Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame announces 2020 inductees

Staff report -

CRAWFORD COUNTY — The Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame has selected the class of 2020. Because of Covid-19 there will not be a ceremony Nov. 11 2020. A former program is being planned — weather permitting — next Spring. This will be the 14th class inducted into the CCVHOF.

Editor’s note: This information was provided by Chuck Christman, president of the Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame.

Ralph Emerson Schreck, Sr. was born Feb. 7, 1894, in Galion Ohio. He was the 13th child of John Andrew and Martha Jane Shumaker Schreck. Siblings: Harve; Calvin; Daisy Klopper; Belinda; Sarah; Sina Belle Hershner; David; Elsie; James; Walter Raleigh; Estella; Fredrick; Arthur; Dewey; Robert; and Howard. Ralph attended school in Galion. He played basketball for the Galion Phyntax 1917 team. He married Belle Irene Paste on Nov. 28, 1917. They were married over 59 years before Ralph passed away Feb. 23, 1977. Ralph and Belle had two children, Alice (Franklin)Heeder of Johnstown, NY and Ralph (Bernice)Schreck, of Lemert. They have 5 grandchildren.

On May 28, 1918 Ralph and 28 other men left Bucyrus to go to Columbus for inspections and assembling other men from Ohio. After several days, they headed by train to Camp Jackson, SC. On July 10, 1918, the boarded the ship to Brest France, arriving in France on July 21, 1918. They were with a company that used trucks to deliver ammunition to the front lines. They had to load and maintain the trucks and drive them to the front. On May 5, 1919 they boarded ship back to the United States. They were honorably discharged on May 27, 1919.

After discharge he went back working at the trucking business with his father and brothers where he worked before the service. In 1937, he became a deputy sheriff of Crawford County. In 1944 he ran for Sheriff of Crawford County and won the election. He decided to run for County Commissioner in 1952 and won and was re-elected in 1956, retiring in 1960.

Ralph was active in the Ohio Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, he was a life member. Ralph was a Charter member of Galion American Legion Post 243, member of the Elks, Moose, Carl C. Kaupp Barracks 1077, Veterans of WW1 of the United States. He was also active with Crawford County American Cancer Society, started Little League in Bucyrus, and supported his grandchildren in their activities.

Donald J. Scheerer was born January 14, 1948 to Donald E. Scheerer and Velma L. Scheerer in Bucyrus OH. He attended Bucyrus City Schools and graduated from Bucyrus High School in 1966. He played football, until injuries his senior year, basketball and ran track for Bucyrus, and was a member of the 1963 NOL champion football team. He attended Ohio State University Mansfield in the fall of 1966.

While working at GE he was drafted into the United States Army January 4, 1968. Basic training at Fort Jackson South Carolina, Airborne AIT at Fort Gordon Georgia and Jump School at Fort Benning Georgia where he was second generation Airborne. In August 1968 was sent to Vietnam and assigned to the 23rd Americal Division. He joined the Elite E Company 51st Infantry which did long range reconnaissance. He spent 3 weeks training with the Elite 5th Special Forces Group Recondo School, and another 3 weeks in field training on medical, special weapons and map reading. On January 1, 1969, the unit was redesignated G Company 75th Airborne Rangers. On March 24, 1969 while on a recon mission he was wounded stepping on a landmine. His parents received a telegram which read “We regret to inform your son has been wounded in Vietnam. He is not seriously injured and was wounded in both legs, buttocks, back, both arms, and head. We repeat, he is not seriously injured.” Donald was hospitalized 2 weeks in Vietnam, 3 weeks in Japan and sent stateside to Fort Campbell KY, where he spent almost a year and a half before being Honorably Discharged in July 1970. His awards National Defense Ribbon, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachute Wings, Vietnam Service Medal w/3 Bronze Stars, Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ Oak Leaf, Army Commendation Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/Palm, Unit Citation Badge and Good Conduct Medal.

After being discharged he went back to work at GE and retired in January 2003 with over 36 years of service. On March 10, 1972 he married Nancy Foreman. He has two Stepchildren, Jeff Sheerer and Tami Doyle, % Grandchildren and 6 Great Grandchildren. Nancy passed away in 2019.

Donald belonged to Cub Scout Pack 40 and Boy Scout Troop 40, is an Eagle Scout, earned One Palm and received God and Country Awards, summer camp counselor at Camp Owens and belonged to the Order of the Arrow, starts first Air Explorer Post locally which still exists today, and coached and umpired Little League with his father.

Donald belongs to the American Legion, VFW, DAV Chapter 100 Adjutant/Treasurer, where he was 4 years District Commander, State Executive Committeeman 3 years 1st and 2nd Jr. Vice Commander, and Sergeant at Arms, Secretary/ Treasurer Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame and the Bucyrus Memorial Society. He was a driving force in the Monument being built at the Crawford County Courthouse

Dwight Eugene Leonhardt was born in Bucyrus, OH December 11, 1947 to the late Ernest and Lois Leonhardt. He graduated from Colonel Crawford High School in 1967 where he was involved in swimming and bowling teams.

Dwight was drafted into the Army on January 11,1968. He completed basic training at Fort Jackson South Carolina and his AIT at Fort Lee Virginia. He was sent to Vietnam and assigned to E Company 1st Battalion 7th Cavalry Division 1968-1969. He received ab early release at Valley Forge General Hospital on October 16, 1969 following an injury while serving in Vietnam. His awards were National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal w/60 Device, Purple Heart, Marksman (M-16) w/Rifle Bar, Sharpshooter (M-14) w/ Rifle Bar.

After his service, he married in 1970 and had three children, Shawn, Leslie, and Travis. In 1990 Dwight re married and gained two stepchildren, Rich and Kari. He is the proud grandfather of 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

Dwight worked for the Standard Oil Company while in High School, and for the General Electric Company for 33 years where he was a Union Steward for IUE Local 704 and Union President for Local 704.

Dwight was involved with starting the Baseball League at Sulphur Springs School and coached his children’s teams. He was a member of the GE bowling team for many years and is active in golf and playing cards.

Dwight is a Life Member of VFW Post 1078 (being a trustee over 20 years) Life Member AmVets Post 27, Life Member DAV Chapter 100, Moose Lodge 669, Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame, and a member of the Bucyrus Veterans Honor Guard, and put flags on veterans graves for the Bucyrus Memorial Society.

Dwight lives in Bucyrus with his wife Carol.

Michael Allen Teynor was born in Bucyrus OH July 1, 1947 to Juanita and Ernest Teynor. He attended Bucyrus City Schools a left in 1966 to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. He underwent jungle/survival training at Camp Pendleton, California and deployed to Vietnam. He was a machine gunner with 1st Battalion 7th Marines. CPL Teynor was transferred to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina assigned to 2 Battalion 2nd Marine Division. He went on Mediterranean Cruise for 6 months making beach landings as training in various countries. His schooling in the Marines was MCI, Marine NCO, Ammo Technician CRS, Regimental NCO School. He received the Purple Heart, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/ 2 Stars, Good Conduct Medal and Rifle Sharpshooter Badge. He was Honorably discharged February 20, 1969 from the United States Marine Corps.

Michael earned his on May 8, 1986, and later was recognized with a diploma from Bucyrus High School. Michael worked for Teynor Brothers before being employed at The Timken Company in Bucyrus. He also was a part time Police Officer with the New Washington, OH Police Dept. 1972-1973. After retirement he has worked various part time jobs.

Michael is a Life Member of VFW Post 1078 and has been Commander, Sr. Vice, JR. Vice for a few years and was All State Post Commander for 2006-2007 term. He is a Life Member Amvets Post 27, Life Member DAV Chapter 100, member American Legion Post 405 New Washington, member NRA. He traveled as a guest on the 2016 Columbus Honor Flight all Vietnam Veterans Purple Heart Trip.

He is a member of Moose Lodge 669 Bucyrus, supports ST. Jude Children’s’ Hospital and is a member of ST. Bernard’s Catholic Church New Washington OH and volunteers during Church Festivals each August.

The Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame is honored to induct Michael Allen Teynor into the class of 2020.

Michael Wayne Jacobs was born November 14, 1945 in Delaware, OH. He graduated from Colonel Crawford High School in 1963. Michael graduated from Davis Business College and completed several management courses at the University of Hawaii. Michael also completed two years of studies at The Ohio State University. Later in life Michael completed a two-year machine repair training program at the Timken Company in Bucyrus, OH.

Training began with basic training at Fort Dix New Jersey in July of 1966. Michael then completed an 18-week training program as a communications monitor in October of 1966 at Fort Devens Massachusetts. Michael also joined the Army Security Agency around this time. In July he was sent to Vietnam under the 509th Radio Research Unit. He then went to Canto with the 4th Platoon 101st Radio Research Company as an analyst. In July of 1968 he was sent to Fort Devens Massachusetts again where he would complete the instructor training program. He would go on to teach at Fort Devens for 9 months, where he was then sent to Communications Analyst School. After completing training, he was sent to the 602nd ASA (Army Security Agency) unit positioned in Hawaii. He had Top Security Crypto Clearance. He was selected to be part of the Army operation “High Heels”, which was a simulated nuclear attack on the United States, where he spent two weeks inside of a mountain bunker. Michael was Honorably discharged from the Army in July 1970. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

Michael worked for Reese Optical in Mansfield, OH the Timken Company in Bucyrus with 35 years, 14 years serving Bucyrus City Council and several committees, one and a half years as Mayor of Bucyrus.

Michael has been a member of the American Legion over 50 years, Amvets 4 years, the Disabled American Veteran over 40 years and over 25 years in the Moose. He has been active in PTA, Booster Club, Touchdown Club at Bucyrus City Schools. Bucyrus Jaycees, Bucyrus Little League, Coach and Board of Directors, Red Cross, Crawford County Parks Board of Directors.

Michael was recognized for The Bucyrus Jaycees Distinguished Service Award and Lifetime member of Bucyrus Jaycees, was recognized in 1984 Outstanding Young Men of America Award, received special recognition from the United States Congress as the Mayor of Bucyrus and Democrat of the Year Award from the Ohio Democratic Party.

Michael has been married over 50 years and lives in Bucyrus, OH.

Ralph Allen Gearheart was born Feb. 1, 1948 in Crestline, OH, son of Edward Hampton and Ida Louise Painter Gearheart. He has 2 sisters, Peggy L. (DeGray); Mary Lou (Heiby); Cary Edward Gearheart. Ralph graduated from Crestline High School in 1966 and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in Oct 1967. His Basic Training was at Parris Island SC, then he left for Vietnam in April 1968 from California. He was assigned to Company I, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division. On 26 May 1968 he was killed by sniper fire while on a search and destroy operation. He received the Vietnam service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Purple Heart, and Bronze Star Medal with Combat V. His citation reads:

For heroic achievement in connection with operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam while serving with Company I, Third Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division. On 26 May 1968, while conducting a search and destroy operation, Company I suddenly came under intense automatic weapons and small arms fire from a large, well concealed North Vietnamese Army force. During the ensuing fire fight, the lead element was pinned down and sustained numerous casualties. Alertly observing a wounded Marine lying in an area dangerously exposed to the enemy fire, Privet First Class Gearheart unhesitatingly left his covered position and commenced moving toward his injured comrade. Disregarding his own safety, he fearlessly maneuvered across thirty-five meters of fire swept terrain to the side of the wounded Marine. Ignoring the hostile rounds impacting near him, he calmly removed the injured man’s equipment, and while moving the casualty out of the hazardous area, Private First Class Gearheart was mortally wounded. His heroic actions and sincere concern for the welfare of his comrades inspired all who observed him and were instrumental in saving the life of a fellow Marine. Private First Class Gearheart’s courage, bold initiative and selfless devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.

Staff report