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Home Grand marshal says ‘One million smiles from the corner of God’s earth’
Grand marshal says ‘One million smiles from the corner of God’s earth’
Written by J. Patrick Eaken   
Monday, 12 August 2013 08:16

Pemberville business owners know Peter I. Maxwell, 61, because he spent 30 years as a UPS driver delivering to the Pemberville/Eastwood area.

Maxwell will be grand marshal of the Pemberville Free Fair parade, which begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, the final day of the fair. The fair runs from August 14-17.

Maxwell told fair program booklet editor Beth Fritz that he would not “trade the memories for anything.”

PeteMaxwell
Peter I. Maxwell

“Over one million miles and at least one million smiles from the corner of God’s earth,” Maxwell said.

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun and I certainly had a wonderful career because of all the good people,” Maxwell continued. “Cakes, cookies, Gatorade, your hospitality was wonderful.

“Watching the corn grown daily, the wheat harvest, the leaves turning, and the smell of tomato soup became my world. The eagles, the deer (he says he only hit one as a driver), the geese on the river, and the town turkey along Water Street made me smile immensely.

“But, mostly this community is world class. This honor to be grand marshal of the parade caps off my life down here — just driving down Front Street will always put a smile on my face, my home away from home.”

Maxwell, a Harvard Elementary, 1970 Bowsher High School and 1976 University of Toledo (business education) graduate, started at UPS on April Fools’ Day, 1971, working seven years as a part-time employee. He then worked full time 34 years.

Maxwell’s parents, Tom and Iris, met during World War II on the west coast of England. He married his wife Carolyn in 1975 while working at UPS, and they raised two sons — Peter, now manager at Yark’s Automotive Group, and Matthew, representative for Imagination Books/Books are Fun), who is married to Emily.

Pete has two brothers, Rex and Bruce. Pete has been a New York Yankees fan since 1959 and is a life member of the Church of the Cross Methodist church as well as a member of the Toledo Sailing Club and the Pemberville Post 183 Sons of the American Legion.

 Beard
 Bill and Judy Beard

Beards Outstanding Citizens
Fair organizer Nedra Sheets says when Judy Beard heard about being honored as Pemberville’s outstanding citizens, she cried, and husband Bill says he was touched, too.

“I’m very humbled with it and it’s a great honor, obviously. I’ve enjoyed my time with the people in the community and this is what we call home,” Bill said. “It’s been the satisfaction of being here. It’s a great, little place. Obviously, we raised all of our children here and most of them got married here, got grown up, and went away. It’s just a great, little place.”

At 8 p.m. Wednesday, after the Kiddie Parade, the Beards will be honored as the village’s outstanding citizens in a ceremony on the main stage.

Bill and Judy Beard purchased the Pemberville IGA from Bob Hahn Jr. in 1975 and moved their family here in 1976.

They have celebrated 50 years of marriage, having tied the knot on March 24, 1962 in Lima while Bill was serving in the U.S. Navy.

After being discharged, Bill began his lifelong career in the grocery retail business before purchasing the IGA.

“I was working for the IGA distributor out of Bellefontaine and I was calling on this particular part of the country, including calling on this store, and it came up that he wanted to sell it so I wound up buying it,” Bill said.

They couple enjoyed serving the village as business owners for 32 years, ultimately selling to current owners Bob Frobose. Even though a Dollar General opened across the railroad tracks on Pemberville Road, Beard believes sales will remain strong because of the diversity of the grocery’s stores products.

Now retired, the Beards find themselves doing plenty of traveling. Bill’s hobbies include golf and cars. From a kit, he built a Shelby Cobra, which he says would be worth a half million dollars if purchased from a dealership. From a kit, it’s less expensive.

“I’ve always kind of tinkered with (cars). I had (the Cobra) for about 14 years and I sold it, and I have a late model Mustang I fool with, and that is about it,” Bill said.

Judy raised the children and then joined Bill at the store where she served as bookkeeper and office manager. Judy says she enjoys time with friends, shopping, and “spoiling their grandchildren.”

When they arrived in Pemberville 37 years ago, they were here to stay, raising their four children, Renee (Paul) Zink, Michelle (Bob) Siler, Mark (Lynn) Beard and Scott Beard at their home on Swan Road. Bill and Judy now enjoy time with their 10 grandchildren, Rachel and Kristin Zink; Shane Miller; Rob, Andrew and Sara Siler; and Nicholas, Jacob, and Cameron Beard.

The Beards are members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Pemberville.

(Information is taken from the Pemberville Free Fair program booklet, prepared by Beth Fritz, with permission).

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By: J. Patrick Eaken

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