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The Dayton Women's Club

Kick off the
Oakwood Centennial
at That Day in May

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Fulford appointed to Parent Advisory Council

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has announced that Leigh Ann Fulford has been appointed to a three-year term this month on the 35-member State Superinten-dent’s Parent Advisory Council.

Most members of the statewide Parent Advisory Council will travel to Columbus bimonthly to work with ODE on efforts affecting families with preschool through college-age children. In Northeast Ohio, 10 of the new members will participate in a regional parent advisory program that ODE is piloting this year to further encourage parent participation in education.

At council meetings, members learn about statewide education programs, policies and legislation that they can share with individuals and organizations in their communities. The group members also serve as liaisons between local school communities and ODE, providing input on new education policies and resources that ODE develops with students and families in mind.

For more information about the council and related parent information, see, keyword search: just for families.

Wayne Crisman retiring
from DLM after 48 years

“I’m original equipment!” With a boast like that, who can argue with Wayne Crisman, Dorothy Lane Markets’ most long-term employee. Crisman will be retiring this Thursday from a 48-year career that has seen him cover every position of gainful employment at the store since 1960, ranging from bagging groceries to milk truck driver to management of dry goods, dairy, third- and every other shift that can be scheduled.

Crisman hails from Sand Gap, Kentucky. His parents moved to Beavercreek and after graduating from Beavercreek High School, he came to Oakwood looking for work. “I was here to get married, come up to this foreign country (Ohio) and live out our dreams here. I figured if I could make $100 a week, I could have anything I wanted,” he said. He kept that goal in mind, taking a job at DLM as a carry-out clerk for the starting salary of 75 cents an hour, plus tips.

Soon he found himself driving the milk truck on a dairy route through Oakwood and Kettering, a service not seen anymore, anywhere. He then handled the stock department (dry groceries) keeping the shelves full. He was also the dairy department manager for a number of years. He turned down managing the meat department (“couldn’t stand the sight of blood”) but managed just fine anyhow and for the past 10 years he has been the third shift manager.

He is married to wife, Carmen, and they have three sons, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

His retirement plans include a summer stint at their cabin on the Mohican River south of Cleveland and a more exotic trip – three weeks on a Mediterranean cruise (10 nights, 8 ports) later in the year. He will still be working on a part-time basis at DLM during the winter.

Bon voyage – Mr. Crisman, you deserve the trip.

Centennial book a product of volunteer spirit

Top row, left to right: Perry Martin, production consultant; Dick Good, editor-in chief; Nancy Chifala, art director/graphic designer; Joanne McPortland, writer; Bottom row: Anne Rasmussen, managing editor; Leon Chuck, photographer; Lisa Dodds Reeder, illustrator.

When copies of the book Oakwood—From Acorn to Oak Tree: A Centennial Celebration 2008 were distributed to Oakwood residents, businesses, and institutions last weekend, it was the culmination of a seven-month process for the book’s creators. Centennial co-chair Dick Good first had the notion last fall to put something tangible in the hands of Oakwood citizens, a publication that would capture the community’s unique character and gifts, and that would linger long after this summer’s festivities were a memory. Good was also adamant about how the book needed to come together. “The Centennial celebration is a salute to volunteerism,” he said, “so we needed to assemble a team of creative professionals who would volunteer their services to make the book a reality.”

Good, who chaired the book committee and served as the publication’s Editor-in-Chief, called upon Oakwood resident Anne Rasmussen, an experienced freelance copy editor and graphic designer, to serve as Editorial Director. Through their network of personal contacts, Good and Rasmussen assembled the rest of the creative team: Writer Joanne McPortland, Art Director and Designer Nancy Chifala (whose services were supported by a donation from Design Forum), Illustrator Lisa Reeder, Project Photographer Leon Chuck, and Production Consultant Perry Martin.

What began as a little side project for the Centennial soon became a passionate endeavor that consumed the team members 24/7. Each member brought something special to the task, and each had his or her own reasons for doing it. Rasmussen, who edits and publishes the Oakwood Historical Society newsletter and is a writing tutor and student mentor at DECA, fell in love with community after moving here with her family from Charleston. She conceived the book’s structure as an unfolding of the community’s history and spirit over time—“from acorn to oak tree”—and recruited artist Lisa Reeder, whose architectural illustrations have graced many Historical Society publications, to provide the charming section opener illustrations and page number embellishments. Freelance writer and editor Joanne McPortland, the only member of the team who’s not an Oakwood resident (she’s a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which makes her an honorary Oakwoodite), saw the text as a love letter to the people of the city, past and present, who continue to tackle the challenges and embody the strengths of this unique 3-square-mile community.

Chifala, who operates her own design firm, Chifala Design, and is president of the Oakwood High School Band Parents, brought her fierce attention to detail and her deep knowledge of the community to the job of translating 80 pages of text and images into a visually cohesive whole. Oakwood Register readers are familiar with the work of photographer Leon Chuck, who operates Press Box Photo—when he’s not juggling the responsibilities of his “day job” as an engineer at the University of Dayton Research Institute. Chuck did assignment photography for the book, supplementing the many historical images with contemporary views of the city’s landmarks and people. Oakwood Rotarian Perry Martin, who runs The Agency Group, shepherded the project through the production and printing phases while carrying out his other Centennial responsibilities (he’s co-chair of this year’s That Day in May festivities).

For all their combined years of expertise and creative gifts, these core team members couldn’t have pulled off the book project alone. From the Oakwood businesses whose donations underwrote the book’s production costs, to the many Oakwood citizens and leaders acknowledged in the book’s final pages, to the team members’ family and friends (who, at times, never wanted to hear the words “Oakwood book” again!), it was a cooperative effort worthy of Oakwood’s 100-year tradition of community involvement and volunteer spirit. And that’s just what Dick Good hoped it would be from the start.

At the Wright Library_______________________

Wright Library needs Book Sale volunteers

Wright Memorial Public Library is again extending its annual book sale to six days this year and needs volunteers to help before, during and after the sale.

Volunteers are needed these days:

Monday, May 19 – Set up tables and move cartons of books (muscles useful!)

Tuesday, May 20 – Unpack boxes

Wednesday through Sunday, May 21-25 (during the sale) – Straighten and restock tables as they empty and help customers carry books to their cars

Tuesday, May 27 – Pack any unsold books, put tables away, and clean up

Anyone who can help is invited to stop by and complete a Book Sale Volunteer Form, or download the form from the Calendar section of the library’s web site at

Essays from the
Oakwood Historical Society

A chronicling of Oakwood's religious Institutions

A stable community like Oakwood could not have prospered and grown in a Midwest environment without the contribution of churches. So it is with some caution and my fingers crossed in hope that I don’t tread on any sensitive toes that I undertake to review the church growth of our city in less space than it took in “An Oakwood Scrapbook” in 2000.

In 1920, Christ Episcopal Church downtown established a mission “Children’s Church” for the south Dayton families under Deaconess Fracker. Holding classes at Harman School until 1922, it then moved to the East Oakwood Club and in 1923 it rented storerooms on Park Ave. in the Fletcher Building. After raising $10,000, it purchased a lot on West Dixon Ave. next to the alley and broke ground in 1925. Dedicated in 1926, the original church building now serves as the chapel. A 1939 addition permitted it to carry on it’s expanded role through the war years until it was able to purchase the Kling House for use as a rectory, and then in 1949, a gift of the Rike family allowed an addition to the north alley for an expanded church school and activities.

By 1957 they were ready to tear down the Kling house and build what we know today as St. Paul’s main sanctuary. The garden between the buildings was dedicated to Jeanette and Warner Kiefaber in 1975 and in 1983 the Cloister and Columbarium were added through gifts from the L.M. Berry family. Although parking has been and continues to be a problem, the church remains a central place of worship for the community and a site for many weddings, funerals, church activities and community meetings.

Beginning at about the same time, the Oakwood Evangelical United Brethren Church was founded in1926, and dedicated a chapel at 206 Hadley Ave. in 1929 on four lots it had acquired at the corner of Shafor Blvd. Experiencing growth, it erected a new sanctuary in 1929. After the struggle of the depression and WW II, the need was apparent in 1953 for an education addition to include a gym, chapel and classrooms. The merger of the United Brethren and the Methodist Churches in 1968 caused a name change, but it is still an active part of the community under the name Oakwood United Methodist Church.

Almost simultaneously, the Concordia Evangelical Church was founded in 1926 at 250 Peach Orchard Ave With sponsorship from the Missouri Synod, Lutheran Church of America, members met in a rented hall at fourth and Jefferson Sts. until its’ first Chapel was dedicated in 1928. Suffering from the same problems of the depression that all churches faced, it continued to grow and by 1950 it began construction of its present sanctuary. Continued growth permitted the church to sponsor several other Missouri Synod congregations in the area in the 50’s. Expansion of education and other programs demanded more space and the Education Building was added in 1962. Today, Concordia sponsors a pre-school program, vacation bible school, Boy Scouts and serves the needs of changing family styles.

The Lutheran Church of Our Savior was established by the United Lutheran Church in America in 1941. First worshiping at the Far Hills Theater, they continued to meet wherever they could, even in the auditorium of Oakwood High School, through the war years.  By 1948, they were able to build at the corner of Far Hills Ave. and Grandon Rd. In 1956 it was obvious that they needed more space and the Grandon Rd. location was not adequate. They were able to purchase the former Frederick B. Patterson home on Woods Rd. at E. Thruston Blvd. The home was available because it had been left to Miami Valley Hospital by the estate of Mrs. John A. MacMillan (founder of Dayton Rubber Co.).

Lutheran Church of Our Savior is former Frederick B. Patterson estate.

This was not a popular choice for the neighbors who, after failing to block the zoning application, went to court, and failing at Common Pleas Court, went to the Court of Appeals which decided in favor of the church in 1957. The 535 seat sanctuary and the social hall were completed in 1961 and the church has melded into the area successfully. The 31 room English Norman mansion on the site of the former “Far Hills” has been adapted to their use and a piece of history preserved. It provided space for the public school’s latch key program in the 90’s until the Lange School was able to address those needs in 2000.  

At the time of the move to Woods Rd. by the Lutheran Church of Our Savior, The Miami Valley Unitarian Fellowship was established in 1958 to serve the needs south of town and because of some dissatisfaction with the leadership of the First Unitarian Fellowship on Salem Ave.. The timing was perfect because, in 1959, the opportunity to acquire the Grandon Rd. location was presented. About forty new members were willing to extend themselves to acquire the building. An active program of social activism and religious education attracted new members and space became a problem. In 1965 a new wing was added to accommodate the growing needs. In 1980 the lay-led congregation began discussions on the subject of retaining a minister, which was approved in 1985. After many years of growth and extension of its ministry, the Fellowship built its new facility in Washington Township on Yankee Street in 2002 where it continues to grow and prosper.

Although it seems like yesterday, the Far Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church at the corner of Park Rd. only stayed in Oakwood from 1952 until 1992. Founded in 1895, the church built on the south of Dayton site to accommodate growth and the influx of new personnel for the Kettering Memorial Hospital. By 1992 they saw a need in the northern area of Dayton and moved to a new, larger site in Vandalia. The property was purchased by Karrington Communities who tore down the structure and built the present facility to serve the needs of the elderly. It now operates as Sunrise Assisted Living.

In 2003, the Chabad Center Jewish educational program for Orthodox and Hasidic Jews added to the religious life of the community when it moved to the former Unitarian Fellowship building at 2001 Far Hills Ave. It is not a church in the traditional sense, nor is it a synagogue. (Its name, Chabad, is pronounced with a silent “C” and a hard “h”). It is a center with no members but rather with participants and volunteers who number about 350. Its mission is primarily educational, offering youth and adult sessions throughout the week. They teach and interpret through strict and literal interpretation of the Bible and the Talmud. They do not drive cars on Saturday (the Sabbath), maintain a kosher kitchen and a dress code. They have built a playground for the children and can be seen walking to Saturday services along Far Hills Ave.

To fill out the needs of the Conservative Jews in the community, we now have Beth Abraham Synagogue which has recently joined us at Sugar Camp. Seeing a change in the pattern of living among its worshipers, the long established group bought and received approval for conversion of two buildings on 4.88 acres of the historic site. One contains any beautiful stained glass plaques of artwork from the former Synagogue. In March of 2008, the eternal light was extinguished at the Salem Ave. site and the twelve Torah scrolls were removed and drivencarried up the hill by over 300 members to the new Temple for installation in the Holy Ark. A shofar, or rams horn, was blown to signify the opening and closing ceremony. The formal dedication took place at a Simcha (Happy Occasion) on May 4.

Holy Ark of Beth Abraham synagogue, Oakwood's newest religious institution.


Scouting News____________________________

Eagle Scout trio inducted to Court of Honor

Troop 320 honored its three new Eagle Scouts in a Court of Honor at the South Park United Methodist Church.  Ben Rodabaugh, Matt Davis, and Jonathan Taylor will graduate from Oakwood High School in a few weeks and are all university bound. The Eagle rank is the culmination of many years of Scouting, including a community service project lead by the Scout.  Matt Davis collected school supplies from the community to support the Miami Valley Literacy Council.  Ben Rodabaugh worked with Cox Arboretum to build a new pedestrian and maintenance bridge on the Park’s walking path.  Jonathan built a walkway for J.E. Prass School in Kettering. Scoutmaster Trevor Chuna thanks the community and South Park United Methodist Church for their continued support.

Pictured, left to right: Jonathan Taylor, Matt Davis and Ben Rodabaugh.

Scouts clean up Houk Stream

Cub Scouts of Pack 101 recently beautified Houk Stream with a community service project collecting debris and even a large metal pipe. Scouts gathered over 10 bags of trash making it more enjoyable for our community.

In the front row, kneeling or sitting: Samuel, Leo, Bobby, Theodore, Kaes, Robbie; Middle row - kids standing: Peter, Harrison, Matthew, Andrew, Lukas, Michael, Rollie, Aidan, Stephen, James, Mackenzie, Ben; Last row - adults standing: Ben Salisbury, Mark Harrell, Joe Hale, John Fisk, Robb Drumheller, Bill Koch, Laurie Gunzelman, and Ken Keller.

City Notes...

Dog park being considered

At their public meeting on April 7, Oakwood City Council received a request for the city to consider constructing a dog park at Creager Field.  Creager Field is located at the north end of Shafor Boulevard just south of Irving Avenue.  This request came at the same time that city officials had already given some thought to such a project.  

In reviewing potential sites for a dog park, city officials had identified Creager Field as the most appropriate location.  The city has completed a preliminary analysis of the area and is eager to further explore opportunities and to obtain citizen comments and opinions.  

To this end, the city will host an informal discussion session at the Oakwood Community at 7 p.m. on May 27.  All citizens are invited and encouraged to attend.  If you are unable to attend but wish to comment, please contact Leisure Services Director Carol Collins at 298-0775 or

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May 13, 2008
Volume 17, No. 20

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