, Shelby resident, died at 87 on Feb. 28 in Galion.  Surviving are son Scott ’79 and daughter Shelly Friebel ’79, both of Shelby.  Predeceasing Sandra in 1995 was husband Glenn.   
  • Kaye Shaffer ’54 died at 86 on Mar. 5 in Statesville, NC.  He was an Army veteran. Surviving are Barbara, his wife of 45 years, daughter Allyson and son David ’78. 
  • Cynthia Houpt Hornikel ’65 lost Robert, her husband of 57 years, when he died at 81 on Mar. 5 in Mansfield.  Also surviving are daughters Cheri Berlin ’87 of Columbus and Heidi Hornikel of Sequim, WA. 
  • Dorothy Whisler Chew ’55, Shelby resident, died at 86 on Mar. 8 in Galion.  Surviving are sons Rich ’78 and Mike ’89, both of Shelby.  Predeceasing Dorothy in 2014 was Robert, her husband of 56 years. 
  • The Fromm kids – Gary, Larry ’89, Mike ’90, Debbie Watkins ’83 – lost their mom when Karen Fromm, Shelby resident, died at 81 on Mar. 8 in Mansfield.  Predeceasing Karen was Bob, her husband of 41 years in 2003.
  • The Smith brothers – Ron ’76, Ryan ’82, both of Dublin – lost their mom when Rosemary died at 89 on Mar. 9 in Columbus  Predeceasing Rosemary, a Willard HS grad, were Roger, her husband of 48 years, in 2002 and son Randy ’73 in 2018. 
  • The Bricker kids – Jim of Shelby, Amy Sindel ’76 of Connecticut, Sara Rambacher ’86 of Massachusetts – lost their mom when Rosemary Bricker died on Mar. 14 in Mansfield.  She was a Shiloh HS grad.    
  • Sheri Berdanier Stewart ’77 died at 64 from brain cancer on Mar. 16 in Ontario.  Surviving are Bill, her husband of 42 years, and sons David, James, Kevin. 
  • Chandra Biettner McKinney ’75, Shelby resident, died at 66 on Mar. 16.  Willard, her husband of 46 years, died just three weeks before Chandra’s passing.   
  • Ty Johnson ’10 and Sheri Johnson ’19 lost their dad when Richard died at 52 on Mar. 16 in Shelby.  Predeceasing Richard was wife Amanda.  
  • Jerry Barker ’69, Shelby resident, died at 72 on Mar. 18 in Ontario. Also surviving are Yulan, his wife of 9 years, and sons Aaron of Ashland and Chad of Lawrence, TN. 
  • Rachel Ryan ’04 and Derek Weir ’17, both of Lexington, lost their mom when Jacqueline Weir, Shelby resident, died unexpectedly at 58 on Mar. 20 in Mansfield.  Also surviving is Randy, her husband of 37 years.    
  • Denny Stima ’82 of Brighton, MI and Jean Yetzer of Shelby lost their dad when Leo Stima, Shelby resident, died at 98 on Mar. 25 in Mansfield.  Predeceasing him was Donna, his wife of 64 years, in 2007.   
  • Alice McDowell ’72 lost her mom when Virginia McDowell died at 92 on Mar. 27 in Shelby.   
  • Christina ‘Tina’ Friebel Cooper ’48 died unexpectedly at 92 on Mar. 31 in Shelby.  Surviving are kids Michael ’69 of Columbia, South America; Tom ’71 of Fletcher, NC; Gary ’72 of Nashville, TN; Vickie McCoy ’74 of Columbus; Dan ’76 of Shelby; Tammy Sides ’81 of Seale, AL; Laura Wedekind ’80 of New Albany.  Predeceasing Tina was her husband Daniel in 2019. 


Tim Tarvin \’77

End of an era.  School superintendents can make their mark in a number of ways – curriculum, equipment, hiring, student success, facilities, etc., with some more visible than others.  When Shelby Schools superintendent Tim Tarvin ’77 retires on July 31, one of his successes will remain visible for decades to come – the new West Smiley campus with its high school, Pre-K-8 building, sprawling athletic complex.  Other significant successes include creating the pre-school program and teaming with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to soon open a student-based campus health center.

After graduating from SHS, Tim earned a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in administration from the University of Dayton.  He taught school in Michigan and Ohio, focusing on social studies and environmental science.  Tim relates that he was inspired by Shelby teachers Ray Vermilya and Phil Pearson, both inductees in the SHS Hall of Distinction.  “I wanted to have the same chance to have an influence in children’s lives.” 

On returning to Shelby, Tim first taught social studies, then became an assistant high school principal, next middle school principal and then started his 12-years as Shelby Schools superintendent.  Reflecting on his career advancement, he says, “Each position at the time was the greatest job I ever had.”  Tim adds, “It might sound trite, but I’ll miss the conversations with staff members and interacting with kids and talking to parents about their kids. I’ll miss the daily hustle and bustle. It’s been a great ride.”

Record setters.  The Shelby Whippets Boys basketball team won its 4th straight MOAC championship.  They become the first boys team in school history to achieve that feat.  It is probable that the Larry Siegfried-led teams would have won 4 straight had freshmen been allowed to play varsity ball.  As it was, the Siegfried-era Whippets won 3 straight NOL titles – 1955, ’56, ’57.  Said current Coach Greg Gallaway, “It’s pretty awesome. To accomplish something that had never been done here before, considering all the special players, great teams and great coaches.”

Five Fingers – Five Straight Titles. The Shelby Whippet Girls basketball team and coaches – see photo below – are all showing five fingers – symbolic of winning their fifth straight MOAC championship.  They also were Sectional Tournament champs and finished with a 19-6 record.  Their feat added to a remarkable record of success; since 1975, Whippet Girls teams have won 21 league titles: 1975, ’77, ’83, ’86, ’88, ’89, ’92, ’97, ’98, ’99, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’12, ’13, ’17, ’19, ’20, ’21, ’22, ’23. 


Winners in the water.  The Whippets’ girls swim team – see photo below – won the 2023 MOAC championship. 


From left to right: Front Row: Lauren Vogt, Elli Mayer, Alexis McClain, Rees Lewis

Back Row: Andy Muntis (coach), Emma Montgomery, Sydney Bachtel, Lily Clark, Julia Sickmiller, Zoe McNary, Lillian McClain, Alexis Malcomb, Laura Dick, Baylie White (coach)

1 of 176! Congratulations to SHS senior Alexis McClain! (see photo below) She was presented with a very special scholarship – The Land Grant Scholarship from Ohio State University. Relates SHS principal John Gies ’84: “It is a merit-based scholarship.  Students must demonstrate financial need and be in the top 5 percent of their graduating class.  There are 176 scholarships awarded each year, with a goal of two scholarships per Ohio county.  This scholarship is like hitting the lottery; it covers the entire cost of attendance, including tuition, room and board, books, transportation, and other expenses.  This is for all four years of college. Alexis is very worthy of the scholarship and will be entering the pharmacy program at Ohio State.”  


Trying to track down the missing.  The alumni shown below have been members of the Whippet Echoes database.  Now, though, emails sent to the shown addresses are being bounced back. If you know how to reach one or more on the list, please let them know that to continue receiving Whippet Echoes we need their current address. 

  • Raymond C. 1966
  • Hopkins, Eugene 1966 
  • Pollock, Tina Baird 1985
  • Shuler, Evan 2013 
  • Vandeveen, Janet Lucille Messersmith 1955
  • Washburn, Scott 2001
  • Watson, Matthew 2008

Save the date: The Class of ’63 will be holding its 60-year reunion on October 6-8.  Leading the organizing team is Elaine Lybarger who is at elybarger@neo.rr.com. Details to follow. 

In between editions of Whippet Echoes, for more information you can check the Alumni Association’s website at shelbywhippetsalumni.org.

Your Faithful Foursome – Greg Daniel ’71, Christina Yetzer Drain ’75, Mike Johnson ’63, Susan Scharenberg – continue to welcome input for the newsletter, now in its 22nd year.   You can send word of births and birthdays, weddings and wedding anniversaries, passings, graduations, jobs and career changes, family and class reunions, hobbies, travels, moves, awards, honors, recognitions, community involvements and other activities to gdaniel0488@gmail.com.  All in all, such input remains the lifeblood of Whippet Echoes

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