GREENSBURG — On Friday night, the man known nationally as “The Father of Medicare” will be honored in the Tree City alongside a longtime writer from USA Today and a veteran animator who played a significant role in many of Hollywood’s legendary animated films; also honored as part of the same ceremony will be the founder of a prominent local business and a pioneering nurse who served her country with distinction in World War II.
All five of the above were either born and raised in Greensburg or spent significant parts of their lives here; two call the Tree City Home now, while two are deceased. And all are graduates from none other than Greensburg Community High School (GCHS).
Oscar R. Ewing (Class of 1906); Nanci Hellmich (1976); Fred Craig (1960); John Arthur Stewart (1937); and Kathryn Ernstes (1932) will be the first group inducted into the GCHS Hall of Fame. The formal ceremony will take place between basketball games in the GCHS gym, as the Greensburg Junior Varsity and Varsity teams face off against Indian Creek.
According to GCHS History Teacher John Pratt, who heads the GCHS Hall of Fame selection committee, the three living inductees – Craig, Stewart and Hellmich – are all scheduled to attend Friday’s ceremony. Pratt told the Daily News that he and the selection committee believe these inaugural inductees are all extremely good choices.
The Hall of Fame itself, Pratt explained, is the idea of Greensburg Community Schools (GCS) Superintendent Tom Hunter, with the entire GCS Board fully supporting the initiative. The selection committee is composed of community members, former and current teachers, and various others with an interest in and knowledge of both Decatur County and GCHS history.
“For a school that’s been around more than 140 years,” Pratt said, “it’s really quite an honor to be among the first five inductees.