Whippet Echoes August 2023

This 201st edition of Whippet Echoes reports the passing of an SHS teacher and coach, a small world connection, a pub crawl, a special recognition for a former mayor, and more. 

Reactions to June 30 Whippet Echoes

  • “SHS Seniors Signing Day is a wonderful opportunity for families to celebrate student achievements, and future high schoolers envision inspirational, ‘if you can see it, you can be it’ lessons in leadership!” Shelly Black Abrams ’69
  • “Thank you.” Amy Arnold Heiland ’72
  • “200 hundredth edition! Job well done.” Joann Thomas Hipsher ’74
  • “Congrats to the new inductees that were announced.  The other notes provided are great to read and relate to home town.   Thanks for your diligence.” Robert Ross ’65    
  • “Thank you for another news filled edition. My thanks to all who contribute to each edition. Not much happening here (Virginia), just trying to stay out of the heat – and sun. Don\’t know if anyone remembers me showing up at school glowing red from having too much fun.” Sharon Dillon ’64
  • “Another great edition!”  Beverly Jewell White ’50
  • “You really are the faithful foursome.  It means a lot to those of us at a bit of a distance.” Nancy Nicholson Yoder ’60

Crawl With A Mission


The SHS Alumni Association has set Saturday, Aug. 26 for its first pub crawl.  As can be seen on the above flyer, the crawl gets underway at 12 noon.  Participants can purchase food and drinks at discounted prices.  Registration is $25 and that fee includes a commemorative t-shirt.  All proceeds will go to the Alumni Association’s Bill Wilkins Memorial Student Achievement Fund.  To date the Alumni Association has donated more than $284,000 for a wide range of items that aren’t included in the school’s operating budget and that strengthen the educational environment for current and future SHS students.

There are three ways to register.  Click on the QR code on the flyer.  Or click on this link https://donorbox.org/events/474973. Or send a check for $25 ($27 if shirt size is XXL, $29 if XXXL, $30 if XXXXL) made payable to the SHS Alumni Association to SHS Alumni Association, 52 Pearl Drive, Shelby, OH 44875.  With the check include email address, t-shirt size, and the first of the 4 bars you will visit.


  • Lori Hicks Sexton ’77 lost her mom when Ethel Hicks, Shelby resident, died at 87 on June 13 in Mansfield.  Also surviving are Marshall Hicks, her husband of 67 years, and daughter Bri Anna Coon.  Predeceasing Ethel were son Ricky and daughter Sheila Wenninger.   
  • Lee Smith ’42 died at 98 on June 15 in Shelby.  He was an Army veteran.   
  • Alan Moon ’71 died at 70 on June 27.  He was a Marine Corps veteran.  Surviving are Laura Pantoja of Prospect and son Theodore of California plus sisters Vickie Dillon ’82 of Shelby and Pamela Whittington ’74 of Indiana. 
  • Karen Karam Fox ’73 lost her son Zachary when he died at 37 on June 28 in Galion.  He was a 2004 Buckeye Central HS grad. Also surviving is his dad Edward and sister Chelsie.   
  • Ron Stone ’76 died at 65 on July 9 in Toledo.  Surviving are sons Caleb ’03 of Woodland Park, Colorado and Dustin ’05 of Shelby and siblings Rick ’69, Bonita Rickett ’74, Shari Stone ’80 as well as his mother Norma of Shelby.   
  • Marcella Gosser Ensman ’45 died at 96 on July 13 in Shelby.  Predeceasing her was husband Jerry in 2008.   
  • Irma Kempf Studer ’45 lost Vincent, her husband of 74 years, when he died at 96 on July18 in Brookville, IN.  He was an Army veteran and ’45 Tiro HS grad.    
  • Judith Keller Hampton ’57, Ontario resident, died at 84 on July 18 in Mansfield.  Surviving are son John and sister Susan Keller ’65 plus step-daughters Patricia Terry, Gretta Riddle, July Hampton. Predeceasing Judith was husband Luther. 
  • Charles Shepherd ’65 died at 77 on July 21 in Mansfield.  He was a National Guard veteran.  Surviving are wife Roberta and kids Robert of Willard; Anthony of Fort Wayne, IN; Tamara Kelley of Mansfield; Charles of Shelby; Sarah McKinney of Ashland; Matthew of Mansfield.  Plus siblings Ralph, Garth, Richard ’69, Betty Bowman ’63, Marietta Baker, Marvin ’68, Wanda Adams ’72, Faye Fried.    
  • Lee Anne Ridenour McKinney ’60 died at 80 on July 23 in Palmer, TX. Surviving are daughter Barbara Graber of Palmer and siblings Pamela Ridenour, Carol Rott, Linda Ostrom ’62, Tom Ridenour ’58, Roger Ridenour.  Predeceasing Lee Ann was daughter Sharron McKinney. 
  • The Shaw kids – Anne Standish ’77 of Colorado Springs, CO; Mike ’78 of Marietta, GA; Raymond ’83 of Mansfield; Suzie Kumashiro ’84 of Arlington, VA – lost their mom when Colette Heinen Shaw died at 90 on July 23 in Mansfield.  Predeceasing Colette was husband Fred.
  • Kris Allen Shaffer ’86, Shelby resident, died at 55 from cancer on July 25 in Mansfield.  He was an Air Force veteran.  Surviving are Kelly Howerton Shaffer ‘85, his wife of 31 years, and kids Miranda ’14 of Huron and Dylan ‘16 of Columbus.    
  • The Panknin sisters – Barb Cline ’71 of Whispering Pines, NC and Dorothy Olewiler ’73 of Shiloh – lost their mom when Herta Renz Panknin died at 92 on July 25 in Shelby.  She was a native of Poland as was her late husband Horst. 
  • The Milliron kids – Cyndy Hursh ’73, Karen Kleer ’74, Grant Jr. ’75, Marsha DeVito ’76, Karl ’83, Kate Hlad ’88 – lost their dad when Grant died at 88 on July 26.  Predeceasing Grant were Mary, his wife of 67 years in 2021, and son Mark ’74.   
  • Dean Myers ’61 died at 80 when he drove around a railroad gate and was struck by a train on July 28 outside Shelby.  He was an Army veteran. Surviving are daughters Nicole Myers ’86 and Heidi Alt ’87, both of Shelby, and step-daughter Tera Rouse ’90 of Jackson.  Predeceasing Dean in 2022 was wife Gail Hogue Myers ’69.

Former SHS teacher and coach Bill Varble died at 92 on July 5 in Medina.  First at Shelby Junior High and then at SHS, Bill taught science, biology and physical education for 31 years.  After serving as an assistant Whippet football coach from 1954-1972, he served as head coach from 1973-1984 and compiled a record of 90 wins, 29 losses and 1 tie, and led the Whippets to 4 Northern Ohio League titles.  In 2008 he was inducted into the SHS Hall of Distinction.  Surviving are kids Ked ’70 of Bluffton, SC; Denise Rinehart ’72 of Tiffin; Todd ’77 of Beverly Hills, CA; Brad ’82 of Comer, GA; and Carol Edgar, a former SHS arts teacher and his companion for 15 years.  Predeceasing Bill was Bette, his wife of 57 years. 

Editor’s Memories: Going back decades to my Whippet football years when Bill was an assistant coach, we often saw the fiery passion he brought to the gridiron.  During football seasons, on Mondays instead of hard-hitting practicing, we sometimes did fun stuff.  One Monday we divided up to play touch football.  I took a turn at wide receiver.  Bill participated, positioning himself as a defensive back.  At that time, he was only 30 and still in his athletic prime. On one play Bill was positioned opposite me.  It was a pass play.  I took a few steps toward him and then took a quick one-step pivot to the left. As Bill moved to defend me, I pivoted back to the right and then swung upfield.  Bill was a step or two behind me.  As the long pass was about to settle into my hands, I went flying forward, landing in a heap.  Yep, my fakes and Bill’s fire had him give me a strong shove in the back.  As I looked up from the ground, Bill stood, hands on hips, glaring at me.  Then laughter, his and mine, broke out. 

Decades later, as Bill’s wife Bette was nearing death, he told me that she was fond of the books I’d written and asked if I would visit her.  In their Marvin Avenue home, we sat in a sun-splashed room.  During our animated conversation, Bette’s eyes sparkled and she smiled often and easily.  A grand lady! 

Encomium: “What a legacy Bill Varble left for the entire town of Shelby. I went to his church and graduated with his son Todd. He truly was a pillar in the community.” Linda McNeill Wilson ’77 

New Whippet Echoes email database members

  • Jeanne Biglin Metzger ’65 
  • Sherry Sampsel Loveless ’68
  • Deb Witchie Curren ’75
  • Karl Milliron ’83 

Invalid Addresses.  The names shown below are Whippet Echoes database members whose addresses are no longer valid. If you know how to reach one or more of them, please let them know that to continue receiving the newsletter, we need a valid address.  

  • Austin Alfrey ’53
  • Joe Crose ‘70
  • Sheila Hummel ’73
  • Darlene Mabry Jenkins ‘58
  • Judy Kempf ’62
  • Chuck Knapp ‘50
  • Grace Tuckey Murphy ‘51
  • Megan Perry ‘01
  • Mandy Roberts ‘89 
  • Court Roth ‘53 
  • Doris Dewey Roth ‘54
  • Bill Roush ‘62 
  • Rick Steele ’72
  • Mary Ann Bricker Theiss ’60


Travel shrinks our small world. This report comes from Jim Hunt ’65 who lives in Grafton. “Sue and I just returned from a trip out west. We stayed at the K Bar S Lodge as our base when we visited Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, and explored Custer Park. While enjoying an adult beverage one evening on the deck, we conversed with a couple – Jimmie and Jackie Tuttle – at a table beside us.” Jim initiated the conversation with this first question: \”Where are you from?\”

Jackie:  \”We are from Ohio.\” 

Jim:  \”Oh, we are from Ohio, too.  Where in Ohio?\” 

Jackie:  \”Ashland, do you know where that is?\” 

Jim: \”Of course, I grew up just down the road in Shelby.\” 

Jackie: \”Really, I grew up in Shelby too.\” 

Jim:  \”No kidding. Where did you live in Shelby?\” 

Jackie:  \”Marvin Avenue.\” 

Jim: \”Well, isn\’t this crazy? I grew up on Marvin Avenue too!\”

Adds Jim, “Jackie and I (see photo below) enjoyed reminiscing about growing up in Shelby while Jackie’s husband Jimmie and Sue had to listen to two Whippets talk about the good old days!”


 Special Recognition: This past June the late Jim Henkel ‘63, former Shelby mayor, was honored at Shelby City Hall where the conference room was named The Mayor James E. Henkel Conference Room.  Jim served as mayor from 1991-95 and again from 2006-08 when he passed away from leukemia at age 63.  He also served as a city councilman for four years preceding his re-election as mayor.  His son Aaron ‘94 spoke for the Henkel family when he said, “It’s nice that he’s still thought of in the city.  How people really enjoyed him.  He was a mayor for the people.”  Jim, who also had a long career as a successful business owner, was inducted into the SHS Hall of Distinction in 2008. 

Double 5s Anniversary.  This report from the bride: “Jerry Marshall ‘56 and Sharon Burkett Marshall ‘65 celebrated their 55th anniversary June 29.  I am so blessed to be married that long.”  

Bicycle Days Gathering.  Members of the SHS Alumni Association Board of Trustees met before participating in the July 8 Bicycle Days festivities.  In the photo below, from left to right: Randy Broderick ’85, John Gies ’84, Cathy Dodge ’65, Dave Winans ’60, Sue Robertson Winans ’60, Char Kenney Schiffer ’66, Chuck Schiffer ’64, Janet Page Whitehill ’62, Tom Armstrong ’70.  Kneeling in front is Shelly Black Abrams ’69.  (Board members not shown: Mary Lee Hannafus Barr ’66, Toni Martinez Anspach ’62, Kim Burky ’84, Brooke Potter Burkhalter ’92, Greg Daniel ’71, Christina Yetzer Drain ’75, Mike Johnson ’63, Janet Kehres ’64.)


Big Day. Cole Messner ‘14 married Danielle Sloan (graduated 2015 from Macedonia HS) at the White Birch Barn in Medina on July 8th. Cole’s parent are Russ ’85 & Jodi George ’82 Messner.  Grandparents are Judy ’65 & Rich Messner and Tom & Fran Arnold George ’60. 

In between editions of Whippet Echoes, for more information you can check the Alumni Association’s website at www.shelbywhippetsalumni.org. Alumni wishing to donate to the Alumni Association’s mission of supporting SHS students can now do so at the website by clicking on the donor box button. The Alumni Association is a 501-c-3 non-profit, and anyone donating will automatically receive an email for his/her donation that will serve as documentation for tax purposes.

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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