The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


 They went about their lives each and every day, gradually making an impact on others. The kindness and colorful personalities exuded on a daily basis by Cora Roob, Joshua Coy and Barbara "Barbie" Redfern defined who they were.
 The trio leaves behind an enduring legacy, not just for their family and friends, but also the Oak Harbor community. They are remembered for entertaining the community through their efforts in choir, band, theater and sports, as well as for helping others.

 Roob and Coy, both 19, graduated from Oak Harbor High School in 2015 while Redfern had just graduated in May. The three were killed when their vehicle collided with a truck at the intersection of Oak Harbor Southeast and Muddy Creek North Roads.
 Redfern was set to attend Columbus State College to study aviation. Coy had just completed two years of schooling at Terra State Community College and was about to enroll at Bowling Green State University to major in Special Needs Education while Roob was also set to start college with the intent to study medicine.

 "I've seen them on stage, whether it was for plays or choir. They were highly involved in our extracurricular actives, and they shared it with others. Cora was so talented on stage. She shared her passion of the arts with her classmates and that endeared her to her drama and choir directors," Oak Harbor High School principal Cheryl Schell said of Roob, who was the lead in two Thespian Club productions. "Barbie was so talented and was very active in FFA. She had a passion for education and the agricultural business and drove her sister to school everyday at the middle school. Barbie was a mature young lady.
 "Josh came to us a little bit later. I didn't know him as well, (but) when he was on stage, he endeared himself to the school."

 Russ Raber, the school's choir director, had a close relationship with Coy, Redfern and Roob. He spoke highly of them, complimenting them for the effort they put forth as students and for the character they exemplified.

 "Barbie worked for everything she had. She had a spitfire personality, but she was so into rooting for the underdog -- regardless of who you were, you had a place at the table, you had just as much to offer (in her eyes), and I really respected that. Barbie truly could've had a mean chip on her shoulder, but she didn't. She was always looking out for people who were less fortunate," Raber said. "She was one of the hardest working kids that I know. My daughter and I were at Bob Evans recently, and Barbie was our server, and I remember leaving her this ridiculously large tip because I know how hard she worked. She had a really giving, kind spirit when in actuality, she could've been one of those hardened kids. That was always something I cherished about her."

 Raber's son, Noah, was friends with Coy and Roob.

 "Josh was a very hard worker. He loved music; he struggled musically (at first), but he was so determined and by the team he graduated, he was on stage in all of our productions. He had this drive to improve himself that I wish more kids had," said Russ Raber. "And he loved animals - he would come into class and show me pictures of his horses. One thing I will never forget about him is he always had a smile on his face. I can recount two or three days when he didn't come into my classroom with a gigantic smile on his face.

 "I saw Cora sometimes two or three periods per day. She was integral in this choir family that we've developed. Her smile lit up the entire space. Cora had one of the leading roles in Damn Yankees, and my daughter's eyes lit up when Cora came on stage. Emma still talks about Cora on that show and I can't really fathom what positive impact she had on my daughter and other kids."

 Raber is struggling to deal with the loss.

 "As much as you try to make sense of loss and death, this isn't the way it's supposed to happen. Kids are supposed to outlive their parents, students are supposed to outlive their teachers. That's the natural order," he said. "But when you see that these three lives touched so many people, that's a really, really difficult thing to grab hold of and make sense of.
 "I couldn't even calculate the amount of hours that I spent with each of them. I hope I impacted them, and I know I'm a better person for having known them, and I hope it's transferrable."




Did you watch any of the TV coverage of President George H.W. Bush?
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