For the Miami Valley Today
WEST MILTON — The 2022 Milton-Union Hall of Honor inductees were recently recognized at the 134th Milton-Union Alumni Banquet. Those inductees include the following:
• Dr. Sam Hissong
Sam Hissong grew up on a farm on Markley Road, just west of West Milton. At Milton-Union, he was involved in National Honor Society, FFA, Hi-Y Club, the marching band, and school plays.
Hissong graduated in 1959 and enrolled at the Ohio State University. He graduated with his medical degree in 1967. He then served two years with the military, leaving with the rank of Major.
He accepted a partnership offer at Aultman Hospital in Canton. He was asked to develop and direct an ultrasound section and became known as the “Father of Ultrasound” at the hospital. At Aultman, he established the Aultman Ultrasound Technology School, chaired the Medical Policy Board, served on the Board of Trustees, became President of the Medical Staff and chaired the Radiology Residency Teaching Program. He worked through the academic ranks to become a full Professor at Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine.
Now retired, he enjoys bike riding, hiking, reading, woodworking, and traveling. He belongs to a community band in Colorado and is still active with the Ohio State Alumni Marching Band. He plays the same trombone his parents gave him when he played in the band at M-U. He and his wife, Liz, live in Ohio during spring and fall and in Colorado in the summer and winter. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
• Charles Tomlin
Charles Tomlin graduated from the Ohio State University in 1950 and received his Master’s Degree from Wittenberg College in 1959. In 1952, he was hired as a teacher at Miami East, working his way up to principal.
In 1963, he was hired to be the principal for the fourth through sixth grades at Milton-Union. With every new class of fourth graders, he would spend the first few weeks getting to know every student. To this day, he can still remember their names whenever he sees them.When the Middle School was established in the primary/elementary complex, he was the principal until his retirement in 1983, having served M-U for 31 years.
He was also very involved in the athletic activities, selling tickets, and working the concession stand. He was involved in getting the new track and helped with the track meets whenever Mr. Beard needed him. He served on the Library Board and was president during the construction of the new library in 1979.
He has a scholarship in his name, and he can still be seen in the stands of athletic events. He and his wife, Doris, reside in West Milton and enjoy spending time with their three children and their families.
• Steve Iddings
Steve Iddings grew up on a farm on Horseshoe Bend Road, north of West Milton. He graduated from M-U with the class of 1972. They are celebrating their 50th year.
He graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1977 with a degree in civil and environmental engineering. He joined the Peace Corps and studied South Pacific language and culture and became a lecturer in the newly formed Fiji Institute of Technology. He surpassed 1,500 teaching hours in subjects like hydraulics, hydrology, geology, and soil mechanics.
He then served short term assignments through the United Nations, demonstrating practical engineering solutions for rainwater storage. This took him to the islands of Western Samoa and Vanuatu. In Western Samoa, 3,000 village rainwater tanks were eventually constructed using Samoan laborers, providing nearly 20% of the nation’s rural population.
While working on wastewater treatment plants in Hawaii, he got a call from the World Health Organization to work a six-month overseas assignment, which turned into nine years. In New Guinea, he worked on drinking water issues, as well as helping with many natural disasters. National emergency preparedness and the health response became his new specialty.
He then worked with the Cambodian Government and the media to alert the population of poisoned wells and educate them about safe water supplies.
Iddings was then reassigned to Fiji, where he married a Canadian anthropologist, Tara Mar. Their two children were born in Fiji. While there, he led his WHO team across 22 Pacific Island countries and territories
He and the family then went back to Cambodia, where he added more doctors and health professionals. His additional program responsibilities were: arsenic mitigation; asbestos abatement; traffic safety; program improving maternal and child health; reducing alcohol and tobacco use and related diseases; and help for disabled Cambodians, many injured from decades old land mines.
Iddings retired from WHO after more than 30 years service with the United Nations. The family now lives on the Iddings Homestead. The children attend M-U schools, making them the fourth generation to do so.