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WALNUT CREEK -- Collectively, they have logged dozens of years as public officials, but their terms of servitude as such came to an end in 2016.
Awarded special recognition for their service to the community and the Republican party, former Holmes County Treasurer Joyce Yoder, former Holmes County Prosecutor Steve Knowling and former Ohio Rep. Dave Hall were given thanks at the county's recent Lincoln Day Dinner.
Special recognition also was given to the late Holmes County Municipal Judge Jane Irving Baserman, who died Aug. 28. Irving was first appointed to the bench in 1987. She was last elected to the position in 2013, when she said she sought reelection because "I feel like I help people."
Accepting a plaque on her behalf were her husband, Mark Baserman Sr., and son, Mark Baserman Jr., both local attorneys.
"Jane was the kind of public official every chair wants," said Holmes County Republican Party Chairman Rob Hovis, as he introduced a woman who was born in Millersburg in 1947 and a member of the initial graduating class of a consolidated West Holmes School District.
Despite a long battle with cancer, she maintained a presence on the bench until July, when illness caused her to take leave of the position.
Irving was a committed worker for the party, said Hovis, noting, "Jane was always there, even in bad weather and when she wasn't well. We will miss Judge Jane Irving."
Because Irving's roots run so deep in Holmes County, Baserman Sr. said many in attendance knew his wife, to whom he was wed in 1980, much longer than he. It's a point illustrated by the fact he, ultimately, acquiesced to being called "Mr. Irving" by many.
"She loved the work. She loved the people. I know we're all going to miss her," he said.
The only one in attendance to accept recognition for time served -- as a park district director, central committee member, county commissioner and state representative -- was Hall, who Hovis referred to as "one of the most distinguished public officials we have produced."
In both his public and private lives, Hall said he's been blessed.
He shared with those in attendance a story frequently told by Congressman Ralph Regula, about Ronald Reagan, who "went to the ranch to build a fence and do a lot of thinking" in 1976, after losing his bid for the Republican nomination for the presidency to Gerald Ford.
And, as he does his own thinking, Hall said, "I'm up for the next challenge, but I don't know what it is."
Statewide, he said, "the theme needs to be, 'Make Ohio No. 1 again.'"
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676.