The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Tribute to Doc Nyce 2011.10.05

Written by David Green.


As you look around you see a portion of the people whose lives were touched by Dr. Robert Nyce.  

I would imagine that we grew up knowing that physicians were special people in the lives of communities.

For the older generation the names of Doctor Evers, Stotzer, Murbach, Reed, Diccion, Neal, Ebersole, Whitehouse, Elliot, Vogle, Davis and Mertif, conjure up images of the communities that they practiced in.

Robert.nyceI would also guess that if you were from one of those communities, you knew exactly where each of those physicians lived.  

You see, in the America of the mid- Twentieth Century, physicians, like teachers, pastors, and Main Street merchants, were expected to live in their community and participate in the life of their town.

In Fayette, we not only knew where Doc and Ruth lived, many of us were frequent guests.  We were welcomed into their home and into their lives.

Once inside we learned about Buck’s County, Pa., (Doc’s home) and Holme’s County, Ohio, (Ruth’s home), Goshen College, Ocean City, salt-water taffy, Haggi Candy, something called scrapple, and ground cherry pie. (The latter were not Doc’s favorite.) 

We also learned about the importance of family. Biological families, church families and the family of community.

Keep in mind, it was less than 60 feet from their back door to the back door of his office. And there you found the “family room” under the emergency room of the office. 

It was common for the staff to run over to the house to search for Doc, to share receipts, check schedules and anything else that was important on that day.  

Lines became blurred; patients, staff, neighborhood kids, family, friends, the Women’s Club, theater buffs, they could all be found at the Nyce home.  

It was not unusual to stop by the house long after office hours and catch Doc, with his back to the door and the phone within arms reach eating a late supper.  Nor was it unexpected to hear him say, “Ruth, get a piece of…” whatever dessert Ruth had made that day.  “They look hungry!” 

Over four decades, Doc became an integral part of the Fayette community. 

Noted social scientist Arnold Toynbee said that great civilizations arise when its citizens acknowledge and successfully respond to challenges.  

Doc with his friends and fellow citizens adopted that theory for Fayette. 

Here are few examples:

• When the county school board transferred Fayette School District to Archbold in the early 1970s, Doc reminded us that the quality of the school is best indicated by the success of its graduates, not the scope of its curricular or extra-curricular offerings.

• When local citizens complained that a swimming pool was too expensive for a small community to support, Doc & Keith and friends set out to prove the opposite. Not by landing large donations or grants, but rather by engaging friends and neighbors. 

• When Fayette needed a pharmacy, Doc’s efforts helped secure one.

• and when the Opera House needed a hand and a public supporter, Robert Nyce stepped up.

Some might wonder if it was all worth it, if the successes and failures justified the efforts.

That would be your call.  But, consider this:

• In 2008 the Fayette School District received recognition by US News and World Report.

• For nearly four decades, thousands enjoyed and took pride in the community swimming pool.

• While the pharmacy was acquired by a major chain and closed several years ago, you can still purchase flowers and gifts from a locally owned business.

• Two weeks ago a Canadian Organist brought an appreciative audience to its feet with a concert on our rare and vintage Mason & Hamlin Reed Organ and in two weeks we will open of our 39th annual Fayette Artist Series.

Over the years, Fayette honored our Doctor in many ways. We even named a street after him.  

Doc graciously accepted the honors and appreciated those efforts, but I believe what really counted in Doc’s life was the willingness of his Fayette Family to join him in responding to the challenges that faced our community.  

Doc was a part of us, just as we were a part of him. 

That mutual close relationship manifested itself in many ways, but the one that stands out in my mind is Jay’s story.  

You remember that the Fayette and Franklin school buildings were not equipped with elevators to help Jay get to his classes. While we were deficient in elevators and lifts, we did have arms.  

And it was in the arms of Jay’s friends and classmates that a young boy earned an education and grew into a young man who knew that a community cared about him.

Doc and his family profoundly appreciated that.

A while back, Doc reminded me that Fayette would continue long after he passed from this world. While certainly true, we have all been influenced by his life, and his time among us.  

Like George Bailey and Bedford Falls in the 1946 movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life”, can you imagine what Fayette would be like if Dr. Robert Nyce had never graced this place?

Last Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011, Doc quietly slipped away.

We can choose to fondly remember this special person from time to time, to bring his name up when we need to find comfort in “the good old days.” Or we can choose to get off the sidelines and support those community institutions that improve the quality of our lives and make this place an interesting place to call home. It’s our choice. We can elect to turn off the TV or laptop and go to a concert, or support a community benefit, or share an idea or vision, or to go to church, to love your…or not.  Our choice.

The first option is simply a memory, the latter is a legacy.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015