Bridgeport Alumni Association Hall of Fame grows

BRIDGEPORT — Five individuals were inducted into the Bridgeport Alumni Association Hall of Fame during the alumni banquet Saturday night at The Skyliner.

The Class of 2019 includes Sam Lofton Sr., James Krob, Ray Cook, Col. Bruce Johnston and Mark Thompson.

Alumni Weekend got underway Friday with the 21st annual Niekro Classic golf tournament at Belmont Hills Country Club. The sixth annual Alumni Social was held later that night in the upstairs ballroom of the event center.

A brief capsule of each honoree follows:

∫ LOFTON SR., Class of 1941, was born on Patterson Run in Brookside in the eighth month of his mother’s pregnancy. The attending physician said he would return at dawn to bury him as he didn’t expect the child to survive. But survive he did.

A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he participated in five major battles and received numerous decorations. He was awarded the Purple Heart twice and the Bronze Star with an Oak Leaf cluster.

He was known for many years throughout the Bridgeport area as the “milkman.” He worked for Krob Dairy Co. in Lansing and other dairy companies.

He and his wife, Sarah Virginia Mozingo, had two children — Samuel Jr. and Danny. Lofton Sr. died in 2008 at age 87.

∫ KROB, Class of 1947, was born on his family’s farm on Chermont Road. He was the second of three children.

He is most widely known for running the Jos. Krob Dairy in Lansing. He started delivering milk when he was 10. Krob Dairy processed local farmers’ milk until 1976, made daily home deliveries until 1992 and supplied Bridgeport schools until 1993.

Krob Dairy had a long relationship with Bridgeport schools, beginning in 1946. After taking the street car to school for the first couple of years, he came of age to drive. However, along with that came responsibility. His father, Joe, would deliver glass half-pint bottles to school every day, and Jim would collect and bring the empty bottles home so they could be run through the bottle washer and refilled.

He and his wife had four children — Christina, James, Robert and Nancy. Jim will celebrate his 90th birthday in a couple of weeks.

∫ COOK, Class of 1953, was born in Lansing and attended Lansing Elementary School. He was also graduated from Kent State University in 1957 with a degree in education.

His education career provided an opportunity to serve as a teacher, high school principal, superintendent of schools and member of the Ohio Department of Education. After his retirement from public education, he served for nearly 20 years as the director of state and federal government programs in the Department of Education of the Catholic Conference of Ohio.

Ray and his wife, Dorothy, had four children — Ray, Sheri, Kimberly and Robert. They reside in the Columbus area.

∫ JOHNSTON, Class of 1969, was born in Wheeling but spent most of his younger years in Sunset Heights, where his family resided for 46 years.

He received a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1973 and received his commission as second lieutenant that same year. From 1986-1990 he served on the staff of the Headquarters of the United States Air Force in the Pentagon managing multi-million dollar contracts for research in personnel policy.

In 1990, he became commander of the 3700th Contracting Squadron at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Under his command, it was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. He retired in 1997 after commanding the 440-person Logistics Group.

He and his wife, retired Col. Valerie Johnston, reside in San Antonio, Texas. They are the parents of two children — Matthew and Jennifer.

∫ THOMPSON, Class of 1969, was a member of the highly successful athletic teams of that year.

He attended William & Mary College before transferring to Ohio University. He also attended law school at Northwestern University, where he was awarded a juris doctor with honors in 1976. He subsequently moved to Boise, Idaho, to accept a position with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office.

After a brief tenure as a magistrate judge, Thompson accepted a position as in-house counsel with Boise-based JR Simplot Co., a large multi-national agricultural conglomerate. He remained there for 25 years. His work allowed him travel extensively and he visited more than 40 different countries.

Mark and his wife, Laura, divide their time between Boise and McCall, Idaho. Their family includes Mark’s three adult children and Laura’s three teenagers from previous marriages.

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