Reflections: Remembering locals through scholarships


This past weekend, Cardington-Lincoln High School held its 128th commencement ceremony. Graduating is not only a major milestone in life, but a rite of passage as you move into the next phase of it. Many will go on to attend university along with those opting to serve in the military, head into the workforce, or go to a trade school instead. What I will choose to reflect on this week is the Saturday that precedes graduation: Senior Night. Each year tens of thousands of dollars are awarded to graduating seniors as they head off to college. While it is important to recognize the businesses and organizations that assist in this feat by offering scholarships to Pirate seniors, you have to take notice that the vast variety of them are named in memory or honor of someone from the past.

The Burr Farms Scholarship, founded by Ga-Nell (Maxwell) Ullom-Derfey, is given in memory of Bud Ullom, Willard Durfey, Phillips Ullom, Sr., and Ullom-Durfey herself. Scholarships created by David Fisher (class of 1958), are in memory of each of his parents, Merle Fisher and Dorothy (Neal) Fisher. Merle Fisher graduated from Cardington High School in 1930 and served on the Cardington-Lincoln Board of Education for two terms. Vocationally, he was a farmer until his occupation at Whirlpool Corporation in Marion. The football field was named in his memory for all of the hard work he put into sowing the field’s sod. Dorothy (Neal) Fisher was a graduate of Cardington High School in 1933 and playing the piano was her passion. She volunteered her skills for many school events and the annual alumni banquet.

The Frank and Lucille Ebert Scholarships are in memory and honor of one former valedictorian and one former salutatorian. Frank Ebert, class of 1943, was valedictorian of his class and one scholarship is granted to the current graduating class’ valedictorian, while Lucille (Ruehrmund) Ebert, salutatorian of class of 1947, is given to each year’s salutatorian. A scholarship is given in memory of Heidi (Walton) Steitz, a former fifth grade teacher for Cardington-Lincoln Local Schools in the 1980s.

Upon his passing last year, the Jim Clinger Memorial Scholarship was created through donations. Clinger served on the Cardington-Lincoln Board of Education for six terms and the Tri-Rivers Career Center Board of Education for three terms. The Wilhelm Family each year distributes three scholarships in memory of their parents, John “Jack” F. Wilhelm, Patricia “Pat” K. (Barton) Wilhelm, and their infant sister who was lost at a tragically young age, Kay Kelly Wilhelm. Jack Wilhelm was a major philanthropist for the village and school district and one of his former businesses was the Pizza Barn. He also served on the town’s village council. Pat Wilhelm was one of the first women to be elected to the Cardington-Lincoln Board of Education and became a special education teacher for the school district later in life.

The John M. and Bertha A. Stone Memorial Scholarship remembers the local couple who owned and operated Stone’s Drug Store for almost five decades. The Columbus Foundation provides Mr. Stone’s biography is that of someone who served Cardington as the village’s treasurer, director the Citizen’s Bank of Cardington, and was active in the Cardington Rotary Club, Cardington Masonic Lodge, Cardington First United Methodist Church, and Morrow County Hospital.

The Karlotta Kay Joan Memorial Scholarship pays tribute to Karlotta Kay Joan, a member of the CLHS Class of 1974, who lost her battle with cancer in 2013. Lowell, Mel, and Roger Strine continued to provide the Kenneth and Louise Strine Memorial Scholarships as students who will be attending either the Ohio State University at Marion or Marion Technical College. Kenneth and Louise Strine were strong supporters of the Cardington community and lived near the village for over 65 years.

The Lillian E. James Scholarship was created through a trust by her brother, Wilder J. James. Created in the 1950s, over 184 seniors have received the benefits of this scholarship. The high school library is named in memory of Lillian E. James. The Maceyko Family Memorial Scholarship is given in memory of the first generation of Maceykos to graduate from Cardington-Lincoln High School: Steven “Hub,” Jr. (Class of 1951), Melvin (Class of 1952), Geraldine (Class of 1953), and Tom (Class of 1957). Steve “Hub” Maceyko, Jr. owned and operated the Jeri-Ann Drive-In and Rainbow 7 alongside his wife, Linda, for 41 years. Melvin Maceyko served Cardington as village councilman, Mayor of Cardington, and school board member. Additionally, he owned and operated Maceyko Tax for three decades until his death.

The McGinnis Family Memorial Scholarship is given in memory of Don and Ruth McGinnis who established their family’s farm west of Cardington. The Mills Poorman Memorial Scholarship pays tribute to the man who served the school district in several positions: teacher, bus driver, coach, and athletic director. Poorman also served on Cardington’s Village Council, Cardington-Lincoln Public Library Board of Trustees, and as Mayor of Cardington.

Robert Miller, a member of the C-LHS Class of 1966, passed away in 2013. He left a sizable donation to the school district in memory of his sister, Margaret Miller, and his mother Oneita Walker. The Seth Maceyko Snuggle Time Scholarship is granted in memory of Seth Maceyko who tragically passed away at five years old. The Simpson-Keil Scholarship is given by Judy Keil, a former Cardington-Lincoln Elementary School teacher, and her brother in memory of their mother, Esther Simpson.

In essence, Senior Night at Cardington-Lincoln High School is not only about celebrating the future, but remembering the past, too. I end this week’s column by leaving you with this quote by Ernest Hemingway, “Every man has two deaths: when he is buried in the ground and the last time someone says his name.” Every year, these names continued to be uttered at this ceremony and let their names and spirits live on through the students who were awarded their memorial scholarships.

Looking Back:

• 50 years ago, May 1974: Terry Davis, Craig VanSickle, Lynn Goodman, Jim Hoffman, Randy Myers, Randy Davis, Teresa Neely, Bill Shepard, Kendall Miller, Brenda Vance, Jon Axthelm, and John Swint alongside Cardington-Lincoln FFA Advisor Sam Harvey attend the year’s state FFA convention. Jay White smashed a two-run homer in the high school varsity baseball teams tournament game against Northridge. The team won the contest 6-3 to move on in the statewide competition.

• 40 years ago, May 1984: The top ten academic students for Cardington-Lincoln High School were Brandy Fisher, valedictorian, Steve Fissell, salutatorian, Steve Davis, Mark Spires, Greg Stephens, Randy Thomas, Steve Levering, Devera Disterdick, Andy Dahlquist, and Andy Gordon. Jody Kaleber retired as Cardington-Lincoln FFA Queen. The Burr Farm Project Grant Awards, presented by Ga-Nell (Maxwell) Ullom-Derfey were Scott Wetzel, Mike High, and Martin Crum. LuAnn Reed was the chapter’s Star Farmer for the year.

• 30 years ago, May 1994: Kitty Halfhill and Joan Rich’s kindergarten classes performed “The Little Engine That Could” by Jean Ault at Cardington-Lincoln Elementary School. Ken Garee won the long jump at the Mount Vernon News Spectrackular. The Cardington-Lincoln FFA Alumni Association hosted their second annual Farm Toy Show in the high school’s gym. Sam Harvey and Brenda Gompf were organizers for the event. Krista (Chappell) Betti was awarded the 110% award from Mount Gilead’s AgCredit.

• 20 years ago, May 2004: The Civil War Guy presented the history of the first military submarine to Cardington-Lincoln’s fifth grade classes. Bryan Class, class of 2004, was recognized with the Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Scholar award by the Mid-Ohio ESC. Cassie Kinsey, class of 2004, was presented with the National Choral Award at the spring choir concert. The Cardington-Lincoln High School varsity softball team, coached by Barrry Dutt, were district champions. Mark Robinson II, class of 2005, was twice named “Athlete of the Week” by the Morrow County Sentinel for his efforts on the Cardington-Lincoln High School varsity baseball team.

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