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Graduation Day Print

On Sunday, May 20th we honored all of our graduates.  Grace has 8 graduates this year.  Only 4 were available to attend our Sunday service but we would like to congratulate all.

Job well done!  Our graduates and our youth conducted the entire service.  Patricipating in the Sunday Service were:

Sydney Mitchell and Mitchell Saterfield - Ushers

Philip Crane and Codey Tracht - Acolytes

Jonathan Blount - Officiant

Gabriel Diemer, Sydney Mitchell, Samuel Taylor, Sylvia Taylor, Cody Tracht, Ellie Williamson - Lectors/Readers

Philip Crane, Lace Zachary Williamson - Lay Eucharistic Ministers

Lace Zachary Williamson - Preacher




Touby Bender - son of Keith and Linda Bender, graduating from Wittenberg University.


Jonathan Blount, son of Bob Blount and the late Judy Davis, graduating from Wright State University with a Master's Degree in Human Resources.


Zachary Braum - son of Julie Braum, graduating from Mansfield High School.


Philip Crane - son of David Crane and Lori Turner, graduating from Lexington High School.


Kyle Jones, son of Robert and Sheila (Sipes) Jones, graduating from Ontario High School.


David Hubbard - graduating from North Central State College with an Associate's Degree of Applied Science in Registered Nursing.


Melanie Saterfield, daughter of Eric and Debbie Saterfield, graduating from North Central State College with an Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice.


Lace Zachary Williamson - son of David and Marianne Williamson, graduating from Eastern Michigan University with a B. S. in Computer Animation and Design.

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Samuel Taylor Print

Congratulations to Samuel Taylor who was presented with his God and Family Cub Scout Award on September 25th, 2011.  Samuel and Father Ashby meet  for 7 weeks to complete this work that explores how God is present in our families and friends.



Leo Eldridge Print

Leo Eldridge!

Every military veteran knows the most important rule in service is to never volunteer.

Leo Eldridge broke that rule and came out a winner.

A Madison High School saxophone player, Eldridge was drafted not long after he received his high school diploma in 1945.

"The first place I was sent was to Fort Hood (Texas) for 16 weeks of infantry training. But after six weeks there was a call for musicians to volunteer to play in a show band to back up traveling USO shows," Eldridge said.

He raised his hand, and his musical Army career was under way.

But first he had to complete training in light tanks. He was an infantryman when he was being shipped overseas.

"They asked musicians to play in bands aboard ship to entertain the troops," he said.

Again Eldridge volunteered, and this time he never went back to the infantry or armor. He was in show business.

He wound up serving in Leghorn, Italy, with the 117th Army Ground Force Band. He said the band's daily duty was to perform at the regular morning reveille at headquarters.

"After that was done, it was easy going," Eldridge said.

He said musicians never were allowed to handle weapons. Just their instruments. He played mostly alto and some tenor sax in the band. The music ranged from popular swing to classical productions.

Once, at Leghorn's Goldoni Theater, Opera star Lawrence Tibbit was on hand. The famed tenor would sing the popular "Begin the Beguine," and that required a baritone horn solo.

"I had played a trumpet once, so I volunteered to do the solo. I spent three hours a day for two weeks getting ready," Eldridge said.

When the show began, Eldridge said Tibbit asked the horn player to come up front and stand beside him during the performance.

"I played and he sang," Eldridge said with just a touch of pleasure at the memory.

There were 31 members in the band, but redeployment to and from the United States kept the personnel changing. Outside of morning reveille and playing martial music for troops landing at the Leghorn docks, Eldridge said the band played in a regular series of concerts.

"We never lived in barracks. First we were quartered in apartments and then finally in a big Quonset hut set aside from the regular barracks. Oh! We sure had it tough," he said.

Band members got to travel to Italy, France and Switzerland. Eldridge remembers his one visit to Rome with two buddies.

"We were Catholics, so I decided we had to visit St. Peter's Cathedral in Vatican City. While we were there, a Cardinal who spoke very good English asked us to join him. We were taken to a small chapel where a Mass was said by the Pope (Pius XII). Afterwards he came over to meet us. He spoke in broken English and his translators handled the rest. Then we all shook hands."

Eldridge said many of the band members lived hard, drank hard and had a good time.

In late 1946, it was Eldridge's turn to come home. He was discharged from the Army in January 1947.

Back in Mansfield, he worked for Westinghouse and then sold shoes and managed a shoe making plant in Michigan for a few years. His main job was working for the AMF plant in Shelby, where he retired as a plant manager after 30 years of service.

In Mansfield he wound up playing with small musical groups, mostly at veterans' clubs. One of his best friends, Paul Grassick, a survivor of the Bataan Death March, played trumpet with him in the seven-man Mike Hillagoss band.

Not long after Leo came home, he met Barbara Ward at a Monday night gathering at the downtown YMCA. They married in 1950 at the Grace Episcopal Church on West Third Street. Both are still active members there.

They have five children: Diane Heaberlin and Virginia Harmon, both of Mansfield; Joyce Reithmiller, of Woodsfield; Roger Eldridge of Hilliard, and Leo Jr., who died a few years ago.

There are nine grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

The Eldridges were active for years in a small family business, the Eldridge Acrylic Company, which still operates on Oak Street.

The couple has attended up to 10 117th Army Band reunions, but only a handful of the players are still alive.

Eldridge said his main hobbies now are caring for the home on Ramsey Road and being with all his grandchildren. One of his great-grandchildren, Cameron Cox, a fifth grader in Madison Schools, is playing music. His instrument is his great-grandfather's alto saxophone.

"We're a pretty tight-knit family," Eldridge said.


Bill Wilkinson Print

Bill Wilkinson

Bill Wilkinson was featured in the Mansfield News Journal on Monday, February 22, 2010 in the series "A Veteran's Story".  Bill served in the Pacific during World War II and has quite a story to tell.  Bill still has shell fragments hit his back and some got into his intestines.  He had four operations and still has some fragments.  After leaving the service, Bill attended Marietta College where he met his wife, Jessie, and earned a degree in business administration.  He retired in 1976 after a long career as an office manager for the former City Loan and Savings.  Please check the bulletin board downstairs or the Mansfield News Journal for the full article. 

James Chipman Print

James Chipman

Congradulations goes out to JAMES CHIPMAN.....who was featured in the Mansfield News Journal on Monday, February 8, 2010.  There was a wonderful article about Jim's days in the Navy.  Jim joined the Navy in 1943 and served on the John D. Henley which they called the lucky ship.  The lucky ship was never hit and it was in six campaigns.  Jim Chipman was a radio man whose battle station was with the ship's 20 and 40 millimeter guns.  The entire article is on the bulletin board in the church undercroft or you can also find it on line in the Mansfield News Journal.  It is a great article.  Make sure you stop and take time to read it. 

Emily Stump Print

Emily Stump

Congratulations goes out to EMILY STUMP.  Emily is the Spelling Bee Champion in Ashland County and she is getting ready to go to state.  Way to go Emily!

Steve Ashby Print

Steve Ashby

CONGRATULATIONS TO.... Steve Ashby for the successful completion of his Senior Recital (Saxophone) at the University of Kentucky!




Cody Tracht Print

Cody Tracht

Congratulations to CODY TRACHT who has completed the work and passed the Board of Review for his Eagle Scout Award!  WAY TO GO CODY!!!!!

Cody was also named STUDENT OF THE MONTH in December, 2009 at Lexington High School!  Congratulations Cody!!!!!!

Dr. Jo Richards Print

Dr. Joseph C.  Richards

Congratulations to Dr. Joe Richards who completed the work for his Doctor of Ministry at Ashland Seminary and successfully defended his dissertation.  Joe's doctoral project and dissertation grew out of his Retreat Ministry at Grace Church.  WELL DONE, AND CONGRATULATIONS, DR. JOE!!!!!


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