Carlyle “Brick” Harris’ contributions to Chagrin Falls and its schools may have been second to none. He was chairman of the first zoning commission that drafted Chagrin’s original zoning ordinance in 1932. He was instrumental in establishing the Rec Center and the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre. He also helped secure the land which is now Riverside Park. His generosity, often anonymous, made child’s play in Chagrin Falls safer and more fun than it would have been otherwise. He paid for repairs and upkeep of the swimming pool and tennis courts at the Rec Center. In the 1960s, he and his sister, Madeline, made it possible for several improvements to be made to the football field, including the fence which surrounds it, new visiting team bleachers, and a press box. In 1936, Mr. Harris was elected to the Chagrin Falls Board of Education, on which he served for 20 years, 16 of them as president. He was assistant fire chief of the Chagrin Falls Volunteer Fire Department for more than 60 years. In 1967, the football field and stadium were named in his honor.
Stringing for The Exponent for a buck a story during high school was just the beginning of an outstanding career in journalism for Jerry Finch. Today, he is ombudsman and senior editor of the Richmond-Times Dispatch, Virginia’s largest newspaper in circulation. He joined the paper in 1955 as a copy editor, eventually becoming managing editor, a title which he held for 20 years. In 1995, he received the George Mason Award of the Society of Professional Journalists for his outstanding contributions to Virginia journalism. In 1993, he was awarded the Isaiah Thomas Newspaper Preservation Prize of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Jerry was graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1950 with a degree in journalism. There, he was the first president of what was to become the Sigma Delta Chi journalism honorary society. During World War II, he served overseas in the U.S. Army Air Forces.
David Griffith’s best high school remembrance was winning the contest for changing the name of the athletic teams from “Skippies” to Tigers. That was in 1945. Since then, he has changed the lives of many through his professional achievements and civic endeavors. In 1950, he was graduated from Ohio University with a B. S. in electrical engineering. In 1958, he earned an M. S. in electrical engineering from Case Institute of Technology. Dave worked for TRW for ten years, becoming marketing and sales manager of the electrical products department. There, he was manager of a project which developed the first all electric control system power plant. He became a founding partner of Cyberex, Inc., and later was an independent consultant for that company, during which time he was awarded a patent. Dave has written and presented hundreds of papers and articles for technical conferences around the world. Since 1989, he has been very active in Rotary International. In recognition of his work, he received the Citizen of the Year Award in 1994 from Sun Newspapers and was elected a Paul Harris Fellow by Chagrin Valley Rotary.
An early aptitude for music helped pave the way to a distinguished medical career for Robert Rosner. An accomplished trombonist, he played during the big band era with such notables as Guy Lombardo, while attending medical school at Ohio State University. After completing his studies at the Ohio State College of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Ophthalmology, Dr. Rosner practiced ophthalmology for more than 50 years, until age 80. Known for his compassion for his patients, he invented the tonometer sterilizer in response to the viral eye epidemic in Chicago in 1950. He developed a color blind chart, used by pediatricians and ophthalmologists. He also invented an air conditioner to aid in breathing for use during local anesthesia. Dr. Rosner is a founding member of the Association for Research in Ophthalmology.
Moving from Cleveland’s innercity to Chagrin Falls changed Bob Dye’s life. And nowhere were the changes more apparent than in school. By the time he was graduated form CFHS, he had been editor of the Echo school newspaper and assistant editor of the Zenith yearbook. After earning an M. A. in English from Western Michigan University in 1958, Bob embarked on a career in communications which would render him several prestigious awards for his accomplishments. A life member of the Hawaiian Historical Society, he has written three books and has three others in progress. For his 1996 effort, “Hawaii Chronicles: Island History from the pages of Honolulu Magazine,” he received an award from the Hawaii Book Publishers. His publication was also nominated for the Kamakau Award, for the best book of the year. Bob has written numerous articles and reviews for various newspapers and magazines. He is a contributing political editor to Honolulu Magazine and has been a political and election night commentator for KHNC-TV in Honolulu. In business, he is director of University Health Care Associates also in Honolulu.
Elizabeth Rodgers was born in Chagrin Falls and has devoted much of her life’s work to the historical preservation of her birthplace. A passionate overseer of Village Council proceedings, she authored the book, CHAGRIN : : . Whence the Name? Her writings have painstakingly detailed the history of the Village of Chagrin Falls, including the origin of its name. Dr. Rodger’s remarkable energy and considerable talents resulted in numerous professional accomplishments. In 1936, she earned a Ph.D. in physical education from Columbia University. She was a high school teacher and professor at several colleges, including Madison College in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the University of Colorado, and State Teachers College in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Much of her research in physical education has been documented in journal articles. More than 60 years ago, she developed the first standardized achievement tests for athletic skills and information. While a student at Chagrin Falls High School, Elizabeth Rodgers excelled in both academics and athletics. She was an outstanding basketball player and track and field athlete. For many years, she held the school record for the softball throw.
Much of the growth and improvements at Bessie Benner Metzenbaum Center in Chesterland can be traced to the leadership of its first superintendent, George Clemens. A graduate of Hiram College and Kent State University, he was an elementary schoolteacher in Chagrin Falls for three years before embarking on a long career in special education. In 1965, he was appointed Director of Retarded Childrens Program in Geauga County. During that same year, Metzenbaum Opportunity School opened its doors to 59 children, and George was named as its first superintendent. During his tenure, Metzenbaum Sheltered Industries came into existence. Four residential houses and a new pavilion and greenhouse were also constructed. He was instrumental in beginning the Middlefield Care Center, an Amish birthing center. But, of course, it is his former students and staff members who remember him fondly. George’s best remembrance of Chagrin is of all the people who helped him with his education. As a student at CFHS, he was very active in athletics, captaining the 1939 football team. In 1987, he retired from education after serving 22 years as Metzenbaum’s superintendent. Today, he volunteers at Metzenbaum and welcomes its children to his farm during field trips.
This quiet, unassuming man was a tough teacher in a noisy classroom. His classroom was the Chagrin Valley Herald, which he founded in 1946. The bylines of his former students grace the pages of newspapers and magazines across the country. Allen “Pete” Tenny, “Mr. Tenny” to most, was hired as a youth by editor William R. Bailey to work a couple of summers in the Chagrin Falls Exponent office. Newspaper work took Mr. Tenny to Illinois and Michigan, where he became assistant city editor of The Detroit Free Press. He returned to Chagrin Falls in 1946 to serve as editor of the Chagrin Valley Herald for the next 22 years. During Mr. Tenny’s tenure, the Herald and its reporters earned numerous journalism prizes. He, himself, won many awards including the “Golden Dozen” award in 1969 for writing one of the 12 best editorials in weekly newspapers throughout the world. After 43 years as a newsman, Mr. Tenny retired as “Editor Emeritus” of the Herald Sun in 1973. He died in Vermont in 1981.
The accolades were many for “Quiz” during his career as a teacher, coach, and athletic director at CFHS. In 1972, he was named National Athletic Director of the year. He is a member of the Ohio High School Athletic Directors Hall of Fame, the Ohio High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Ohio High School Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame. His 1947 and 1961 football teams were undefeated. He also coached basketball, track, golf, baseball, and swimming. During his 35 years in Chagrin Falls Schools, Ralph impacted the lives of just about anyone with whom he came in contact. His gym classes became legendary – the unforgettable voice ordering the seemingly impossible tasks. For many a Chagrin youth, Coach’s “basic training” became a lasting memory. Following his retirement in 1980, Ralph L. Quesinberry Gymnasium was named in his honor.
“Rompin’ Bill” earned his nickname on the gridiron where his many spectacular runs as a Tiger halfback and kick returner left fans gasping and defenders grasping. It is, however, in track and field that we are reminded of his superb athleticism. His long jump (21-21/2) has stood as a CFHS record for 60 years. In the spring of his senior year, Bill won a state championship in the 100 yard dash and placed second in the 220 yard dash. He also ran on the Tiger 880 yard relay team, which placed third in the state. He was an All-County football selection, playing on Ted Gurney’s 1930 undefeated team. In addition to his prowess in football and track, Bill lettered four years in basketball.
Bus was Chagrin Falls’ most dominant athlete during the 1920’s. He was awarded four letters each in football, basketball, and track, and one in baseball. He is best remembered as the Tigers’ first state champion when he won the mile run in Columbus in 1925, his junior year. He also earned a first in football, playing on CFHS’s 1924 team, the first to win a County championship. The 1925 team also placed first in the county. Bus was captain of the Tigers’ basketball team during his sophomore, junior, and senior years. He played on several semi pro basketball teams after graduation. He was offered a track scholarship to Ohio State University.
An outstanding athlete at Baldwin-Wallace College, Ted arrived in Chagrin Falls in 1926 and began a career in Chagrin Falls Schools which spanned 40 years. For many of those years, he mentored athletics, serving as a coach in football, basketball, baseball, and track. His 1930 football team was undefeated, scoring 239 points to its opponents’ 34. During his tenure as a coach, his players earned many team and individual honors. While at Baldwin Wallace, Ted was named All-Ohio tackle. He earned 10 letters total. In 1977, he was inducted into the Baldwin-Wallace College Athletic Hall of Fame. After leaving the coaching ranks, Ted served CFHS as its principal and athletic director until his retirement in 1966. Two years later, Gurney Elementary School was named in his honor.
It was almost as if Ed Kagy’s life was by design. Senior Class President and quarterback of Chagrin Falls High School’s 1947 undefeated, untied football team, his yearbook class prophecy read, “will someday own his own advertising agency.” Currently vice chairman and senior partner in Liggett-Stashower, Ed is a 40-year veteran of graphic design. He has won numerous awards including Best of Show from the Art Directors Club of Cleveland and two Best of Cleveland Advertising Awards from the Cleveland Advertising Club. He was a founder of the Cleveland Society of Communicating Arts. Prior to starting his commercial art career at Fawn Art Studio in 1952, Ed was a staff sergeant in the United States Army. He served in Thule, Greenland during the Korean War. In 1957, he joined Lang, Fisher and Strashower as assistant art director. He became principal owner in 1967. Today, Liggett-Stashower is a $70 million agency, employing 140 people. Ed has generously served his hometown as a member of many civic organizations and as speaker at many community functions. He designed and produced “This Is Your Life” brochures honoring several Chagrin Falls citizens. For 15 years, he and his wife, Bobbie, have hosted American Field Service students.
Standing tall among his classmates, the splendid young actor had an uncommon wit which would carry him to even greater heights. Multi-talented Will Stanton appeared in football games, track meets, and operettas during his years at Chagrin Falls High School. Since then, he has appeared in Reader’s Digest, Saturday Evening Post, and the New Yorker. Chagrin’s most prolific writer moved with his family to Chagrin Falls before he had reached school age. Growing up in Chagrin Falls during the Depression, he always remembered the kindness and understanding of its people during those difficult times. One of his three books, “Golden Evenings of Summer.” was based, in part, upon his memories of Chagrin Falls. An episode from the book was made into a Walt Disney movie, “Charlie and the Angel,” starring Fred MacMurray. Will’s humorous stories and poems have been published in many magazines including Atlantic, Life, Look, McCall’s, Redbook, and Good Housekeeping. A 1941 graduate of Princeton University, he now lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
As a youth in Chagrin Falls Schools, Charles Hubay made his rounds with a violin in his hand. Remembered for his compassion towards others as well as his immense talents, the brilliant young musician became a surgeon, professor, and medical researcher of special distinction. Graduated from the former Adelbert College and the medical school at Western Reserve University, he joined the full time faculty at University Hospitals in 1950 and remained there throughout his career. Dr. Hubay authored more than 150 research papers. His work included studies of organ transplantation and rejection, and the treatment of advanced breast cancer. He served as president of the Cleveland Surgical Society, Case Western Reserve University of Medicine Alumni Association, and the Central Surgical Association. He was a guest editor of the American Journal of Surgery. Dr. Hubay never forgot the inspiration provided by his music teachers, Albert Freeman and Zoe Long Fouts. He established for the Fouts-Freeman-Hubay Award, which is presented each year at Chagrin Falls High School to the outstanding senior in the field of music. Born in Chagrin Falls in 1918, Dr. Hubay died at home in South Russell in 1991.