The Mepham Who's Who
2005 Honorees

Seven distinguished graduates were inducted into the Mepham Who's Who Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place on May 15, 2005 with officers and board members presenting the honors at the Mepham Alumni Association Annual Spring Luncheon.

This program was initiated in 1964 to recognize and honor graduates who have made significant accomplishments in their fields of work and significant volunteer service to the community. A plaque in the rotunda honors our one hundred forty three previous winners and the new inductees.

If you have graduated from Mepham more than ten years ago, meet the above qualifications and would like to be considered for an award next year, send an e-mail to to receive an application. You may nominate yourself or another Mepham alumna/alumnus.

The distinguished 2005 recipients are:

Janice Davy Oursler ’61 – Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Dr. Oursler has had a distinguished career in the field of rehabilitation with special contributions to rehabilitation services for individuals with severe psychiatric disabilities. Janice’s career can be divided into two parts: (1) Providing psychiatric services for the State of New York; (2) Her career as an educator in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

In the field of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Janice was a director of a community mental health center in East Islip and Director of rehabilitation services at Bronx Psychiatric Center. As Director at Manhattan Psychiatric Center, Dr. Oursler took part in pioneering efforts to introduce specialized rehabilitation services to the state hospital system. She developed and implemented one of the first licensed intensive rehabilitation treatment programs in New York State.

After retiring from that, Dr. Oursler started her second career as an educator. She established a new Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. This included preparing the program to meet accreditation standards from New Jersey and serving as first teacher for most of the required courses. Janice has also helped implement similar psychiatric rehabilitation services in Pennsylvania.  To date, Pennsylvania has established 23 licensed programs providing such services. Dr. Oursler has also volunteered at the Bradley Children’s Hospital, working with children with psychiatric disabilities. Janice lives in W. Orange NJ, has one daughter, Jean, and was nominated for the Who’s Who program by her brother Andrew, Mepham class of 1956.

John M. DiMartino ’50 – Mechanical Design

In high school, John DiMartino earned varsity letters in wrestling, football, and baseball. In his Post Graduate year ’51, he was a LI Wrestling Champion. He attended Alfred University and left to play professional baseball with the Philadelphia Phillies minor leagues until an arm injury cut short that career.

His interest in art, nurtured at Mepham, enabled him to sell free-lance cartoons to McCall Corp. Employed as a draftsman in the 1950s by Amperex Electronics Corp., and then for Republic Aviation Corp., he later joined the firm of Peck & Hale in West Sayville where he became the major mechanical designer for most of their products for over an 18-year period. In 1971 he formed the Line Fast Corp. as a manufacturer of cargo tie-down and lifting equipment. It became Tandemloc Inc., where John personally obtained twelve U.S. patents and manufactured many products that are used by the military today. The company, John, and family relocated to Havelock NC, where he is still active as Chairman of the Board.

His community service includes Pres. and VP of the Sayville Board of Education, 1966-78; President of the Montauk Broadway Civic Assoc. in Sayville in the ’60s; a Sayville Little League coach, administrator, and president; active with St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sayville and St. Paul Lutheran Church in NC. He chaired the committee for Mepham Classes of ’50 and ’51 40th Reunion.

John is a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and the U.S. Delegation to International Standards Org. He received a citation from the Town of Islip for 12 years of service, a proclamation for service to the Sayville Board of Education, and a Suffolk County proclamation for his service to the Sayville Little League.

Married to Irene Averell, Mepham ’50, since 1954, the DiMartinos have two sons and six grandchildren, all living nearby in New Bern NC.

Judith Anne Hardy Whitmire ’57 – Public Health

Judith has worked for the San Luis Obispo County Department of Public Health in various capacities: as a microbiologist, supervising microbiologist, and as a laboratory director.

She has performed many critical roles at the health department: during the typhoid outbreak resolution ’64, anthrax resolution ’76, and the tuberculosis outbreaks in the ’90s. She was instumental in meeting the challenges of AIDS testing in the ’80s. She established protocols in the new field of molecular testing as well as testing mail for anthrax, and served on the Biosolids Task Force 2001-2002.

Judith’s community activities include wild animal rescue and rehabilitation. She has also administered emergency medicines to wild animals and has worked with the Pacific Wildlife Care and Marine Mammal Center. Her contributions to zoology, microbiology, and marine mammal rescues have been numerous.

Considering herself fortunate to work in a field she loves, her second passion is mountain hiking. She has climbed Mt. Whitney and several other 13,000–14,000 foot peaks.

Residing in Incline Village, Nevada, Judith is married to Newman J. Whitmire. Judith raised 2 sons of her own from a first marriage, nurtured children of her second husband, including several foster children with whom she is still in touch.

She and her second husband converted their garage into an emergency medical facility to rescue sick and stranded marine mammals. They also owned and operated a nursery and dried flower business. Today in NV their garage is an artisan’s workshop where they both turn and make bowls from tree stumps. Their bowls are being exhibited at Lake Tahoe.

William Joel ’55 – Transportation

William (AKA Billy) has been very successful in his business life, building transportation/warehouse/ distribution companies “from scratch” to over $100 million in revenue. He has handled freight for major retailers. Currently he is chairman of Gale Delivery, Inc. and Talay Trailer Sales & Rental, Inc., both Bay Shore NY. He is Director, Home Federal Bank of Hollywood, and serves on their Audit & Loan Committees in Hollywood FL.

Particularly noteworthy has been his ongoing commitment to community. Billy is on the Board of Directors of his condominium; past president and lifetime member, Shaarei Shalom Synagogue, Bellmore NY; a founder, Mt. Sinai Medical Center and life member of its Cancer Lifeline, Miami Beach Fl; Grand Notable, Alzheimer’s Care Committee/Notables at Douglas Gardens, Miami FL; a founder, Jack Joel School for Special Children (named for his brother, handling over 300 students with disabilities), Seaford NY; member, Aventura Community Advisory Board and Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, Aventura FL; Regional Board Member of American ORT in Hollywood, Anti-Defamation League in Miami, and Greater Miami Jewish Federation in Miami; a founder, Miami Jewish Home & Hospital; member of Chabad of Aventura, and member Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Ft. Lauderdale FL.

He was recognized by the Anti-Defamation League with the Torch of Liberty Award for his humanitarian concerns, bringing together people of all races and ethnic backgrounds. He was recently elected to the position of City Commissioner, Aventura FL.

Billy lives in Aventura with his wife, Sandra. They have three children, Donna, Lisa, and Jay.

H. Frederick Koehler ’53 – High Tech Management

At Mepham Fred participated in various sports, committees, and choir. Fred entered the US Military Academy at West Point the week after graduating from Mepham HS in 1953. He graduated with a BS in 1957 and after attending Infantry, Ranger, and Paratrooper schools served in the 82d Airborne Division. In 1959 he coached the All-Army wrestling team.

Upon leaving the service he developed a technical reputation as an engineer for IBM and earned a MS in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University in 1963. Working for Ampex he headed development of add-on memory systems for IBM computers. It was unheard of at the time to attach outside peripherals to IBM computers. At Xerox Fred was one of the early word processor pioneers. He then went on to run divisions of major hi tech companies including Memorex and Varian. Fred has published numerous technical and business related articles, speaking out for business ethics and social justice.

At Xerox Corp., he was one of the early word-processing pioneers. He spent the last twenty years of his personal life running companies while also speaking out for business ethics and social justice. He was an experienced leader with demonstrated success and strong technical skills in operations, marketing, and international management. Some of his key accomplishments were his successes in turning around businesses from bankruptcy to solvency. He has written numerous articles and spoken nationally on various topics in his field.

Fred has served and chaired business school advisory boards at Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University. He chaired the Bay Area Council of the American Electronics Association and served on their national board. He has also been chairman of the Special Olympics "Walk for Gold".

Fred remains active in civic and church affairs. He chairs the San Mateo County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board, chairs the Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Council and is a volunteer deputy sheriff as a member of the Sheriff's Air Squadron. Fred and Bunny, his wife of 46 years, now live in San Carlos, California. They have lived in many parts of the country and traveled to many parts of the world. They both enjoy flying their airplane and participating in Angel Flight missions, transporting needy patients to and from medical care. They have four sons and six grandchildren.

Jeannette Paladino Antin ’53 – Public Relations

Jeannette was the founder and principal of her own public relations company, The Paladino Company. She has also served as vice president and group manager, Public Relations, Cohn & Wolfe; served as senior vice president, Corporate Commun-ications, Marsh & McLennan; and most recently was senior director, Citigate Communications.

Besides her corporate endeavors, Jeannette was very active donating her time to the community. She is a board member of the NYC Affiliate - American Heart Association and member of the NYC Executive Committee; Chair, Women and Heart Disease Task Force; member of the National Communications Comm.; Board member of the Financial Women’s Association of New York and Chair of its Community Affairs Comm., Marketing Communications Comm. and Lifestyles Comm. She is also (NY) chapter president of the Public Relations Society of America and Chair, National Communications Comm. Jeannette is also on the Board of Directors of two co-operative apartment corporations.

Among her honors is The Public Relations Society of America: John W. Hill Award winner for outstanding achievement and service to the profession; Women in Communication: Matrix Award winner as woman of the year in public relations; and she was the winner of the Long Island Public Relations Association Scholarship (at Hofstra).

Jeannette is married to Charles and has 2 step children and three grandkids. She is very close to her brothers Carl, Mepham Class of 1946 and Albert, Class of 1950.

Ronald C. Vale ’53 – Education

Ron was an outstanding Mepham athlete (football & basketball, four years and baseball, two). SUNY/ Cortland, BS in Physical Education & Health, was followed by an MS from Hofstra in Education/Administration.

He has had a distinguished career as an educator for almost fifty years — over forty in the Commack Public School District, starting as a teacher ’62, assistant principal ’66, principal of Burr Junior H. S. ’88, and then principal of Commack H. S. ’94. Ranking high on his list of accomplishments is the high school faculty’s drive to successfully raise the rate of Regents Diploma graduates, the percentage of seniors graduating with a Regents Diploma rising to 92 % from 47 % ten years earlier.

He is most proud that his school has been recognized as a NYS Blue Ribbon School, recognized by the Suffolk County Human Rights Assoc. in 2002 for their work toward improving and furthering human rights. Commack H. S. was also recognized as one of the top schools in the nation by Newsweek Magazine.

Ron is an active member of a variety of professional organizations includ-ing: the Nat’l Assoc. for Secondary School Principals; the Assoc. for Supervision and Development; Commack Administrative and Super-visory Assoc., and the Suffolk Co. Principals Assoc. As a day care owner/operator for over twenty-seven years, Ron has guided and directed several programs at both the Driftwood Day Camp and the Fort Salonga Country Day Camp.

Ron is proud of his five children with Virginia Fitch Vale ’54: Debra, Karen, Victoria, Ron, and Kevin. Each is leading a successful life involved in his or her own career.

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