WHAT DO a veteran firefighter, a master photographer and a well-known scientist have in common?
Following the City of Martins Ferry's Hall of Honor induction ceremony Sunday afternoon, the trio can call themselves members of that hallowed Hall.
Howard Grayson, Jay Stock and Dr. Theodore Krontiris are the latest trio to join the coveted group.
T-L Photo/KIM NORTH
MARTINS FERRY’S Hall of Honor grew by three people Sunday with the induction of Howard Grayson, Jay Stock and Dr. Theodore Krontiris. Pictured, front row from left, are Sue Krontiris, Dr. Krontiris’ wife; Krontiris; Stock; Margi Roberts, Grayson’s daughter; and Amy Vavrock, Grayson’s granddaughter. Back row, from left, are Krontiris’ daughters Charlotte, Lizzie and Kate; Stock’s daughters Lorlean, Andrea and Georgette; Aunt Betty Bartosek and Grayson’s great grandson Matthew and Grayson’s grandson Mike. See image at cu.timesleaderonline.com
With their inductions, that brings the total number of members to 24. This was the fourth class.
They were introduced during a gala ceremony in the Martins Ferry High School Cafetorium.
Stock and Krontiris accepted their plaques, while Grayson, who passed away in 2006, has his presented to his daughter, Margi.
"This is a great class," Hall of Honor Committee Chairman Tom Thomas told the large gathering. "We have a great committee, but our hardest job is deciding who to induct each year."
And, according to all accounts, he truly was.
Grayson was born in the Purple City in 1913 and graduated from Martins Ferry High School in 1931. At the time of his death he was the oldest, active firefighter in the state of Ohio. He was a member of the Ladder Company for 70 years and worked for more than 50 years as a painting contractor in his hometown and also served on various civic organizations, including the Martins Ferry Rotary Club where he achieved perfect attendance for 55 years. The Rotarian of the Year award is re-named for him.
Grayson also served on many city government boards and commissions.
In addition to Vavrock, firefighter Terry Wildman also reminisced about his friend and colleague.
"He was a dedicated fireman," Wildman said.
Grayson was presented by Linda Myers.
"I was sort of dumfounded when I was notified of this honor," Stock recalled. "I would like to thank the committee for allowing me to be inducted into this Hall along with my good friend Howard and Dr. Krontiris. This is a great honor."
Stock was the first to have his work displayed in the United States Capitol. A Fellow in the British Institute of Professional Photography, American Society of Photographers and Royal Society of Arts, he is a Master and Photographic Craftsman, Professional Photographers of America; a member of the Photographic Hall of Fame; and recipient of the American Society of Professional Photographers International Award.
He explained that he fell in love with photography at the age of 14. He then worked 14 years in the coal mining and railroad industries while deciding on how to establish his business.
Richard Hord, of the HOH Committee, presented Stock. He related a story about Stock. "I was told that whenever someone would ask Jay what his favorite photo was, he would always answer, 'the one I'm taking today.'"
"I was flabbergasted when I received my notification letter," he noted. "This is a wonderful gift you've given me. Actually two gifts," he continued. "In addition to induction into the Hall of Honor, you've also given me the gift of remembrance.
"I have great memories of my time in Martins Ferry and the Ohio Valley," he added. "And in almost every memory, there is a hill or mountain involved."
But it is work that has brought him prominence around the world.
After graduating from Martins Ferry High School in 1964 as the class valedictorian, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from the University of Chicago and then his Masters and Ph.D. at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. In 1982 he joined the staff at Tufts University School of Medicine.
Fourteen years later, he went to work at the City of Hope in California where he held several positions until being named Director Emeritus of the Cancer Center in 2008.
He has conducted medical research for 40 years in molecular mechanisms giving rise to cancer. He and his colleagues were the first to identify a gene family activated in human tumors and conducted the first large genetic studies on the inherited risk of human cancer.
He was presented by Lois Suriano.
Presenting the colors prior to the ceremony was Boy Scout Troop No. 62 of the Martins Ferry United Methodist Church. The Martins Ferry High School chorus provided the national anthem and school alma mater. The Rev. James Agnew gave the invocation, while Mayor Phil Wallace welcomed everyone.
Plaques honoring the inductees can be viewed at the Martins Ferry Public Library on South Fifth Street.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org