Whippet Echoes February 2023

This 197th edition of Whippet Echoes shines a deservedly bright light on the academic and musical successes of several SHS students.

Reactions to the January 3 Whippet Echoes edition:

“Always look forward to the Whippet Echoes newsletters. Thanks to this energetic team for keeping all of us, near and far, connected. Much appreciated.” ~Linda Wetz LaGoy ’69 

“I found your article about the stork interesting. While hiking in northern Spain we saw large nests in most small communities. Most on churches but some like this one atop a spire with a round platform meant to attract storks. The nests were amazing.” Curt Fackler ’74


“Thank you, crew, for keeping the alumni communications flowing! I love the flying photos and stories in this edition!” Chris Straw ’63 

“Lovely picture. We saw nesting platforms in Strasbourg years ago but never lucky enough to see storks. The Jersey shore has settled into its winter funk and we will head south soon. Thanks again.” Nancy Nicholson Yoder \’60 

“Thanks for the update and your dedication to this project.” Robert Ross ’65 

\”Thank you and a Happy New Year to your team.\” Martha Kenton Roberts ’55 


  • Betty Mellick Fischer ’41 died at 99 on Nov. 28 in Aiken, SC. Surviving is son Bob of Westerville. 
  • Chuck Ridenour ’80, Shelby resident, died at 61 on Dec. 23 after a long illness in Columbus. Surviving are Pamela Kemplin Ridenour ’84, his wife of 37 years, and kids Charles Ridenour III ’05 and Brooke ’13.
  • Mary Rose Spangler Will ’50 died at 89 on Dec. 26 in Shelby. Surviving are daughters Karen Swank ’80 and Kathleen Hartings ’82 and step-kids Carolyn Davis ’67, Barb Templeman ’69, Mike Will ’72 and sister Eleanor Spangler Kelly ’54. Predeceasing Mary Rose were husband Duane Will ’48 and sons Rick Dennis ’73 and Craig Dennis ’76.
  • Alan Gallaway ’66 died at 74 from Lymphoma on Dec. 27 in Mansfield. He was an Air Force vet. Surviving are Beth, his second wife whom he married in 2017, kids Jennifer Gallaway and Jonathan Gallaway and step-kids Rob Layne and Laura Thomas. Predeceasing Alan was Marilyn, his first wife of 41 years.
  • Cynthia Burling Alter ’65 died at 76 on Dec. 28 in Crestline. Surviving are James, her husband of 57 years, and daughter Kathryn Ventrone of Shelby. 
  • Patricia Alexander Jenkins ’55, Shelby resident, died at 85 on Dec. 29 in Galion. Surviving are Don, her husband of 51 years, daughter Wendy Beekman ’81 and siblings Sandy Jenney ’60, Joe ’65, Jim ’73.
  • Dave Boor ’66 died at 74 on Jan. 1 in Huron. Surviving are wife Mary Ann and daughter Abigail Holden ’99. Predeceasing Dave was daughter Sarah Boor Bennett ’92.
  • Kathleen Allwine Straka ’47 died at 93 on Jan. 4 in Shelby. Surviving are kids Myron ’69 of Curtice, OH and Paula ’83 of Shelby, plus siblings Janice Davis ’53 of Mansfield and Laurence ’59 of Colorado.
  • The Harding kids – Bob ’78 of Shelby, Christine Nagel ’82 of Attica, Wending Harding ’85 of Ogden, Utah – lost their dad Charles when he died at 89 following a brief illness on Jan. 4 in Norwalk. He was a Bloomfield HS grad. Also surviving is Eloise, his wife of 64 years. 
  • Sandra Burky ’76 died at 64 on Jan. 6 in Mansfield. Surviving are her mother Shirley Janes Stine of Shelby and sisters Kay Green ’67 and Cynthia Ward ’68, both of Shelby.
  • Bob Stoffer ’46, Ontario resident, died at 94 on Jan. 7 in Mansfield. He was a Marines vet. Surviving are Louise, his wife of 74 years, and kids Becky Smith of Conroe, TX; Mike of Medina; Mary Ellison of Ontario. Also siblings Larry ’61, Doris Payne Biglin ’51, Jane LaBarge ’64.
  • Barbara Baxter Furr ’62 died at 78 on Jan. 7 in Shelby. Surviving are Dick ’62, her husband of 58 years, and kids Richard Jr. ’84 of Warren and Kari Furr Clark ’86 of Jeromesville.
  • Jim Kreim ’79, Shelby resident, died at 61 on Jan. 12 in Mansfield. Surviving are Susan, his wife of 30 years, and kids Andrew Mahl of Brunswick and Molly Mahl of Galion.
  • The Morgan kids – Manya Morgan ’74 of Mansfield; Kimberly Morgan ’79 of Gobles, Mich; Allison Ginter ’80 of Shelby; Michele Yost ’81 of Mansfield; Lisa Chapman of Shelby; Raymond Morgan ’91 – lost their mom when Betty Morgan died at 88 on Jan. 15 in Shelby. Also surviving is Raymond, her husband of 69 years. 
  • David McMeeken ’68 died at 73 on Jan. 15 in Tiro. He was an Air Force veteran. Surviving is his sister Gail McMeeken Adams ’63.
  • The Steagall kids – Christopher Grandstaff, Roy Steagall III ’08, Rene Steagall ’09, Amanda Steagall ’11 – lost their dad when Roy Steagall Jr., Shelby resident, died at 55 on Jan. 19 in Mansfield.
  • The Yosick kids – Richard ’78 of Seville; Ruth Frazier ’79 of Hinton, WV; Diana Haley – lost their mom when Susie Yosick died at 90 on Jan. 22 in Hinton. She was a 1949 grad of Breathitt (KY) HS.  
  • Carl Weaver ’11 lost his dad when Christopher, Shelby resident, died at 57 on Jan. 22.  Also surviving is step-daughter Crisann Bautista of Las Vegas, NV.   
  • Bob Fisher ’66, Shelby resident, died at 74 on Jan. 26 in Galion.  Surviving are Vicki, his wife of 33 years, and kids Derek of Mansfield; Chad of Austin, TX; Todd of New York, NY; Rebekah ’12 of Shelby. Plus Bob’s brother Rick ’68.
  • Jim Smith ’72 died at 69 on Jan. 28 in Shelby.  He was an Air Force veteran.  Surviving are kids Trevor Smith and Kimberly Wimer, both of Tucson, AZ, plus brothers Ralph ’75 and Perry ’78.

New Email Network Members

  • Barbara Ebersole Amato ’63
  • Denise Hefner Thompson ’76
  • Jeremy Bloom ’97 



Academic Challenge Team. For the last 40+ years SHS students have participated in Academic Challenge competitions. This year’s team is – Seated from L to R: Sadie Howarth, Cole Jenkins, Case Mongold. Middle row from L to R: Audrey Pfahler, Lily Heydinger, Phil Snipes, Blake Stone. Top row from L to R: Peyton Montgomery, Regan Stepp. Their advisor is English teacher Grayson Murray ’09.

SHS principal John Gies ’84 – who as a student was an Academic Challenge member – reports that this year’s team had a very successful year. “They participated in the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center (NCOESC) regular season and finished 3rd. They also participated in the NCOESC end-of-year tournament and finished 2nd. Their last tournament was at the Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center (MOESC) Tournament and finished 2nd. The team picture is from their contest at the WEWS Channel 5 Academic Challenge tournament in Cleveland.”

SHS band members in OSU Honors Band Weekend. Casey McCall (mccall.casey@staff.shelbyk12.org) became Director of Bands at SHS in June of 2020. Deservedly she is feeling a measure of pride in one particular achievement. Reason: She decided to enter a statewide competition that would lead to winning band members participating in Ohio State University’s Honor Band Weekend.

Each band director is able to nominate up to 20 students. Casey nominated 12 SHS musicians. From each group of nominees, only 1 is guaranteed to participate in the Honor Band Weekend. Statewide there were 900 nominations, of which 300 were selected. Of Casey’s 12 nominations, 3 were chosen. Once selected, those three students (in the photo below, from left to right: Phil Snipes, Arica Uplinger, Case Mongold) needed to prepare audition materials to video record and send to OSU. Says Casey, “The audition included two major scales along with musical excerpts they had to prepare outside of band class.”


“Our students went to the OSU campus on Friday, January 13th. They had the opportunity to watch the Ohio State University Wind Symphony – the top auditioned band at the university – perform, and then they were assigned which band they would play in afterwards. They rehearsed Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning. The students closed out the Honor Band Weekend on Sunday with concerts at 1:30 (Gray Symphonic Band) and 2:15 (Scarlet Symphonic Band). Phil performed in the Gray Band, and Arica and Case in the Scarlet Band. Both bands were directed by OSU music professors with performances in Weigel Auditorium, the School of Music’s main concert hall.” Congratulations to Phil, Arica and Case!


Coach of the year. Last autumn the SHS Boys Cross Country team won its 6th straight MOAC championship. Three runners from that squad were named 1st team All-Conference. Their coach? Chris Zuercher. Small wonder that he was named District 6 Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year. Congratulations!


Baby Bloom. Jeremy Bloom ’97 and wife Valerie became parents for the first time on Oct. 26, 2022 when their daughter, Aubrey, greeted the world in Venedy, Illinois. In the photo below, L to R: Jeremy, his mom Connie (Crestline HS ’70) with Aubrey, his dad John Bloom ’68. Jeremy retired from the Air Force as a master sergeant in 2017 after 20 years of service.

More support. At the SHS Alumni Association’s January meeting, members approved two more teacher requests. The first donation request was from Ruth Watts for $1,563 for a set of TI-84 calculators her math classes. The second request was from Nicole Harpster for $600 to purchase young adult books for English classes. Those two donations bring the total of Alumni Association gifts to $282,754. If you would like to donate to the Alumni Association’s Bill Wilkins Memorial Student Achievement fund, send a check made payable to SHS Alumni Association to Treasurer, Alumni Association, 1 Whippet Way, Shelby, OH 44875.

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 beginning 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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