Sunday, December 17, 2000

Vet died without medallion


Family wants it placed in home for those who served

By Rebecca Billman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        RIPLEY — Howard Kabler was a World War II veteran who spent 20 years trying to get a veterans home built in southern Ohio.

        Ground will be broken next spring in Georgetown for the $18 million facility.

        That legacy, his family says, needs to be commemorated with a medallion made for him when he was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame this year.

        But Mr. Kabler died just a week before the medallion was to be presented.

        The rules of the hall say the medallion may be given only to the recipient.

        The recognition was a highlight of his life, says his daughter, Jackie Hansen of Ripley. Friday, she met with Stan Weigman, director of the Southern Ohio Veterans Home, to work out a compromise.

        They are drawing up a proposal to display the medal in the home when it's done.

        “He worked very hard for the veterans since he got back from the war. That's been like his life, for the veterans and the widows,” she said.

        Mr. Kabler, originally was to accept a plaque, a pin and the medallion from Gov. Bob Taft in Columbus on Nov. 9. The 77-year-old had a heart attack Oct. 14. His son, Michael of Westerville, Ohio, stood in his stead but wasn't allowed to bring the medallion home to his father.

        Instead, Shannon Scherer, director of the Hall of Fame, was to present it to Mr. Kabler the week after Thanksgiving. He died two days before Thanksgiving.

        His family argued that Mr. Kabler was alive the day of the induction ceremony, but Ms. Scherer said that the recipient has to be present to get a medallion. “We're certainly trying to work it out with the family to find the best solution for both of us,” she said. “(The family's plan) is a great idea.”

       



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