Lifetime Achievement Recognition Awards
The Cleveland Hiking Club honors those members of the club living and deceased who have provided long-term service to the club in areas including: leadership roles, committee membership, support to major projects, long-term support service to key events of the club, and/or mileage attainment plateaus. Starting in 2016, the Board of the CHC votes in a few members whose achievements and contributions are deserving of special recognition.
Member: 1942 -2001
Lifetime Mileage: 14,478 miles; 40 mile hikes = 5
Leadership Positions Held: President (1973 & 1974), Vice President (1963, 1964, 1965, 1971, 1972, and 1975), Pathfinder (1947), Secretary (1944, 1945, 1946) and Board Director (1999, 2000, and 2001)
An enthusiasm for learning enabled Emily Schell to rise as a German speaking child to graduate from Hiram College and become Head Dietitian at Charity and Deaconess Hospitals. Born and raised on Cleveland’s west side, Emily’s excitement for nature and people led her to hiking trails and socializing with trail mates. One, Stan Gregor, would become her spouse. She became interested in hiking in Philadelphia while doing her dietetic internship. There she joined the Batona Hiking Club. She looked up the CHC on returning to Cleveland and joined it in 1942. Stan had been a member since 1937 and the two married in 1949. She served the first woman pathfinder in 1947, the same year Stan was president. Emily’s talent for leadership and organization, and her gifts of volunteering benefited not only the CHC but hiking clubs all over the country. Many honors have been heaped upon her, especially for her work with the Buckeye Trail. She has served as vice president of the American Hiking Society and president of the Buckeye Trail Association, and remained active in numerous trail organizations. In 2015, Ken Howard recalled walking the Buckeye Trail with his family, and with Emily as the leader.
Lifetime Mileage: 15,157; 40 mile hikes = 40;
Leadership Positions Held: President (1968-1969); VP (1958-1959; 1966-67); Chief Pathfinder (1949-1950); Trustee (1972 – 1974)
Joe Mayer joined the CHC in 1941 because he wanted exercise. He got that and more. After serving in the Army from 1942-45, Joe became camp chairman, a post he held for over 9 years. His committee would come out to camp every weekend during the summer to keep it in shape or stay there after hikes for relaxation. Joe racked up many miles through the 1950’s and 60’s. He was the first person to log 9,000 miles with the club. Despite moving to Florida with wife Justine in 1970, Joe continued to visit Ohio every May for the 40 mile hike. He completed his 40th forty with the club in 1985. He referred to the club as “the best company I know of.”
Member: 1951 - 1988
Lifetime Mileage: 23,454; 40 mile hikes = 20;
Leadership Positions Held:President (1958-1959 & 1963); Vice-President (1952); Chief Pathfinder (1954-1955 and 1980-1981); Recording Pathfinder (1969 & 1970)
Jay was a member from 1951-1988 and he brought his thoroughness and unassuming nature to bear on numerous leadership roles in the CHC. He retired as head of the literature department at the main library. He was one of the clubs most proficient leaders. Jay was also a superb naturalist. He volunteered in the Botany Department of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and was the first volunteer naturalist for the Cleveland Metroparks. His authority on local flora was renowned, particularly Ohio ferns, on which he authored a book. Heading the club’s Brecksville Trails Committee he saw the mapping and blazing project through to successful completion. Jay rebounded from heart surgery in the 1960’s to accumulate more mileage than anyone before him. The club declared July 3, 1983 “Jay Beswick Sunday” at Camp Onwego to honor Jay for his many contributions and to recognize him as the first member to reach the 20,000 mile pinnacle. He was the first to reach all milestones from 10,000 to 23,000 miles. How appropriate that a man who so enjoyed hiking and nature would pass amidst golden leaves and trail companions on a walk from camp one glorious October morning.
Lifetime Mileage: 51,926; 40 mile hikes =32
Leadership Positions Held:Corresponding Secretary (1970-1980); Vice-President (1989-1994); Board Director (1995-1998); Chair of Outreach Committee
As a child, Louise’s parents passed away at an early age. She raised her younger siblings and steered them on the right path. Frank Cepp was a very active member of the club in the late 1960’s and 70’s and Louise was his secretary. She became a member and the club was never the same. Her wit and playful sarcasm enabled her to say things to people no one else could say and get away with. If a new couple showed up on a hike, the grey-haired Louise would walk up to the man and say “Hi sweetie”. She would then look at the wife/girlfriend and say “and who is this?” Her appetite and metabolism were amazing. She could out eat just about anybody and never gain a pound. Her generosity saw no limit, as she would stay with a fallen hiker and/or go to the hospital with them. She took over can recycling from Don and Wilma Howard and brought it to new heights. The Outreach Committee came out of this. After completing her 32nd 40 mile hike in 2000, her health declined rapidly and she died in July.
Member: 1951/1980 - 2010
Lifetime Mileage: 40,241 miles; 40 mile hikes = 14
Leadership Positions Held:Vice president (1955-1956), Chief Pathfinder (1952-1953), Recording Pathfinder (1984-91), and Board Director (2001-2002)
You never knew what surprises a Walter Lennartz-led hike through a Cleveland neighborhood would bring. You did know that it would be chock full of anecdotes, history, insights and humor. He was always open to stopping along any route and chatting if he came across someone who could provide information about the environs. Walter earned his miles hiking all over the US with the Club. His signature hikes were in Cleveland neighborhoods. “Those are my specialty”, he said. Walter was a talkative leader. In Tremont, his comments might sound something like this, “That’s Lemko Hall. It was the setting for the wedding reception in The Deer Hunter.” Later: “That’s Union Gospel Press building. The woman who worked there...” Walter retired from Ford Motor Company after 37 years. He lived through and participated in the ups and downs of Cleveland’s industrial and commercial fortune and was a repository of information about the companies that are and were Cleveland. His job of quality analyst at Ford took him to vendors across Ohio, further enriching his knowledge and anecdotes on our region. His number-crunching profession also translated well to his voluntary role as the Club’s Recording Pathfinder, calculating and compiling every mileage stat by hand for several prolific years.