Friday, January 06, 2017

The new year’s first alumni lunch

PD Editorial Retirees & Expatriates
Casual unstructured lunch troupe
Gather for lunch on the last Fridays of January,
April, July and October
Spouses and guests always welcome

NEXT LUNCHEON: 12:30 p.m., Friday, January 27, 2017

PLACE: Nighttown, 12383 Cedar Rd., Cleveland. The parking lot is entered from the back and you have to pay with quarters.

We will assemble on the heated patio and order from the menu.

RSVP by Tuesday, January 24, 2017.
Janet French (216) 221-2318 or email

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Van Dillard? Dead or Alive?

We got this email from a Canadian:
I’m a retired journalism prof in Ottawa. I am trying to locate biographical information about Van Dillard, a photographer with the Cleveland Press before its demise, and the first black journalist at a Cleveland daily newspaper. 
I knew Van briefly in the summer 1968 when I was a student intern at the Press. We worked on some assignments together. I would be delighted to know where he ended up when the Press closed. If he is still alive he would be pushing 80, I would think.
It occurred to me someone at the PD might be able to help me. And maybe a post to your PD alumni blog might stir some memories. I am working on a project about black photographers in the 1960s who were pioneers and chronicled the US civil rights movement.
Thank you for your consideration of this request.
Jeff Sallot

613 824-6401

Jeff Sallot
Mobile in Canada 613 668-6412

If anyone knows anything, give him a call.  or email.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Two PD veterans die

Harry Stainer, 86, and Jake Rosenheim, 80, both died recently. Harry was a  long time reporter. He     used to work on Saturdays and would come up scoops from Mayor Perk.  Jake had been a copy editor, makeup editor,  and promotion direction .

Here are the death notices from The Plain Dealer.

Jake Rosenheim: age 80, beloved husband of Virginia (nee Sihto) for 59 years. Loving father of Maureen Schoen and Claudia Anastasopoulos (George). Dear grandfather of Amanda Schoen Williams (Drake), Joshua Schoen and Gabriella, Alexandria and Leo Anastasopoulos. Brother of the late Sidney Barger and uncle to Jeffrey and Janet Barger. Jake was born in Cleveland, Ohio, attended East High School and went to Fenn College before graduating from Cleveland State University. He worked for the Plain Dealer in the sports department, promotions director and finished his career as the IT coordinator. Jake was an avid Cleveland Indians fan and attended the 1948 World Series with his mother and enjoyed going to games this past year and the run to the World Series. Memorial service to be held Saturday, November 19 at 3:00 pm at St. Barnabas Church, 29230 Wolf Rd, Bay Village. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association , 4500 Rockside Road, Suite 440, Independence, 44131 or National Kidney Foundation , P.O. Box 40544, Bay Village, 44140.

Harry Stainer: Age 86, passed away November 2, 2016 in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. He was born March 21, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Stainer was an investigative reporter for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He was a U.S. Army veteran who served in the Korean War. He also helped to plant forests in Idaho. He was a very avid gardener who had extensive gardens in Ohio. In recent years he spent his time with family and friends growing fresh vegetables and beautiful flowers in Massachusetts. Survivors are his daughter, Abigail (Peter) Thomsen; step-grandson, Matthew Thomsen; niece and nephew, Louise (Stephen Gleicher) Unell and Alan (Vokouhi) Unell, his cherished care-giver, June Jenkins, and his beloved cat, Nickle. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth and parents, Rebecca and Abraham Stainer. Graveside service will be held 2 p.m. Monday at Mentor Cemetery, in Section 22. Arrangements entrusted to the Brunner Sanden Deitrick Funeral Home & Cremation Center 8466 Mentor Ave., Mentor, OH 44060. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research . Please offer condolences at
Published in The Plain Dealer from Nov. 4 to Nov. 6, 2016

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Next Alumni lunch Oct.28

PD Editorial Retirees & Expatriates
Casual unstructured lunch troupe
Gather for lunch on the last Fridays of January,
April, July and October
Spouses and guests always welcome

NEXT LUNCHEON: Noon, Friday, October 28, 2016

PLACE: Market Garden Brewery, 1947 West 25 Street, Cleveland. Parking behind restaurant.

MENU: Can order from the menu with separate checks.
RSVP by Tuesday, October 25, 2016.
Jo Ann Pallant (440) 734-1923 or email
or Janet French (216) 221-2318 or email

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Steve Esrati, 89, dies

Former PD Reporter Tom Quinn, now living in Dayton, reports that former PD copy editor Stephen G. Esrati died Aug 18 in Dayton.
Steve’s  son, David, sent along a link to his father’s self-prepared obituary.

Here’s the link:

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Garden editor Irma Bartel Dugan dies

Long time PD garden editor Irma Bartel Dugan died Thursday, July 28, 2016. She was garden editor from 1958 to 1988.

According to the Collinwood High School Alumni Association, Irma Dugan was recognized  for her horticultural achievements from the Garden Club of America, Cleveland Botanical Gardens (formerly known as the Garden Center of Greater Cleveland), and the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association.
Mrs. Dugan was named an Honorary Member of the lnternational Society of Arboriculture, and a Fellow of the Garden Writers Association of America.
She originated the garden touring program for the Cleveland Botanical Gardens and  escorted tours for twenty years, visiting more than twenty-four countries.
She was on the Board of Trustees of Holden Arboretum. She graduated from Collinwood in 1950.

Survivors include her daughter Carol Haueis; stepsons Gary Dugan (Jan), Tom Dugan (Sharon) , late  stepdaughter Patricia Steinfurth (Glenn), and eight grandchildren and eight  great-grandchildren. She was married in 1986  to David R. Dugan, who died in 1993. 

 Memorial contributions may be made to St. Thomas Lutheran Church, 21211 Detroit Rd., Rocky River, OH 44116 or to Judson Park, 2181 Ambleside Dr., Cleveland, OH 44106. An hour of fellowship will be held in the parlor of St. Thomas Lutheran Church on Saturday, August 6, 2016 at 10 a.m. followed by a Memorial Service at 11 a.m. with Rev. Eric Van Scyoc officiating. The family would like to invite everyone to a luncheon reception afterwards at the church. Private interment at Crown Hill Memorial Park in Twinsburg. Arrangements by BUSCH FUNERAL HOME, 21369 CENTER RIDGE RD., FAIRVIEW PARK, OHIO. 440-333-9774 -

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Chris Pett-Ridge dies

People may  remember  Chris Pett-Ridge as one of several Englishmen who worked at The Plain Dealer in the early 60s and 70s.  Chris, 71, has died of  melanoma.

At the PD, he was a reporter, editor and graphic designer. He left the PD in 1985  and went to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he was in charge of Page 1 design.

 Here’s the obit from the Post-Gazette: 

Affable, energetic and erudite, Christopher Pett-Ridge found his life's work in newspapering and a lifetime of pleasure in travel, running, reading and family.
For nearly 25 years, he designed the face of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with the self-described mission of turning out a front page that was both elegant and serious. Even as late news on tight deadlines developed, he succeeded always on both counts, remaining calm and focused while creating a crisp presentation of the day's top stories.
He was so wedded to the daily drama of producing a newspaper that after his retirement in 2009, he chose to continue working a day a week, and did so until mid-May.
Mr. Pett-Ridge, of McCandless, died Friday of melanoma that was diagnosed in late October. He was 71.
Long-time, now-retired senior news editor David Michelmore, who worked side by side with Mr. Pett-Ridge for 15 years putting the Post-Gazette together at night, remembers his colleague, and occasional hiking partner, fondly:
"We used to joke that he was pictures and I was words. It wasn't that clear. I leaned on him to check my news judgment, to tell me when headlines didn't make sense, and to speak up when stories just bored him, which was often. He was a true friend. No matter how we differed or how cranky I had become as the night wore on or how much I teased him, we never put the paper to bed angry. "
Mr. Pett-Ridge's route to Pittsburgh was a colorful one, beginning the day he was born in London on Sept. 9, 1944, smack in the middle of Hitler's V-2 missile assault on the city in the waning days of WWII.
His father was a colonel in the British Army and in the field at the time, his mother a homemaker with an older son. Mr. Pett-Ridge worked his way through the English school system until his last year of high school,  which he spent as an English Speaking Union exchange student at Tabor Academy, a private boarding school in Marion, Mass.
Among his escapades that year, besides occasionally studying, were participating in a sailing competition between Newport, R.I., and Bermuda and hitchhiking cross-country to the Seattle World's Fair. Most importantly, he would tell friends, during that time he met his roommate's sister, Jean Cherry, on a blind date that took them to New York City to see "West Side Story." They married five years later.
His newspaper career began with a three-year writing apprenticeship for a small weekly paper in England. After emigrating to the United States in 1966, he went to work for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, then served a two-year stint in the U.S. Army, became a citizen and returned to the Plain Dealer in 1971. There, he moved from writing to graphic design.
By the time he joined the Post-Gazette in 1985 his talent for integrating important news into smart page design was undeniable, and, even during a period when the paper was doing little hiring, irresistible. He was put in charge of defining the look of the newspaper, and influenced a generation of page designers, artists and photographers in the process.
“His work reflected the very best in both British and American newspaper design,” said John Robinson Block, the Post-Gazette’s publisher and editor in chief. “But the greatest thing was that he was a gentleman, and it was a pleasure to know him.”
As busy and devoted as he was at work, Mr. Pett-Ridge lived a life in full outside of it.
He and Jean raised two daughters, Jennifer and Julie, both now accomplished research scientists who live on the West Coast. Mr. Pett-Ridge attributed their path to achievement to his wife's smarts and parenting skills but his involvement and pride in his daughters' lives from childhood on were evident to all who knew him.
Julie said her father had a talent for plotting all manner of family adventures, some with more twists than others. In particular, she remembers a 30-mile "Mad Dash" across Glacier National Park to catch a boat and long rambling hikes along the Pembrokeshire Coast of Wales "when we mis-estimated when the tide was coming in or when the last bus came around."
For Jennifer, her father's love of good writing was a constant and an inspiration. She would turn to him for his opinion and edits from the time she was a young student working on her school newspapers to the scientific writing she does now. He was also a creative, funny writer, she said, whether it was the few lines he'd pen on her birthday cards, his longhand letters to faraway relatives, or the first chapter he wrote for a group novel his and Jean's book club started — and never finished — years ago.
"I don't think any of the other couples ever wrote another chapter, because they couldn't match the style nor the quality," she said.
An insatiable reader, Mr. Pett-Ridge took in three newspapers a day, a book or two a week, a dozen magazines a month, none of the going simple or light. Then there was the biking, hiking, camping and especially the rowing and running.
For much of the time he worked at the Post-Gazette, Mr. Pett-Ridge would leave his job around midnight, go home and catch a couple hours of sleep then show up at dawn for training at the Three Rivers Rowing Association's base on Washington's Landing, where he competed in the masters rowing program for more than 20 years.
He also completed 20 marathons and in recent years ran three ultra marathons in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, the last one at age 69, making him the oldest runner on the snow--and-sleet-covered course. His prizes that day were getting his name on the Kepler Challenge trophy as well as receiving a tent, which he promptly re-gifted to a race volunteer.
Despite his interest in recreational athletics and his 30 years in the City of Champions, he remained indifferent to American professional team sports. Post-Gazette Executive Editor David Shribman remembers stopping in the office in February 2006 when Mr. Pett-Ridge was designing the front page for the Steelers' Super Bowl appearance that year. Across the top of the page, he had placed a score: Steelers 21, Sea Dogs 10."
"Chris, who knew so much about so many things, was oblivious to the fact that the Steelers were playing the Seahawks," said Mr. Shribman. "It was probably the only thing he did not know. He was a sharp editor and the warmest, most utterly loyal and generous of friends. It is impossible to think of Pittsburgh or the Post-Gazette without him — and the wisdom he applied to the smallest things along with the biggest things."
Besides his wife and daughters he is survived by two sons-in-law and four young granddaughters.
At his insistence, Mr. Pett-Ridge's family will mark his passing with a get-together for friends and family at a future date at their home, the celebration inspired by a favorite Tennyson poem: "May there be no moaning of the bar, When I put out to sea."
The family suggests memorial donations be made to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, where Mr. Pett-Ridge volunteered for many years.
Susan Smith: or 412-263-1858.

Next PD alumni luncheon July 29

Next luncheon: Noon, Friday July 29.
Place: Kumo Japanese Seafood Buffet, 1975 Snow Rd., Parma, across the street from Midtown Mall. 
Take I-480 to State Road. Go south to Snow Rd., 
Turn left (east). 
Just past the Parma library, Enter the parking lot south of Snow.  
Kumo is on the south side of the lot. 
We have requested the private room again.
Menu: Japanese and Chinese food, from dim sum and sushi to teriyaki and tempura. Also ice cream.
Special price for those sumptuous choices: $7.99. Beverage extra.

RSVP by Tuesday, July 26.
JoAnn Pallant (440) 734-1923 or email
or Janet French (216) 221-2318 or email