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2019 Hall of Honor to induct four more

From Staff Reports

MARTINS FERRY — Four more people will be inducted into the Martins Ferry Hall of Honor during a ceremony set for 2 p.m. April 7 at Martins Ferry High School.

The Class of 2019 includes Frank Fregiato, Larry Deaton, Loann Woods Crane and the late Thomas E. Ayers.

All four inductees are known for their great contributions to their communities. They have given of their time, their money and themselves, those making the selections said.

Longtime Belmont County Common Pleas Judge Frank Fregiato is a top 5 percent graduate of Ohio State University Law School, where he served as editor of the Law Journal and achieved Order of Coif honors. In undergraduate studies at OSU, where he received his bachelor’s degree, he achieved Phi Beta Kappa and political science honors.

Fregiato created Live High School Court, the only program of its kind where court was conducted before the students. He conducts a successful Drug Court and spearheads a car show festival to raise funds for drug free concepts in Belmont County Schools.

He is active in community affairs, is a pasta waiter with the Sons of Italy, is a certified personal trainer and publishes a classic car column in international car magazines. His wife, Cynthia, is the Belmont County clerk of courts.

Larry Deaton is a lifetime resident of Martins Ferry since 1945. He married his high school sweetheart, Sylvia Ritchey Deaton, in 1964. March 8 was their 55th anniversary.

Their children include Teresa Taylor and William Deaton. Grandchildren include Ethan, Rebecca, Colin, Andrew and Donovan.

Deaton is a member of First United Methodist Church in Martins Ferry, Masonic Lodge 486 for 32 years, Purple Rider Booster Club for 50 years and the Elks Lodge for 27 years.

He worked for 37 years at Weirton Steel Corp., 15 years as an electrician for the city of Martins Ferry and two years as a bus driver for Martins Ferry City Schools. He was on the Martins Ferry Park District Board for 17 years. He could frequently be seen cutting grass at the parks, painting portions of the city’s Rec Center and working to get the city’s public swimming pool ready for the summer.

Deaton also served as a wrestling official for 52 years in Ohio and West Virginia, working high school state tournaments in Ohio and West Virginia and college nationals.

Deaton was a Martins Ferry school board member from 1990-94. His awards include include Martins Ferry High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1989; OVAC Mr. Mat in 1992; Ohio Wrestling Officials Hall of Fame Charter Member in 1994; OVAC renamed its coaches’ official of the year to Larry Deaton’s Official of the Year; OHSSA Hall of Fame in 2004; National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Ohio Chapter 2016 and Martins Ferry School Wall of Fame in 2018. Deaton wrestled for Martins Ferry High and was a four-year starter. He was an OVAC and district champion. He also was a three-year starter on the football team.

The late Thomas E. Ayers was the retired president and owner/operator of Ayers Limestone Quarry Inc., Martins Ferry.

He died on March 18, 2018. He was born July 22, 1929, in Blaine, a son of the late Thomas E. and Delore (Teilhet) Ayers.

He was a life member of the American Legion Post 38 and Martins Ferry Library Board, also a member of the Chimney Club, Ohio City Lodge 486 F&AM, former Peoples Bank Board, Colerain V.F.W. Post 8848 and Friends of NRA. Ayers was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

Ayers donated the land upon which the Martins Ferry City School District’s current campus was built 10 years ago. The district’s elementary school is named after his daughter Anna, who died years ago. The campus also includes a combination middle-high school building, ball fields and a track and field.

Loann Woods Crane was born in Martins Ferry on May 25, 1925. She now resides in Columbus, Ohio. She received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University. She is director of the Crane Group Co.

Crane is a dedicated philanthropist and supporter of the arts and equality in Ohio. She helped found the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio and has greatly impacted the Columbus community through her work. Additionally, she has a demonstrated knowledge and appreciation of art and design that led her to support not only a wide array of artists, but also the Columbus College of Art and Design.

Her current community activities include chairwoman of the Columbus Arts Endowment, Greater Columbus Arts Council’s board of trustees past chairwoman, the OSU College of Art and Science Council member, director of the Ohio State University Foundation, Enterprise Works Board of Trustees member, Columbus Cultural Trust Corporation secretary-treasurer, United Way Planned Giving director, and Franklin County Education Council board of trustees member.

Her past activities include co-founder and co-director of Call for Action, WBNS-TV; co-director for Six on Your Side, WSYX-TV; Columbus Museum of Art Docent Council president; West Side and Ohio Avenue Day Care Centers trustee; First Community Church Governing Board member; Marburn Academy trustee; Pro Musica trustee; Columbus Cancer Clinic board of trustees member; Columbus College of Art and Design board of trustees past chairwoman; Upper Arlington School Board president; the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio board of trustees member; Northwest Woman of the Year Award Upper Arlington Rotary, 1978; Humanitarian Award Temple Israel, 1986; Citizen of the Year, Award Upper Arlington Chamber of Commerce, 1986; OSU Outstanding Volunteer (Gerlach Award), 1996; Columbus College of Art and Design, Friend of CCAD Alumni, 1996; National Society of Fundraising Executives, Outstanding Philanthropist, 1997; Distinguished Services Award, OSU, 1999; Ohio Arts Council, Governor’s Award for Philanthropy, 2002; Humanitarian of the Year Award, American Red Cross of Central Ohio, 2002; United Way, Alexis de Tocqueville Award, 2002; Democracy in Action Award, League of Woman Voters, 2004; Heritage Award for Caring, 2008; Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame, 2008; YWCA Lifetime Achievement, 2011; Fire and Focus Award, 2008; Allies for Equality Honorary Chair, 2008; Breathing Association Humanitarian Award, 2009; and Columbus Public Library Celebration of Learning Award, 2006.

She married Robert S. Crane Jr. and they had four children together. He died in 1992.

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