Six Waite High School graduates were honored and inducted as Distinguished Alumni at the 59th Annual Purple and Gold Dinner Celebration held April 1 at St. Michael Centre in Oregon.
Waite is celebrating its 109th year as an East Toledo educational institution this year.
The honorees have distinguished themselves with success in their respective careers, having received honors through meritorious service in selected careers and/or served as benefactors to their communities or country.
The 2023 inductees included:
• Debra Buchanan, class of 1975, honored in the field of Fine Arts and Community Service.
• Charles “Joe” Hardin, class of 1941, honored posthumously in the field of Medicine and Community Service.
• James H. Lewis, class of 1961, honored in the field of Communication and Community Service.
• Mary C. Morales, class of 1966, honored in the field of Education and Community Service.
• Dale L. Partin, class of 1967, honored in the field of Science and Community Service.
• Charles E. Young, class of 1982, honored for field of Business and Community Service.
Debra A. Buchanan, a native and current East Toledoan, was born Feb. 10, 1957 to Charles and Caroline Pieper Buchanan. She had four siblings — Charles, Diane and Christine, Waite graduates, and Dennis, a graduate of Macomber. Together, they resided on Liberty Street and later moved to 1205 Vinal Street.
Entire summers were spent at the Neighborhood House on Vinal Street, where Debra’s first exposure to arts and crafts began. As a child, the foundation and understanding of community were planted at the Neighborhood House, and pride in that community was nurtured, grew, and blossomed.
Debra attended preschool at the Neighborhood House, now the East Toledo Family Center, and Oakdale Elementary. She graduated from Waite in 1975. While attending Waite, she was involved in Student Council; the Zetalethean Literary Society, serving as vice president her senior year, and the Warrior yearbook staff.
During the summer of 1979, she studied art in Europe with Louisiana Tech University. She was awarded a scholarship to Columbus College of Art and Design and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1993. In 2004, she earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Bowling Green State University. While at BGSU, she studied with world renowned painter, Patrick Betaudier, for three summers.
A certified gemologist and diamond-ologist with the Diamond Council of America, Debra held management positions including designing jewelry at Keidan’s Jewelers, Alan Miller Jewelers and Dolgin Jewelers.
During this time, she taught as an adjunct drawing instructor at Owens Community College while working for Toledo Public Schools as a learning disability tutor and home instructor. She simultaneously established herself as an award-winning exhibiting artist and is the owner of Debra Buchanan Fine Art Studio.
Buchanan’s first experience entering an exhibit was her senior year at Waite in 1975 when she was accepted into her first juried exhibition, The President’s Exhibit, at Mary Manse College and at Toledo Lucas County Public Library; won her first award for art at the First Annual East Toledo Street Fair and sold her first work of art.
Since that time, she has participated in solo and group exhibitions nationally, regionally and locally, earning a plethora of awards. A full listing of exhibitions, projects, and awards can be found on her website, debrabuchanan.squaresapce.com.
Debra’s artistic skills are recognized throughout Northwest Ohio. She has curated and judged exhibitions throughout the region. She teaches art classes at a variety of arts organizations, while working as designer/illustrator for local glass mosaic artist, Gail Christofferson. Their collaborations are featured in numerous corporate collections, libraries, and buildings across the United States, including four at Facebook data centers.
A variety of organizations for fundraising programs have benefited from Debra’s donation of artwork including The Kidney Foundation, The Victory Center, The East Toledo Family Center and Waite High School.
Charles “Joe” Hardin was born Jan. 12, 1923, to Charles and Helen Hardin, and grew up in the Ironville neighborhood of East Toledo. He attended Irving School, then Waite High School, graduating in 1941.
While a student at Waite, Joe took a barbering and barber science course, which allowed him to work as a barber to help pay for future college tuition. He was also inducted into the Morrison R. Waite Chapter of the National Honor Society.
After graduating from Waite, Joe attended Toledo University and in 1942, was accepted into the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Science, starting in 1943. In 1944, he enlisted in the Army through OSU to inspect food sent overseas during World War II. He continued studies at Ohio State, and graduated in 1946 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.
After graduating from OSU, Joe served in the Army until 1948, attaining the rank of captain.
Joe started his veterinary career in Millersburg, Ohio, in a large animal practice that served the Amish community. In 1949, he accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the School of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma A&M, now Oklahoma State University. Joe enjoyed both early positions in his career, but wanted to get back to his family and friends in Toledo.
In 1951, he accepted a position with the Toledo Health Department as a veterinary meat iInspector, and in 1964, he attained a Master of Public Health Degree from the University of Michigan. He accepted a position at the Toledo Zoo as the zoo veterinarian in 1966.
Joe had many professional accomplishments while at the Toledo Zoo. The most impressive accomplishment was a part of zoological history with artificial insemination of a chimpanzee through a technique that he and two zookeepers developed. This breakthrough resulted in the birth of a female chimpanzee named “Stuffie,” which was a first for the Toledo Zoo, the nation and the world.
Joe and the zoo were also recognized for breeding cheetahs and giving birth in captivity. He also received requests from other zoos for animal semen samples using techniques that he perfected.
In addition to collaborating with medical doctors and dentists from the Medical College of Ohio, Joe had many articles published in professional journals. He sedated animals so that cardiologists and dentists could study them, enabling him to develop plans for optimal care and treatment. This was another ground breaking advancement in the understanding of animal medical care.
Joe retired from the Toledo Zoo in 1982, but continued his veterinary career substituting for the State and Track Veterinarians at Raceway Harness Park, from where he retired in1988.
An enjoyable part of community service for Joe involved live animal presentations at schools and organizations to share information about the Zoo, animals, and his work as a veterinarian.
He served on the school boards for Holy Rosary School and Cardinal Stritch High School, and coached girls softball in the Oregon Summer Recreation program. In his later years, Joe served as a World War II representative for Oregon and Jerusalem Township Memorial Day services.
Joe made lifelong friends at Waite High School with whom he enjoyed many activities, but bowling was one of his favorite activities. Joe bowled in leagues for years at the Toledo Sports Center, allowing him to spend time with friends and stay active into his early 90s.
Joe and his wife, Isabel, raised their five children. He passed away on Oct. 12, 2018, a few months shy of his 96th birthday.
James H. Lewis was born in Detroit, Michigan, on March 6, 1943, to Philip and Helen Haskell Lewis. His father, a Presbyterian minister, moved the family west to Astoria, Oregon, in 1946, and from there, they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, and Dubuque, Iowa, before arriving to serve Eastminster Presbyterian Church in East Toledo.
As a member of the Waite Class of 1961, Jim was president of student council, a member of the band, and the first president of Key Club. After graduation, he attended the School of International Service at American University, where his volunteer work for the campus radio station, WAMU, led him to switch his major of study to journalism.
Jim became a paid intern in the news department of WTOP Radio and TV, owned by the Washington Post, and was subsequently hired as an on-air reporter at the newspaper’s Jacksonville, Florida, station, WJXT. There, he met and married Julie deNazarie. When the local public station, WJCT, received a Ford Foundation grant for an innovative evening program, Jim was hired as news director and host. This led to a yearlong fellowship with Swedish Radio and TV in Stockholm, Sweden.
When Jim completed the fellowship, he returned to public television, where he headed Florida Public Broadcasting’s “Today in the Legislature.” Over the years, his reports were aired on PBS, the ABC Evening News, and Eurovision. He also wrote articles for the Washington Post and other publications.
Jim’s volunteer work writing grant applications for WJCT led him from journalism into funds development, to a management position for KLRU in Austin, Texas, and then to be the general manager of WGBY in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Massachusetts.
In 1991, he moved to Portland, Oregon, as president of the Oregon Public Broadcasting Foundation. After playing a pivotal role in merging the foundation with what was then the state-owned TV and radio network, he established a national consulting firm, Lewis Kennedy Associates. While there, he helped raise millions of dollars for public media and for a variety of other organizations and served as a major giving consultant to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
As a volunteer, Jim chaired a $1 billion community credit union, helped found the Public Library Foundation of Portland, and served as interim CEO of Africa Bridge, a non-governmental organization, working in rural Tanzania.
In 1994, PBS named Jim its Development Professional of the Year and upon his retirement in 2011, Greater Public presented him with the President’s Award for Lifetime Service to the Development Profession. He has also been recognized by the Association for Public Television and the NAACP of Springfield, Massachusetts.
After he and his wife, Julie, moved to Pittsburgh in 2016 to be near their grandchildren, Jim returned to his first love, writing. He has written five novels with a sixth on the way this spring. BookLife called his latest novel, “The Quadrant Conspiracy,” “a thrilling example of historical fiction grounded in fact, but never forgets it’s the characters who ultimately drive history.”
Jim and Julie have two daughters, Kristen and Lisa, and two grandchildren, Caeden and Emma.
Mary C. Morales was born in Toledo on Oct. 27, 1948. Her father, Cresencio Morales, went to school and finished ninth grade before he entered the United States Army. Her mother, Charlotte Morales, completed the fourth grade and then began working to support the family. Her parents came from Texas and were servants to a couple who lived in the main house. The Morales family lived in a little house on the rear of the property. At the time, her mother was only 21 years old with four children, the oldest of whom was Mary and her three younger brothers.
When Mary reached school age, she did not attend school. When an administrator from the area school district came out to speak with her father, Mary’s father told the school administrator that girls do not go to school. He believed the old Mexican myth that only boys should go to school because they become the head of the household. The school administrator told Mary’s father that Mary goes to school or he goes to jail. The next day, Mary was on the yellow school bus going to Clay Elementary School in Oregon.
Because she was 6 years old, Mary was assigned to the first grade. The teacher sat Mary next to her desk because Mary could not speak English. Her teacher recognized that Mary had a good memory, that she liked to learn and that numbers came easy to her.
When the Morales family moved into an apartment in East Toledo, Mary left Clay Elementary and attended Garfield Elementary School. After a short period of time, the Morales family moved into a house in East Toledo and Mary went to Navarre Elementary.
The five Morales children all attended Waite High School. Mary graduated in 1966. While a student at Waite, she was active in the Future Teachers Club, World History Affairs Club, Latin Club and Pep Club.
Mary married young. After two of her sons were born, she enrolled in the College of Education at the University of Toledo, where she majored in mathematics and minored in biological sciences. She graduated in 1974, at a time when Toledo Public Schools was not hiring fulltime teachers. She served as a building substitute teacher at Woodward High School for one year before receiving a contract to teach fulltime at Macomber-Whitney Vocational High School in downtown Toledo.
She was a teacher and advisor at Macomber-Whitney for 16 years until the school closed. In 1991, she was able to return to her alma mater, where she taught a variety of mathematics courses over a period of 20 years. While a faculty member at Waite, she served as the advisor of the Future Educators Club, the Hispanic Cultural Club, the Youth-to-Youth Club, and the Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honorary.
Because her mother and two brothers died of cancer, Mary volunteers for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. She is an active member of the Spanish American Organization, the Catholic Order Of Foresters Cristo Rey – Court #2522, and The Organization of Latins United. In 2004, Mary was honored as a Diamante Award Winner, reflective of her outstanding achievements and service to Latinos.
Mary has three sons, Edward, William, and Nicholas, and seven grandchildren, Melissa, Teresa, William II, Angelika, Zachery, Mackenzie, and Cameron. She currently has 10 great-grandchildren.
Dale L. Partin was born in Toledo on March 31, 1949, to Leonard and Florence Partin. While living at 840 Euclid Ave., in East Toledo, he attended East Side Central Elementary School and graduated from Waite High School in 1967.
As a student at Waite, Dale was a member of the National Honor Society, the Forum Literary Society, the Latin Club, the Alchemists, and the cross country and track teams. He also worked for a grocery store to save money for later studies and to buy laboratory chemicals and equipment. He built a laboratory at home where he did many chemistry and physics experiments.
Dale received scholarships, which enabled him to attend Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh for 11 years. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1971, a Master of Science degree in Physics in 1973, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1978. He was also active in a church and led a group of students to put on programs for teenagers in a juvenile detention center in Pittsburgh.
While still a graduate student, he married Mary “Laina” Yezovit. In 1978, he joined the Physics Department of the General Motors Research Laboratories. He developed a new kind of laser for studying automotive emissions and a new kind of magnetic field sensor for measuring crankshaft angle. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratories was also interested in these lasers for military applications.
Dale was eventually promoted to Principal Technical Fellow, and was also honored as a Fellow of the American Physical Society. In addition, he was a member of several other science and engineering organizations and has served as guest editor for some scientific journals.
After transitioning to Delphi Research Laboratories, Dale worked on systems to monitor driver impairment caused by alcohol, drugs and fatigue. He obtained 38 U.S. patents on his inventions and published 85 papers in science and engineering journals. He frequently gave presentations on his work in conferences across North America and Europe. He earned several awards for this work.
Since his retirement from automotive research in 2011, Dale has enjoyed teaching astronomy at Macomb Community College in Michigan. He is the faculty advisor for a student organization called InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. A lifelong learner, Dale is also a part-time student at Oakland University, where he studies a wide variety of subjects.
He joined the Warren Astronomical Society in 1998, and has been an officer for many years, currently serving as vice president. He frequently gives astronomy presentations to civic organizations.
Dale and Laina, who reside in Ray, Michigan, recently celebrated their 48 th wedding anniversary. They have two sons, Andrew and Alex.
Charles E. Young was born Nov. 7, 1963, in Toledo, to Walter and Eileen Young Jr. and lived at 540 Church St., and grew up in East Toledo.
He was involved in many activities while at Waite. As a senior, he served as president of student council and vice president of the Varsity W Club. In addition to receiving a Maxine Cosgray Citizenship Award, he was voted by his class of 1982 peers as the Greatest Male Contributor, the Most Talkative Male, and the Most Spirited Male. He earned three varsity letters in football and two in basketball and is a Waite High School Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee.
He says he was fortunate to have some great coaches/teachers/mentors in his life while attending Waite. He credits Coach James Wasserman, Coach Richard Kuzma, Coach Neil Burson, and Coach Russell Bless, Lewis Cross, Steve Contos, James Goodman, and G. William Nopper, to name a few.
Charles attended Findlay College, graduating in 1987 with a major in Marketing and Business Administration. He married his high school sweetheart, Kimberly Mausser, also a member of the Waite High Class of 1982, on July 18, 1987. They have three children, Brad (Molly), Evan and Samantha. They also have one granddaughter, Nora Catherine. Charles credits his wife for her continued support and encouragement for all of their successes.
The majority of Charles’ 35+ years in medical sales and management was spent with Sage Products in Cary, Illinois. At Sage, a medical device manufacturer, Charles was given an opportunity to develop his strengths in marketing, sales and leadership. He became a key impact player for the company in sales, marketing, and product development.
Charles has two patents on the core product of a $100 million oral care product line for Sage (which is now a Division of Stryker, one of the world’s leading medical and technology companies). He developed and trained dozens of sales professionals and managed a more than $200M portfolio while managing the National Contracts and Health Systems team.
Charles’ highlight accomplishment while at Sage Products was serving on the NISRA (Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association) Foundation for more than 10 years in Crystal Lake, Illinois. NISRA supported children and young adults with physical and learning challenges. During his time with NISRA, he spearheaded the fundraising in building a $6M state-of-the art therapeutic arts center for those who participated in NISRA.
Since leaving Sage, Charles and Kimberly “retired” to Florida, where he has his own medical consulting business. Charles continues to help small, startup med-device companies build strategies, sales training, and national account positioning for their products to enter the healthcare market.
He remains active in fundraising and is currently on the leadership council for Home Base, an organization that is dedicated to healing the invisible wounds of veterans of all eras – servicemembers, military families and families of the fallen through world- class care clinical care, wellness, education and research.