Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of eight stories appearing daily in the News Journal on the members of the 2017 Class of the Outstanding Women of Clinton County.
A generous, loving “matriarch” of a woman, Ethel Marie Medley is being honored for her strong commitment and selfless contributions to community initiatives of all kinds.
In the words of the person who nominated her to the 2017 class of the Outstanding Women of Clinton County, Medley’s “enthusiasm for life, love of family and friends, and faith in God impact the lives of all of those with whom she has come in contact over the past 85 years.”
Having grown up with her 11 siblings on a farm near Sardinia, Ohio, Medley developed a responsible work ethic from an early age, along with her commitment of service to family and friends.
She graduated from Winchester High School in 1950, where she distinguished herself as a shot-put athlete, and later earned a business certificate from Bestline Cleaning Products in Cleveland. For several years she ran her own cleaning-products business.
Medley retired in 1996 after30 years at Wilmington’s Randall Company. As Vice President of the Brotherhood of Carpenters Union — a position to which she was elected by her fellow Randall workers — she was responsible for union finances. More importantly, she directed collective bargaining for the improvement of employee well-being and the establishment of harmony within the work environment.
She has enthusiastically volunteered in a number of valuable community programs, including “Adopt a Child for the Holiday” (anonymously filling the wish lists of needy families) and the “Summer Connection Program” sponsored by Zion Hill Church (organizing field trips and other activities for at-risk children).
Having lost nine of her siblings to cancer, Medley has been active with the American Cancer Society for the last 45 years, and has been recognized for her enormous efforts in soliciting donations to that cause. For 30 years she herself has donated regularly to St. Jude’s childhood cancer research program.
A long-time supporter of Wilmington College, both financially and in spirit, Medley has helped many students pursue their college education, while lending her exceptional singing voice to the college’s Martin Luther King Annual Community Day Program.
She is a 10-year member of the Outstanding Women of Clinton County Committee.
She and her spouse of 65 years remain active, faithful leaders in the Wilmington Bible Missionary Baptist Church. In October of 2015, they were awarded a plaque for over 60 years’ outstanding service.
Indeed, she has ministered to her church and its members wherever she is needed: acting as secretary, sitting on various committees, raising funds, visiting nursing homes, providing meals to bereaved families, and performing for a grateful congregation as soloist in the gospel choir.
Tickets for the March 4 Outstanding Women of Clinton County luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the Roberts Centre are $25 (cash or check accepted). Reservations can be made at the Wilmington News Journal, 761 S. Nelson Ave., Wilmington, OH 45177. The News Journal’s office hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. If you have any questions, please call 937-382-2574. Reservations will be accepted through March 1.