Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame will induct classes of 2020 and 2021 on Veterans Day

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The annual ceremony honoring inductees to the Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Bucyrus High School.

The class of 2021 members are Ronald Wayne Burkhart, Dennis G. Christman, Augustus John Cullen, Kenneth Raymond Inscho, Ralph Emerson Schreck Jr. and Richard E. Stearns. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 induction ceremony was postponed a year, so those inductees — Ralph Allen Gearheart, Michael Wayne Jacobs, Dwight Eugene Leonhardt, Donald J. Scheerer, Ralph Emerson Schreck Sr. and Michael Allen Teynor — also will be inducted Thursday.

Nate Mealy from the Ohio Department of Veteran Services will speak at the ceremony.

Ronald Wayne Burkhart

Birth: June 27, 1948, in Crawford County to Floyd and Doris Betty Gibson Burkhart

Ronald Burkhart
Ronald Burkhart

Education: Colonel Crawford High School, summa cum laude, valedictorian, 1966. Associate's degree in agriculture/music from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1967.

Service: Burkhart attended U.S. Army basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and completed AIT at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was awarded the Basic Training Service Ribbon and Expert Marksmanship Badge for the M16A1 rifle. In 1969, Corp. Burkhart was awarded Outstanding Soldier of Battery D 1st Battalion 136th Field Artillery Regiment. In 1972, Staff Sgt. Burkhart was selected Artilleryman of The Year for the 1st Battalion of the 136th Field Artillery Regiment. Burkhart was a unit recruiter for two years.

Civilian life: In 1983, Burkhart, his father and brother began Burkhart Farm Center, Inc., an International Harvester dealership. He served as vice president until the death of his father in 2012, when he and his brother Charles became co-presidents. He serves as an adviser to a technical school and to the industrial ag department at Colonel Crawford schools. He and his wife, the former Marica Hoover, have three children: Doug, Christ, and Sara McGrady, and seven grandchildren.

Memberships: 37th Division Veterans Association, Richard Kanable Chapter of the 37th Division Association in Bucyrus, Gideons International, United in Harmony. Serves as a mentor and point of contact with Pioneer Career and Technology Center and Colonel Crawford High School. Bucyrus Methodist Church finance committee and choir.

CEREMONY: Veterans will be honored during tree-planting, hall of fame ceremony on Thursday

Dennis G. Christman

Birth: April 28,1950, at Bucyrus Community Hospital to the late George H. and Florence (Rowland) Christman. Two brothers: Michael (deceased) and Charles.

Dennis Christman
Dennis Christman

Education: Norton Elementary School, Bucyrus Junior High and Bucyrus High School, graduating in 1968.

Service: Inducted into the U.S. Army on Sept. 16, 1969, in Columbus. Basic training and AIT at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, with an Infantry MOS. Assigned to Korea. Served with Company C 1st Battalion 9th Infantry 2nd Infantry Division for 13 months and 26 days. While in Korea he served as a radio/telephone operator at the DMZ for four months while on guard duty.

The temperature was at times minus-30 degrees with wind chill factor. He went in garrison for four months as a forward observer for a mortar crew, and then would rotate back to the DMZ. He also attended Advanced Infantry School in Korea. Honorable discharge on April 19, 1971, at Fort Lewis, Washington. He was a Sergeant E-5 and received the Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and Expert M-16 Badge.

Civilian life: During high school he worked at the Great Scot store, then at the GE Bucyrus Lamp Plant and Glass Plant. After his service, he returned to his job at the G.E. Glass Plant until it closed in 1986. He the worked at Pillsbury/General Mills in Martel until he retired in 2012. He married Christie L. Reinhard on July 21, 1973, and she died in 2019. His daughter is Deidre (Dee) Miley, and he has one grandson.

Memberships: Life member of American Post 181 and of Amvets Post 27, both in Bucyrus. He was a trustee for the latter. Served as commander of Post 181 for three years and was the first consecutive-year commander. Served as Memorial Day parade director for many years and was an officer in Bucyrus Memorial Society, in charge of flags at Oakwood Cemetery.

LEAF COLLECTION: City crews collect leaves and urge residents to keep them off the street

Augustus John Cullen

Birth: July 12, 1915, in Columbia City, Indiana, to Mr. and Mrs. A.I Cullen.

Augustus John Cullen
Augustus John Cullen

Education: Graduated from Bucyrus High School in 1935. While in school, he was a leader in student activities, honor student, and the recipient of the American Legion Merit award given to the outstanding senior each year. While in high school, he was a member of the Bucyrus Unit of the Ohio National Guard for three years. Attended the University of Michigan 1935-1936 and in 1936 he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and enrolled in July 1936.

Service: During his years at the academy, he held the rank of corporal in the second and third year and was company captain in his fourth year. He was active in the traditional Hundredth Night Show and Cadet Orchestra during all four years. Upon his graduation from West Point with the commission of second lieutenant he entered the service of his country on June 11, 1940.

On July 12, 1940, he married Evelyn Phillips, his high school sweetheart, at the West Point Catholic Chapel. The newlyweds spent the summer with their parents in Bucyrus, and in September 1940 they sailed to the Philippine Islands for his first assignment overseas. His wife was sent back to the states on government orders in May 1941.

Cullen was captured by the Japanese on May 6, 1942, on Corregidor. He was confined as a prisoner of war at Cabanatuan and in December 1944 he and other fellow prisoners were taken aboard a ship by the Japanese to be moved to Japan. The first ship on which they sailed was sunk off the Philippines and survivors were taken back to the Philippines and placed on a second ship. It was torpedoed off Formosa. He and the survivors were placed on a third ship and taken to Camp Fukuoka, Japan. Due to his exposure during the trip to Japan, he contracted pneumonia and died on Feb. 9, 1945.

Kenneth R. 'Doc' Inscho

Birth: April 15, 1918, in Bucyrus, to Dice M. and Lulu Hart Inscho. Older brother Walter E.: sisters: Wilma (Leonard); Martha (Pettit); and Marilou Hubble.

Kenneth Inscho
Kenneth Inscho

Education: Attended Bucyrus City Schools. Following his discharge, he graduated from Andrews Barber College in Toledo in December 1946.

Service: Volunteer and member of the Ohio National Guard. His unit was sent to Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in October 1940. He served with the medical detachment of the 37th Division, 135th FA, Bn 43 and received his honorable discharge on Aug. 10, 1945, at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. He was awarded Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Ribbon with two Bronze Stars; American Defense Service Medal; Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star; Good Conduct Ribbon; Purple Heart; and Bronze Star Medal.

Civilian life: Owned and operated his own barber shop in Galion for 35 years. He married Donna M. Hollenbaugh on March 21, 1948, in Good Hope Lutheran Church in Bucyrus. He was a member of Good Hope Lutheran Church, where he served as an usher for many years. Their children; Ronald L. and Beth (Jim) Zucker; and granddaughter Daneil Spiegel. His hobbies were hunting, fishing, gardening, and cards. Kenneth passed away at his home in Bucyrus Jan 27, 1996.

Memberships: 50-year member of D.A.V. Thorold Heinlen Chapter 100, life member of the 37th Division Richard Kanable Barracks, Galion American Legion, Bucyrus Masonic Lodge 139, and active volunteer with the Council on Aging. He was in charge of the cemetery detail to decorate veterans’ graves in Oakwood Cemetery for many years.

Ralph Emerson Schreck Jr.

Birth: July 18, 1921, in Galion, the second child of Ralph Schreck Sr. and Bell Irene Paste.

Ralph Schreck Jr.
Ralph Schreck Jr.

Education: Attended Galion City Schools through the ninth grade, then attended Bucyrus City Schools because his father was elected Crawford County sheriff and was required to live in the living quarters of the county jail. He played the center position for Bucyrus High School's outstanding football teams of 1937-1938. He excelled in track and set many school records. Graduated from Bucyrus High School in 1939.

Service: Enlisted Sept. 2, 1942, in the Army Air Corps and was sent to Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana; then to New Mexico; then to a Homestead, Florida, air base where he became a tower operator. He applied and was accepted in the cadet program and was sent to Michigan State College, where he was taught advanced mathematics and the sciences of aviation and navigation.

His training took him to Vernon, Texas; Enid, Oklahoma; Altus, Oklahoma; and B-24 first pilot training in Liberal, Kansas. After training before being shipped overseas he and the crew were transferred to B-29 school at Rockwell, New Mexico. Upon completion of that training, they were ready to be shipped out when the war ended.

Schreck remained in the service and was assigned to Air Technical Service Command; he was a tower operator in Monroe, Louisiana. Honorably discharged with the rank of second lieutenant on Nov. 25, 1946. He continued his service in the Air Force Reserves at Mansfield Lahm Airport.

Civilian life: After graduation, worked for Heckert’s Grocery, Swan Rubber and then Galion Iron Works as a drill press operator. On Sept. 9, 1944, he married Bernice Walker in the base chapel in Enid, Oklahoma. They have four children, Michael, rural Bucyrus: Pam McDaniel, Lemert; Tom, rural Bucyrus; and Dale, Hicksville. At the time of his death on April 1, 1998, he had 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Richard E. Stearns

Birth: April 23, 1936, in Bloomdale to Albert and Ruth (Yates) Stearns, the eldest of seven siblings.

Richard Stearns
Richard Stearns

Education: While growing up on a farm he learned all the aspects of farm life. Graduated from Jackson-Liberty High School in 1954. Funds were not available for college, so Stearns worked numerous jobs with little financial progress, then joined the Air Force as the GI Bill was the path to a college education.

Service: During basic training, tests were given to recruits to help determine their career field. Sterns chose photography, but was told photography was closed and that he had been checked by the FBI and passed his security clearance. After a year in tech school, he graduated as a military intelligence analyst and had a top-secret crypto security clearance.

The next 18 months were on overseas assignment. While at Clark Air Base in the Philippines he was named Airman of the Month. When traveling he always carried a radiation detector. Before returning to the states, he had been to 15 countries on three continents. The last 18 months of his enlistment was spent at NSA Headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Civilian life: Upon his discharge in 1963, he enrolled at Bowling Green State University in business administration/business law, switched to elementary education and received his bachelor's degree in 1967. He served as president of Gerlo Corporation from 1967-1989, and taught from 1968-1994. During that time, he earned his master's degree from the University of Cincinnati. He has served ORTA in a number of positions and served on many committees.

This article originally appeared on Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum: Meet the Crawford County Veterans Hall of Fame class of 2021