The 2010 Newcomerstown High School Wall of Honor inductees are Gary and Janet Chaney of Newcomerstown. They will be honored at the at a special ceremony, Thursday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the high school. The following is the nomination letter for the Chaneys:
Roland and Edna (Herbert) Chaney, of Marlatt's Run Road, Newcomerstown, had their first and only child on Sept. 16, 1944. They named him Gary Roland. Even though he was an only child, Gary definitely was not lonely, as his many uncles and Aunt Nannie gave him plenty of attention. Gary attended the Plainfield schools until they closed them down after his freshman year. So, he began his sophomore year at Newcomerstown High. It was there, during his junior year, that he met his future wife.
Janet Arlene Hursey was born to Raymond "Dane" and Mary Jane (Wynn) Hursey on Oct. 8, 1946. Apparently, she was such a wonderful child, because of Dane and Jane added two more children to their family: Ellen Louise Hursey (Couts), then Arthur Ross Hursey. The family lived in a couple of areas, including Indian Camp and Kimbolton, but moved to a home on Smith Hill in 1956, where Dane and Jane live to this day. Janet attended Kimbolton schools for grades 1-3, spent her fourth grade at North Salem, then came to Newcomerstown at the start of her fifth year of schooling. It was there and in her freshman year of high school that she met her future husband.
Gary and Janet met and began dating during the school year of 1960-1961. Then, in 1962, Gary graduated and enrolled in Bliss College in Columbus, where he eventually earned a bachelor's degree in business and accounting. He lived there during the week and came home most weekends. In the mean time, Janet stayed in Newcomerstown Schools and graduated in 1964. Ready to get on with their lives together, they married on the first day of spring in 1965, and as Janet's sister, Ellen, remembers, it was snowing like crazy!
The new Mr. and Mrs. Chaney spent their first Christmas together, as husband and wife, at the hospital waiting on the arrival of their first child. Apparently, they didn't know what else to get each other! So, on Christmas day 1965, their first child, Mark Allen, was born. According to Gary and Janet, he was such a good baby and was easy to take care of. Because Mark was such a joy, they decided to increase their family by one more, and on Jan. 14, 1970, their daughter, Victoria Sue (Vickie for short) was born. Quickly, they found out that all babies are not as much fun as Mark was! Together, they weathered the storm that was Vickie and life continued on.
In the mid-1970s, Gary and Janet took on a business venture, buying the Newcomerstown Truck Stop. They owned that for several years, sold it, then moved on to running another business, the Village Cafe. It was during these years of business ownership that Gary started joining local clubs, including the Rotary, Elks and Legion. To this day, he is a very active member of the Rotary Club and is the current treasurer. Additionally, this year, Janet has become a member of the Rotary Club and is the chairman of the Auction Committee. Around the same time, Gary also became involved with Oxford Township; originally as a trustee, and for many years to present, the clerk-treasurer.
The 1970s was also the decade when Gary and Janet participated in events at the Tri-County Sportsman's Club, with Gary being an officer at times. They also got involved in the Cy Young Youth League, with Gary being a coach, league president, treasurer and sponsoring teams through the Newcomerstown Truck Stop. Janet was there to keep score books for the team and she took care of the concessions they had at the time. To this day, the Chaneys are a very vital part of the Cy Young Youth League with Gary as the treasurer of the youth league itself and of the Cy Young Festival Committee. Janet plays such a huge role in getting the Cy Young Festival up and running each year. They put an incredible amount of time and effort in to keeping this festival going. And now, they are part of a new group, the board of Cy Young Museum Complex, that is trying to get off the ground. I'm sure that when they're ready, Gary will be the treasurer!
More recently, the couple have been very involved with the Chamber of Commerce, with Gary being treasurer. They have both been awarded as "Member of the Year," and Janet was awarded a special "Helping Hands" award for her contributions. And when Janet found out that no one was doing the Toys for Tots program in Newcomerstown this past season, she jumped right in and took over -- providing toys for over 70 children this holiday season! Honestly, she didn't really know what she should be doing, but that didn't stop her! She recruited a couple of helpers, including Gary, and got the job done.
Gary and Janet have also been involved for many years with the Tri-County Ambulance service, with Janet being the treasurer. And you thought I would say Gary was the treasurer! Well, they are also active members of the Tri-County Auxiliary, and Gary is the treasurer of that organization. If these groups aren't enough, I will add that they both helped out the Newcomerstown Tourism group for a while, and are members of the Newcomerstown Historical Society. Plus, there were a few years that Janet helped out the Cubmaster of the local Scout pack when needed.
I'm sure there are things I've neglected to mention that Gary and Janet have been involved with over the years, but I think it's evident that they have contributed so much of their time to helping out this town, and are always prepared to step up and help when needed. They've never done any of it for praise or self-gain; their only intention is to help make our little town as great as it can be! Gary and Janet are proud of this town, having been here for at least 50 years, and have shown plenty of Trojan spirit! They are truly well-respected citizens of our town, and are even more regarded by their family and friends, particularly their grandchildren, Hannah and Hayley Chaney, Scott and Abbey Neighbor, Nathan Adamik, and their many "adoptive" grandchildren scattered around town! I feel that no one in town deserves this honor any more than this hard-working couple!