Mary Kenward Lohr

Academic and Career Accomplishments

Mary Kenward Lohr, a 1939 Ravenna graduate, was in the National Honor Society, secretary of her senior class, Student Council president, and played the violin in the orchestra. While attending Hiram to earn her degree in secondary education, she assisted in the legal establishment of the Portage County Library. She earned a masters degree in library science from Case Western and did post graduate work in special education, administration and psychology. She became the children’s librarian at Reed Memorial Library. Visiting all Ravenna grade schools on a monthly basis, she brought classroom collections into the schools before there were grade school libraries. She began the Summer Reading Program and Story Hour, both a first for Ravenna. She then became one of two teachers in the first classes created in Portage County for children with special needs. She was a driving force in the establishment of Happy Day School and initiated the building program for the facility. She served as director of Children’s Services for the Portage County Board of Mental Retardation, principal of Happy Day, initiated the development of the Sheltered Workshop (now Portage Enterprises), Alpha Enterprises, Independence Board, and helped open the first group home for residential services. She wrote the original bus drivers’ manual, developing the original transportation system for Happy Day, which became a model for the State of Ohio. In her spare time, she was a Girl Scout leader and helped with the development of Camp Jessie May. Her motto is “Never seek nor expect acclaim but strive to receive satisfaction from the accomplishments of those individuals that I have had the privilege of serving.”

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