Hilliard Northwest News

Bryners, Marsh make hall of fame

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The newest Hilliard Senior Citizen Hall of Fame members will be inducted at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Phyllis A. Ernst Senior Center, 3810 Veterans Memorial Drive.

John and Nancy Bryner are the inductees. Esther Marsh will be inducted posthumously, three years after her late son first nominated her.

John Bryner, 74, is a former member of Hilliard City Council and current chairman of the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission.

He and Nancy, 74, are active at Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Northwest Franklin County Historical Society and the Hilliard Community Assistance Council.

Former Hilliard Recreation and Parks Director Phyllis Ernst was among those who nominated the Bryners and informed the couple they had been selected.

Nancy Bryner said she was a little apprehensive when first told about the honor.

"I don't want it to seem like it was tooting our own horn," she said. "It's not why we do (our volunteer work). We simply enjoy working with people and helping people."

She is a founding member of the Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church day care center and assists in Bible school and Sunday school programming.

John Bryner served 24 years on Hilliard City Council and worked 21 years as a highway design engineer for the Franklin County Engineer's Office, following a private practice career with a consulting firm.

"It's a great honor to be respected by the community for what we do as volunteers," he said.

The Bryners were married in December 1962 and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year.

The couple moved to Hilliard in 1967. They have a son, Jeff, and a daughter, Marcia Killilea, both graduates of Hilliard High School, and four grandchildren.

Marsh, who died in 2011 at the age of 94, was an elementary school teacher in Hilliard from 1955 to 1975 after moving to Hilliard in 1950.

She wrote a book, The Blue and the White, about the history of Hilliard schools, donating proceeds from sales to the Northwest Franklin County Historical Society, for which she served as a curator for six years.

Her selection came as a surprise to her family, who were not aware that her late son, Lyn Marsh, had nominated his mother in 2010, shortly before he died of cancer.

"It really was a pleasant surprise," said Marsh's other child, Mary Marsh, and a reminder of the love Lyn had for his mother. "Mom was such a great woman.

"The things she did aren't so unlike what other women have done, but when she did them, it was unusual," such as bundling her kids into a car and driving from Ohio to a California military base to join her husband, Richard Marsh, during World War II.

Marsh earned a master's degree from Ohio State University and taught art classes and the fifth grade, depending upon where the district needed her.

"But she preferred art (and) was an artist in her own right," said Mary Marsh, noting some of her mother's work will be displayed Sept. 10.

Upon retirement, she delved into genealogy, earning her relatives membership in the First Families of Ohio, the Colonial Dames and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

When she died in 2011, she had six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Two great-great-grandchildren have since been born.

A reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 10 will precede the 27th annual induction ceremony, scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

The ceremony has been moved up one month. It typically was held on the first Sunday of October.

Each year since 1987, at least one person has been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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