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Eclectic mix to be inducted in DeVilbiss’ Hall of Fame

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    Rick Salem, in his restaurant, Rick’s City Diner, is among eight people connected to DeVilbiss High School who are to be inducted into the school’s hall of fame at ceremonies on Oct. 11.

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Rick Salem, in his restaurant, Rick’s City Diner, is among eight people connected to DeVilbiss High School who are to be inducted into the school’s hall of fame at ceremonies on Oct. 11.

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Richard Salem of Toledo graduated from high school 50 years ago but still sees his former classmates regularly.

Mr. Salem, 68, the owner of Rick’s City Diner, hosts three to four DeVilbiss alumni meetings at the restaurant every month. “It’s a little nostalgic. It’s a little sad to see them grow older. But it’s good to know that so many of them are successful and happy.”

On Oct. 11, Mr. Salem, who graduated from DeVilbiss High School in 1963, will be one of eight with ties to the school to be inducted into DeVilbiss’ hall of fame.

Tina Twining Moffat, selection committee chairman, said inductees were chosen for distinguished achievement in career and/​or community, sports, or school service.

“It’s really humbling because I’m not sure that I am worthy more than other people,” Mr. Salem said of his selection. “So I feel that I am being honored on behalf of a lot of deserving people.”

Mr. Salem spoke at his restaurant’s new location at 5333 Monroe St., where he shared a table with Toledo Police Chief Diggs Derrick Diggs, also an upcoming inductee.

Chief Diggs, who graduated from DeVilbiss in 1973, said he was “very honored and humbled that I would be considered to be inducted.”

 “It’s a great honor,” he said.

The other inductees are:
  • John Campbell, who is being inducted posthumously. A faculty member in the 1960s, he created the first Chinese/​Russian Studies Center in the state and the country.
  • Dal Lawrence, a faculty member in the 1960s and early 1970s, who taught history and led the Toledo Federation of Teachers for decades. He also is a former president of the area AFL-CIO Council. All four of his children graduated from the school.
  • Jack Tongring, school band director in the 1950s and 1960s. He taught at DeVilbiss from 1953 to 1969.
  • Ron Thompson, Class of 1960. Mr. Thompson is a retired Ohio Highway Patrol staff lieutenant and a former district commander for northcentral Ohio.
  • David Wise, Class of 1960. Now semiretired, Mr. Wise is with Spengler Nathanson PLL, a Toledo law firm.
  • Lorri Wolff McKenty, Class of 1978, who earned three varsity letters in two women’s sports at DeVilbiss: volleyball and basketball. She is the page layout supervisor at The Blade.

The diner opened last month after moving from its former location at 2633 W. Bancroft St., near the University of Toledo.

President Obama brought Rick’s City Diner into the national spotlight when he stopped by last year on Labor Day during a campaign visit.

Mr. Salem credited community support for his success.

He said he tries to give back by fund-raising and volunteering to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Toledo and the area’s abused children.

A native of Springfield, Mass., Mr. Salem has lived in Toledo since he was 10.

He has owned and operated restaurants in Toledo and Perrysburg since 1986, he said.

In high school, he was an athlete, receiving All-City honors in football and in track.

Mr. Salem, Chief Diggs, and six others will be inducted during an Oct. 11 dinner in the Inverness Club.

A social hour with cash bar begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner an hour later.

Dee Heywood Talmage, class of 1957, and a hall of fame member, will be mistress of ceremonies. Tom Szor, class of 1972, will be the pianist for the evening.

Prepaid reservations are required. Reservation forms can be obtained by e-mailing halloffame @devilbissal and using DHS Banquet on the subject line. Information also is available at


Contact Mike Sigov at:, 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.

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