COLUMBUS — Gallia County was well represented on Thursday at the Ohio Statehouse as the Ohio Department of Aging inducted 12 outstanding older Ohioans into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. Included in those inductees was Marianne B. Campbell of Gallipolis.
Members of the Ohio General Assembly, Governor Mike DeWine and his cabinet, and leaders from Ohio’s aging network were on hand to congratulate and thank the inductees for their lifelong contributions to their communities, their professions, and their vocations.
“The diverse contributions made by older Ohioans to enhance and improve their communities are invaluable,” said Governor DeWine. “Through mentorships, service, and volunteerism this year’s inductees have played key roles in enhancing the lives of Ohioans and will leave a lasting impact across the state.”
“Older Ohioans’ diversity, values, insight, and experiences throughout their lives have helped to shape their communities,” said Ursel J. McElroy, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “When older adults connect with their neighbors and have opportunities to create and contribute, our state is better for it.”
The Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame was established in 1977 to honor Ohioans age 60 and older for achievements and contributions to others, the roles they play in their communities, state and nation, and for what they do to promote productive and enjoyable lives. Their stories are compelling and represent lifetimes of dedication, ingenuity, perseverance, kindness and compassion.
“The induction ceremony was very impressive,” Campbell said. “It was both an honor and a humbling experience to be included and I was proud to have Gallia County and Gallipolis recognized. To have several of my friends there meant a lot to me. Also, I greatly appreciated our own State Representative, Ryan Smith, and State Senator, Bob Peterson, coming by to present me with resolutions from both the Ohio House and Senate.”
Campbell explained the most memorable part of her day was having her named called, followed by the reading of her biography prior to the presentation of a crystal plaque inscribed with the honor.
Despite her long list of accomplishments contained in that biography, Campbell stressed no one gets anywhere alone.
“Everything is possible because other people help you and open doors for you,” she said.
Though many know who Campbell is, when asked what would be something few know about her, she paused in thought, before saying, “I’ve always been blessed..this is just one blessing that means so much to me. It is really special at this point in my life.”
This year’s inductees range in age from 70 to 92. With their additions, the hall of fame boasts 486 members.
2019 Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame Inductees
Dr. Doris Bergen, Hamilton – Dr. Bergen is a distinguished professor emerita at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, studying and creating ways to strengthen brain development in young children. She has authored 12 books and more than 60 articles on brain development. She has consulted with toy manufacturers on the design and play value of children’s toys. She also works to improve her community.
Marianne B. Campbell, Gallipolis – Ms. Campbell is a respected leader and mentor in her southern Ohio community. She helped launch WJEH-AM, the longest running radio station in the region. She drove efforts to raise funds for and grow the Holzer Medical Center. Today, she is an active volunteer for the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce and the Community Improvement Corporation.
William H. Considine, Akron – Mr. Considine was chief executive officer of the Akron Children’s Hospital for 40 years. He led the hospital to become one of the nation’s premiere, independent, integrated pediatric health care systems. In retirement, he is focusing on the Akron Children’s Hospital Center for Child Advocacy as CEO Emeritus and is working to establish 2020 as the “Year of the Child.”
Eileen Cooper Reed, Cincinnati – After a successful career as a juvenile court referee and other roles at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Mrs. Cooper Reed opened the Cincinnati office of the Children’s Defense Fund. She served two four-year terms on the City of Cincinnati Board of Education. She also created a coalition of child care and advocacy organizations that secured the first Robert Woods Johnson non-heath institution grant in Cincinnati.
Larry R. Hunter, New Franklin – Mr. Hunter devotes his time to preserve important wildlife including the monarch butterfly and the purple martin bird. He is a charter member of the Portage Lakes Advisory Council and founded the Portage Lakes Purple Martin Association and Gardeners of Portage Lakes State Park. He founded or supports major educational events, such as Buckeye Martinfest and the Kiwanis Portage Pirate Days on the Lake.
David Meyers, Columbus – In his careers, Mr. Meyers worked as a corrections psychologist and administrator, as well as supported underserved and non-traditional college students. His passion in retirement is writing. He has written at least one book every year since 2008. His home state is featured prominently in all his books, including a series of non-fiction works about Ohio landmarks and notable figures. He also writes musicals and one-act plays.
Genny D. Reed, Mansfield – Mrs. Reed spent nearly 30 years as an administrator and medical practice consultant in a skilled nursing facility. Following her career, she connected with the regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program based in Mansfield, Ohio. She has contributed more than 7,300 hours of volunteer service to the ombudsman program and has been recognized by Ohio’s State Long-Term Ombudsman as the volunteer contributing the most hours assisting with consumer complaints.
Walter L. and Carol A. Tylicki, Toledo – Mr. and Mrs. Tylicki are leaders, planners, counselors, humanitarians, and more. They volunteer together for the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, Inc., and have given more than 10,000 hours of service. They direct spontaneous volunteers during disasters, and Mr. Tylicki wrote the Area Office on Aging’s emergency operations plan.
Dr. Eric V. A. Winston, Xenia – Dr. Winston completed a 23-year career as a vice president at Wilberforce University, worked eight years at Columbia College in Chicago, IL, and served on the Xenia City Council. In retirement, he produces documentary films, including an award-winning account of a Wilberforce University program he managed in which African-American students spent summers in Israel. He was recently appointed to the advisory council for the Area Agency on Aging, PSA 2.
Charles J. and the late Mariann D. Younger, Findlay – Mrs. Younger devoted her time to the University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum and children’s literature gallery and helped establish the Hancock County Juvenile Court’s CASA/Guardian-ad-litem program. Mr. Younger is a past member of the Chamber of Commerce and has supported the Findlay Area Arts Council, and other organizations. The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation benefits from charitable funds in each of their names.
Beth Sergent contributed to this article with additional material provided by the Ohio Department of Aging.