Morenci Distinguished Alumni 04.07.10

Written by David Green.

Three Morenci alumni will be honored April 17 at the annual Morenci Education Foundation dinner. A graduate from the 1940s, one from the 1950s and one from the 1980s are in line to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.

William Van Arsdalen

1947 graduate William Van Arsdalen earned a degree in education from Albion College, then joined the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He later earned a master’s degree from Michigan State University.

His teaching career began at the Chesterfield school southeast of Morenci. Bill later taught in Brooklyn, Mich., and finished his 42-year career in Hillsdale.

He taught history, physical education and mathematics at the middle school level and also served as a boys and girls basketball coach.

He led the staff at Hillsdale’s Davis Middle School for 14 years as the school principal. In 1994 he was chosen by his colleagues as Teacher of the Year.

Upon retiring in 1994, Bill rejoined the Kiwanis Club and traveled throughout Michigan as a district governor and lieutenant governor.

Bill has been involved with the Hillsdale United Methodist Church, Hillsdale County Senior Citizen Board, United Way of Hillsdale County, Hillsdale County Fair Board and Hillsdale Community School Board of Education.

In 1956 he married Joan Guss from Hudson and they are the parents of a son and a daughter.

Glen Smith

Glen Smith was the valedictorian of the Class of 1954. He went on to earn a bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate from the University of Michigan, studying chemical engineering.

Glen spent his career working as a research scientist with the Mead Paper Corporation in Chillicothe, Ohio. He developed national and international patents for paper pulp processing and traveled the world as a corporate consultant. He also served on several professional societies in his field.

Glen volunteers in a variety of civic and church organizations, ranging from the annual Gus Macker basketball tournament to community musical and theatrical performances. He recently began working with the Stephen Ministries which trains lay people to assist others in need.

Glen is also a skilled woodworker who has built items to benefit non-profit organizations.

Glen married Carolyn Boyers of Wauseon in 1959 and they are the parents of four children.

Janice Clelland Donnell

Janice Donnell earned a degree in geography/earth science from Central Michigan University following graduation from Morenci Area High School in 1983.

She also served with the National Guard signal battalion in Adrian. After her marriage in 1988, she served as a National Guard platoon leader with a maintenance battalion in Carthage, N.Y., earning second lieutenant rank as a reserve commissioned officer.

Annual training resulted in deployment to Germany and Italy. She earned a master’s degree in education in Hawaii.

While living in New York, she served as a community development coordinator with a county planning department. The Donnells now live in Virginia where Janice works as a substitute teacher.

At the many communities where the Donnells have lived, Janice has served as an elementary school volunteer, a Sunday School teacher, an Awana Kids leader and as a volunteer with Mothers of Preschoolers and Moms in Touch. She was formerly involved with a prison ministry project and her family still entertains residents of nursing homes.

Janice and her husband, Chuck, are the parents of two daughters.

Guests have until April 10 to sign up for dinner tickets. Tickets can now be purchased with a credit card at the foundation website (morencieducationfoundation.org).

The auction fund-raiser will begin around 7 p.m. The public is invited to the auction even if not attending the dinner.

 Adam and Gail

 Morenci graduates aren’t the only people to be honored at the April 17 Morenci Education Foundation dinner. A pair of distinguished transplants will also be commended.
Adam and Gail Johnson lived in Garden City, Mich., Springfield, Ill., and Washington, D.C., before taking the lead from Adam’s brother—a Gamble’s store owner in Chelsea—and purchasing the Gambles hardware store in Morenci in 1980.
Their immersion into Morenci life includes Adam’s role with the local and county United Way, the Kiwanis Club and the Rex Riley Scholarship project. He also served on the Morenci Board of Education.
Adam and Gail have both been active in the Morenci Business Association (now Chamber of Commerce) and Gail was instrumental in leading the annual community-wide garage sale effort.
Gail was also a member of the Morenci Child Study Club and taught mathematics at Siena Heights University.
The Johnsons’ children Ron and Jennifer are both Morenci graduates.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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