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Saluting our Veterans
By Marie Demer Rader
Editor’s Note: Marie is a Middle Bass Cottage who is interested in the members and history of the Middle Bass Island Club at the west end of the island where there is a compound of century homes. The club’s members were the Warren Buffets and the “USA President makers” of their day.
Veterans, thank you for your service and sacrifice. As a Memorial Day tribute, we want to introduce some Union Civil War heroes who were members of the historic Middle Bass Club (MBC).
General Wager Swayne from Toledo was awarded the Medal of Honor during the Second Battle of Corinth when his commanding officer was killed, and he valiantly took over command of the unit. After the war, General Swayne served as the Assistant Commissioner of the Alabama Freedom Bureau. General Swayne and his three brothers were founding members of the MBC.
General John Wallace Fuller from Toledo fought in numerous battles including the Battle of Corinth, the Siege of Atlanta and Sherman’s March to the Sea. He was one of the few generals in the Civil War that was not born in the United States. General Fuller was a founding member of the MBC and remained a member until his death in 1891.
Dr. John Birchard Rice from Fremont served as a surgeon in the Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI). Dr. Rice saved many lives even though Civil War surgeons had limited medical instruments and lacked antiseptic facilities. Dr. Rice was a member of the MBC from 1881 to 1890 along with his three brothers.
Captain Benjamin Charles Taber from Norwalk served every day the 55thOVI was involved in the Civil War (September 13, 1861 until December 28, 1864). He fought in 20 major battles including: Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and the Siege of Atlanta. Captain Taber was a member of the MBC from 1890 to 1898.
To read their full biographies, please visit the Middle Bass Club’s “Veteran Stories” on the Toledo’s Attic website: https://toledosattic.org/110-exhibit-themes/social-institutions/548-middle-bass-club-history. We will be updating our website with “Captains of Industry Stories” next – stay tuned.
Tatyana Kowalski graduated Summa Cum Laude and as a University Honors Scholar on April 30th from Wright State University. Tatyana earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Design/Technology from the Department of Theater, Dance & Motion Pictures. She also served as the WSU mascot ‘Rowdy Raider’ for four years. Tatyana has accepted a position aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a Costume Technician and will be sailing the world outfitting theater productions aboard a variety of ships. Tatyana is the daughter of Dan and Valerie Kowalski of East Point.
Congratulations to Gwenavere “Gwena” Market who graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Communications in May. Gwena, who graduated from Put-in-Bay High School in 2018, is the daughter of Scott Market and Susan Market.
Congratulations to Erin Urge, PIBHS Class of 2018, who graduated Cum Laude from Miami University in May with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. Erin works at the Crew’s Nest and is the daughter of Dane Urge and Melinda Myers and granddaughter of islanders Joy Urge, and Mack and Maryann McCann.
Congratulations to Marissa Fogg, the daughter of island entertainer Ray Fogg, who graduated Magna Cum Lauder with a Bachelor of Science Health and Rehabilitation Services from Ohio State University at its Spring Commencement on May 8th.
Roger Wayne Reich, 80, passed away on Thursday, May 26th, at his home on the north shore of East Point. Roger was born on May 28, 1941 in Cleveland to the late Francis F. and Frieda S. Reich. Roger graduated from John Marshall High School. He worked for NASA, where he made parts for the Space Shuttle. Roger started his own company, Colony Machine, in 1969 in Hinckley, Ohio, setting up shop in an old custard stand. A tool and die maker by trade, he started making custom, chrome-plated hardware for Harley-Davidson choppers. Roger started coming to the island in the 1950s where his uncle Ed Ellesch had a cottage on East Point. In the 1970s, Roger built his own home on the northshore lakefront on East Point. Roger enjoyed fishing and for several years held his own walleye tournament for his buddies. Roger loved working on antique cars, and he had his own collection including a beautifully-restored 1930’s Cadillac touring car used to take people to the top of Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains. He would drive this rare beauty in the Sunday antique car parades on the island. One of the interesting things Roger did was to commission two posters, one was of a vintage car in front of the Roundhouse and the other was of a vintage delivery truck by the Ford Trimotor at the PIB Airport. Roger was a longtime member of the Crew’s Nest and the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society. Survivors include his wife Debra Reich; children Ronald (Denise) Reich, Lori (Robert) Tepe, Michael (Lori) Welch and Michelle (Jeremy) Adair; grandchildren Jordan Reich, Nicholas (Kayla) Reich, Megan Tepe, Matthew Tepe, Cheya Griffin, Matthew Welch, Ceirra Welch, and Samantha Skidmore; great-granddaughter of Avery June Reich; and sister Marlene Drucker. Please join the family for Roger’s Celebration of Life on Saturday, August 6th, at 1:30 p.m. at 161 Roth Road, Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456.
It is with great sadness that the family of Captain Harry Foley, 25, residing in Sandusky and Middle Bass Island, announce his unexpected passing on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 on Middle Bass Island.
Harry was born in Scotland, the beloved son of Hazel Foley and the late John Foley. He was a 2015 graduate of Sandusky High School, and became a proud American citizen in 2018. Harry was a US Coast Guard licensed captain, and owned and operated his own charter fishing boat “Night Ripper.” When the Sonny S was not running, he would help transport passengers between Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass. As a youngster, Harry took part in the Middle Bass Nature Camp, and later helped out with transporting the nature campers when needed. He also held his CDL license, and was working as a truck driver for Ohio Truck Sales.
He was an avid fisherman and ice fisherman, knew all the best spots, always had his beloved dog, Mason, by his side. Harry loved boats, trucks and heavy equipment.
Harry is survived by his mother Hazel Foley, Sandusky; maternal grandmother, Alice Wikel, Sandusky; uncle, Steven Fleming, Sandusky; aunt, Linda Beedham, Scotland; and also by many other aunts, uncles, cousins, from around the world in Scotland, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
He was preceded in death by his father, John Foley; maternal grandfather, Benny Fleming; maternal step grandfather, David Wikel; paternal grandparents, Harry and Agnes Foley.
Memorial services were held on Thursday, June 2nd, in Sandusky. Memorial contributions may be made to the U.S. Coast Guard Foundation, 394 Taugwouk Rd., Stonington, CT 06378. Condolences may be shared with the family by visiting toftfuneralhome.com.
David R. Bush
David Richard Bush, 70, of North Ridgeville, OH, died January 12th, 2022. He was the foremost expert of the Civil War’s Union prison for Confederate prisoners on Johnson’s Island in Sandusky Bay. David was born in Kittery, Maine to the late Pat Jean Bryer and William Robert Bush of Canton, OH, on October 31st, 1951. He graduated from Canton McKinley High School in 1969. He graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Miami University in 1973 and earned a Master’s Degree from Kent State University in 1974. David received a Ph. D in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University in 1987. David held many professorships, along with director and board positions at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Pittsburgh. In addition, from 1998-2017, he was Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Historic and Military Archaeology at Heidelberg University. Dr. Bush’s professional legacy was his passion and dedication for fieldwork and the study of Johnson’s Island Civil War Military Prison. David worked to recover a rich collection of materiality, in the context of a Union Prison housing southern officers, mentoring many aspiring young archaeologists in the process. As the Founder and Chairman of The Friends and Descendants of Johnson Island Civil War Prisoner of War Depot, David was instrumental in getting 16 acres of Johnson’s Island designated as a National Historical Landmark. In 2011, he achieved a lifelong goal and authored “I Fear I Shall Never Leave This Island, Life in a Civil War Prison.” In addition, he served his country as an Anthropologist in MIA-POW recovery for the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Dr. Bush proudly recalled this service in SE Asia as a life-changing event. David was preceded in death by his brothers, William Bush from Spring, Texas and Robert Bush from Alexandria, Virginia. David is survived by his loving partner, Sue Umbenhour of 29 years from Rocky River; his older brother Michael Bush (Kathy) from Lake Luzerne, NY; his sons, Jacob Stuart Bush (Melody) of Stow, Adam Ross Bush (Erin) of Canal Fulton; and three grandchildren. Most recently, an avid birder and photographer, David received recognition for his photographs. Fishing with his sons, Jake and Adam Bush was a favorite recreation, as was, enjoying time with grandchildren. A Memorial Service took place on May21st at Johnson’s Island Historic Landmark Site.
Paul Seibert, 86, of Munroe Falls, Ohio, passed away on Friday, May 20, 2022 after a battle with dementia. He was born May 28, 1935 in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Paul J. and Clara (nee Walters) Seibert. A true entrepreneur and consummate salesman, Paul was a proud owner of Northeast Box Company for 22 years. He will be fondly remembered as the Mayor of Harborside Condominiums in Port Clinton, Ohio, where he spent much of his time over the years, especially summers, able to strike up a conversation with anybody, illustrating his true friendliness. An avid boater, he loved being around the water, especially his beloved Lake Erie. He owned numerous boats, highlighted by his 36-foot Trojan cruiser Dee-Lite. Paul and his family wee early members of the Crew’s Nest where they spent numerous summer weekends at the docks by what is now Topsy Turvey’s. He was the member of the Sandusky Yacht Club and Catawba Island Club. He also loved animals, especially his dog Boomer. Mostly, though, he loved spending time with his family, at home and/or around the water. That included everything from weekends in Port Clinton to Caribbean cruises. Paul is survived by Darlene, his loving wife of 66 years; cherished children Paul (Heidi) Seibert, Pamela (Rob) Mullett, and Jill (Jim) Gingo; eight grandchildren. six great-grandchildren; and one brother.
John Patrick Lydon, age 59, of Naples, Florida passed away on December 16, 2021, in Naples, Florida. John was born in Cleveland, Ohio to John F. and Madeline J. Lydon on December 10, 1962. Known as “Johnny” to his family, he grew up in Fairview Park and Rocky River, graduating from Rocky River High School in 1981. He attended Tri-C Community College graduating with an associate degree in Business. John worked in various industries including Automotive and Banking. His hobbies include the restoration of his 1970 Cutlass and snow skiing. In 1995, John married Kristen Washtock who he met when he was working on the island at the Boathouse and as a driver for Designated Cab Co. The family lived in Fairview Park and Avon Lake until they relocated to Naples, Florida in 2006. John worked as a Postal Carrier for the USPS for the last 4 years. John is survived by his wife Kristen; three sons Alec, Daniel, Luke and daughter Lindsay; his parents John F and Madeline J Lydon; and his sister Beth (Lydon) Manning (Robert); and two nieces and two nephews. A memorial service was held in Fairview Park in May.
There will be a memorial service to celebrate the wonderful life of Terri Moore on Sunday, June 19th, at 3 p.m. at Maple Leaf Cemetery. There will not be a gathering afterwards. Terri was the former proprietor of the Maple Cottage Bed & Breakfast. The Moore family are lifelong multigenerational residents of Ballast Island.
There will be a service for Carol Ann Richardson on Saturday, July 23rd, at 1 p.m. at the Middle Bass Town Hall.
The previous piece is published in this month’s Put-in-Bay Gazette. The Gazette has been producing incredible independent Put-in-Bay island news for over 40 years. If you have any interest at all in what is happening on South Bass Island, we urge you strongly to subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette. One-year online subscriptions are only $15, and print subscriptions are available as well. To subscribe please click here.