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Published: Thursday, 4/27/2006

Libbey High School will induct 8 into its Hall of Fame

BY CLYDE HUGHES
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Eight Libbey High School graduates will be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame during a ceremony and banquet at the Brandywine Country Club on May 5, Libbey officials announced.

Charles Cornwell, a teacher at Libbey and chairman of the Hall of Fame committee, said all the honorees have not only been successful in their own careers, but have also done a great amount of community work by giving their own time to notable causes.

The inductees include:

●Donald R. Harris (1940), former high school coach and athletic director;

●Barbara John (1944), a former editor and country music promoter;

●Donald A. Ramsdell (1946), a former vice president at Champion Spark Plug;

●Nina Ford Jacoby (1949), a cancer survivor advocate;

●Chester "Chet" Sullwold (1942), a copy editor and former sports editor with The Blade;

●Dave Woolford (1958), former sports writer for The Blade and correspondent for the Toledo Free Press.

●Ken Hamman (1950), former Electronic Data Systems employee and Navy retiree;

●Willie Loper (1961), a long-time Toledo Public Schools teacher.

Mr. Harris played football and at Libbey and Bowling Green State University.

He coached at Libbey and went on to serve as athletic director at various high schools in nearly 40 years of public service.

Ms. John was a concert promoter for such notables as the late Johnny Cash and other country stars.

She also was a newspaper writer and editor and television and radio producer.

Mr. Ramsdell was vice president of North American Automotive operations for Champion Spark Plugs and worked there for 35 years before retiring.

He was active in numerous organizations, program organizers said.

Ms. Jacoby is a 30-year colon cancer survivor and has been active in many cancer-related awareness and fund-raising activities.

She retired from Cincinnati Bell 18 years ago, after working there 33 years. Her husband was earlier inducted into the Libbey Hall of Fame, making them the first husband and wife to be inducted.

Mr. Sullwold said he got his journalism start at Libbey, writing stories about upcoming Libbey football opponents for the game program.

"Charles Martin was what we called the business manager then but athletic director today, but he would have me go out to interview opposing coaches and for me that was something," Mr. Sullwold said. "I really appreciated a lot of what he did for me."

Mr. Sullwold, a graduate of Ohio State University, has worked for The Blade since 1948 and is one of the longest-serving employees in the history of the newspaper.

He is a longtime and well-known track and cross-country official and in September will be honored with a Toledo high school cross-country meet at Ottawa Park in his name.

He has also been a longtime statistician at the University of Toledo and public address announcer for UT and high school sports.

Mr. Woolford worked with Mr. Sullwold as a sports writer for The Blade for 39 years covering various beats, including motorsports and the Big Ten. He has volunteered for the Toledo Area Metroparks and is president of his homeowners association.

"I won about 35 state and national awards while I was with The Blade, but none of them comes close to this," Mr. Woolford said about his hall of fame induction. "It's a great honor. I know a lot of people who are in the hall of fame but never wasted a second thinking I would be in it. Chet was my boss and we had a great relationship."

Mr. Hamman went on to work for Electronic Data Systems after a career in the Navy which led to him earning a degree in engineering and a master's degree in computer systems management.

Mr. Loper was an All-Toledo City League football player who also played at the University of Toledo. He had a long teaching career in Toledo Public Schools, where he retired in 1999.



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