Area seniors earn accolades

A Wyandot County couple is to receive the 2013 Joined Hearts in Giving award from the Ohio Department of Aging in a special ceremony May 24 at the Ohio Statehouse.

Married 63 years, Wayne and Jean Walton of Sycamore have served as co-chairs for the Sycamore Township One Fund Drive for 20 years. The couple has completed, sold and delivered Lions Club birthday and anniversary calendars for the past 53 years.

Also for 53 years, Wayne served on the First National Bank of Sycamore board of directors. He was a real estate broker for 20 years and a Sycamore Township trustee for 12 years.

Jean spent 21 years on the Wyandot County Council of Aging, including six years as president. She worked as a bank teller 10 years and served several years on the Wyandot County Board of Elections. At Sycamore United Church of Christ, Jean was the first female President of Consistory.

In 2006, the Waltons were named Outstanding Senior Citizens of the Year for Wyandot County. Together and separately, they have been members of various boards.

Pair gets Hall of Fame berths

The Ohio Department of Aging has chosen Joe Buckley of Tiffin and Gladys Von Stein of Nevada for induction into the Ohio Senior Citizens’ Hall of Fame. The ceremony is to take place May 15 in Columbus.

Gladys Von Stein

At 84, Gladys Von Stein has not let age stop her from helping others. She and her husband, Gerald, were married in 1951 and raised four children. In addition to farming, the couple operated a catering business for 37 years. Gladys retired from catering at age 65, but she still teaches cake decorating for 4-H

clubs and does cooking projects for friends and family.

As members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Upper Sandusky, the Von Steins also worked with the Lutheran Brotherhood.

In 2007, the Von Steins received the Joined Hearts in Giving award from ODA and were named Outstanding Senior Citizens of the Year in 2010. Since then, Gerald has become disabled and resides in the Wyandot County Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Upper Sandusky. Gladys visits him daily.

A member of the Happy Hookers at the Council on Aging, Gladys crochets lap blankets for the sick. Other leadership roles Gladys has taken include working with the county election board, treasurer of the Antrim Township Community Fund Drive, president of her church women’s group and officer of the Wyandot Garden Club.

A. Joseph Buckley

When A. Joseph Buckley was a young boy, his father died, leaving his family with a questionable future. Fortunately, his father had been a member of the the fraternal organization that ran the National Orphans’ Home in Tiffin.

At the Junior Home, the Buckley siblings were never separated. The children thrived there and benefited from some of the 32 vocational programs available. Joe excelled in printing, academics and sports.

After graduating from the Junior Home High School, Joe enlisted in the Marines and was in the 6th Division, one of two Marine divisions that did not go to Iwo Jima. Instead, he was stationed in Okinawa, where he contracted malaria. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned home.

Over the years, he was commissioned into the Marine Corps from the Meritorious Enlisted Program. He worked for several northern Ohio newspapers, served two terms on Tiffin City Council, was a delegate at a national political convention in 1960 and ran for mayor of Tiffin. He volunteered at church and operated a restaurant franchise for 10 years.

Joe also became more involved with the Junior Home Alumni Association. He gives presentations about the Junior Home to schoolchildren.

In 1984, Joe proposed a war memorial for the 74 Home boys who died in world wars I and II. His proposal became a reality Sept. 1, 1985.

At age 88, Joe still volunteers several hours almost every day to maintain the Junior Home Memorial Park. He designs the gardens and tends to the grounds as a one-man landscaping crew. He is in charge of the annual Home Kids Labor Day Memorial Service.