HomeFeatures50 Over 60: Recognizing Community Standouts (Dec./Jan. 2024)

50 Over 60: Recognizing Community Standouts (Dec./Jan. 2024)

Northwest Ohio is home to talented and generous people from all walks of life. They take time to impact the community through their work, by volunteering or with good-natured entrepreneurship. M Living, in the next several issues, will recognize 50 community members , all over the age of 60, whose contributions to our community have improved the quality of life. Here are the first eight of our 50 Over 60 Community Standouts.

Denise Cubbon 


In a career dedicated to the law, Cubbon started as a Juvenile Court prosecutor in the early 1980’s before being selected as a Lucas County Juvenile Court Judge in 2004. She became the Lucas County Administrative Judge in 2007 and in January, 2009, she was appointed to serve on The Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Children, Families & the Courts. 

Cubbon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Toledo College of Law. After college she served as an ACTION/ VISTA volunteer assigned in affiliation with the Texas Migrant Council. An active community member, Denise has served and held leadership positions in a number of not-for-profit organizations and task forces.

Recently retired from the bench, in October, 2023, Denise Cubbon served Lucas County well for decades.

Marcy Kaptur 


Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur represents the working people of Ohio’s Ninth Congressional District as the longest serving woman in the history of the United States Congress. As well, she ranks among the most senior members of the current 118th Congress. As a Toledo native with working class roots, Kaptur worked for 15 years as a city and regional planner in Toledo and Chicago, before accepting an appointment as domestic policy advisor to President Jimmy Carter. In 1981, while pursuing a doctorate in urban planning and development finance at MIT, Marcy was recruited by the Lucas County Democratic Party to run for Congress. Kaptur parlayed a strong economic message with hard campaigning during the 1982 recession to stage a nationally-recognized upset.

Today Kaptur serves as the first woman Ranking Member of Congress’ influential House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, which she considers an honor given the Ninth District stretches across much of the southern Lake Erie coastline.

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Tom Runnells 


Runnells has experience in the limelight, working in professional baseball for 41 years. Runnells has brought that knowledge back to the community by volunteering to coach the Sylvania Northview High School baseball team while sharing hitting advice with area youngsters through private lessons. “I’m honored to give back to the sport that I have a true passion for,” Runnells said. “I feel grateful that I can be a small part of their [ a young player’s] journey as an athlete and a human being.”

Runnells has also combined his lifetime love for baseball with his creative talents by turning baseballs into artwork that honors the game’s past and present legends, working to bring awareness to the Negro Leagues comprised of professional baseball teams of African Americans through the mid-1900s.

Tedd Long

[local history]

A self-described history geek, Long is a recognized Northwest Ohio historian. Creating and managing the Holy Toledo History website, Long uses his writing and storytelling skills to showcase Northwest Ohio’s historic sites, varied architecture, iconic food and more. His passion for history is coupled with his passions for photography, business and leadership. Long has written several books, including 100 Things to do in Toledo Before You Die and Forgotten Visitors

Long provides regular tours of the area, including subjects of downtown Bowling Green and Toledo’s Warehouse district. He also conducts themed tours ,like the Unholy Toledo tour, which focuses on the activities of former area gangsters. “I hope my history research and photographs will help heighten awareness of America’s historical heritage and support and encourage the many people who work to preserve our natural and local treasures,” Long explains.

Billie Johnson

[senior relations]

Johnson has dedicated her life to helping area seniors. In 1974, Billie wrote the first grant to fund the framework for the Area Office on Aging, which originally became a United Way program to help empower the elderly and to develop programs to help aging seniors live independently. After a few years, the program expanded and became its own independent non profit agency which, throughout the years, has grown to address the needs of older adults across 10 Northwest Ohio counties. 

After nearly five decades of service, Johnson retired in 2023 as the Director of the Area Office on Aging but she still advocates for older adults through a new project: a PACE Program for area seniors that provides all their needed care while allowing them to stay in their own homes. “I enjoy getting up each morning and advocating for older adults,” Johnson said. 

Walt Churchill Jr.


Walt Churchill Jr. is the legendarily gregarious owner of Churchill’s Markets which his family opened in Toledo in 1917, a single location on West Central Ave. where families could get all their groceries without having to brave the long trip downtown. After Churchill Jr’s decorated and illustrious 30-year Marines career, he began helping his father run the business while growing and evolving. Following his father’s passing in 1998, Walt Jr. assumed control of the company.

Despite attempts at establishing partnerships with other grocery store chains, Walt Jr. felt that no other store could capture the heart and soul of his father’s legacy, so he purchased the Briarfield location in 2005 and repurchased the Perrysburg location in 2009, branding both as Walt Churchill’s Markets. In 2019, in order to ensure that his family’s legacy would continue to be known by future generations, Walt restructured the business, making Walt Churchill’s Market a 100% Employee Owned Company.

Bill Geha 

[community engagement]

Geha, an Intervention & Prevention Counselor for Sylvania Schools, has made a career of keeping children happy and healthy in Northwest Ohio. Geha has received national and international professional recognition for his efforts with drug counseling and prevention. As the leader of the P.E.A.C.E. (Protecting Every Abused Child Everywhere) Project, Geha works to stop drug abuse and bullying among children. 

The pool manager at Highland Meadows Country Club since 1973, Geha had the pool named after him in 2023. “As a father, grandfather, teacher, drug counselor, director of the P.E.A.C.E. Project, co-director of America’s Pride Drug Prevention Team and Youth to Youth, my heart is touched every day by wonderful children. I am blessed to be working with amazing people that are making this world a better place.”

Sue Carter


Carter is an activist, helping the Toledo area community through the medical field. Sue attended the University of Toledo where she earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. During the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, when she lost her boss and her best friend to the disease, she was inspired to go back to the University of Toledo to receive a master’s degree in counseling. She then became a counselor for HIV/AIDS patients with the Ryan White Program at the University of Toledo Medical Center.

Sue Carter has been a part of many organizations and community activist movements over the years, including the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Nuclear Freeze Movement, Veterans for Peace, NOVA ( No One’s Victory Alone, Toledo’s Buddy Program for people with AIDS), David’s House, Toledoans Against the Death Penalty, the labor movement, the Northwest Ohio Peace Coalition and Advocates for a Clean Lake Erie. Carter joined the ACLU in the late 1980s, and quickly assumed leadership roles in the Northwest Ohio Chapter. In 1992, Sue joined the ACLU of Ohio Board of Directors, and served as president from 1999-2009, serving on the Board until 2018, for a total of 25 years. “I have no intention of going quietly into that good night,” she vows, adding, “I will be active, angry, outraged and ever involved with the Ohio ACLU, its battles and successes.”

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