Ottawa County Senior Resources inducted six new Senior Hall of Fame recipients at their 2014 Spring Senior Day, held May 7 at Camp Perry Clubhouse.
Recipient received plaques commemorating their service to the seniors and citizens of Ottawa County. The recipients for this year’s awards include Rev. John Bock, nominated by the Elmore Golden Oldies Senior Center; Anna Mae Dreyer, nominated by the Genoa Senior Center; Gerry Balduf, nominated by the Harbor Lights Senior Center of Oak Harbor; Dee Stys, nominated by the Danbury Senior Center; Jim Kleinhans, nominated by the Port Clinton Senior Center and Maizie Ruchala, nominated by the Put-in-Bay Senior Center.
Highlights from nominations include:
• Rev. Bock has been a member of the Elmore Community for over 40 years. Throughout his ministry in the community, he has nurtured seniors and provided care and support for their wellbeing and fellowship.
|(From left) Jim Kleinhans, Port Clinton; Rev. John Bock, Elmore; Mary Hahn, accepting for Tammy Reichert; Larry
Hautlaub, Ottawa County Auditor; Anna Mae Dreyer, Genoa; Judge Kathleen Giesler; Maizie Ruchala, Put-in-Bay;
Dee Stys, Danbury; Gerry Balduf, Oak Harbor and Jo Ellen Regal, president, Ottawa County Board of Commissioners.
As pastor of St. John’s United Church of Christ for 30 years, he was ministered to whoever crossed his path. He is credited for his unparalleled involvement in Kiwanis outreach, his compassion, leadership skills and ability to lead by example and not be shaken or thrown off task by petty criticism.
“This award would be the last thing he would expect,” the nomination read. “He draws little attention to himself but helps others to be the best they can be. As a gentle spiritual giant he is not simply a fixture in Elmore, he helps the heartbeat of the community give life to the young and seniors alike.”
• Dreyer is always willing to help with anything she can, including helping with the weekly Genoa Senior Center Bingo, baking for and helping at center bake sales, shopping for fundraiser prizes and assembling prize baskets. She is also involved in other community activities including her work with the Genoa Food Pantry, assisting with bereavement dinners at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Genoa, as well as serving on other committees within the church.
She is described as a very dependable and reliable asset to any project she is a part of. “Her cheerful demeanor welcomes everyone to join in,” the nomination read. “Perhaps her biggest feat in her life…she is a breast cancer survivor who has become a wonderful member of our senior community.”
• Balduf, a lifelong resident of Oak Harbor, is the mother of three, grandmother to eight and great-grandmother to 10. She has recently become an active member of the Harbor Lights of Oak Harbor Senior Center and is always willing to help out with events or offer her suggestions for the betterment of the senior center, the activities and programs they offer.
“You can always count on her to make any party or event just a little more special,” her nomination said. “Her willingness to give to others, especially those in need, is always apparent.”
Balduf is an active member of the Lapointe United Methodist Church. She enjoys cooking for church events and has helped with the annual car show every summer. However, she is probably most noted for her work with the B-C-S Food Pantry held in St. Paul’s United Church of Christ Church in Oak Harbor. Her strong leadership qualities and caring and patience for those in need is credited with having contributed to the pantry’s success.
Also at the celebration, first “Honorary” Ottawa County Hall of Fame award was given posthumously to Tammy Reichert, who served as site manager for the Genoa and Elmore senior centers for seven-plus years. She died in January after a battle with cancer.
Reichert was lauded for always going “above and beyond,” and for her willingness to work more than the 24 hours per week she was scheduled.
She was remembered for giving her all to the seniors, and doing so with grace, compassion and heart. “In her memory we honor our friend, our colleague, our site manager, our confidant,” the tribute read. “She left us way too early. But we are the lucky ones, because we all got a chance to be with Tammy – to see that smile, to benefit from the endless energy and devotion, to experience her compassion, her caring attitude, her friendship.”
Reichert’s plague was accepted by her co-worker Mary Hahn on behalf of the family.
(From left) Jim Kleinhans, Port Clinton; Rev. John Bock, Elmore; Mary Hahn, accepting for Tammy Reichert; Larry Hautlaub, Ottawa County Auditor; Anna Mae Dreyer, Genoa; Judge Kathleen Giesler; Maizie Ruchala, Put-in-Bay; Dee Stys, Danbury; Gerry Balduf, Oak Harbor and Jo Ellen Regal, president, Ottawa County Board of Commissioners.