Four Cardington-Lincoln High School graduates were inducted in the C-LHS Alumni Hall of Fame during the 85th Alumni party held at the high school on May 23.
Inducted were Helen Briggs Geckle, Class of 1939; James Murphy, DDS Class of 1956; David Fisher,1958 and Dr. Larry Wilson Burggraf, 1964.
Mrs. Geckle, who passed away January 23, 2015, enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps while in the Samaritan School of Nursing in Ashland. Following graduation she began her basic training at Fort Benjamin Harrison and Camp Atterbury in Indiana and was assigned to the 317th Station Hospital of Ft Kilmer, New Jersey. Her unit, sent to Belfast, Ireland in January, 1944 and that summer was stationed in Scotland, Wales and England. She worked as a surgical and medical nurse. The 317th crossed the English Channel and traveled by troop train to Weisbaden, Germany where the hospital was set up as an existing German hospital. A highlight of Helen’s career was meeting General Dwight D. Eisenhower and General Omar Bradley.
She enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant, was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and at the time of her discharge in May, 1947, was as Captain. She remained in the reserve until June, 1953.
Helen married Paul Geckle in 1950 and they had three daughters. She continued to work in various positions for the next 37 years including surgical and medical nursing at Marion General Hospital and Occupational Health at B. F. Goodrich and the Whirlpool Corporation. Following her retirement in 1987 she remained busy with volunteer work at Marion General Hospital, the American Red Cross and Emanuel Lutheran Church.
She was nominated to the Hall of Fame by Carol Heacock and Karen Sutton. Her Induction award was accepted by her daughters Ronita Geckle, Gretchen Brooks and Marla Mullen.
Dr Murphy attended Ohio Wesleyan University the University of Colorado and Kent State University following his high school graduation. He earned a BA and MA from Kent State University and his D.S.S. from the Ohio State University in 1968.
He taught biology and zoology at OSU for four years and was involved in a project in 1967-68 that developed a series of TV programs the students could utilize on an individual basis. This concept was later adopted by other departments at Ohio State.
He practiced general dentistry until 1982 and has since specialized in removable Prosthodontics (complete and partial dentures). He has been recognized as a Top Dentist by the Columbus Monthly magazine for the past five years, 2011-2015. He was also named by the Ohio State Dental Board to the Board of Expert Witnesses.
Jim has been a ballroom dancing competitor since 2007 and has earned major wins in his division eight consecutive years at the Fred Astaire Ohio Championship and has competed at the national level. He has competed in over 20 different categories of ballroom dancing.
A loyal Cardington High School alumnus, he has contributed to his alma mater both in time and financially.
Jim is the father of Kurt Murphy, an Academic All-American, who played center on the OSU football team. Jim followed him in those games including the Rose Bowl game in 1996. Jim and his wife, Karen, reside outside of Johnstown.
David Fisher attended OSU following his high school graduation. He was pursuing his dream of becoming a medical doctor. He worked various odd jobs to pay for his college expenses. Following his marriage to Suzanne Predmore he took a regular job with Levin Strauss Company to support his family.
He formed a partnership with a friend and they bought an apartment complex in Columbus. He later bought out his partner. F W Properties now has a port-folio of properties that includes over 890 rental units in Central Ohio and they have an ownership interest in another 281 units in Austin, Texas. The company specializes in “turn around project,” and one notable complex known as Crack City USA was acquired in 1987. His “get tough” policy transformed the complex from dangerous and undesirable to a comfortable and attractive place to reside. David has been recognized by the National Apartment Association for these accomplishments and is an active member of the Columbus Apartment Association.
Still actively supporting his hometown and school, Dave and his siblings award the Merle Fisher scholarship every year to a graduating senior at Cardington-Lincoln High School. He is a survivor of cancer and still competes in senior triathlon events at the age of 75. He and his wife reside in Columbus. He was nominated by George Rengert.
He was nominated to the Hall of Fame by Evelyn Long.
Dr. Burggraf graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in 1968 with a B A in Chemistry and earned his M.S in Chemistry from The Ohio State University and his M. A in Mathematics from the University of West Florida in 1977. His PhD in Chemistry was awarded from the University of Denver in 1981.
He served in the United States Air Force and was a professor of Chemistry at the U S Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He also served as a Nuclear Research Officer and Chief at McClellan Air Force Base in Florida. He retired from the Air Force in 1993 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He is currently a professor of Engineering Physics at the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. He teaches U S Air Force and U S Army Officers and DOD civilians in chemical and engineering physics related to non proliferation of weapons or mass destruction.
Dr. Burggraf has published more than 40 peer reviewed scholarly journal articles and has been a presenter at many conferences and symposiums. He has been the advisor for many candidates for the Master of Science and Ph D. degrees. He currently resides near Dayton.
He was nominated by Mary Kay Disterdick.
Each of these inductees gave responses offering appreciation for the honor.
Evelyn Long is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel and can be reached at [email protected]