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Meet The 2015 Dayton Regional Walk Of Fame Inductees

The Dayton Walk of Fame is located in the Wright-Dunbar Business District
courtesy of the Wright-Dunbar Business District
The Dayton Walk of Fame is located in the Wright-Dunbar Business District

Since Dayton’s bicentennial celebration in 1996, 156 individuals have been inducted into the city’s Walk of Fame. They have been recognized for their personal and professional contributions to science, technology, the arts, education, medicine and many other fields. Five of those individuals were just inducted in September. At a ceremony at Sinclair Community College, WYSO had the chance to talk to some of the inductees and their family members.

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Credit Dayton Walk of Fame

Eugene Edward “Snooky” Young, Jr. was born into a musical family in 1919. He played first trumpet with the Dunbar High School Band and with the Wilberforce Collegiate Band at the same time. Throughout his life he played in bands with Chick Carter, Jimmie Lunceford, Les Hite, Benny Carter, Gerald Wilson, and Count Basie—and then he joined the Doc Severinsen Band for a 30 year stint on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. In 2009, Young was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. He died in 2011. At the Walk of Fame ceremony, his granddaughter, Toi Lyn Everheart told us the hometown honor was something Young would have cherished.

Gerald (Jerry) Sharkey was born in 1942 and is often called “The Father of the National Park in Dayton”.  In the 1980’s it was his idea to develop a national park honoring the Wright brothers. Once the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park was created, Sharkey became the first president of the Dayton Aviation Heritage Commission.

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Credit Dayton Walk of Fame

Sharkey was paramount in the formation of Aviation Trail, Inc., the first organization founded to recognize Dayton’s role in aviation.  Here’s Judge Walter Rice paying tribute to Sharkey in the video introduction at the Walk of Fame ceremony. In addition to his work with the city of Dayton, Sharkey was a teacher at Carroll High School and was once named Teacher of the Year for his work with students. 

Like Sharkey, Zoe Dell Nutter was a big proponent of promoting Dayton’s aviation heritage. Born in Oregon in 1915, she moved to Dayton 50 years ago when she married Ervin Nutter, owner of Elano Corporation.

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Credit Dayton Walk of Fame

After giving up a career in ballet, Zoe Dell played major rolls in the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, and then the World’s Fair in Brussels, the Century 21 Exposition at Seattle and the New York World’s Fair. An illness kept Zoe Dell from attending the inductee ceremony, but her granddaughter, Katie McCallum, says promoting pilot safety and encouraging women to become pilots were much of the focus of her long career.

Bob Schul was born in 1937 and raised on his family farm in West Milton.  In 1964, he was a member of the United States Olympic Track Team during the 18th Summer Olympiad in Tokyo. Schul is the only American to win the Olympic Gold Medal in the 5000‐meter race.  Listen to that moment in history, here.

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Credit Dayton Walk of Fame

His competitive career also included setting four different American race records and a world record in the 2‐mile race. In 1973, he started the cross‐country team at Wright State University where he remained the track coach for over 30 years. He taught in the Dayton Public School system, coached cross‐country at Brookville, Centerville and Wayne, and ran the Bob Schul Racing team.

Dayton native Keith Harrison is a Grammy Award winning songwriter, keyboardist and vocalist—and a lifelong resident of the Miami Valley. He’s played with numerous bands including Faze‐0, The Ohio Players, Heatwave, and Dazz Band. It was during Harrison's time with the latter band that he won a Grammy Award. 

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Credit Dayton Walk of Fame

Harrison founded the first Public Housing Choir in 1994 for the Dayton Metropolitan Housing Authority. The choir was invited to sing at President’s Park in Washington, DC and was recognized in 1997 for its outstanding work by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.

You can visit the Dayton Regional Walk of Fame along the sidewalks of West Third Street between Shannon and Broadway Streets in the historic Wright-Dunbar Business District. You can also visit the homes of Dayton’s most famous residents, Orville and Wilbur Wright, and Paul Laurence Dunbar and of course start your visit at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park to pick up your walking brochure and get directions to other historical sites.