Devil Doings December 2022 Newsletter

Executive Director's Note

Hello Blue Devil Community!


I hope everyone is having a joyous holiday season, and I would like to wish you all a happy and healthy new year as we enter 2023!


This new year will be historic for Wickliffe as we close out the 2022-2023 school year in the old buildings, and prepare to enter the 2023-2024 school year in our brand new Pre-School - Grade 12 facility!

The Wickliffe Schools Alumni Association Board of Directors have been talking for some time now on how we could create opportunities for alumni to get a chance to say goodbye to the buildings, and also see what’s in store for our future Blue Devils at the new campus. We are looking forward to meeting soon with the current school administration to discuss the WSAA’s involvement in this process.


We will continue to keep our alumni network in the loop as we navigate this bittersweet transition to the new campus. Stay connected with us via social media for any updates, announcements, or upcoming events! Please continue to stay in touch, and always feel free to reach out to us with any questions! Thank you.

-Leah Reese, WSAA Executive Director

Did you know...?


The WSAA is a non-profit organization, and your donations are tax deductible.


The WSAA is able to provide newsletters, give scholarships, and sponsor school and community events because of the generous financial support from our alumni.


You can easily donate via our website at:

www.WickliffeAlumni.org

Just click the "Donate to WSAA" tab on the front page.


You can even give a gift in honor or memory of a favorite teacher or classmate. 


Want to donate the old fashioned way? Just sent a check to:

WSAA

P.O. Box 195

Wickliffe OH 44092

Your donations make a difference!

Below is a letter from Rachel Sumrada, a 2021 WSAA Scholarship recipient:

 

Dear Scholarship Donors,

My lifelong dream of working in the prosthetic field is moving forward, thanks to your generous scholarship. Since being named one of the recipients of the WSAA Scholarship, my dream is becoming a reality at Cleveland State University. The $1,000 award gives me an opportunity to earn skills that will serve me in the medical community following graduation.


Your scholarship will help me earn credentials in Prosthetics, which requires special training & coursework. My passion for the healthcare field is matched by my love for the limb loss community, so my decision to specialize in Prosthetics comes from the heart.


Once again, thank you for the vote of confidence and the scholarship!

Rachel Sumrada

Thank you to our donors!

We are happy to have our newsletter up and running again, so we can acknowledge all our generous donors.


2021 Donors


Gold Donors

Bob Smith, retired coach, teacher, superintendent

Linda DiMatteo - in honor of Dominc DiMatteo, Class of 1939

William Bares '59

Larry Benz '80

Matt Zelina '87 - Zelina Family Trust


Blue Donors

Sebastian LaSpina '54

Paul LaSpina '58

William Reid '60

Judith Martinson '61

Dennis Nemura '61

Fred Kuhar '64

Dale Turk '71

Brian Derov '71

Kathy Buckley '72

Gloria Majeski '74

Robert Farone '79


Valued Donors

Tom Rosneck '66, teacher, coach

Michael Jones '75


Memorabila Donors

Greg Songer

Jennifer Baxter '72

Anthony Donsante '72

Laura Getz Whitney '72

Scott Barwidi '95



Levels of Giving

Gold Donor - $500 and above

Blue Donor - $100 - $499

Valued Donor - $1-$99



2022 Donors


Gold Donors

Dee Layne Vencl - Class of 1970 Spirit Award*


Blue Donors

Petsche Trust

Frank Foti '74 & WSAA Board Member

Connie Kosanovich Powall '83 & WSAA Board Member

Bob Smith, retired coach, teacher, superintendent

Matt Zelina '87 - Zelina Family Trust


Valued Donors

WHS Class of 1970 - Class of 1970 Spirit Award*

Bill Eberhard, Class of 1970 Spirit Award*

Claudia & James Mooney

Tim Reid '60

Leah Reese, WSAA Alumni Director



*The 2022 Class of 1970 Spirit Award is in memory of Mike Fontilla and Paul Gereby 


Looking for Class Representatives


Since 2003, the WSAA has been blessed to have alumni representatives from each class offering to help the WSAA keep our organization relevant. With the construction and redesign of our new website, we will need to reach every class to join in on all these exciting changes and upcoming events. 


When your class plans a reunion, the WSAA is there for you to send out notifications in our newsletters and on our website and Facebook page. 


This collaboration is possible because alumni like you volunteer to keep us up-to-date with your graduation information, names of alumni from your class, current email addresses, and even the passing of classmates. Does your graduating class have a Facebook page you could share with us? You do not need to be a class officer or even the organizer of a reunion to help; you just need to be willing to assist in gathering information from classmates to share with the WSAA. Is that person you? 


Please contact Nancy Perlic at [email protected] if you are interested in helping!

Wickliffe's Longest Tenured Teacher?

Not an Easy Question to Answer

by Nancy Krihwan Perlic '66, Marcia Gleason Rosneck '66, Teri DiMattia Shine '72, and Scott Tennant '88

A curious reader asked the WSAA which teacher has had the longest career with Wickliffe City Schools? Our team of researchers examined old records and spoke with retired administrators and teachers. However, the answer, as is so often the case when you’re looking back nearly 100 years, is murky, though we can probably make an educated guess – no pun intended! 


Born in 1901, Mrs. Ruth (Kendall) Fuller became a Wickliffe High School social studies teacher in 1925 and retired in 1972 at the age of 70. You would think that she would be the longest employed teacher in the Wickliffe School System, but you would be wrong. Mrs. Fuller’s story has some unexpected twists because of the era in which she lived. 


If Ruth Fuller isn’t the teacher who has had the longest career with the Wickliffe City Schools, who is?


The school district is only able to provide records of teachers who have retired since 1990. That encompasses much of the district’s history, though, as it includes a number of educators who started their careers in the 1960s and 70s and continued teaching at Wickliffe up to – and in many cases into – the 21st century.


Those who were lucky enough to have her at Lincoln (and later Wickliffe) Elementary probably won’t be surprised to learn that, as far as we know, Sandy Schock had by far the longest teaching career in the Wickliffe schools. Starting in 1967 and not retiring until 2013, she registered an astounding 46 years of service which moved her to the head of the class!


Next on the list would be Miss Eleanor Andrus at 42 years and then three teachers each with 37 years: Pete Wolfgram (1969-2006), Martha Jennison (1961-1998), and Barbara Brandt (1973-2010). Not far behind them was Vivian Garfunkel at 36 years (1972-2008).


Let’s look at the interesting stories of Mrs. Ruth Fuller, Miss Eleanor Andrus, and Mrs. Sandy Schock.

Mrs. Ruth Fuller

During the Depression of the 1930s, life was difficult, and many men could not find employment, so in 1932 twenty-six states passed laws prohibiting the employment of married women. The mindset behind this law was derived from the perception that a married man was the breadwinner of the family. If a woman was married, her husband would provide for her, and she should not take a possible job away from a man trying to provide for his family. 


As a member of Wickliffe Schools’ 12 member staff since 1925, Ruth Kendall was forced to resign upon her marriage to Kenneth Fuller in 1932. The couple then had two children, Kenneth Fuller born in 1936 and Judith Fuller born in 1938. 


Then World War II changed the employment landscape once again. With so many of the men out to war, women were employed to fill the jobs of the men. In 1944, Mrs. Ruth Fuller was rehired as a Wickliffe teacher. 


Mrs. Fuller was awarded the Valley Forge Classroom Teachers Medal, the Voice of Democracy Award (from The Veterans of Foreign Wars). The Rotary Club of Wickliffe even presented her with the first ever key to the city.


Due to her age of 70, the school board forced Mrs. Fuller to retire in 1972. Had Mrs. Fuller been allowed to teach from 1932-1944, she would have accumulated 47 years, but with her being required to stop working, she actually only taught for 35 years. Because of the biases against married women teaching during that era, she would not be the longest tenured teacher.

Miss Eleanor Andrus

Early on in her teaching career, Miss Andrus was considering getting married, but unlike Ruth Fuller, she did not want to give up her teaching career, so she chose not to marry. While she remained single, the gentleman she had been dating moved on and did get married. Many years later, after he was widowed, they bumped into each other. A spark was rekindled, and they married. Miss Andrus was a second-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary for her entire career. Even though Miss Andrus taught for 42 years, she still doesn’t hold the title for longest tenured teacher.

Mrs. Sandy Schock

Nancy Perlic was fortunate to go straight to the source, and Sandy Schock was kind enough to tell us her own story.

 

Sandy was born in Alliance, Ohio, graduating from Alliance High School in 1963. She started her college career at Mount Union College and completed her degree at Lake Erie College. While her aspirations were to teach fifth grade history, the stars aligned for her to teach kindergarten. In 1967 with a small child at home, she thought of trying to be a substitute teacher. At the time she lived in Euclid, but Euclid already had more than enough substitute teachers. Wickliffe, however, had substitute openings. Instead of subbing at Wickliffe, she was asked if she would be interested in teaching one session of afternoon kindergarten, and so began her illustrious teaching career in the Wickliffe Schools system.


In 1967, Lincoln Elementary was at full capacity, so Mrs. Schock had to teach her first afternoon class of 27 kindergartners at the high school from 2:15 to 4:30 pm. As a very young looking 22-year-old teacher, one of Mrs. Schock’s funnier memories from this time of being housed at WHS was being mistaken for a high school student and being stopped to show her hall pass. 


Mrs. Schock had so many thoughts to share about teaching kindergarten. She commented on how there would always be a few students at the beginning of the year who were just not ready for a structured program, but as the year progressed, she proudly observed their growth and accomplishments. There was even a year when twin boys in separate classes tried to fool their teachers with a switch. It did not work!


There were various field trips, guest speakers, and fun traditions through the years. Once a young dentist just starting out came to speak and did an impressive presentation. Years later her students went to this dentist, and the dentist would tell the student to tell Mrs. Schock he said hi. Another memorable speaker was a student’s father who was a medical doctor whose emergency vehicle was a helicopter. He wore his jumpsuit with pockets filled with medical instruments. 


Every January her classes would celebrate “Summer Picnic in January” to chase away the winter doldrums. The students enjoyed mini-hotdogs, lemonade, and chips on a red and white tablecloth placed on the classroom floor. The kids wore shorts, T-shirts, and sunglasses. Another tradition was a Mardi Gras parade that featured beads and masks made in the classroom. Mrs. Schock used this celebration as a teaching moment to discuss the colors of Mardi Gras and the meaning for each color.


When asked about her most heartwarming memories, Mrs. Schock remembered coming back from an absence due to breast cancer surgery to a huge presentation of beautiful cards and bouquets of flowers from her students and their families. Even while in the hospital, Mrs. Schock was recognized and wished well by a former student who was pushing her gurney into the operating room. 


On at least 20 occasions, Mrs. Schock taught children of students she had earlier in her career. On her last day of school in 2013, the father of one of her students was a student she had from her first year of teaching.  Sandy Schock created lasting bonds with many former students, but one family was special. All three children (2 boys and 1 girl) graduated from Wickliffe. So far, she has attended their graduation parties, weddings, and even a christening. One of her former student teachers invited her to a December wedding where Santa Claus danced with the bride and knew all the children’s names in attendance. Today that bride is a first-grade teacher with three daughters of her own.



In 2009 Mrs. Shock was named Lake County Teacher of the Year. All who were lucky enough to have had Sandy Schock as a teacher can attest to, not only her teaching expertise, but to her warmth and kindness. She enjoyed a fulfilling career in Wickliffe with lasting memories. Thank you, Mrs. Schock, for shaping so many lives in the Wickliffe School System.

Memorabilia Donations?

Cleaning out the

basement or garage?


Do you have any

Wickliffe Schools' memorabilia?

 

The WSAA is accepting donations

for our memorabilia collection.



If you have items to donate,

please contact Teri Shine at [email protected]

HELP WANTED


The WSAA is looking for enthusiastic alumni with fresh ideas for all committees. 

Sports fanatic? Fundraising guru? Twitter happy? We have a place for you! Contact us at [email protected] 

to let us know what areas/committees you would like to learn more about

and explore.


Meet Judy Pezdir Class of 1970:

Artist, entrepreneur and educator

by Scott Tennant '88

Judy Pezdir probably would have ended up as a published author and illustrator regardless, but you have to wonder if things would have turned out differently had she not received a fateful phone call from Wickliffe High School teacher Bill Kendra in the fall of 1974.


To set the scene: On that October day 48 years ago, Pezdir was working at Euclid Spring Company. Three months earlier she had earned a college degree that qualified her to teach secondary art, but there were no immediately available teaching jobs. While she waited for something to open up, she packed springs at the business owned by her father on Lakeland Boulevard.


As fate would have it, the seventh-grade art teacher at Wickliffe Junior High left her position as a result of her husband’s job transfer. Kendra, who served as Pezdir’s boss in the summers when she worked at Jindra Pool, immediately reached out to his former employee.


“He looked out for me,” Pezdir says. “He heard about the opening and reached out right away. Wickliffe takes care of its own!”


Pezdir went directly from work to the Board of Education office, where she had previously submitted a job application. Assistant superintendent Lloyd Morse happened to be coming down the stairs into the lobby while Pezdir was there and invited her upstairs for an interview. As Pezdir says, “I was not dressed for an interview at all. I had on a ratty old sweater and jeans, but we had a great conversation.”


Great enough, it seems, to earn a follow-up interview with principal David Tanski at the Junior High. Pezdir got the job and would go on to teach art for the next 30 years, mostly at Wickliffe High School.


Her work challenging and engaging generations of art students would likely have been enough for her to earn induction into the Wickliffe Alumni Association Achievement Hall of Fame, which she did in 2018. But in some ways, teaching was just the beginning of Pezdir’s story.


She left teaching 2004 at a time, she says, “when things started to change.” Education itself had transformed in many ways, and impending budget cuts would have posed an additional challenge.


So Pezdir focused on creating her own art. She had begun exhibiting her paintings at art festivals in the late 90s and was even commissioned to create a public art piece at the Wickliffe Public Library. Her elaborate ceramic tile mural still stands behind the reference desk there.


In 2005, Pezdir and her daughter, Jill Bascom, started their own business, selling magnets with messages. A year later, they founded I’m Organic, Inc., a result of both women having adopted an organic lifestyle, combined with their natural entrepreneurial bent (which Pezdir says came directly from her parents). Through I’m Organic they sold organic cotton t-shirts, magnets and biodegradable coffee mugs.


Another year after that, the business evolved into We Add Up, which aimed to raise awareness about climate change, the organic lifestyle and protecting the planet. Over time, We Add Up went national in scope, selling organic cotton t-shirts, magnets, mugs and tote bags in stores across the country, as well as providing t-shirts for school fundraisers. The venture earned a Green America Top 10 Green Business Award in 2010.


Once the business took a downturn—particularly with declining sales of t-shirts and the failure of the digital garment printer Pezdir kept in the studio/office of her Cleveland Heights home – the pair decided to call it quits. A few years later, they rekindled their professional relationship and began producing artwork for the covers of journals and similar publications.


“I did drawings of guinea pigs and rabbits, things like that, and Jill created beautiful designs to go with them and put them up for sale on Amazon,” Pezdir says. “It was a small amount at first, but at least it was something we could build on.”


That build-up would have to wait, however, as Pezdir concentrated on teaching art to homeschooled children during the COVID pandemic shutdown, something she continues to do. As COVID-related chaos subsided somewhat, Jill proposed they work together to write and produce their own books.


Thus was born the duo’s Fainting Freddie series of children’s books. The first one, “Fainting Freddie Faces Halloween,” tells the story of Freddie, a fainting goat who—like his entire family—seems to be afraid of everything. Freddie becomes the first in his family to go trick-or-treating in a story that teaches kids to face their fears and know their limits.


The second installment in the series is the recently released “Fainting Freddie Faces Santa.” Amazon describes the book this way: “They’re fainting goats! It’s Christmas Eve! And Santa is on his way! Santa has NEVER delivered presents inside Freddie’s house before – it’s too scary for this family of fainting goats. But Freddie is ready to shake things up this Christmas! What happens when Freddie wants Santa to come to their house FOR REAL this year? Follow along on his daring and mischievous adventure that causes mayhem and chaos for this hilarious and zany goat family. A lot of laughs, and a little lesson on getting permission from your parents first before plowing forward with your big plan.”


The hand-drawn books are funny and educational, and both feature a series of beautiful watercolor paintings created by Pezdir. You can learn more at faintingfreddie.com and on the Fainting Freddie Amazon page.


Looking back at everything she has accomplished, Pezdir credits her parents and her Wickliffe upbringing (she grew up on Grand Boulevard and is a proud member of the WHS Class of 1970) for instilling within her a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility, and for helping her understand the value of education.


“Growing up when I did, we were expected to be responsible,” she recalls. “We were given responsibilities. At 16 I became a lifeguard, and I had taught swimming lessons when I was even younger than that. By the time I was 19, I was an assistant manager of Jindra Pool. We acted a lot more ‘adult’ than kids get to be now.”


She also swims between 1.25 to 2 miles nearly every morning, which she says “plays a HUGE part in what I’m able to accomplish. It keeps my body moving and my brain sharp!”


Pezdir and Bascom continue to live in the Cleveland area and plan to release more Fainting Freddie books in the months and years to come. 

Looking back on how Wickliffe became a soccer town

By Scott Tennant '88

The Wickliffe High School boys’ soccer team won the second district title in school history this past fall.


To say the sport of soccer had humble beginnings at Wickliffe High School is perhaps risking some pretty serious understatement.


Established as a varsity sport in the fall of 1980, the soccer program enjoyed mixed success through its first decade of existence. There were some seasons in which just scoring a few goals was cause for celebration, let alone actually winning a match or two.


More than 40 years later, though, soccer is alive and well at all levels in Wickliffe, with the state-ranked boys’ team having earned its second regional tournament berth this past season, and the girls’ team having come within a double-overtime goal of making a regional run of its own.


That’s not to mention the thriving youth recreational and travel programs, and the long run of success enjoyed by the middle school boys’ and girls’ programs.


It can be difficult to see Wickliffe as anything but a football city – and make no mistake, the community loves its Blue Devil football – but the meteoric rise of soccer has provided some incredible memories for players, parents, coaches and residents. Here’s a look at how “the beautiful game” has taken root in our town and provided an outlet for some of the city’s most gifted and creative athletes:


Boys' Soccer

Like any school, Wickliffe had its share of talented soccer players right from the start in the early 1980s. It wasn’t until the 90s, however, that the team really started to gain momentum and to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in Lake County and beyond.


The school’s first district championship – believed to have happened in 1999 – was a notable milestone, but any discussion of Wickliffe boys’ soccer success has to center around the magical run to the state finals made by the 2006 team.


That squad lost to #1-ranked Worthington Christian 1-0 on penalty kicks in the Division III state final match, but the memories and high standards of success it engendered live on.


“The biggest impact of that state final run, to me, is that it showed there was a place for Wickliffe beyond the district final,” recalls Dominik Severino, current head coach of the Blue Devil boys’ team and a starting defender on the 2006 team. “We had been stuck at that level for a few years, but once we broke through, anything seemed possible.”


The 2006 squad was a once-in-a-generation collection of talent led by midfielder Kenney Walker. Walker grew up in Wickliffe and was close with many of the Blue Devil soccer players, but until his senior year, he had only played at the club and academy levels. His decision to play high school soccer his senior year – combining with Severino, the Suljevic brothers (Admir and Almir) and several other key pieces – was pivotal.


The 2006 team started the season in relatively pedestrian fashion, winning just three of its first seven games. But after a loss to Vermillion marred by near-fights and a flurry of yellow and red cards – a game in which Blue Devil coach Chris Adkins was going up against his alma mater, with his father the opposing coach – everything came together in a run of success that saw Wickliffe go on a tear.


The Devils would win an astonishing 15 games in a row after the Vermillion loss and a scoreless draw with West Geauga. That included playoff wins over Chanel, Cornerstone Christian, longtime rival Hawken, St. Thomas Aquinas, Youngstown Cardinal Mooney and Kidron Central Christian.


The 2022 Wickliffe team had its own long playoff run ended by Cardinal Mooney in the regional semifinals, but it proved that Wickliffe soccer was about more than just a one-time state final run 15 years ago. Several players earned postseason honors, included first team All-Ohioan Colin Casey. Severino himself was named Greater Cleveland Division III and News-Herald Coach of the Year.


Meanwhile, another Wickliffe team has been quietly building a resume of its own…


Girls' Soccer

Until 2007, there was no separate girls’ soccer team at Wickliffe. Girls who wanted to play for their school had to join the boys team. One, Carly Clarke, started on the 2006 state final boys’ squad and was a significant contributor.


A separate girls’ team was established in 2007, and its rise to area prominence over the years has been steady and methodical. Steve Gribovicz took over as head coach of the program in its third season, and he has seen his teams advance to two district finals. One of those came this past season when the Lady Devils stayed stride for stride with powerful Creston Norwayne before falling in double overtime, 1-0.


“We’re building team play,” says Gribovicz. “We’ve had a lot of good individuals over the years, and we’ve had a concept of team play, but this past season we really put it all together. We had eight consecutive wins at one point because the girls took to the system and took ownership of it.”


Perhaps the signature victory for Gribovicz’s team was a 1-0 double OT victory at Kirtland – the program’s first-ever win over the Hornets in 17 tries.


Gribovicz is the first one to deflect credit to his players, but it should be noted that, like Severino, his efforts this year earned him both Greater Cleveland and News-Herald Coach of the Year honors. Assistant coach Kristy Adams was also named Greater Cleveland Assistant Coach of the Year.


Also like Severino, Gribovicz feels the conversion of the field at Wickliffe Memorial Stadium from natural grass – mixed with sloppy mud by mid-October most years – to pristine turf in 2021 has had a hugely positive impact on soccer at Wickliffe High School.


“It has been a game-changer, in my eyes,” he says. “It’s a consistent surface, and you know how it’s going to play day in and day out. It brings a sense of pride, as well. Our team gets to play and practice on it and really enjoy it.”


The Feeder Programs

Gribovicz and Severino both acknowledge having benefitted from the flow of talent they receive from the Wickliffe Soccer Club youth program and the boys and girls’ teams at Wickliffe Middle School.


The Middle School girls’ team, for example, earned a Chagrin Valley Conference championship this year and will send a highly accomplished and talented group of eighth-graders to the high school next fall.


“I’ve been working with (Middle School Girls Coach) Erin Behm the past couple of years, and we’ve been able to establish the idea of what the progression of a Wickliffe girls soccer player looks like from 7th through 12th grades,” Gribovicz says. “Erin has those girls ready to succeed, and it prepares them for what they’ll experience at the high school level.”


Severino is firm in his belief that, without the early exposure to high-level competitive soccer afforded by the Wickliffe Soccer Club and middle school teams, there can be no regional and state tournament runs for Blue Devils players.


“It starts with the youth program,” he says. “This city has groups of parents from time to time who really support the youth programs, and that’s what makes kids fall in love with the game. The blunt truth is that, from there, you have to have a certain number of kids choosing to play club soccer. To make a consistent run at regionals, half your starting lineup needs to have played club soccer. We had four club players among our 11 starters this year, and that experience really helps not only with the athletic skills, but also the knowledge of the game. It’s a must.”

Remembering a fallen soldier: Sgt. Charles Wayne Anderson

by Teri DiMattia Shine '72

My search for Chuck began with the planning of the Wickliffe Class of 1972 50th Reunion Celebration. One of my ideas was to create a tribute to the deceased members of the class. Most obituaries were easy to find on the internet using Google and Ancestry.com, some were more difficult and required a few trips to Morley Library and learning how to use the microfilm machine. A few were required reaching out to classmates and loved ones using FaceBook. 


The search for Chuck was the most compelling. We knew he was killed in a helicopter training crash while he was in the military, but which branch of service? There are numerous Charles Andersons in military data bases. I decided to contact Wickliffe High School to verify his birthdate and parents’ names. That proved helpful and using Ancestry I found who I thought was Chuck. His death date was October 21, 1977. Adding that date to his name plus helicopter crash in the search engine opened up more details. There I read about the horrific accident that took 24 lives and Chuck’s name was mentioned. There were interviews with his wife, Gloria Anderson Goss. She had worked diligently to find the reason(s) for the crash which the Marines claimed to be pilot error. I was able to connect with Gloria through FaceBook. She was instrumental in creating a tribute to the men who lost their lives and the survivors of the crash. This tribute was erected in 2019 and is located at the Marine Museum in Triangle Virginia.


There is a ceremony at the City Hall in Wickliffe after the Memorial Day parade. The Mayor and others pay tribute to the men of Wickliffe who died in service to their country during a war. The men were from WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I’ve always felt bad that Chuck was never mentioned. He died serving his country, but not during a conflict.   I wanted to make sure Chuck was recognized, so I contacted Mayor Joe Sakacs of Wickliffe, and he agreed to remember Chuck in his speech at the ceremony. 


This is Chuck’s story as told by the mayor:

“The Wickliffe class of 1972 would like us to remember a classmate, who died in the service of his country, yet is not recognized on Memorial Day at this event because he did not perish in a conflict.

 

His name is Sgt. Charles Wayne Anderson, United States Marine Corps. Chuck died with 23 other corpsmen on October,21, 1977, while on military maneuvers on Mindoro Island in the Philippines. The Navy and Marines were finishing a two-week training exercise-the largest amphibious operation in the Pacific since World War II, called Fortress Lightening. The CH53-D helicopter that crashed held four crewmen (one being Chuck), 33 passengers and military equipment.

 

Chuck enlisted in the Marines while still a student at Wickliffe High School. Several seniors enlisted that year into various branches of the service, as the Vietnam War was still happening.

 

Chuck was in the U.S. Marine Presidential helicopter squadron, HMX-1, for 3 years and had flown with Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter. He planned on returning to that duty when he returned home after his deployment.

 

Chuck’s wife, Gloria, who is here today, was instrumental in creating a memorial at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, just outside the gates of Quantico. It remembers those who were involved in the accident and pays tribute to the rescue and recovery teams that traveled through the dangerous jungle terrain on the mountainside.”

The entire ceremony was beautiful, as always. Thank you to Mayor Joe Sakacs for remembering our fallen classmate and Marine.

WSAA Board Members
  • Susan Skufca Bell '82 - Secretary, Newsletter
  • Gail Shindly Bencina '81 - Social Media
  • Mark Cline '75 - Scholarship Committee
  • Frank Foti '74 - WWBD Networt, School Connection
  • Dave Hintz '82 - Chairman, Achievement Hall of Fame
  • Dave Krych '71 - Achievement HOF
  • Chris May '77 - Treasurer
  • Nancy Krihwan Perlic '66 - Newsletter, Class Rep Administrator, Teacher Connection
  • Connie Kosanovich Powall '83 - Legal Counsel
  • Leah Reese - Executive Director
  • Teri DiMattia Shine -72 - Memorabilia, Hall of Fame Committees
  • Bob Smith - Honorary Board Member
If you are interested in getting involved with the WSAA, have any questions, or want to get in contact with any of our board members, please email us at [email protected]

WSAA

PO Box 195 Wickliffe, Ohio 44092

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