Except for the first 3 months of life Nina Parker has lived in Findlay! She was nominated for her cheerful personality, her work in schools as a storyteller and her founding the Black Heritage Library. She retired as a state auditor after 24 years of service. She went to Defiance College and graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Marketing. She has been married for 35 years to Darnell. They have 2 sons and 3 grandchildren. In her free time she loves to travel the world, story-tell, and do reenactments such as Rosa Parks. Her Library has received accolades from the Smithsonian Library and recognition from the State of Ohio. It is quite a beautiful place to visit and is open Tuesday and Thursday evenings and by appointment. She is also a brain cancer survivor and was given little chance to survive, but believes her faith and prayer has allowed her to endure two surgeries, a month of blindness and treatment over the past 10 plus years. Her motto is “To treat people respectfully, love God, and live life joyfully.” Her role models were her parents who taught her to work hard, care for the young and poor and to be passionate in life. Spend time with Nina and you will feel her strong spirit and feel blessed.
Meet Harold and Lillian Mericle (pronounced Miracles). They are the new kids on the block at Birchhaven having been there just over 6 weeks. They are technically newlyweds as they have only been married for 68 short years. They were high school sweethearts and she waited for him while he served in WWII for 2.5 years in the US Navy. He was stationed the entire time in Okinawa. When he returned they married and his mother was “thrilled to finally have a daughter.” They were blessed with a son and a daughter, 4 grand children and 9 gr-grand children. Harold retired from Columbia gas after 30 years with the pipeline transmission dept. The Mericle’s then moved to Florida for 21 years before family brought them back to our area. They love to travel, going to Europe and other countries. Liilian’s favorite vacation was Hawaii on their 30th anniversary. They also love going on Cruises for the great sites and fabulous food. Harold loves to work with wood and had his own shop for many years making doll houses and tool benches for children.
Meet Ssgt. Fred Heischman who is a WWII vet and is 91 years young. The stories he can tell about his time at war from 1943 to the end of the war are riveting. He was assigned to the 146th Army Combat Engineers battalion. He served in Scotland helping troops prepare for D-Day and he was the driver of Weasel that he drove up on the beach at Omaha with a Radio operator on the day of the invasion. He survived, the radio operator did not make it. Later when the French entered Paris to fight the occupying Germans they stopped sending information back to the allies so a officer and a driver, Fred, who had 2 years of French in High school, were sent to check on the situation. They became the first 2 US Army men to enter Paris after Germany occupied it. The Germans had fled and the French troops were celebrating. If you wish to know more Fred has written a biography of his time in the service. Fred married Betty in 1943 at the age of 20 and they lived a long and glorious live. They were married for 70 yrs. and 8 months when she passed this last June. They lived in an old farm house that Fred helped wire for electricity They had 2 daughters and 5 grandsons and numerous great grand children. Betty was the baby in her family, the last of 19 children. Fred studied Ceramic Engineering at The Ohio State. He graduated and worked at Autolite Sparkplugs for 40 years from 1940-1980 where he retired as Director of Engineering. If you have time stop and see Fred. He loves company and a listening ear. Salute Fred!!!
If you enjoy your job as much a Beth Wilkins does, is it really work? “I love what I do!” “I have a choice and I choose to be here!” And her attitude is contagious as she moves from group to group of senior citizens involved in pinochle, Mahjong, pool , reading, visiting and she calls most by their first name. She is the Program director over all activities at the Agency on Aging (50 North). She also oversees the 300 volunteers that assist the Agency in a wide variety of ways from delivering food to leading physical activities. She has been there 2.5 year after spending 9 years as a radio personality on Mix 96.7. She is an avid golfer and loves to travel in her free time. She is still on her honeymoon with her husband of 11 years. She is an empty nester with three grown children and a grandbaby. She is in her niche and the senior citizens benefit from her youthful exuberance and dedication to the program. She lives everyday “as if it is my last day.” “I don’t want to miss anything!” Her mother is her “rock” and taught her to be a lady and stand up for herself. Her mother really built her self-esteem.
Tonya Lea Rozelle believes in “Living a life with no regrets” and she is living a full life to do just that. She is an office manager at a local State Farm agency and loves being the first contact a person meets when in need. She has been a photographer and worked 12 plus years at Whirlpool. She is very active in her church where she teaches Sunday School, is in the choir and plays a number of roles in the annual Christmas play. She likes passionate causes and making connection such as the Micheal Terrian group that attempts to assist victims of bullying before it is too late. She wants to stop victimology and empower those being bullied with strength and hope. She loves theater, enjoys travel, as she is a “nomad by nature.” Tonya also spends time with her nephew/godson with soccer Her parents are her role model and they taught her to be accepting and to love others. Her Great Grandmother Rozelle gets a shout out for her lasting impression on Tonya. She was loving, happy and never met a stranger.
When Toby Weeks isn’t making 20 dozen killer tasting cupcakes at a time for a wedding she is responsible for hiring happy people at Kroger’s. She has been in the grocery business for 20 years with the last 11 on 6th street. She has a perpetual smile and is quick to emphasize how “blessed” she is. She is a cancer survivor. It was discovered by accident when she was being prepped for knee replacement surgery and is a type last seen by local doctors back 30 years ago. She is recovering and doing well. She believes “God put her here to help people” and she looks for every opportunity to serve others. She has been married for 39 years to the love of her life and has 2 grown daughters. She has three furry “children”, Pita, Rocky and Miss Kitty. In her free time she likes Bingo, cross-stitch, FB, and socializing with her many friends. She loves spending time in her newly renovated kitchen baking goodies. Her motto was on the shirt she was wearing. “Too blessed to be stressed.” We left feeling blessed for having met her.
Life long Findlayite Kelly Cheney was nominated for her incredibly cheerful demeanor as an 8th grade English/Language Arts teacher at Donnell Middle School. She has taught there for 7 years. We found she does have infectious smile that lights up the room. In addition to teaching she is the “Power of the Pen” competitive writing team coach and was just made Dept. chair. She is spending much of her summer writing curriculum for next years students. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Miami University and her Masters from Nova So. Eastern of Florida. Kelly is married to Aaron and has 2 girls, Addy and Ella. They just returned from a trip to Disney World. She loves teaching but in her free time she plays with her girls, walks, rides a bike and is a very good novice photographer. Her motto is “Be a little kinder than is necessary.” Her parents are the influence in her life as they are the nicest people she knows and will drop anything to help anyone.
Aaron Roush is a very pleasant, successful Investment agent. He graduated from Ohio University, (Go BobCats!) and recently completed a grueling 2 year course and test that gave him the equivalency of being a CPA ,only in the insurance world. He has been with Northwestern for 12 years and loves his job as a Wealth Management Advisor. But all that is secondary to his family and the support he gives to his wife Courtney who is a 11 year cancer survivor. She was diagnosed at the young age of 20 and told she had 6 months to live. After undergoing brutal radiation therapy she was able to beat the cancer but is now paying the price with debilitating effects from the radiation therapy. Aaron and Courtney have been married 7 years and have 2 children, a daughter and an adopted son. Aaron has cut back on his workload and spends as much time at home as he can to support his wife and to help raise his children. He feels very blessed to be a husband and a dad and for the family bonds he has. All and all he feels his family is blessed and has a very positive outlook for the future. It is heartwarming to hear his positive point of view. There is not a single bit of sympathy or regret, just hope for what the future holds. His motto is “Not that life is too short, we are dead for too long. Live in the moment.” His role model is his boss John Ertz who is inspirational and truly cares about his staff.
Known for his politeness and work ethic we met Jordan Endicott at the Water Dept. where he is a water-line maintenance worker. He moved up from Florida 4 years ago. He is married with a 3 year old son. He loves his job which is to maintain all water lines, hook-ups, repairing broken mainlines in all weather and times of day. He enjoys his crew and emphasizes it is a team effort. He looks forward to a long future with department. He spends free time with family, watching any type of racing, especially Moto-cross, bonfires and cold beers. His motto comes from Nelson Mandela:” There is no passion to be found playing small. In settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” His role models are his parents and his grandmother Jean who worked hard her whole life and instilled a desire to be a better man into him.