Senior Voices: Honoring the Stories of Dayton’s Elders

WYSO, the Dayton Metro Library and local social service agency, Rebuilding Together Dayton, have come together for a very special project. We’ve gathered the memories and wise words of Dayton’s elders for Senior Voices, a new series that is airing throughout 2018.

Along with Dayton Metro Library staff, we trained nearly three dozen area residents to use digital recording equipment to interview local elders. Interviews took place at branch libraries, at selected Lobby Stop locations (Lobby Stop is a sort of book mobile for seniors), community centers, and in the homes of seniors who participated in the Rebuilding Together Dayton Fixit Kit program.

We held three trainings at the DML Northwest branch this summer, and shortly after the new main branch opened in August, the volunteers began gathering stories. The full interviews will be accessible for generations to come at the Dayton Metro Library. At WYSO, Community Voices producers have been editing the interviews for broadcast. We present them to you in honor of the life experiences and wisdom of Dayton elders.

This series is made possible through the generous support of the Del Mar Healthcare Fund of the Dayton Foundation.

Jocelyn Robinson coordinated this series for WYSO. Janine Kinnison is the Project Liaison for Dayton Metro Library.

Editors include: Dave Barber, William Brown, Tess Cortes, Patti Gehred, Javis Heberling, Kateri Kosta, Zebedee Reichert, Jason Reynolds, David Seitz, Alan Staiger, Chris Welter. 

Interviewers include: Dana Kragick, Tess Cortes, Anna Omulo, Doug Bowers, Hadley Drodge, M. Alice Callier, Barbra Gerla, Jason Coatney Schuler, Linda Pitzer, Carol Jackson, Audrey Ingram, Susan Brenner, Nancy Messer, Christian Davell, Ken Standifer, Liz Anderson, Cynthia Wallace-King, Karen Maner, David Murphy Sr., Cynthia Rush, Alan Stagier, Debra Root, Pamela Waltrip, Jennifer Hicks, Brandon Ulman, Karah Power  


Senior Voices: Dan Nagle

Jun 14, 2018
Dan Nagle
Senior Voices

This week on Senior Voices, we meet Dan Nagle. Dan and his family have lived in Dayton for generations. He attended Chaminade High School and the University of Dayton before a stint in the Army and law school at Georgetown. Last September, he shared his story with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Linda Pitzer.


LINDA PITZER: Do you have a favorite thing about living in Dayton? Would you recommend it to other people?

Senior Voices: Marilyn Nagle

Jun 6, 2018
Marilyn Nagle
Senior Voices

Today on Senior Voices, we meet Dayton native Marilyn Nagle. Last fall, she shared her rather unusual courtship story with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer Linda Pitzer.


Marilyn Nagle (MN): My name is Marilyn Nagle. I was born in Dayton, Ohio at Good Samaritan Hospital on July 16th, 1933. And lived in Dayton all my life. My family goes back to the middle of the 1800s, from living in the Dayton and Minster area.

Senior Voices: Barbara Hayden

May 30, 2018

This week on Senior Voices, Barbara Hayden recalls growing up on the West Side of Dayton in the 1950s and 60s. Barbara was one of six children, and while they lived and went to school in Dayton, every summer, their parents dropped them off in a small Southern town where both of Hayden’s grandmothers lived. She shared her story with Dayton Metro Library volunteer Susan Brenner.


Senior Voices: Brenda Stone

May 23, 2018
Brenda Stone
Senior Voices

Most people of a certain age have clear memories of the war in Vietnam. This week on Senior Voices, we hear from Brenda Stone. Born in 1939 and raised in Jefferson Township, she worked at the Delco Products plant in Kettering for twenty years. Brenda shared her thoughts on the war and its impact with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Hadley Drodge.


Senior Voices: Gary Mitchner

May 16, 2018
Gary Mitchner
Senior Voices

This week on Senior Voices, Oakwood resident Gary Mitchner recalls a few of the mentors who inspired his career in education. He began teaching at Sinclair Community College in 1972, and served as its first poet laureate before retiring in 2006. He spoke with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer and Community Voices producer, Tess Cortes.


Senior Voices: Millie Lyons

May 9, 2018
Millie Lyons
Senior Voices

Millie Lyons was just a year old when her dad died in 1923. Her mom was left with five young  children. There was no social security system back then, and Millie’s mom needed to work to support the family. Millie says her earliest memory is being in a crib at the Pythian Children’s Home in Springfield. It was a tough start, but she and her siblings found plenty of ways to have fun, as she told Community Voices interviewer Alan Staiger.


Senior Voices: Cheryl Grimes

May 2, 2018

Today on Senior Voices, we meet Cheryl Grimes, who moved to Dayton in the late ‘60s after graduating college. She remembers the businesses owned by her entrepreneurial family in the small town of Laurel, Mississippi, where she began working in 1950, at the tender age of three. Cheryl spoke with Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Jason Coatney-Schuler.


Today on Senior Voices, we meet 87-year-old Veda Renshaw who lives in West Dayton and took part in Rebuilding Together Dayton’s Fixit Kit Program, a project that provides home rehabilitation for low-income seniors, so they can stay in their homes and live in warmth, safety and independence.  Veda who moved to Dayton from Springfield in 1978, and she’s staying put, as she told Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer Alan Staiger.


Today on Senior Voices, we need Viola Wheeler who wants to remain in her home on Dayton’s West Side, where she’s lived for over four decades. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Viola came to Dayton in 1955. She spoke with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer Audrey Ingram about why she wants to stay in her home.


Audrey Ingram (AI): Did you raise your kids in this home we’re in today? So how long have you been in this house then?

Senior Voices: Dorothy Johnson

Apr 18, 2018

This week on Senior Voices we meet Dorothy Johnson, born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1938. She moved her family to Dayton in 1967, and spoke with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer, Ken Standifer, about her many years working at the Dayton VA.