EAST LIVERPOOL - This year's Wellsville Riverside Reunion will be held in conjunction with the Wellsville All-Class Reunion.
The Legend Awards presentation is set for 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Village Square. It will be the fourth group induction.
Eric Shepherd has been organizing the Riverside Reunion event since the beginning.
Recipients of the 2010 Wellsville Legends Award have been announced. (Front, from left) Receiving the award for the late James Shepherd were Scott Shepherd and Dorothy Shepherd, receiving the award for the late Robert Grimm was Gail Grimm, Frank Rivelle; and (back) Paul Blevins, Howard Gilger, Kenneth DeLauder and Richard Prince. The presentation of the Legend Awards will be held at 8:30 Friday at Village Square. (Photo by Michael D. McElwain)
"Since this is the year of the All-Class Reunion, we've decided to combine the two," Shepherd said. "As part of the Riverside Reunion, we recognize citizens for their contributions to the community. This is what we call the Wellsville Legends Award."
Nine community leaders are being recognized this time around for a variety of reasons. The common thread, however, is that each inductee has had a positive, longlasting impact on Wellsville and the surrounding area.
"Like in years past, people will definitely recognize the names on this list for their contributions," Shepherd noted.
The 2010 Wellsville Legends Award recipients include: Paul Blevins, Ken DeLauder, Howard Gilger, Richard Prince and Frank Rivelle. Inductees Betty Prince, Jim Shepherd, Robert Grimm and John Albaneso are being honored posthumously.
Dr. Frank Rivelle
A retired dentist, Frank Rivelle has been and remains a valuable part of the Wellsville community.
"It's a great feeling to be recognized and honored by your peers," Rivelle said. "It's, indeed, a great honor."
Rivelle graduated from Wellsville High School in 1950 and joined the Army. He spent time in Korea during the conflict and returned to Ohio, working as a patrol officer.
In 1960, Rivelle opted for a change in careers, and he decided to attend Ohio State to be a dentist. He graduated, moved back to Wellsville and opened his dental office.
Like others, his involvement in Wellsville was more than just a home for his business. He soon branched out and served on several boards.
Rivelle said he spent 20 years serving on the Wellsville Board of Education, including half that time as board president.
Education was, and still is, important to Rivelle. He served on the Kent University East Liverpool Campus Advisory Board and on the Robert Bycroft board just to name a few.
He still remains active and is staff member at East Liverpool City Hospital.
Rivelle said his family is important to him as well, and they have certainly helped him along during his many years in Wellsville.
"The people in Wellsville are great," Rivelle said. "They made me what I am today, and I am very appreciative."
C. James (Jim) Shepherd
C. James "Jim" Shepherd was born in Wellsville on Nov. 16, 1931. He was the sixth child of Daniel and Bertha Shepherd. He graduated from Wellsville High School in 1949.
Shepherd married his sweetheart, Dorothy Dallas, of Irondale, who, at the time, was a second grade teacher at Garfield Elementary.
Making their home in East Liverpool, the couple had two children, Lee Ann Shepherd Pastore and Scott Shepherd. They were foster parents to a son, Paul Carlisle, who now resides in California.
Shepherd began working at Riverview Florist and decided he wanted to open his own business.
In 1965, Jim and Dorothy bought the former Jon Keil Flower Shop on Broadway in East Liverpool and renamed it "The Carriage House." Several years later, they purchased Baum Florist on Main Street in Wellsville, which is now "The Carriage House II."
Although a resident of East Liverpool for over 50 years, Shepherd remained a Wellsville Tiger at heart. He could be seen at most of Wellsville's football and basketball games and was very supportive of their athletic programs.
Shepherd was presented the G.W. MacMillan Award by the Wellsville School District as a "Friend of the School."
Active with the Wellsville Historical Society, he was involved in the restoration of the Wellsville River Museum.
A member of the Wellsville Chamber of Commerce, Shepherd was named "Man of the Year." He organized the Wellsville "Pumpkinfest" which was an annual event during the 1970s and 1980s. He headed a project to purchase and plant trees in Springhill Cemetery.
Shepherd, a past president of the Wellsville All-School Reunion, was instrumental in the purchase and restoration of the once-condemned hotel on Third Street, which is now the Wellsville Alumni Center. His wife, Dorothy said "everyone told him he was nuts" when he first brought up the idea.
Undaunted by the negativity, Shepherd forged ahead and the alumni center is a lasting tribute to all WHS Alumni and to Jim himself.
Jim Shepherd passed away on July 26, 1999, but his memory lives on through the many people he met and places he visited along the way. That is especially true in Wellsville, by all of those who have been touched in some way by a thoughtful, caring man.
Richard "Dick" Prince Sr.
Richard Prince was born and raised right here in the Ohio Valley where he spent most of his teaching career. A graduate of East Liverpool High School, he went on to attend Pikeville College in Pikeville, Ky., where he received a Bachelor of Arts in music with education and Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky., where he pursued a master's degree.
After leaving Pikeville, Prince took a teaching job with the Wellsville City Schools. Serving both as the director of bands and a middle school teacher, Prince spent 33 years in the Wellsville schools.
Prince taught elementary students to learn to play instruments and directed the middle and high school bands. While he was probably best known for fielding the outstanding marching bands that he directed on the football field and in competitions, he also directed a pep band during basketball season. Prince also directed the first alumni marching band while serving the district in the capacity of band director.
After retiring from the band director position, Prince continued his career in the Wellsville School District as a classroom teacher in the middle school. He taught science for several years. During this time, he helped to develop and co-teach the curriculum for "Project Prince." This was an idea of his wife, Betty Prince, which put real life experiences into the classroom to enrich the education of Wellsville students.
The project was awarded a Best Practice Award from the Columbiana County Educational Service Center. During his teaching career, he was chosen multiple times as the most influential teacher in their lives by some graduating students in the top ten of the class. Prince spent several years teaching the adult basic education class that allowed adult students to achieve their GEDs.
Prince also volunteered his time through his church family as well, as a member of the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wellsville. After his retirement from teaching, he became more involved. He has worn several hats in the annual Church Basement Bistro.
Finally, Prince was an integral part of the Ministerial Association's "Paint the Town Project" painting his first house on the night that the Wellsville Board of Education accepted his retirement.
As a retiree, Prince keeps himself very busy farming on his land, line and square dancing and spending time with his grandchildren. His brother even talked him into joining the Wellsville Elks, where he spends time with his two sons-in-law. Prince will continue to find things to do as he enjoys his retirement because anyone who knows him knows he can't stay still for long.
"I was kind of shocked and very surprised to learn I was being honored," Prince said. "I thank everyone."
Betty Carol Cooke Prince
Betty Prince was not born and raised in Wellsville like many of the other Legends recipients. Although a transplant to Wellsville, she became deeply rooted in the community very quickly and left quite an impression on everyone that knew her.
Born and raised in Eubank, Ky., Prince ended up moving to Ohio with her husband, Richard Prince, after graduation from Pikeville College. After a couple years of directing a female sextet group, she decided to make a change and replace it with a mixed show choir. The show choir, Ebony and Ivory, quickly gained an excellent reputation for the great talent that is found in Wellsville, and Prince found her show choir being booked solid as the entertainment for many functions in the Tri-State area.
Prince became en eighth grade language arts teacher which filled her with new life. She pursued and received her master degree in education from Malone College.
During her career as a language arts teacher, Prince was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 1996. Although she was enduring very progressive and difficult chemotherapy treatments, she continued to give her all to her students and her school as she planned multiple field trips to enhance the students' learning including trips to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, to correlate with the World War II/Holocaust unit she taught in eighth grade Language Arts. Prince was often chosen by her students in the top ten of their class as the most influential teacher in their lives during their senior year. She was even recognized by students posthumously.
Prince was incredibly active in her church and community. A member of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wellsville. She was the church choir director/organist/pianist for the church for over 25 years.
Prince was an active member of the Arts Club where she also served a couple terms as president. She also taught private piano lessons to many of the local children.
Her teaching career was cut short by the advancement of her cancer. She left teaching when she became unable to perform her job due to the disease. As anyone who knows her is aware, the word "no" never existed in her vocabulary. She lost her battle to cancer in July of 2002 while vacationing at the beach with her entire family. Her legacy lived on through the Betty C. Prince memorial scholarship that was given for several years, and a memorial to her remains to this day behind Wellsville High School.
Many will remember John Albaneso as a community leader and a strong believer in the spirit of Wellsville.
Albaneso, who passed away in March 1992, will probably be best remembered for his restaurant, Johnies Lunch.
Always eager and wanting to start his career early, Albaneso started the business when he was just 19. The business closed in 1998.
His involvement in the Wellsville community went well beyond his successful business.
Albaneso was the founder of the "Wellsville versus Wellsville" annual series of games that pitted Wellsville, Ohio, teams against those from Wellsville, N.Y.
With Albaneso's passion and commitment, junior Tiger football teams from each community alternated hosting duties.
Folks from all over the area would gather to see the two Tiger teams compete on the gridiron.
There are countless other ways in which Albaneso served the community and helped the youth of Wellsville. Due to that effort, he will be honored with a Wellsville Legends Award.
Bob Grimm was born in 1933, ninth of 10 children of Paul and Marie Grimm. He graduated in 1953 from Wellsville High School and lettered four years in football.
Grimm married Gail Miller on July 3, 1954, and served in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956 during the Korean War.
He is a member of the Immaculate Conception church and the American Legion Post 70. He received the "friend of the schools" G.W. McMillan award in 1979.
Grimm retired from Crucible Steel in 1982 after 27 years as a lab technician. For many years, he coached little league, junior and senior high school football. Grimm was elected to the Wellsville School Board in 1980 and served for eight years and was elected to the Wellsville City Council in 1985 and served for eight years. For nine years, he was a trustee for the Buckeye Water District, spending five years as the president.
Grimm has four children, Juliana Carr, Robert Grimm Jr., Brian Grimm and Jeffrey Grimm; 10 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Grimm passed away from cancer on April 9, 2007.
"I think he would be proud to know he was being remembered," Gail Grimm said. "He wanted to be a role model for the kids, and he really enjoyed working. I miss him."
Born in New Martinsville, W.Va., Howard Gilger applied for the Wellsville High School head football coaching job in 1968.
He made his mark in Wellsville as a coach and as a community leader.
In 1967, Wellsville did not field a football team. In his first year, Gilger's team had a 1-9 record.
Still sharp, Gilger can rattle off his team records. In year two, the Tigers went 2-7-1. In year three, the football team went 8-2. In just three years, Gilger turned the Wellsville High School football team program around.
"The 1970s was a very good decade for us," Gilger said with a smile.
For 25 years, he coached boys track. For nine years, he coached junior high basketball. He was the Wellsville athletic director for 12 years.
In the classroom for 29 years, Gilger taught senior classes all about government and economics. He spent 36 years as a teacher with 29 of those years in Wellsville classrooms. He retired in 1997.
"I feel it's a great honor to be inducted with all of these other outstanding people," Gilger said. "I wasn't born here, but I feel as if I was always a part of the community, and this is truly an honor."
Paul Blevins calls himself the "adopted son" of Wellsville.
Born in East Liverpool, Blevins was an East Liverpool police officer and opted to further his education and walk a different career path.
He got a degree in education and started teaching at an elementary school. He went to Wellsville in 1995 and became the assistant high school principal.
Blevins moved up the ranks to become the Wellsville school district's federal program coordinator, assistant superintendent and eventually he got the top administrative spot, serving as school superintendent starting in 1996.
In total, Blevins spent 30 years in education.
"I had a great relationship with the people of Wellsville, and I still have one to this day," Blevins said.
Blevins has been married to Bonnie for 48 years now, and the two had three children.
Education and teaching are still important to Blevins. He teaches law enforcement classes at Kent State.
"This is truly an honor with this award, and the Wellsville community is important to me and always will be," Blevins said.
A graduate of Wellsville High School in 1945, Ken DeLauder has been an influential part of the community.
He was born in Brownton, W.Va. and his family moved to Wellsville in 1941. He's been around ever since.
"This is just a great area and a great place to live," DeLauder said.
In 1991, DeLauder bought what is now the Wellsville Alumni Center. He started refurbishing it with a lot of help.
DeLauder worked at Crucible Steel in Midland and retired in 1983. Many days and nights after his retirement were spent at the Alumni center.
Today, he lives along 10th Street.
"I thought fixing up the building and making the Alumni Center would be a good place for Wellsville alumni to return to," DeLauder said. "It's open mostly for the public, too."
The center opened in 1995 after four years of steady work. DeLauder said there were plenty of cake sales and fundraisers to make it happen.
Also an important part of the effort was his wife, Elsie, who passed away in 1996. The two had three children, and all three went to Wellsville High School, DeLauder said proudly.
"I think this award is something of a surprise," DeLauder said. "I feel honored just by being recognized."
DeLauder is still active in the Wellsville community and is the president of the Alumni Activities Committee.