ROCKSPRINGS — The Meigs Local Alumni Association honored its 2018 class of Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service award recipients during a pregame ceremony on Friday evening.
The honorees then took part in the annual Reunion on the River parade on Saturday afternoon in Pomeroy, along with other activities throughout the day.
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients were Phillip Moon, Gary Coleman, and Jillian Wilt-Kranyik.
Dave and Jamie Deem were honored with the Distinguished Service Award.
Moon is a graduate of the Class of 1973. He was a founding member of the rock band, “Blitzkrieg” in the mid ‘70’s and remains lead guitarist of that band to this day. He is also a member of the band “Marauder”, as well as being the drummer in the “Renee Stewart Band”. He has enjoyed working with many fine musicians for over 50 years and considers this area to be blessed with so many talented individuals.
Phillip has devoted his life to the performance and promotion of music and the arts in the Meigs Local area. He has donated a considerable amount of time to the Meigs Local Alumni Association through playing annually at the Reunion on the River. He takes great pride in being a Marauder and in the opportunity to make the event a success year after year. He enjoys fostering a creative spark in others as much as he enjoys playing himself. Other local musicians describe him as a kind and gracious mentor, stating that his dedication and encouragement are tireless.
Aside from music, Phillip worked a 27 year career with the Ohio Department of Transportation. Phillip lives along the river in Pomeroy with his wife of ten years, Jane.
Moon performed as part of the musical performances Saturday evening at the Reunion on the River.
Coleman was a 1986 graduate of Meigs High School, as well as a 1991 graduate of Ohio University with a bachelor’s in political science and a Russian minor.
He is an active Freemason, belonging to Middleport and Shade-River Lodges and both the York Rite and Scottish Rite bodies. He is the 2018 Grand Photographer for the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masons of Ohio and has been selected as the 2021 Grand Photographer for the Grand Commandery of the State of Ohio.
He is nationally published, including an image in “Ohio in Photographs” from the Ohio University Press. He was also a finalist in Football Friday Night Magazine’s “Ohio Photographer of the Year.” In 2017, he received the OHSAA Respect the Game State Award for contribution and service by Meigs High School. He has taken images of the football team and band since 2010 from Football Friday Nights to performances in Columbus to Washington D.C. and looks forward to alumni band each year with his fellow alumni field-commanders and band family.
He is married to Tanya, Class of 1983, and father to Shaun and Kassandra, Classes of 2015 and 2020.
Wilt-Kranyik is a graduate of the Class of 2000.
She is a Master Sergeant serving on Active Duty with assignment to the Army Reserve, where she currently provides support as the Retention NCO to the 0779 Engineer Company in Parkersburg, West Virginia, the 0444 Postal Company in Millwood, West Virginia, and the 305th Military Police Company in Big Bend, West Virginia.
After graduating from high school, Wilt-Kranyik joined the U.S. Army in 2002. She has been assigned to numerous units across the United States and was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
She and her husband are owners/operators of the Hitting Barn set to open in the late fall. The facility will be used to give local youth somewhere to practice during the off season.
A graduate of Woodfield University with a bachelor’s degree in business management, Jillian resides in Meigs County with her husband James and three daughters Payton, Kyleigh and Jessa.
Dave and Jamie Deem have both been lifelong residents of Meigs County and are both currently employed by the Meigs Local School District. Jamie is a 1980 graduate from Meigs Local. She began her teaching career at Meigs Local in the fall of 1984 and is currently completing her 35th year as a Meigs Local teacher.
Dave graduated from University of Rio Grande with a degree in Elementary Education and later earned his Master’s Degree from Marshall University in Leadership Studies. He has worked at Meigs Local for 26 years, and has served the past 10 years as the Assistant Principal at the Meigs Middle School. Together the Deems have taught over 1,200 children.
Dave first became a Marauder in the fall of 1991 when Toney Dingess welcomed him as a volunteer band director. This is his 28th year with the Marauder Band Program. Jamie is not only an alumnus of the Marauder Band but has volunteered as the Color Guard Instructor for the past 15 years.
The Deems feel their greatest accomplishment to this day is the raising of their three children Jessica Miller, Michael Blaettnar and Emily Grace Deem. After the loss of their daughter Emily, and along with the help and support of our community, they were able to design and create the Emily Grace Deem Remembrance Park. Emi’s Place continues to provide a place for the families of the community to enjoy time together.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.