Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cecil Santoferraro’s wife passes away

Retired BJ printer Cecil Santoferraro’s wife, Dolly, passed away Monday, January 16.

Dolly was a BJ copy girl when she met Cecil. They were married 68 years.
Dolly's obituary:

Josephine “Dolly” Santoferraro

Jo Santoferraro, a woman of steely determination, beautiful blue eyes, and a card player extraordinaire, has taken her game to a higher level. Josephine Castronovop Santoferraro passed away January 16, 2017.

Born in Akron, Ohio on November 13, 1928, Jo graduated from North High School in 1946. Soon after, she began work as a copy girl at the Akron Beacon Journal. It was there she met a dashing printer, Cecil, who became the love of her life for the next 68 years. They put down roots in a home they built in Firestone Park and were blessed with four children.

Jo leaves to cherish her memory and celebrate her zest for life, husband, Cecil; children, Nancy (Darren) Toomey, Joe (Vicki), Dean (Paul); grandchildren, Jason, Laura (Philip), Paul (Karlie), Brett, Nerissa, Ian; five great grandchildren; as well as many other loving family and friends. She was preceded in death by beloved daughter, Laura; parents, Paul and Nancy (Racina) Castronovo; and brother, Thomas Castronovo.

A perfect day to Jo consisted of a good meal enjoyed with family and friends, and, if they were lucky, her homemade cannolis. The table won’t be the same without her!
Friends and family will be received Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Hennessy-Bagnoli-Moore Funeral Home, 936 N. Main Street, Akron, Ohio 44310 (corner of N. Main St. and Mildred Ave.). Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 83 Mosser Place, Akron, Ohio 44310. Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, c/o the Santoferraro Family. Please go to to share memories and condolences.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Last moonwalker dies

Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, died at the age of 82. Cernan was on the moon in 1972 with Apollo 17.

The Chicago native was a Purdue graduate.

He retired from the Navy and NASA in 1976.
David Hertz. Hip, hip. Horray?
Hip replacement for Hertz

It’s David Hertz’s turn to have hospital surgery.

Wife Beth Thomas Hertz had rotator cuff surgery in 2015 even though she’s never been a major league baseball pitcher.

David is at Akron General, now under Cleveland Clinic’s wing, for right hip replacement surgery.

David, who went from 15 years at the BJ as business and metro editor among other titles to become a vice president in the media relations department of Dix& Eaton in Cleveland, has plenty of company.

Hip replacements went from 138,700 a year in 2000 to 310,800 by 2010.

Knee replacements are about double hip replacements.

Beth, who was at the BJ for 4 years, later wrote:

“Pleased to report that David Hertz has just been moved from the recovery room to a regular bed, where he will spend the next few days. He's in a bit of pain but the surgeon says the operation went very well. Thank you for all the well wishes today!!!”  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Gault, who put the trees in Falls tree lawns, passes away

Don Gault, who with Bill Lowe was responsible for all the trees in Cuyahoga Falls’ devil strips (aka tree lawns), passed away  Thursday, January 12.

Don Gault
Fittingly, Gault Park in The Falls was named after him.

St. Mary’s High grad Gault was Falls City Council president during his 16 years with that group.

He was extremely active in coaching sports and charities.

Don’s obituary:
On Thursday, Jan. 12, Donald Joseph Gault passed away peacefully after a long illness, surrounded by his family. Don was born June 10, 1930, in Akron, Ohio. Don attended Akron St. Mary’s grade and high school in Akron, Ohio, and was awarded a scholarship to St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, where he attended one year before being drafted by the U.S. Army. Because of the Cold War at that time, he served in France during the Korean War. His outfit won the European baseball tournament. He reunited with his army comrades throughout his life. Don was a councilman for Cuyahoga Falls for 16 years and served as Council President. With the help of his mentor, Councilman Bill Lowe, he introduced legislation for the city to plant trees in the tree lawns. Don’s life work was with East Ohio Gas (now Dominion) where he worked in Marketing and was a resource for builders. Don was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, served as a Eucharistic Minister, a Knight of Columbus, Young At Heart committee, and volunteered with St. Vincent de Paul to help the needy. He served as President of the Associates of St. Joseph, a support group to the brothers of Holy Cross at Archbishop Hoban High School; Cuyahoga Falls Historic Society and AARP 682. He served as a Big Brother and helped with Ardmore Homes. One of Don’s joys was coaching boys at Immaculate Heart of Mary grade school in track and soccer. He assisted coaching CYO football with the coach, his brother-in-law, Tom Daugherty, at Akron St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Don had artistic talent and created pictures and note cards of Cuyahoga Falls historic buildings and sites.

Preceded in death by his Father and Mother, Ralph Hubert and Anna Gault, and his brother Bob, Don leaves his wife Mary Lou (Daugherty) of 62 years; daughters Peggy (Jeff) Gannon (Hartville, OH); Mary Reagan (Chagrin Falls, OH); Kate Gault (Chagrin Falls, OH); and Eileen (Craig) Burmeister (Phoenix, Arizona); his brothers and sisters Tom (Kathy) Gault, Mt. Vernon, OH; Blanche Fagan, Akron, OH; Mary Charlotte (Paul) Reder, Boca Raton, FL; Ralph (Mary Ann) Gault, Portsmouth, NH; Carol (John) Gambaccini, Akron, OH; and Carol Gault, widow of Bob Gault, Raleigh, NC; grandchildren Ryan (Ashley) Gannon; Brendan Gannon, Maggie (Patrick) Jackson; Matt Deeken; Joe and Caitlin Reagan; Cameron Russell; Nathaniel and Lily Burmeister; and four great grandchildren, Everett, Jackson and Nathan, sons of Ryan and Ashley; and Salem, daughter of Matt Deeken and Chelsea Toth.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Fr. Tom McCann at 10:00 am on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 1905 Portage Trail in Cuyahoga Falls. The family will receive friends at Immaculate Heart of Mary from 9 to 10 am, and immediately following the funeral in the Parish Community Center. Inurnment will take place at Chestnut Hills Cemetery.

(McGowan-Reid & Santos Chapel, Cuyahoga Falls)


Saturday, January 14, 2017

No more ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ after May

Not enough suckers coming into the tent, apparently, a reference to Phineas Taylor Barnum’s famous quote.

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will close forever in May after a 146-year run.

The culprits:

Declining attendance.
Escalating costs.
Animal rights groups.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cliff Heinbuch passes away

Cliff Heinbuch, at the BJ 35 years, passed away Sunday, January 8.

His father, Henry Heinbuck, and brother, Dave Heinbuch, were printers for decades at the BJ, which was a Heinbuch family tradition. Another brother is Jim Heinbuch. Their mother was Diane Heinbuch, a portrait artist.

Cliff’s obituary:

Clifford Joseph Heinbuch

Clifford Joseph Heinbuch, age 78, went home to be with the Lord on January 8, 2017 and is now reunited with his wife, Judy.

Born in Akron, he lived in the area all of his life. Cliff graduated from Garfield High School and was a veteran of the U.S. Navy.

He retired from the Akron Beacon Journal after 35 years of service, where he was a lifelong Union member.

Cliff was a member of Shoreline Community Church. Throughout his life he was a wonderful supporter of his church and his children’s school activities. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and gardening in his spare time.

Preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Judy; and parents, Henry and Bertha Heinbuch, he is survived by son, Joe; daughters, Donna (Michael) and Jennifer; grandchildren, Emma and Logan; brothers, David and James; sister, Margaret; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Friends and family will be received Friday, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Hopkins Lawver Funeral Home, 547 Canton Road (Route 91), Akron (Ellet), Ohio 44312. Funeral service will be Saturday, 1 p.m. at the funeral home with Dr. Scott Campbell officiating. Burial will follow at Hillside Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Shoreline Community Church, 790 Carnegie Avenue, Akron, OH 44314. (Hopkins Lawver, AKRON, 330-733-6271)  

Sunday, January 08, 2017

From left: Judy Campbell, Diane Lynch, Shirley Beck Letta.
Cheryl Scott Sheinin took the photo.

Finance’s fun reunion

Former BJ Finance Department co-workers Cheryl Scott Sheinin, Diane Lynch, Shirley Beck Letta and Judy Campbell had a lunch reunion at the Bob Evans on Arlington Road January 7th .

They all were born at least a decade before I popped into the world in my grandparents’ home in Monongah, West Virginia.

Diane Lynch switched to the Reference Library; Shirley Beck Letta, whose father is Art Beck of Circulation, to Retail ad assistant; Judy Campbell to admintrative assistant to controller Bob Huddilston; and Cheryl remained in Finance.


Thursday, January 05, 2017

Mike and Jane Williams at Mexico City's
 Metropolitan Cathedral

Land of ole for Mike & Jane Williams

Advertising Art retiree Mike Williams, once Johnny Grimm’s sidekick at the BJ, and his wife Jane are meandering through Mexico again.

Places like Mexico City, at the Capilla San Antonio de Padua, at the western edge of Coyoacan.
Mike and Jane got off the kick of visiting Peru, where Jane’s previous husband hung out, because Jane no longer can handle the high altitudes without getting sick.

Ecuador also has been their stomping grounds.

Mike and Jane, married 40 years, have two sons, independent trucker Nathan Williams and chemical engineer Trevor Williams. Mike retired in 2012 after 44 years, coming under Grimm’s wing in 1976.

Mark started in Advertising part-time in 1968 after bugging Ben James for a job during visits home from a freshman year at Ohio State. Retail Ad Mgr. Jim Muckley hired Mike full-time in 1971 in the Ad Services department. 

Mike’s sister, BJ information technology retiree Linda Williams Torson, is married to Akron-Summit County Metroparks retiree Tim Torson. Linda was with the Beacon Journal for 42 years.

Another sister, former clinical dietician Cindy Williams Chima, worked in the BJ classified phone room in the 1970s and writes fiction novels for young adults.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Stuart Warner named editor of Arizona weekly

Former BJ columnist Stuart Warner was named editor-in-chief of the weekly Phoenix New Times in Arizona.

Stuart has been with the Arizona Republic for four years, where he is senior content coach, which sounds a lot like his BJ role of teaching less experienced writers how to write.

He will begin January 23.

Stuart didn’t say which hat he would be wearing at the New Times, and I’m not talking about his position.

Stuart and wife Debbie Van Tassel left Cleveland for Arizona in 2013. Deb is listed as "planner for A1, Valley & State In-Depth and Business" at the Arizona Republic. They have three children.


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cathy Strong explores drone journalism

Former BJ State Desk reporter Cathy Robinson Strong, on the faculty of Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand, wrote an extensive paper on the new methods to cover the news, particularly drone cameras.

Cathy Strong
There’s even a Professional Society of Drone Journalists, founded in 2011. Can you imagine Don Roese or Ott Gangl piloting drones to get their photos of major news events?

Drone cameras are much cheaper than hiring a plane or helicopter for aerial photos, and can get closer to the actual happening. Drone cameras made a major impact in covering Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines in 2013, which was a tuneup for even better and more extension coverage of  the Nepal earthquake in 2015.

The major limitation is battery life, so the drone cameras have to get in and back to base in a few hours. But then they can go back out again with fresh batteries.

The other barrier is dealing with restrictions on drones from country to country.

Maybe the BJ should get a drone camera to cover major events in Akron or Cleveland.

And then there are backpack journalists, who can get to the affected people quicker and closer to collect and tell the story in words and images. Problems there, too with poor sound and images if the reporter isn’t good with both technology and interviewing victims.

Cathy has been in New Zealand for decades, with a 3-year break to teach journalism in Dubai, United Arab Emirate. She flies to America regularly to visit family and friends. Cathy’s sister, Janet Mullins, lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Cathy’s married daughters are Penelope, Rebecca and Amanda, all living in New Zealand, where earthquakes are a weekly occurrence.

The late Fran Murphey, retired BJ photographer Don Roese, former State Desk reporter Paula Stone Tucker and I have visited Cathy in New Zealand.

If you’re in New Zealand and want to look up senior lecturer Cathy, she’s in the Massey University School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Room SF47, Block 5. Her phone number is (04) 801-5799, extension 63549 and her email is  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

And a Happy New Year

Saturday, December 24, 2016

                Love, Fran

Friday, December 23, 2016

BJ blues gig: ’12 Days of Browns Christmas’

Beacon Journal staffers had fun with their own recorded version of “The 12 Days of Christmas,” Cleveland Browns style.

In case you’re excited, the Cleveland Browns Super Bowl team is a fantasy. It was Red Right 88 that was reality.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Matt Horak
Horak illustrates ‘Punisher’

Akron illustrator Matt Horak has taken over the illustrations for Marvel Comics’ “The Punisher,” which spotlights vigilante anti-hero Frank Castle as The Punisher.

He replaced the late Steve Dillon.

Horak is art director at Earthquaker Devices, which manufactures guitar pedals in a warehouse on Bowery Street.

Horak, 41, has been drawing since he was 3 years old. He attended art classes at St. Vincent-St. Mary High and drew comic books for projects at the University of Akron. He also studied at the Cleveland Art Institute.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Retired BJ driver Ed Speight passes away

Former BJ Circulation driver Ed Speight passed away Tuesday, December 13.

Ed Speight
Ed’s obituary:

Edward R. Speight, 91, passed away Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at Roselane Care Center.

Ed was born April 27, 1925 to Edward and Cecilia (Hamel) Speight in Akron and has been an area resident his entire life. He was employed by the Akron Beacon Journal for over 42 years as a delivery truck driver. He was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church and VFW Post 3383. He was a veteran of the Army during WWII and a recipient of the Bronze Star.

Ed is survived by his wife of 60 years, Betty (McFall); children Jack (Joanne), Kevin (Paula) and Ed Speight and Debi (Brian) Secrest; special niece Jane (John Fousek) Payerle; grandchildren Shannon Coffee, Shane, Alexander, Benjamin, Maurine and Nicholas Speight and Shelby, Madison and Samantha Secrest; great grandchildren Paizlee and Morgan Leger. In addition to his parents, Ed was preceded in death by his brothers Fr. Raymond, Donald and Paul.

The family will receive friends Friday from 4 to 7 pm at the Anthony Funeral Home Kucko-Anthony-Kertesz Chapel, 1990 S. Main St. Akron where a funeral service will be held Saturday at 11:00 am. Pastor Brian Nutt officiating. Cremation will follow. Interment with Military Honors will take place at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or Cross Road Hospice, 3743 Boettler Oaks Dr., Uniontown, OH 44685.
BJ retiree Paul Straits passes away

Former BJ transportation manager Paul Straits passed away Friday, December 16 in Millersburg, where he attended high school.
Paul’s obituary:

Paul R. Straits passed away on December 16, 2016 after a brief illness with his family by his side.He was born on January 26,1930 to Walter J. and Sue (Nye) Straits in Millersburg, Ohio.

He was a 1948 graduate of Millersburg High School, served in the U.S. Navy, followed by six years in the Naval Reserves and had a 37 year career at the Akron Beacon Journal.

Paul enjoyed golfing, fishing, watching golf and spending time with his family. He was a long time member of Saint Hilary Catholic Church and volunteered on the Funeral Luncheon Committee.

Paul is survived by wife, Susie; and children, Beth (Bob) Forwark, Bruce (Tracie Lee) Baumgardner, and Marty (Debbie) Baumgardner; also survived by grandchildren, Andy (Brittany) Forwark,Eric Forwark, Bryan, Kelsey, Alison, and Jared Baumgardner.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Walter J. Straits; sisters, Joann Straits, Ruth Tillitski, and Mary Derr.

Calling hours will be at Ciriello & Carr Funeral Home, 39 S. Miller Rd. in Fairlawn Tuesday, December 27, from 6 until 9 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial 11 a.m. Wednesday, December 28 at St. Hilary Catholic Church. Private interment at Standing Rock Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Catholic Charities Community Services of Summit County, 812 Biruta St. Akron, OH 44307. 330-836-3100

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bob Batz passes away

Former BJ columnist Bob Batz (1966-1970) passed away Friday, December 16.

Bob Batz
He left Ol’ Blue Walls to write columns for the Dayton Daily News till his 2007 retirement. Even after that, he wrote a column for the Brookville Star, just north of Dayton, till his passing.

He was a University of Dayton adjunct professor for more than 24 years.

Bob grew up in Flint, Michigan, where he met his late wife, Sally Samalley Batz. Their children are Pittsburgh Post Gazette editor-writer Bob, Jr., Laurie Batz Fryman, Jackie Batz Erbaugh and Chris Batz. They have seven grandchildren.

Bob and Sally shared a 150-year-old home in Brookville, where both worked in the Brookville Volunteer Fire Department.

Bob began as a copy boy at the Flint Journal, then worked at the Rochester, New York newspaper before coming to the BJ.

Funeral arrangements have not been finalized.

Harry Morgan, who played two memorable characters on “MASH” and “Dragnet” and was in more than 100 movies, often with film giants, passed away at the age of 96 in his Los Angeles home.

Morgan -- born Harry Bratsberg in Detroit in 1915 -- won an Emmy for playing Colonel Sherman Potter on “MASH” (1975-83).  He was Officer Bill Gannon to Jack Webb’s Joe Friday in “Dragnet” (1967-70).

Morgan was in “The Ox-Bow Incident" in 1943 with Henry Fonda, “High Noon” in 1952 with Gary Cooper, “The Glenn Miller Story” in 1954 with Jimmy Stewart and “Inherit The Wind” in 1960 with Spencer Tracy.

Talk about performing with the film gods!

Morgan joined “MASH” in 1975 after McLean Stevenson, who played another popular character, the unit's commanding officer, left the series. That’s not an easy task to replace a well-estabished series character.

Harry and his first wife, Eileen, who died in 1985 after 45 years of marriage, had four children. His second wife, Barbara Bushman, survives.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I knew that Curt Brown couldn’t resist playing a church organ somewhere for long.

The former BJ reporter retired from New Life Episcopal Church in Uniontown in 2014 after nearly two decades.

November 17 he un-retired and became the organist at Brecksville United Methodist Church.

Maybe the septuagenarian’s next gig will be in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Passau, Germany, which has the largest church organ in the world – 17,774 pipes and 233 registers. Paula and I were surrounded by organ music emanating from pipe clusters in the ceiling and from all four walls of the structure. Amazing experience!

Former BJ photographer Tom Marvin, who plays his guitar on his farm near Salt Fork Park in Ohio and wherever he travels around the country and beyond, has a musical memory with Curt:

“Curt and I played the music for Rubber City Sorrows together many, many years ago. That song never made the top 10, or even the top 1  million!”
Curt came to Ohio from the Charleston Gazette, where he was city editor, to cover unions for the BJ (1971-74), then became the PR guy for the United Rubber Workers and the United Steelworkers.

I came to Ohio from the Charleston Daily Mail, the Gazette’s sister paper, to work at the Dayton Daily News before I migrated to the BJ in 1969 (and retired in 1996, which makes the two dates easy to remember since the 6 and 9 are transposed).

Curt, 70, teaches piano and organ at his Highland Square home. He also does organ recitals. His mother and two sisters also played the piano.
Curt was married to the late Jolan "Jody" Moldvay Brown. There’s a Curt Brown, Jr. floating around this country, too.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Buchtelite to suspend publication … for now

The Buchtelite, 127-year-old independent student newspaper of The University of Akron previously under the capable hands of former BJ editor Roger Mezger as its advisor, will suspend publication at the beginning of next semester, marking the second time in less than three years that the paper has gone on hiatus.

Two students editors are graduating, another four are going out of the country to work or study.

The paper’s current temporary adviser, Val Pipps, is trying to round up replacements. Val joined the Akron faculty after a 2006-2008 stint at the BJ, where he was the major reason the web site hits more than doubled during his guidance.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

John Glenn passes away

John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, has passed away in Columbus at the age of 95.

He returned to space in 1998 aboard Space Shuttle Discovery.

Glenn was in the U.S. Senate from 1972 to 1998 and ran for President in 1984.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Former PD, Newsday reporter passes away

William Brian Williams, former PD and New York Newsday editor/columnist reporter, passed away Wednesday, December 1.

William Brian Williams
Calling hours will be at Hummel Funeral Home in Akron with burial in Colorado and a memorial mass in the future at Hudson’s St. Mary’s Church.

His obituary:

William Brian Williams

Wm. Brian Williams of Hudson, died Wednesday, Dec. 1 after a courageous three-month battle against complications of Achalasia, a disorder of the esophagus that interferes with food digestion. He was 82.

He and his wife, Teresa (Terry) Considine and their daughter, Katy, moved back to Ohio 11 years ago, after 30 years in New York, where for 24 years, Brian was an editor/writer for New York Newsday, the country’s largest afternoon newspaper and after retirement, an editor for Doubleday Book Clubs.

A native of Colorado, Brian was a reporter, editor and columnist for 11 years at The Cleveland Plain Dealer, where he met his wife. He moved to the San Diego Union for four years and then on to New York.

In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by his sister, Mary, of Napa Valley, Calif.; and his nephew, Nick Wingfield, Seattle Bureau Chief for the New York Times; as well as numerous Considine relatives.

Calling hours will be on Wednesday, Dec. 7, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Hummel Funeral Home, 500 E. Exchange St. in Akron. Rev. Fr. Edward J. Kordas, pastor of St. Mary’s, Hudson, will lead a prayer service at 6 p.m.

Burial will be in Colorado. A memorial mass will be said at St. Mary’s Church, Hudson at a future date.

In remembrance, Brian suggested we all laugh a little more and when meeting someone challenged with a disability that we pretend it isn’t there and get to know the real person.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

If it’s anywhere near Christmas you can count on Carol Eubank, BJ Marketing Communications Department retiree, to, well, be a-Carol-ing.

And Bev Fry, Green High grad, wife of Tom Fry, rabid Ohio State fan, usually is in the mix.

They did it in 2014 in Youngstown’s Arms Family Museum.

And again this week closer to home.

Greystone, the magnificent Arts & Crafts style residence of Olive A. and Wilford P. Arms is preserved a century later as The Arms Family Museum of Local History. Coincidentally, Carol’s extensive activities include involvement with another Greystone, the building in downtown Akron constructed for the Masons.

Carol also is involved with the Green Historical Society.

Carol, a 1957 Coventry High grad, lives in Portage Lakes, where she also is involved with the Portage Lakes Historical Society.

Carol also is the “queen” of BJ reunions. She’s always getting Ol’ Blue Walls escapees together for fun gatherings. Even when they don’t sing.