Also featuring photos from our monthly supplement...

Oakwood homes during the
'teen' years -
1913 to 1919

Kick off the
Oakwood Centennial
at That Day in May

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Kugel - Edgell

David Edgell and Lauren Kugel

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Kugel of Dayton, Ohio are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Lauren Elizabeth to Derek David Edgell, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Edgell of Battle Creek, Michigan.

Lauren is a 1998 graduate of Oakwood High School and a 2002 graduate of the University of Michigan where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering.  Lauren is a Senior Engineer with

Lockheed Martin Corpor-ation/United Launch Alliance.

Derek Edgell is a 1998 graduate of Lakeview High School and a 2002 graduate of the University of Michigan where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy.  Derek works as a Regional Account Manager for the Energy Division of Aerotek/Allegis Group.  The couple resides in Denver, Colorado.  A June wedding    is planned.


Timko - Conner

Mr. and Mrs. Ronald C. Conner, Jr.

Moriah Lynn Timko and Ronald Curtiss Conner, Jr. were married on March 15, 2008 at St. Bernard’s Church in Akron, Ohio.  Father Norm Douglas officiated the ceremony.  Miss Timko was attended by Serena Dann of Portland, Oregon, as her Maid of Honor and bridesmaid Elizabeth Pages of Beavercreek, Ohio.  Dr. Conner’s attendants included Matthew Carter of Orrville, Ohio as his best man, and usher Michael Timko, of Oakwood, Ohio.  A wedding reception was held at Greystone Hall immediately following the ceremony.

The new Mrs. Conner is the daughter of Leonard Timko, of Dayton, Ohio, and Phyllis Timko, of Blair, Nebraska.  She graduated from Oakwood High School in 2002 and received her Bachelors degree at the University of Akron in 2005.  She will be graduating from the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine with a medical degree in May 2008 and will begin residency in Internal Medicine at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio.

The groom is the son of Ronald Conner, Sr. and Rhonda Ramsdell of Orrville, Ohio and graduated from Orrville High School in 2001.  He also attended the University of Akron and NEOUCOM and graduated with a medical degree in 2007.  He is a resident physician in Internal Medicine at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio.

After a relaxing honeymoon in Riviera Maya, the newlyweds returned to their home in Akron, Ohio.

Johnson named 2008 Trailblazer recipient

Mary Ann Johnson, aviation historian and author who has supported aviation-related projects in the Dayton-Miami Valley area for over 25 years, is the recipient of the 2008 Trailblazer Award presented annually by Aviation Trail, Inc.

The award banquet and ceremonies will be held Wednesday, April 16, at the Presidential Banquet Center, 4548 Presidential Dr., Kettering, Ohio. The event begins with a social at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:45 p.m. and, at about 7:30, the Trailblazer ceremony and Ms. Johnson’s speech. The public is welcome.

Johnson’s published work includes A Field Guide to Flight: On the Aviation Trail in Dayton, Ohio which tells the stories behind  the  more than 40 designated sites on the Dayton area’s Aviation Trail.

Her more recent book, McCook Field 1917-1927: The Force Behind America’s Golden Age of Flight, describes the field’s numerous pioneering research projects that underlie today’s modern aerospace technology. Both are published by Landfall Press of Dayton, Ohio.

Currently secretary on the Aviation Trail Board of Trustees, Johnson is a founding member of the Trail and a board member since its nonprofit incorporation in 1981. Her speech will tell about some of her experiences in writing the two books, which will bring in some of the story of Aviation Trail’s history.

A native Daytonian and resident of Washington Township, Johnson was a stay-at-home mother until she, and her husband Rich’s, four children were grown.  She then returned to school to obtain a master’s degree in economics from Wright State University. Her bachelor’s degree in sociology - earned before her marriage - is from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.  

Ms. Johnson became interested in local aviation history after helping to plan a regional economic development conference at the University of Dayton in 1980 while she was an economic planner on the staff of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.  She also has served as a part-time instructor in economics at Sinclair Community College, Dayton, and worked on  various local and national survey research projects.

The Trailblazer banquet and award ceremony commemorates Wilbur Wright’s April birthday (April 16, 1867) and has been held annually since 1983. Reservations are $40 a person and should be mailed to the following address by Friday, April 11: Aviation Trail, Inc., P.O. Box 633, Wright Brothers Branch, Dayton, Ohio, 45409. Please indicate your choice of entrée (beef, chicken or vegetarian).

Law firm moves into refurbished Kuhns building

Flanagan, Lieberman, Hoffman & Swaim, a downtown law firm, has announced its relocation to the Kuhns building in downtown Dayton, according to the Downtown Dayton Partnership. The law firm is currently located adjacent to Sinclair Community College.

Flanagan, Lieberman, Hoffman & Swaim will occupy approximately 11,600 sq. ft. in the Kuhns building with a five-year lease. They will also take 3,200 sq. ft. in a planned addition to connect the Kuhns to the McCrory building. The firm of 19 attorneys and 27 support staff will occupy first- and second-floor space.

The firm began looking for office space after Sinclair purchased their current building at the end of 2006.  Brad Smith, partner at the firm, said they were looking to stay downtown. Flanagan, Lieberman, Hoffman & Swaim has been downtown for 25 years, and remaining in close proximity to the courts and government offices was critical in the search.

“We looked at several downtown buildings thanks to the Downtown Dayton Partnership’s Site Seeker program. When we found the Kuhns building, we were immediately impressed,” said Smith.

“It’s very exciting to have the building full, and it’s such a great mix of businesses,” said Shiffler. “Our next step is redoing the connecting atrium between the Kuhns and the McCrory. When we finish that we’ll be able to offer our tenants a landscaped courtyard, which will be a nice feature.”

“We’re very excited Flanagan, Lieberman, Hoffman & Swaim has recommitted to downtown,”  said Sandra Gudorf, president of   the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “Seeing the renaissance of the Kuhns building has been another great success story for downtown, as well.”

Entries sought for Oakwood Film Festival

The Oakwood Jr./Sr. High School Film Club will be sponsoring the sixth annual Oakwood Film Festival on Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 1 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Film age groups are: K- second grade, third – fifth grade, sixth – eighth grade, ninth – twelfth grade and community members.

If you would like to enter a film, the deadline is April 30. You can pick up film guidelines and registration forms in the high school or junior high offices. There is no fee to enter a film.  

Turn in registration forms and films (DVD or VHS format) to the Oakwood High School office by April 30. If you would like to help sponsor the film festival, contact

Debbie Smith at 937-297-5325 or email

2009 MLK Breakfast seeks volunteers

The Kettering Oakwood Martin Luther King celebration committee is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on their 2009 committee.  

This committee places a primary focus on the impact of Dr.King’s life and work on racial and ethnic minorities.  Dr. King’s focus on peace, acceptance and faith are also cornerstones of this event.

The 2008 Kettering Oakwood Martin Luther King Breakfast brought in over 300 attendees with over 200 participants in the student art contests.  

If you have an interest please visit or call 299-3852 and request more information on the MLK celebration committee.

Centennial Reflections
Essays from the Oakwood Historical Society

City manager style
of government thrives
since 1931

Oakwood has thrived on the City Manager form of government since its incorporation in 1931. From 1908 until 1931, we were a village with a mayor/council form of government established by state statute. The option to use the manager form in 1931 was embraced because we could observe our neighbor Dayton prosper under it since 1914 when the leading citizen of the community, John H. Patterson, literally rammed it down Dayton’s throat.

In 1924, the village hired Lawrence M. Dissinger as Village Engineer for his abilities in supervising projects the village faced. When the statutory charter was adopted in 1931, he was appointed manager. After graduating from the University of Oregon in 1907, he was placed in charge of construction of Lake Como Dam at Hamilton, Montana. He enlisted in the Army for World War I and served in battles in France and in the Army of Occupation for a year as chief engineer of the 3rd Army in Germany.

This no-nonsense military background was a mark of his career as City Manager. The final tribute in The Oakwood Press referred to him as a “blunt outspoken man…” who “made no pretense of being a diplomat”… and who got down to hard facts…with absolutely no soft soap”. But the citizens knew him as “honest, hard working, and conscientious”. A letter to The Oakwood Press signed “Civator” in 1940 suggested that a reporter be assigned to city hall. Dissinger responded to this by denying that he was not accessible and that his records were open but there just was not any news.

Lawence M. Dissinger

A.C. "Al" Bergman

J. David Foell

Michael J. "Mike" Kelly

Norbert Klopsch

When Dissinger died in 1947, after sixteen years of service, there was only a month’s consideration given to appointing A.C. “Al” Bergman as his successor over 16 applicants. Bergman had been Clerk of Council since 1925. A native Daytonian and graduate of St. Mary’s College (now University of Dayton), he attended night school at the Y.M.C.A. and was first employed by the Barney & Smith Car Works. He later joined Adam Schantz in the brewery until enlisting in the Army for WW I. He returned to the Schantz Estate’s employ until taking the position with Oakwood where he worked as Auditor then Clerk of Council when city status was achieved in 1931.

There are many stories about the affable leadership of Al Bergman. Always active in the American Legion, he was honored with their Lifetime of Service award in 1948. Recognized by his peers, he was elected President of the Ohio City Managers Association in 1953. At one time he turned down a $1,500 raise in salary because he thought the city couldn’t afford it. Hard working, with a reputation for integrity, he was remembered by Calvin Mayne for an incident where someone wrote to the paper accusing Dorothy Lane Market of not properly weighing meat. Bergman was at the store by 7 a.m. the same day where they weighed every package of meat in the department and found them to be perfect. He ordered that the store not give any city employee so much as a pack of cigarettes which might suggest favoritism. Having been injured while inspecting some street work, he died in 1962. He saw the city through the post WW II era of growth to the adoption of its new Charter in 1960.

In 1963, a 31-year-old administrator with five years experience in Washington Court House was hired to succeed Bergman. A graduate of Stivers High School and Capital University with a Master’s Degree from Syracuse University, J. David Foell returned to Dayton. He had served in the Army in Germany. Known as a thorough administrator, Foell often told you more than you wanted to know about a subject, but using his professional background, he brought the city up to date with many of its services. Mayor Judy Cook described him as single minded about the city. She commented at his death,”I’ve always thought of Dave Foell as having finished our city.” He worked in the planning of the new traffic corridor in the Far Hills Business District and pioneered a pre-sale housing program which became a model. He spearheaded the formation of the Miami Valley Cable Council for which he received national recognition.

On Foell’s retirement in 1991, the City Safety Director and Assistant City Manager, Michael J. “Mike” Kelly, was hired after an extensive search. Trained in public administration with a Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan, he had served in Detroit during the 1967 riots before coming to Oakwood in 1968. As Public Safety Director, he supervised the upgrading of equipment and the adoption of the para-medic program. During his tenure as manager, he oversaw the Beth Ann Mote and Dr. William Craig and his wifes’ murders, the Betty Hendron robbery, a police theft in office case and allegations of racial discrimination against the police. He kept the lid on sensitive matters such as the use of Sugar Camp, the rezoning and use of Far Hills and Schantz Avenues corner, the St. Paul’s parking lot, the adoption of a latchkey program and the decision to rebuild the City Building.

When Mike retired in 2002, the job was awarded to Norbert Klopsch, who had served as City Engineer since 1992 and supervised the public works department for over a year. The expanded duties of this department included water and sewer utilities, roadway system and refuse operations. “Norb” is a 1984 graduate of West Point with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering. After five years of military service, he worked for a local civil engineering firm before being hired by the city to fill the post of Engineer after twelve years without having someone in the job. He has kept an even hand on the city’s difficult decisions regarding Sugar Camp and completion of the rebuilding of the City Building. He has been active in the planning for the Centennial in 2008.

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April 8, 2008
Volume 17, No. 15

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