Ohio’s first lady and Department of Aging honor long-married volunteers


COLUMBUS — First Lady Frances Strickland and the Ohio Department of Aging honored couples for their dedication to marriage and volunteerism at the 10th annual Joined Hearts in Giving celebration, held in observance of Valentine’s Day at the governor’s residence in Columbus.


Joined Hearts in Giving honors Ohioans at least 60 years old who have been married 40 years or longer and who share a commitment to volunteerism.

“Ohio is a better place because of the efforts of these great people,” said Mrs. Strickland, the event’s host. “Through the hours and hard work they volunteer, they embody all that makes this state exceptional.”

These special volunteers range in years married from 40 to 66, ages 62 to 90 and from 3 to 42 years of volunteering.

“The devotion of theses couples is truly heart-warming,” said Barbara E. Riley, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Their commitment to each other and their passion to help others is a model we can all take to heart.”

Thirty-one couples were honored at the Joined Hearts in Giving celebration.


Honorees include:

— Van and Diane Bates of Youngstown.

— Richard and Millie Bishop of Findlay.

— James and Josephine Demboski of Mogadore.

— Dannie and Jane Devol of Logan.

— Chester and Elinor Dowden of West Liberty.

— John “Jack” and Helen Fix of Cincinnati.

— Dale and Betty Hedge of Cumberland.

— Chester “CJ” and Janice Hocker of Bradford.

— Clifford “Cliff” and Lillie Johnson of Warren.

— Earl and Lois Johnson of Dover.

— Quentin and Mary Knauer of Cambridge.

— Frank and Doris Laughlin of Hebron.

— Alex “Al” and Betty Lev of South Euclid.

— Jim and Charmaine McClellan of Maumee

— Charles and Ghnelda McDougall of Rawson.

— Tom and Bonnie Menningen of Upper Sandusky.

— William and Regina Moore of Wilmington.

— Rev. James and Garnet Nuhfer of St. Marys.

— Richard and Dorothy Puffenberger of Tiffin.

— Tony and Darlene Quails of Woodsfield.

— Arlo “Bud” and Martha “Marty” Ragan of Centerville.

— Bob and Millie Ruck of Cincinnati.

— Vane and Barbara (deceased) Scott of Newcomerstown.

— Larry and Joyce Shong of Bidwell.

— Robert and Violet Stevens of Stevens.

— James and Helen Stilson of Akron.

— Roger and Ruth Ann Stout of Fremont.

— John and Dorothy Stratton of Ashland.

— Tom and Martha Terry of Reynoldsburg.

— Cletus and Alice Vetter of Hicksville.

— Robert and Wanda Vigar of Barberton.


The Department of Aging solicited nominations from Oct. 17 to Nov. 30 for the Joined Hearts in Giving award from the general public. Couples were chosen from around the state.


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