Wittenberg’s Larry Hunter holds the 1977 national championship photo and poses for a photo with players, including Brian Agler, far left, in Springfield. Wittenberg photo
Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

8 beloved people we’ve lost in Clark and Champaign counties recently

Over the last year, Clark and Champaign counties lost a number of community members who had deep ties to the area.

Here’s a look at eight notable people who have died:

Larry Hunter

The former Wittenberg University basketball coach died May 4 at 68.

Hunter coached Wittenberg from 1976-89. The Tigers won the national championship in 1977 by beating Oneonta State 79-66 in Rock Island, N.Y. Wittenberg lost 60-57 in overtime to Scranton in the national title game the previous season when Hunter was an assistant coach under Bob Hamilton.

READ MORE: Former Wittenberg coach Larry Hunter dies at 68

Robert ‘Deputy Bob’ Mount

Former Clark County Sheriff’s deputy Robert Mount passed away April 14. Mount was best known to the children in the drug and violence resistance program, D.A.R.E., as “Deputy Bob.” Mount was one the founding members of the program in the county and worked for the sheriff’s office for 25 years. Colleagues and family described him as a sincere person who had a deep passion for the kids he taught.

MORE: Clark County community remembers D.A.R.E. officer ‘Deputy Bob’

Northeastern High School athletic director Darin Binkley

Darin Binkley, the athletic director at Northeastern High School, died on April 2. Binkley was in his first year as athletic director at the school, but had served as an educator for 26 years. The school had counseling services available at the school the day after his death. Superintendent John Kronour said Binkley’s death was a severe loss to the Northeastern community.

RELATED: How district is coping after Northeastern A.D.’s death

Tecumseh 8th-grader Colin Griffin

Colin Griffin died in early March after a long battle with cancer. People in the community honored Griffin by changing their profile pictures on social media to the Tecumseh logo and using #ColinStrong, and Tecumseh students wore black and red spirit wear to school. Griffin was heavily involved in athletics — playing football, soccer, basketball and baseball. “Collin had a huge smile that matched his outgoing personality,” said Brian Dixon, Tecumseh Middle School principal. “His kindness and courage will be his lasting legacy at Tecumseh.”

DETAILED COVERAGE: Tecumseh honors 8th-grade student who died of cancer, made big impact

Springfield piano teacher, Anna Clara Gee Blackwell-Hagans

Anna Clara Gee Blackwell-Hagans stunned people when she earned a master’s degree in piano performance at age 76 and another in piano education at age 82. She grew up in a musical family, and continued her love of the piano until her death in January. Blackwell-Hagans also released an autobiography called, ‘He’s All I Need: My Life Story’ in February 2014. Her daughter Nisa Blackwell-Turn wrote of her mother in an award nomination, “We are so proud of our mother — a great role model for people young and old who feel they cannot accomplish anything.”

TRIBUTE: Springfield native, piano teacher known for lifelong learning

Urbana girls basketball coach Bill Moss

Basketball coach Bill “Skeeter” Moss was seven games into his 31st season as head coach when he died in December 2017. Moss was a two-time state champion in 1992 and 1993. At the time of his death, the Hillclimbers were 1-6 on the season. A Facebook post from the school’s football team says, “Urbana mourns as a team, school, and community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

RELATED: Urbana girls basketball coach Bill Moss dies

Catholic Central sophomore Carly DeLong

15-year-old Carly DeLong died in September from cancer. She played volleyball and softball at Catholic Central. DeLong was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in December 2016 and was being treated at Children’s Hospital of Dayton. ‘Courage for Carly’ had become a rallying cry for the teen. Catholic Central and Springfield High School both wore orange at sporting events in her honor. “Beautiful here and in heaven,” Kristin Meeks wrote on Littleton and Rue Funeral Home’s website. “So lucky to have known the impact that you have had and your parents have had on this Earth.

READ MORE: Catholic Central sophomore dies from cancer

Springfield North coaching legend Don Henderson

Don Henderson was one of the most successful high school coaches in the city. He won 368 basketball games during his time at Springfield North. Before the new Springfield High School was built, North’s gymnasium was named after him. Henderon was also one of the founders of the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. He died at age 87 in July 2017.

RELATED: Springfield North coaching legend dies at 87