Jerry Goodbar recalls farming with his father right out of high school in 1962 when he noticed a rock stuck in the plow blades. He immediately noticed the granite was shaped like the state of Ohio with its squared-off western border with Indiana, the meandering Ohio River’s distinct demarcation and Lake Erie’s presence from Toledo to Conneaut.
Intrigued, yes, but he had work to do and tossed the rock into the fence row.
He later retrieved it, cleaned it and entered it in the Clark County Fair. “It drew a lot of attention,” he noted, including a story in the Springfield newspaper that concluded, “Jerry doesn’t know what he’s going to do with it.”
That next spring, Goodbar visited Wilmington College and enjoyed lunch with Roy Joe Stuckey, founder of agriculture at WC, who told the young man, “Jerry, you have a lot to offer Wilmington College and Wilmington College has a lot to offer you.”
Goodbar financed his $11,000 in education costs through work on the college farm while majoring in physical education/coaching with a minor in agriculture. A 1967 WC graduate, he enjoyed a 40-year career in education, which included becoming the first agriculture teacher from the college when he joined the faculty at the Greenview schools in the early 1970s. He and his wife, Sandra, who reside in Springfield, have four children and 14 grandchildren.
The Ohio rock was a fixture on display in their home for more than a half century. Now 81 years old, Goodbar decided to present the rock — “something that means a lot to me” — to the college’s agriculture department in memory of Roy Joe and Ruth E. Stuckey for their enduring impact on the college.
Goodbar hopes that through the presence of the rock displayed in the WC Center for the Sciences and Agriculture, students of today will appreciate the Stuckeys’ many contributions to their alma mater. “Also, I hope they have the same thoughts I had as a freshman: how can I benefit from these four years and what can I do for Wilmington College?” he said.
Submitted by Randall Sarvis, senior director of public relations, Wilmington College.