Laura (Blythe) Osburn, left, and her mother, Nancy Blythe, accept Greg Blythe’s Hall of Honor Award Saturday evening during the Jefferson Alumni Dinner. Blythe was unable to attend the dinner. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Laura (Blythe) Osburn, left, and her mother, Nancy Blythe, accept Greg Blythe’s Hall of Honor Award Saturday evening during the Jefferson Alumni Dinner. Blythe was unable to attend the dinner. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
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DELPHOS —The 144th Jefferson High School Alumni Dinner on Saturday.

District Treasurer Brad Rostorfer introduced the 10th class inducted into the Hall of Honor, reading their nomination letters.

The first inductee was Greg A. Blythe, class of 1976. Col. Blythe retired from the U.S. Army last year.

Blythe graduated from the Ohio State University in 1980 with a bachelor of science in zoology. He earned a DDS degree from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry in 1984, at which time he was commissioned into the Army Dental Corps.

He originally saw the Army as an instant job in his field and an opportunity to travel to Europe. In 1998, he completed the Army Periodontics residency program and earned a master’s degree in oral biology.

Throughout his career, Blythe was stationed in Germany, Oklahoma, Egypt, Kentucky, Korea, Hawaii, Washington and even Iraq, where he was deployed in 2011. He says his most satisfying assignment was a stint serving a mountain village in Honduras, noting that it was a group of people who normally would never receive any sort of dental care.

During his career, he received many medals from many of his assignments as well as served as a diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology. He is now enjoying his retirement and getting an opportunity to continue his travels.

This year’s second inductee passed away on Jan. 23, 2017, just 42 days after he received his honorary diploma, 73 years after he left high school to join the Naval training academy.

Duane Devere Reynolds trained as a medic in the Navy and then later in the Marines to accelerate his deployment during World War II. He barely survived two of the costliest battles of the Second World War, sustaining a major concussion from the first and severe leg damage from the second when a mine exploded near him.

Reynolds would fight for months to save his leg and finally found a bone specialist who performed a 12-hour surgery which was a success. He was told he would never walk without a cane, but he soon tossed the cane and defied the odds again.

Like many soldiers who truly see the horrors of battle, the stories are not easily shared. It wasn’t until he reached his 80s that his sons were afforded the opportunity to hear of the rough times that he had experienced. Despite earning three Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts and a letter of Presidential Commendation from Harry S. Truman, it just wasn’t what a hero did.

Rostorfer said he was proud to have had a small part in Reynolds receiving his diploma in 2016.

“I am even more proud to present his family the plaque making him a member of the Delphos City Schools Hall of Honor,” Rostorfer said.

Don Allemeier and Betty Warner Schmelzer, both from the class of 1946, were again the oldest in attendance; and Brandon Welker and Rachel Kroeger were the recipients of the 2019 Jefferson Alumni Scholarships.

The class of 1959 was the featured class. Class representative Dick Thompson said the class had celebrated the night before at the Topp Chalet and then attended the dinner.

Alumni Secretary/Treasurer Lisa (Kiggins) Harlan urged her fellow alumnus to donated their time to the annual dinner.

“There are a handful of us that do everything,” Harlan said. “We need help if we are going to continue with the dinners and the scholarships.”