PEMBERVILLE — The Eastwood Alumni Association has announced the Eagle Way Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
Tickets to the Sept. 25 Hall of Fame banquet, to be held at the Pemberville American Legion, can be purchased at the Pemberville Library, Eastwood High School, or from Betty Kahlenberg, Marcia Cousino, Mike Godfrey, Joyce Brinker and Janell Vickers.
Tickets for either the chicken dinner or steak dinner are $25 and can be purchased at the Pemberville Library, Eastwood High School, or from any Eastwood Alumni board member. More information can be found on the Eastwoodschools.org/alumni.
This year’s four honorees are Michelle Kahlenberg, James R. Opelt, Jim Welling and the Bob Frobose family.
Kahlenberg is a 1994 graduate of Eastwood High School. She grew up on a farm located on Sugar Ridge Road and learned the value of hard work from her parents, John and Betty. The variety of activities she was able to participate in during her time at Eastwood — including musicals, volleyball, basketball and track — taught her the importance of finding time to do what you enjoy and the value of teamwork and mentorship.
Kahlenberg was valedictorian of her high school class. She completed her undergraduate education at Denison University, where she majored in biology; she graduated summa cum laude and as class valedictorian in 1998. She attended Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine where she earned her M.D. and Ph.D. in molecular mechanisms of disease. Following graduate studies, she trained in internal medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland and then pursued a fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Michigan.
She joined the UM faculty in 2011, was appointed assistant professor in 2012, and was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2018. Kahlenberg has been running her own laboratory and participating as an active member of the Immunology Training Program since 2013.
She enjoys organic gardening and working on her own family farm, EMMA Acres, run by her husband, Mark, and spending time with her husband and children, Adyn and Emerson.
Opelt grew up in Pemberville, graduating in 1971. He was active in band and chorus, and was Fagin in “Oliver” and starred in “Our Town.” He was the drum major (plus played the flute), leading marching band onto the football field at halftime and through numerous parade routes, including the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington, D.C., and the Neil Armstrong Homecoming Parade in Wapakoneta.
After graduating, he contacted the Ohio Air National Guard in Toledo. He was offered a position in the 555th Air National Guard band for the next six years. He traveled to various locations in and around Ohio with the band to conduct ceremonial concerts and dedications.
Opelt graduated from Bowling Green State University with a bachelor of science degrees in speech, drama and journalism education. He also attained a master’s degree in theater and media arts from the University of Kansas in 1988.
He was selected BGSU’s Outstanding Speech Teacher In 1985.
He taught at Clyde High School from 1976-81, at Gardner-Edgerton High School, Gardner, Kansas, from 1981-87, and at Olathe South High School, Olathe, Kansas, from 1987-2002.
He wrote the book, “Organizing and Managing the High School Theater Program,” (published in 1991), which was sold throughout the U.S., Canada, and several countries, and ‘Zombie Jamboree: the Party Continues’ (unpublished musical) in 1995.
Opelt was Pemberville may for eight years and served on council. He was chairman of the Pemberville Free Fair Parade for seven years; member of the Pemberville Opera House Guild; and trustee for the Pemberville-Freedom Historical Society, as well as church choir director and organist.
Opelt died Sept. 23, 2020.
Welling is the son of Russell “Barney” and Jane Welling. Raised in Luckey, he has been married 33 years to Susan and has raised three children, Chad, Megan and Brooke.
He lettered in basketball, baseball and golf as a co-captain, and was on student council, Eagles Eye staff, music cast and crew, and mixed chorus while at Eastwood. After graduation he started his basketball coaching career at Eastwood Junior High for two years, which included an undefeated seventh grade championship.
He earned an associate degree at Owens Community College while playing basketball and at that time held the all-time assist record. Welling became an assistant coach before taking charge of the program. He earned a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education at the University of Toledo.
Welling is the winningest men’s basketball coach in Owens history with a record of 550-127 (81.2%). As the head coach from 1986-2006, his teams won back-to-back titles as National Junior College Athletic Association Division II National Championships in 1992 and 1993. He also led the Express to a national second and third-place finishes from 1993-2000. His teams won 20 games in 19 of his 20 seasons, including winning 30 games in those nine seasons. He was named OCCAC Coach of the Year eight times, and Region XII Coach of the Year seven times. He was honored by his peers as National Coach of the Year twice.
Following his time at Owens, he was named head coach at Central Catholic High School in Toledo from 2008-14. In 2010 he led the team to its first Toledo City League Championship since 1968. The following season his team won the first regional and had the first Final Four state appearance since 1947. He guided the Irish to three 3 Rivers titles and five sectional championships with a record of 111-30 (78.7%) in six seasons.
Since being honored as National Coach of the Year twice, Welling was voted into the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was inducted into Owens Community College Hall of Fame in 2019 and Central Catholic’s Hall of Fame in 2020.
Frobose was born on March 10, 1953 to Loren and Ruth Frobose and is the youngest of seven children. He attended Webster Elementary School, Eastwood Junior High and graduated in 1971 from the high school.
In high school Frobose participated in basketball, cross country and band.
After high school, Tom Meyer offered him an apprenticeship with Latham’s Markets. He started working in Clyde and learned the meat cutting trade from Lowell Frobose. Over the years he has worked in 17 different locations in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. He worked in management in numerous locations and then was offered the meat supervisor position from Miller’s Markets based in LaGrange, Indiana. The meat supervisor position was in charge of 10 stores in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana. While working for Millers Market he was instrumental in creating the Certified Hereford Beef Program as a National Brand.
In July of 1999, he and his wife, Elaine, purchased Perkins’s meat locker and purchased Pemberville IGA in October 2012 and Pemberville Carryout in 2017,
In 2015 they were awarded the IGA retailer of the year out of 275 stores.
Frobose has been past President of Wood County Beef producers, founding member of Great Lake Family Farms, a beef co-op that markets all-natural beef to Whole Foods and other markets. He has been on Webster Township Zoning Board and board of appeals. Bob is a board member of the Eastwood Community Improvement Corporation.
The Frobose family are Honorary Eastwood FFA members. In 2014, they were honored with the Wood County Beef Producers award.
The family are lifelong members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in New Rochester. Bob and Elaine Frobose met at church and were married in 1975. Elaine graduated from Elmwood High School in 1973.
They have four children that are all Eastwood graduates.
Benjamin Loren is a 1997 graduate. He was a member of Eastwood FFA and served as vice president. Ben earned his State FFA degree and then his American FFA degree in 1998. He played basketball all four years. He was a member of the 1996-97 championship team. He graduated from Owens with a degree in agribusiness management. Ben and Brianne married in August 2005. They have three sons, William Robert, Henry Eugene and Prescott Jacob. Ben has been “Dr. Bratwurst” and chief operation officer at Frobose Meat Locker.
Jacob Robert is a 1999 graduate and is an Eastwood FFA member. During high school, He played varsity baseball and football. After graduation, he went joined the family business. In 2009 when the family purchased the IGA, Jacob managed the store full time. In 2015 Laurel Grocery named him the Manager of the Year with the family receiving the Retailer of the Year award. Jacob also manages the Pemberville Carryout. Jacob and Dana married in 2006 at St. Paul Lutheran Church. They have three children, Lauren Jo, Nathan William and Adison Ann.
Abigail Ann graduated in 2007 from Eastwood. She played varsity soccer. In October 2015 Abby and Buster Wilcox were married at St. Paul. They have three children, Molly Jane, Eve Grace and Lucas John.
Zachary James graduated from Eastwood in 2009. He played football and basketball and received the American Degree in FFA. In 2011 Zach graduated from Ohio State University/ATI with a degree in agriculture commerce. In April 2016, Zach married Stephanie (Hankish) Frobose. He works as the produce manager and helps at both the IGA and the meat locker.