HOUSTON — The Hardin-Houston Local School Wall of Honor Committee will welcome Roy and Gertrude Roeth, Dr. Samuel Pellman, Chester McKinney and David Sluss into the Hardin-Houston Local School Wall of Honor during a ceremony between the junior varsity and varsity basketball game against Jackson Center on Friday, Dec. 6, at Houston High School.
Roy Roeth lived in Houston his entire life. He attended Houston School through 11th grade, and because Houston School did not have a senior grade at that time, he had to attend Piqua for his senior year in order to graduate in 1927. He was manager of the Houston Farmer’s Elevator from the 1930’s through 1979.
After he married Gertrude, they moved to North Houston and eventually settled in Houston. They had nine children. Three of their children were in band. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Roy and Gertrude were part of the band boosters and sold degreaser to help pay for the first band uniforms. The Houston band did not have any uniforms before this time. The uniforms that were purchased with this money were wool. Roy and Gertrude also both belonged to the PTA during this time frame, while their children were attending Houston School.
Roy and Gertrude felt that Houston needed a center in the community for fellowship of the Houston community, family and friends. They were involved in the original planning meetings. They donated part of their land for the Houston Community Center as well. They also had fundraisers such as selling placemats and Monday night bingo to help pay for the building. They continued to have fundraisers until the building was paid off.
Roy and Gertrude also donated land for the Houston Fire Department. On his days off, Roy cut wood to sell to help pay for the fire department building. Roy was the fire chief at the Houston Fire Department in the 1970’s. Both Roy and Gertrude were on the rescue squad for Houston during the 1970’s as well.
Roy and Gertrude were both active in the Houston Grange and held offices. Gertrude was the leader of the Junior Grange in Houston and led the meetings with the Houston children. She planned fun events for the children as well, such as taking a bus of Houston children to 36 Skate Club in Piqua. She also planned the Shelby County Fair booth for the grange.
Roy was a Mason and a member of the board for the Loramie Banking Company. Gertrude taught Catechism to the junior-high-aged children at St. John’s Lutheran Church, while they were both Sunday school teachers at their church.
Roy and Gertrude always participated in their children’s activities at Houston School. Their boys were all active in sports and they helped support the sports teams during this timeframe, which was from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. All 6 of their sons were also Ohio State FFA Degree recipients and Roy and Gertrude helped support their sons in their efforts to receive this award.
Roy and Gertrude have been incredible examples of helping others and building up the Houston community. They donated what was needed, and then selflessly volunteered to take part in the work that was needed to be done. They also stepped up to take on leadership positions, and they did all of this while raising 8 children.
Dr. Samuel Pellman was a 1971 graduate of Houston High School, 1975 graduate of Miami University with a Bachelor’s in Music Education, and a 1979 graduate of Cornell University with a Master’s and Doctorate in Music.
Pellman went on to Hamilton College in New York where he was a professor of music theory, music composition, and electro-acoustic music for almost 40 years. Pellman was a co-director of the Hamilton’s Studio for Transmedia Arts and Related Studies. Pellman’s work has been presented at festivals and conferences throughout the world from Melbourne, Paris, and New York City to Beijing, Capetown, and Buenos Aires to name just a few. He also authored An Introduction to the Creation of Electroacoustic Music, which was published in 1994 and became a widely adopted textbook.
Pellman’s expertise in acoustic’s and composition was recognized by the planners of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Organizers commissioned him to design the sound for “The Tower of Voices,” a 93-foot instrument that holds 40 wind chimes, each tuned to a different pitch representing the 40 passengers and crew members that were killed there on 9/11.
Pellman received the Hamilton College Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2015 and was named the James L. Ferguson Professor of Music in 2016. Pellman also served as organist and director of instrumental music at the Clinton United Methodist Church, tour accompanist for the Oneida Area Civic Chorale, secretary of the Kirkland Democrats, and a board member of the Syracuse Society for New Music.
Chester McKinney was a 1963 graduate of Houston High School and a 1967 graduate of the University of Dayton. McKinney then began a 33-year teaching career at Houston High School. In that time, he taught biology, chemistry, and physics. Many of his former students went on to pursue science and engineering related degrees in college and careers in the professional world. His unique way of teaching these subjects turned these areas into favorites for many of his students. He was also a bus driver for the school district into the late 1980’s. McKinney kept the scorebook for the high school basketball teams.
McKinney was a registered official with the OHSAA for 50 years. In that time, he was a baseball umpire, football referee, cross country official, and track and field official. He was well known by fans, athletes, and coaches in all these areas, but especially track and field. His impact on student-athletes in these sports in impossible to measure.
McKinney was also a lifelong resident of the Hardin-Houston Local School District. He also farmed two different farms in the area during his lifetime.
David Sluss was a 1982 graduate of Houston High School and a 1986 graduate of Bluffton University. Sluss was a 4-year member of the varsity basketball team. He still holds school records of 1114 career points, 454 career field goals, 45 points in a single game and 21 field goals in a single game. He holds the fourth and seventh spots for most points in a season. He holds the third and fourth spots for most field goals in a season. He holds the third spot for most assists in a season. He holds the ninth spot for free throws made in a career.
Sluss went on to play basketball at Bluffton University. He holds the season record for assists with 168 and average with 6.5. These were set during the 1985-1986 season. He led the team with assists, steals, and free throw percentage in both the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons. He holds the 13th and 15th spots for steals in a season and is seventh on the all-time steals list. He holds the sixth and 9th spots for assists in a game and is sixth on the all-time assists list. The 1984-85 team finished second in the Hoosier-Buckeye Collegiate Conference.
Sluss has coached junior high boys and girls basketball at Houston, as well as coaching a 5-star boys basketball team. Sluss is the owner of Purpose Driven Motors LLC in Hardin.