The Ottawa High School Wall of Honor will grow this October with the addition of three distinguished alumni.
OHS officials recently announced this year's Wall of Fame honorees are John Coen, 1974; James Dietz, 1984; and Homer Kissinger, 1940.
The Wall of Honor banquet is planned for 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in the Cyclone Room. Tickets are $20 per plate and can be purchased at the OHS front office or by sending a check to Wall of Honor, 1120 Ash Street, Ottawa, KS 66067. Please denote if you are a graduate and your class year.
The community induction ceremony will be the following night, Friday, Oct. 18, during halftime of the OHS Cyclones football game at Steve Grogan Stadium.
With this year's recipients already named, nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 induction ceremony. Nominees must have graduated at least 10 years before nomination and demonstrated excellence in their careers and/or community. The deadline for nominations is April 15, 2020.
For further information, call Candie Campbell, OHS Wall of Honor coordinator, at 229-8020, ext. 2116.
Here's a look at this year's OHS Wall of Honor recipients:
James “Jim” David Dietz
Ottawa High School: 1984
Kansas State University (B.S.): 1988
In high school Jim Dietz discovered photography, a guiding joy of his life. A camera around his neck, in front of his face or in a shoulder bag was common. Having fun, working hard and living fully were Dietz's traits. Whether as a yearbook/newspaper photographer, acting in musicals, or Cytones, Dietz was there. He interned with The Ottawa Herald before heading to Kansas State University. As a Collegian staff member, Jim earned his photojournalism degree, leading to work for The Blue Springs Examiner and The Independence Examiner, both suburban Kansas City newspapers.
After marrying his college sweetheart, Teresa Temme, in 1990, the couple moved to the Washington, D.C., area. A federal government career awaited Teresa, while Jim became AP photo editor with the Baltimore Sun before his several positions with The Associated Press from 1995-2011. His daughters, Annalise and Alayna, were born during the latter half of the '90s in Annapolis, Md.
At the AP, he managed technical solutions and software products for all aspects of photographic content capture and collection to distribution solutions for AP’s domestic imagery. Dietz was one of the leads in digital darkroom innovation. He traveled globally covering such events as the Olympics, Emmys, Oscars, World Series and presidential conventions.
Dietz initiated PhotoData Works before joining Getty Images as an editorial events engineer in New York. PhotoData Works showcased his personal enthusiasm for activities as a mentor/presenter at the Eddie Adams Workshop, a scholarship seminar for student photographers. He and others established NYC Salt, a nonprofit organization for inner-city youths interested in the arts.
At Getty Images, he created innovative data transfer mechanisms from the photographer’s camera to the editor in less than a minute, independent of the venue. Dietz's “how can we fix it or do it better” attitude used his multiple talents, building what was needed on a site. He died from a heart attack on Jan. 30, 2019, in Atlanta preparing for the Super Bowl. He did not live to see it, but his on-demand photo-editing software was used for the first time there.
A memorial fund in Dietz’s name at NYC Salt has received contributions from colleagues, friends and loved ones worldwide, totaling thousands of dollars.
Ottawa High School: 1940
Kansas State University (B.S.): 1949
Kansas State University (M.S.): 1950
United States Army: 1942-1946
An honor graduate at OHS, Kissinger enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942, spending six months as an aircraft radio mechanic before being selected for specialized training at Louisiana State University. Sent to Europe in 1944, he fought in most of the major actions to end the war against Germany. Kissinger was a decorated veteran, receiving the Bronze Star with V for valor and awarded the Purple Heart for injuries obtained during the Battle of Ruhr Pocket. He was honorably discharged in January 1946.
Following his discharge, Kissinger studied physics and mathematics at Kansas State University, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in 1949 and his master's degree in 1950. He then began his professional career at the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C.
Homer’s work at the NBS covered a range of topics including differential thermal analysis, a method regularly used in mineralogy but not fully understood. Kissinger developed a method for a more complete analysis of these results, which he published in 1957, and is widely known as the “Kissinger Equation” or some similar eponymous designation. This method, and variations of it, are used worldwide today.
Kissinger left NBS in 1960 to start a new career in the study of radiation-induced defects in metals at Hanford in Washington State. After a long and productive career, he retired from Battelle’s Pacific Northwest Laboratory in 1987.
Kissinger was married to Elizabeth Jane Stinebaugh for 64 years. She died in 2012. Together, they had four sons, Alan, of Olympia, Wash.; Donald, of Peoria, Ariz.; Charles, of San Diego; and Brian, of Spokane, Wash.
John C. Coen
Ottawa High School: 1974
Kansas State University (B.S.): 1981
Coen has dedicated a lifetime to serving and making Ottawa and Franklin County a better place to live, work and raise a family.
While in high school, Coen was involved in Franklin County 4-H, serving in leadership roles and receiving several state and regional awards.
Coen received his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture education from Kansas State University in 1981. While at K-State, he was involved in student government and was a member of the agriculture/social fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho.
Following graduation, Coen returned to Ottawa and became active in the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce and Franklin County Farm Bureau. He had an 80-cow dairy farm and farmed 300 acres. He and his wife, Cherry, were twice delegates to the National Farm Bureau Convention and were the Kansas Farm Bureau Family of the year in 1991.
Upon selling the dairy in 2006, Coen worked three years in the Kansas Senate for the State of Kansas Majority Leader and three years at Kansas State Bank as a lender. Coen became president/CEO of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce in 2012.
Coen’s service to Ottawa includes being a more than 20-year board member of Ransom Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, a nine-year member of the Ottawa University Board of Trustees, a five-year member of the Ottawa School Board, nine-year member of the C.O.F. Board, and has spent 20 years as a 4-H youth volunteer, having chaperoned more than 100 Franklin County 4-H youths to Washington, D.C.
John and Cherry, a culinary arts teacher at OHS, have four children who are all OHS graduates: Whitney (2002), Jessica (2004), Chelsy (2006) and Todd (2009).