Pictured left to right: Emily Hegner, Brimfield Branch Manager; Angela Young, PCDL Assistant Director; Sue Fields, Brimfield Township Trustee; Nicholas Coia, Brimfield Township Trustee; Mike Dailey, PCDL Board of Trustees President; Jonathan Harris, PCDL Director; Ann Bryner Hedington, PCDL Board of Trustees Vice President; Todd Puster, PCDL Board of Trustee; Maria Hydell, PCDL Board of Trustees Secretary; Michelle Russell, PCDL Board of Trustee; Betty Clapp, PCDL Board of Trustee. Shirley Mars/The Portager

Around Brimfield: February is for lovers, library events, and a disco ball helmet

One never knows what Ohio weather will bring in February, but the month redeems itself by being the month to celebrate love. 

When I asked a few people to name famous lovers, without fail, the top answer was Romeo and Juliet. Let’s be real. I suppose it is possible that it was true love, but Juliet was 13 and Romeo was likely 16 or so. Their relationship was short-lived, and they never actually lived together. 

If you ask me to name someone who knows about true love, my answer would be Thurman and Judy Church.

Thurman’s and Judy’s sweet love story began in 1969 when Judy was teaching fifth grade at Suffield Elementary School. She was divorced with two young children. Thurman was also divorced and had custody of his two children, one of whom was in Judy’s class. They met in November when Thurman came in for a parent-teacher conference. Three months later, they were married on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 1970. 

They adopted each other’s children, and their love grew. Over many years, like most married couples, they experienced highs and lows, and they endured… and their love grew. Thurman and Judy were known for their kindness, generosity, and respect for each other. 

On Oct. 27, 2023, Thurman was diagnosed with cancer. He had always been a strong, healthy man and felt that he could beat the cancer. I had the privilege of spending a little time with Thurman and Judy during his battle. I shall never forget how he literally sang in praise of what a lucky man he was as he proclaimed, “Boy, oh boy, oh boy! What a wonderful life I have had!” His Christian faith was strong. 

Judy patiently and lovingly stayed by his side throughout his battle and attended to his every need. Thurman passed away on Dec. 11, 2023, with his sweetheart by his side, as she always had been… and their love grew even deeper. 

Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2024, would be their 54-year anniversary. It has been said that true love stories never have endings. Romeo and Juliet had nothing over Thurman and Judy.

Wednesday, Feb. 14 — Happy Valentine’s Day — “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” — Oprah Winfrey

Brimfield Branch Library opens

Perhaps the best news of the month is the opening of the new Portage County District Library’s new branch on Kelso Drive in Brimfield. In addition to books, DVDs, computers and other resources, a plethora of events and activities are available for all ages. Events can always be found on the PCDL website at www.portagelibrary.org. Brimfield Branch’s February offerings include:

  • Feb. 6, 3:30-5 p.m. — Chess Club — Learn to play chess  (Tweens, Teens, Seniors, Adults)
  • Feb. 9, 10:30-11 a.m. — Storytime — Come read stories with Miss Kaitlyn!  (Children)
  • Feb. 13, 4-4:30 p.m. — Sweetheart Craft  (Tweens)
  • Feb. 13, 5:30-7:00 p.m. — Book Club — “People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry   (Adults)
  • Feb. 14, 3:30-4:30 p.m. — Speed Date with a Book — Looking for a new book to love?   (Teens)
  • Feb. 20, 3:30-5:00 p.m. — Game Club  (All Ages)
  • Feb. 23, 10:30-11 a.m. — Storytime — Come read stories with Miss Kaitlyn!  (Children)
  • Feb. 27, 1:30-4 p.m. — History and Gaming — The Life of a Civil War Soldier  (All Ages)
  • Feb. 27, 6-7 p.m. — Lawn Care — Getting Ready for Spring  (Adults)
  • Feb. 28, 4:30-5:30 p.m. — Financial Literacy — Joy Pahls from Hometown Bank  ( Seniors, Adults)
  • Feb. 29, 4:30-5:30 p.m. — How to Avoid Financial Scams — Joy Pahls from Hometown Bank   (Seniors, Adults)
  • Mar. 4, 3:30-5 p.m. — Chess Club — Learn to play chess  (Tweens, Teens, Seniors, Adults)

Firehouse update

More good news! It has been a long time coming, but the fire station inspection has been completed and the fire station is finally ready for occupancy. The staff is in the process of cleaning and moving into the facility. 

If you are on Facebook, there is a virtual tour of the new fire station led by Trustee Nic Coia. Phase 2 of the project is now beginning, which includes renovation of the administrative offices.

German Family Society 

‘Tis the season for Friday Night Fish Fries, featuring hand-breaded cod, at the German Family Society, 3871 Ranfield Road in Brimfield. 

For three consecutive Fridays, you can dine in or carry out from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Feb. 16, Feb. 23, and March 1. 

Adult fish dinners are $15 and include two pieces of fried fish, GFS Haus potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, and bread. A child’s fish dinner is $7. Mac and Cheese dinners will also be available — $8 for adults and $5 for children. Homemade potato soup and pastries will be available for $3 each. Order inside the restaurant. 

Questions? Call 330-813-0486.

Brimfield Lions Club

The Brimfield Lions Club is hosting a Solar Eclipse 2024 presentation at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Brimfield Methodist Church, 1235 Tallmadge Road. McKenzie Villataro from the Portage County Emergency Management Agency will speak about the upcoming eclipse and how it can affect each of us. Refreshments and activities will follow. Questions? Call 330-552-7240.

Mark your calendar — Lions Club Night at the Races will be held on April 13 at St. Joseph K of C Hall in Randolph. More information forthcoming.

Young at Heart Group

  • Feb. 9, Noon — Monthly bag lunch at the Brimfield Community Center, 4538 Edson Rd.  Bring lunch, a drink, and a friend.  RSVP Patty Yensel at 937-654-8333.
  • Feb. 15, 10 a.m. — Breakfast at Mike’s Place Restaurant.  
  • Feb. 29, 10 a.m. — Breakfast at Mike’s Place Restaurant
  • March 4, 10 a.m. — Breakfast at Mike’s Place Restaurant

For those wishing to attend the breakfasts at Mike’s Place, RSVP DonnaRae Flanary at 330-592-4318 by the Sunday before.

March 16, 5 p.m. — Dinner show at The Venue banquet center at the Tallmadge Circle, featuring 52nd Street (music of Billy Joel) and Captain Fantastic (the magic of Elton John). Doors open at 5 p.m., buffet dinner at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. A cash bar is available. Reservations must be made no later than Feb. 15. The cost is $35 and checks should be made out to Brimfield Young at Heart. Call Patty Yensel at 937-654-8333. 

Brimfield Parks and Recreation

  • Feb. 10, 2 p.m. — Cookies & Cards at the Brimfield Community Center. Indulge in sweet treats while you create and decorate Valentine’s Day cards for friends, loved ones, and nursing home residents.
  • Feb. 10, 5:30-9 p.m. — Valentines Night Out at the Brimfield Community Center.Children ages 5-12 can enjoy an evening of pizza, games, and crafts while the adults celebrate Valentine’s Day. Cost is $20 for the first child and $10 for each additional child. Registration is open until Feb. 7. To register, call 330-678-0739 Ext. 1470 or email [email protected].
  • Feb. 15, 9 a.m. — Love Birds Hike at Brimfield Lions Park, Honeychuck Pavilion. Bring a loved one and experience the beauty of nature searching for birds and other wildlife, listen to animal calls, and learn about animal courtship rituals.  
  • Feb. 15, 11 a.m. — Popsicle Stick Bird House Family Workshop at the Brimfield Community Center. Create a cozy space for our feathered friends. All ages and skill levels are welcome.
  • Feb.28, 5 p.m. — Botanical Creations Workshop at the Brimfield Branch Library.  Celebrate National Floral Design Day with creative paper activity inspired by flowers.
  • March 3, 10 a.m. — Wildlife Appreciation Walk at Brimfield Lions Park, Honeychuck Pavilion. Participate in a nature walk, exploring and reveling in the natural beauty around us.

New, improved township website

The launch of Brimfield Township’s improved website at brimfieldohio.gov is finally up and running. 

Joe Jamison, director of information technology, has been working to update the website, which has several new features, including the ability to subscribe to receive email alerts when there are new posts, calendar events, and meetings posted. Concerns can be shared using “Citizen Report.” Take a look and feel free to share your comments.

Township Trustee Meetings begin at 8 a.m. on Feb. 7 and 21. Agenda and minutes for each meeting are available on the township website.

Final words

In my January column, I shared that the Covid Grinch tried to steal our Christmas, and our family gathering was sadly put on hold. We were finally able to gather on New Years Eve Day, and there was a lot of stealing going on. 

One of our Christmas traditions is a white elephant gift exchange for adults. One never knows what to expect. In the past, there have been items such as a huge hand-blown glass sculpture that looked like the ugliest taco you have ever seen (everyone now avoids large presents at the exchange for fear of a reappearance), a Spam cutter to make perfect slices of Spam (but who eats Spam?), a fully sequined Elton John costume and many more items you would never need or want in your home. 

This year featured a big stuffed “Dino Nugget,” a legit gumball machine, a set of professionally framed drawings of body organs, a hairy belly fanny pack and some other mildly normal items. The hot item to “steal” this year was the disco ball helmet with built-in sunglasses — for real.

In the final round, I had the golden opportunity to steal the helmet from my son, Dan. Feeling a bit smug, I stood in front of him staring at the prized disco ball helmet. He gripped the helmet a little tighter and stared back at me with a pitiful look. I haven’t felt that much power over him since he was a baby. In the end, I did not want to see a grown man cry, so, if you see a crazy- looking guy riding a motorcycle, sporting a disco ball helmet, you may not want to turn your bright lights on unless you are wearing sunglasses.

Until next time. Got news? Share it by contacting Shirley Mars at 330-673-0241 or at [email protected].

Shirley Mars
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