Alexis De Tocqueville Mentors

The following individuals have been honored by an Alexis de Tocqueville member for their contributions to the community and their impact on the lives of people close to them. Those affecting change in either the personal or public realm have done so by example – their unselfish commitment to giving back is a shining beacon in our community.



Nancy Markley
Nancy Markley will be remembered for her love of Ohio history, her passion for teaching children and her famous Dutch apple pie. Nancy earned a degree in elementary education from Kent State University. Nancy married Herbert E. Markley on June 22, 1946.She served on the Stark County Historical Society board for over 20 years. Nancy was also the founding president of the Auxiliary for the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum. Nancy volunteered for United Way, Aultman Hospital, Catholic Community League, Malone University, Mercy Medical Center and Walsh University. Nancy and Herbert were married for 36 years and had four children and six grandchildren.






 Lynn Grabowsky
Lynn was known for her talents as a great cook, pianist, putting family first and for her work in the community. Lynn attended Northwestern University in Illinois where she chose primary education as her major. Lynn married Bob Grabowsky on May 16, 1953. Lynn joined the Junior League of Canton in 1954 and was involved with United Way of Greater Stark County, the Red Cross, Aultman Hospital’s Woman’s Board and the Canton Line and Design Garden Club. She was also a member of Christ Presbyterian Church. She and Bob were married more than 50 years and had five children and 10 grandchildren. 






Dr. James F. and Charlene King
Dr. James F. King and his wife Charlene— an R.N.— decided to honor his mentor, Dr. James Pagano, with a gift in his name to the United Way Foundation. Their gift was the first Alexis de Tocqueville Mentor profile. His uncle, Dr. Pagano, a surgeon, graduated from St. Louis University, interned at Mercy Medical Center and married King’s aunt, who was also a registered nurse. Pagano helped Dr. King with his schooling at the University of Notre Dame and medical school at St. Louis University. Because of Dr. Pagano’s help early in his life, Dr. King became a respected and very successful gastroenterologist in the community.






Paul David
The late Paul David, founder of Camelot Records and the Paul and Carol David Foundation, made a lasting impression on many in Stark County through his generous works. Dedicated to helping people from all walks of life, the Foundation has focused its considerable resources on children. To achieve their goal, Paul and Carol chose United Way as one of their partners in addressing youth violence. Paul David was honored in 2003 by the United Way Board of Trustees for his community vision,  commitment to children and community service in Stark County.






Ardis and Glenn DeHoff
True leaders in every sense, Ardis and Glenn DeHoff set the standards for their family and community. Founders in 1962 of what is now Prudential DeHoff Realtors, Ardis and Glenn began implementing their legacy of community vision, business leadership and family values. Ardis was the strength for her husband Glenn until his death in 2003. Glenn leaves an endearing legacy for the DeHoff Family and Ardis’ legacy continues to grow each day. Ardis and Glenn DeHoff were honored in 2003 by Bob and Linda DeHoff.






William “Don” Sterling
William “Don” Sterling started Beaver Excavating in 1953 when he took out a $4,000 mortgage on his house to purchase a small backhoe and bulldozer. Since then, Beaver Excavating has grown to become one of the Top 10 Excavating and Foundation Contractors in the country. His three sons Mark, Jeff and Greg are running the company. William “Don” Sterling was honored in 2003 by his sons Mark, Jeff and Greg Sterling and daughter Jill Givens for his entrepreneurial leadership and community service in Stark County. Don passed away in 2010.






J. Babe Stern
Close to 70 of J. Babe Stearn’s 90 years have been spent giving back to the Stark County community, particularly to the young people. The former police officer’s mission was reaching children and helping them lead productive lives. Today, the Stearn Center – which he helped to create – celebrates and teaches his ideals. The Stearn Center currently serves nearly 3,000 boys and girls a year through basketball and baseball leagues and after-school programs. J. Babe Stearn was honored in 2003 by the friends of J. Babe Stearn for his commitment to the children of Stark County.






Mildred Urbach
Mildred Urbach was the first woman to lead the United Way of Central Stark County (United Fund) campaign, raising more than $1 million in 1968. Prior to that, she served in various campaign leadership positions for 15 years. She founded United Way’s Information and Referral, which was started to provide a one-stop agency for people to find community resources and programs. Mildred Urbach was honored in 2003 by Dr. John and Dr. Arysol Niffenegger for her commitment to community building and caring in Stark County. Mildred is John’s grandmother.






Guy Cecchini
Known all around Stark County as “Mr. McDonald’s,” Guy Cecchini is much more than just a McDonald’s owner/operator. Guy joined the McDonald’s Corporation in 1967 and has purchased, sold, opened, relocated and rebuilt many stores. A key component of Guy’s business is his commitment to give back to the community and to the many people who have helped make him so successful. Many of Guy’s contributions to the community are in support of children. That is why Guy chose to join with the United Way to establish a fund in memory of his son Carlo T. Cecchini, which provides scholarships to pay for daycare for disadvantaged children.






E.L. (Al) Cutler
E. L. (Al) Cutler, founder of Cutler Real Estate, was a leader and a driving force in his business, the board of realtors and the community. As a business leader, there was none better. Al was giving of his time and knowledge and was responsible for the careers of many outstanding local realtors.  He laid the foundation in his company for what it is today, a company of caring and giving people dedicated to a business of serving people. E. L. Cutler was honored by Jim Bray, Jim Camp and Jay Cutler from Cutler Real Estate.







Ronald Carl (R.C.) Miller
Ronald Carl Miller Sr. left a legacy as a philanthropist and business leader in the greater Stark County community. As founder of R. C. Miller Refuse Service, Inc., his company was rated in the top 100 waste-hauling companies in the USA for four years, reaching all the way to #42 before the sale of the company in 1998. R. C. Miller Refuse Service, Inc. was featured in several trade magazines, including Waste Age and Recycling Today.  In 1994, the company received the SCOPE Award from The Canton Chamber of Commerce. This award honors Stark County Owned Private Enterprises “In Recognition of Outstanding Business Achievement in Stark County.”






Herbert Schalmo
Herbert Schalmo was admired for his high moral principles.  He was a devoted Catholic, a great American patriot and a successful businessman who believed in service above self. Raised on a farm on the outskirts of Canal Fulton, Herbert excelled in several careers before eventually starting his own business, a service station, in 1937. He later returned to his love of farming. He counted history and politics among his favorite hobbies. Herbert was 96 years old when he passed away.  His mind was sharp and he enjoyed reflecting on his life, historical events and the many changes that came about during his 96 years. Herbert Schalmo was honored by the Schalmo family.







Dr. Ralph T. Warburton
Ralph Warburton, M.D. is known as someone who not only dreams the impossible dream, but enthusiastically sets out to make it happen.  The physician is one of the founders of the North Canton Medical Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation, and one of the largest independent healthcare facilities in Ohio. Dr. Warburton’s belief that whatever was gained through medicine should be returned to their fellow man is evident in charitable programs and services provided through the Foundation including free medical care at the Stark Metropolitan Clinic and the Hartville Migrant Clinic, prescription assistance (PASS) program, community educational programs, health fairs, an expansive health education library, a children’s literacy program, and many more.






A Tribute to Women’s Work with United Way
In 2006, Mrs. Herbert E. Markley paid tribute to the work that women have done for the United Way throughout the years. Women dedicated to bettering the community have fulfilled the roles of policy makers, allocators, fundraisers, donors and volunteers for more than 80 years in greater Stark County.  When United Way was known as the Red Feather Organization or Community Chest, it was typically women who went door to door to collect donations. Today, women continue to play an integral role in the United Way organization. In 2003, the development of the Women’s Leadership Council celebrated and encouraged leadership and volunteerism with women throughout the community.







John B. Sirpilla
The son of Italian immigrants, John B. Sirpilla lived the American dream to the fullest.  He was hard working, dedicated to his family and a steward of service and philanthropy in the community. What began as a gas station operated in downtown Canton eventually grew into a camper rental and sales business. In 1963, John began Sirpilla RV, the first RV business of its kind in northeast Ohio. John celebrated his prosperity with others by giving back generously to the community. He planned campouts for his employees and customers, supported area bowling and softball teams, and contributed to numerous local charities and organizations. He led the campaign to raise $3 million to build the Walsh University Chapel. He also was integral in the construction of the St. Thomas-Aquinas High School sports stadium and was a key donor to United Way of Greater Stark County.







Robert Grabowsky
For Robert ‘Bob’ Grabowsky, hard work and dedication to his family were core values. The Canton-native was known as a kind businessman who always gave back to the community that he felt had given him so much. Bob joined the family business, Standard Plumbing and Heating, Inc. and served as President for 26 years. In 1988, he was awarded Engineer of the Year by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Bob Grabowsky gave generously to the Canton and Stark County community. He attributed the success of the family business to the kindness and generosity of the community he so proudly lived and worked in.







Congressman Ralph and Mary Regula
Education has always been a top priority for the Congressman. He was integral in the creation of NEOUCOM Medical School and Stark State College of Technology.  He has also helped fund Malone, Mount Union, Walsh and Stark State as well as area hospitals, roads, trails and the Akron-Canton Airport. Ralph’s work at the state and national level focuses on improved transportation infrastructure, health care and education. Mary is the former president of the Congressional Spouses Club and is an avid speaker on women’s issues, U.S. history and First Ladies. She founded the First Ladies’ Library on Market Street in downtown Canton.  In 1999, Mary was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame for her work on issues regarding women in today’s society.