2019 Citizens of Honor Biographies

Karen Carter Photo

Karen Ruth Lehwald Carter

Karen was born April 24, 1946, the third child to Dr. Carl and Caroline Lehwald and younger sister to siblings Carol & Jim (As a fun fact, Karen was delivered by Dr. Roy Smucker who was the husband of Ruth Smucker, known for the Ruth Smucker House on Broadway. The Smucker’s took Karen’s parents under their wings when they came to town in 1936, and since they had no children, her parents gave Karen the middle name of Ruth after Ruth Smucker.) She was a 1964 graduate of Salem High School and 1968 Kent State University graduate with a degree in elementary education. In 1971 Karen married her high school sweetheart, Tasi Carter. They are the parents of two daughters, Sarah and Carrie and two grandsons, Carter & Easton. After Tasi was hired by Ford Motor Company in 1972, they relocated to Lima, Ohio, from there he was promoted to Ford’s World headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. At that time, they moved to Plymouth Michigan, where they raised their family. Karen taught at Buckeye and Reilly in Salem, and elementary school in Wapakoneta, Ohio. After retirement they moved back to their hometown of Salem in 2004, where they bought the Lehwald family home on South Lincoln.

Karen attends the Hearts on Fire Ministry of Salem United Methodist Church; served on the Bicentennial committee; co-chaired the Salem Preservation Home Tour; and served for four terms as vice president of the Salem Preservation Society. Karen also served as vice president for two terms on the Salem Shade Tree Commission; Design Review Board for one year, and is currently serving on the Board of Trustees for Grandview Cemetery. She currently serves on the city’s Housing Appeals Board.  

Karen is one of three coordinators for Salem Preservation’s Reilly Project and the Banner Project. She also serves on Salem Preservation’s McCulloch Park Restoration Project Committee; member of Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and co-chair for the Chamber’s Beautification Committee. She is a member of the Charles Burchfield Society, and a Lifetime member of the Salem Historical Society. 

Karen is a Heart & Soul Award recipient, as well as a Vocational Service Award through the Rotary Club of Salem; Outstanding Citizen of the Year sponsored by the Salem Chamber of Commerce; Committee Recognition Award, sponsored by Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and a Paul Harris Fellow Award recipient from the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.

Donald Weingart Photo

Donald R. Weingart

Donald was born on March 3, 1935. He was a graduate of the former Goshen Union High School (now West Branch) in Damascus in 1952. Don married June Snyder and they are parents of two children Joy Lynn Snyder and Michael L. Weingart.

    Don was hired by the City of Salem in June of 1952 and was soon transferred to the new Salem Water Treatment Plant. With Water Plant Operation experience and Ohio State University Water Treatment Short School Training, he successfully passed the Ohio Department of Health Department Class C Water Supply Operator Certification Examination in 1954, the Ohio Department of Health Department Class B Water Supply Operator Certification in 1956, and Class A Water Supply Operator Certification in 1959.

    Don was appointed Chief Operator of the Salem Water Treatment Plant in 1963 and appointed Superintendent of Utilities for the City of Salem, Ohio in 1985, a position he still holds 34 years later. He passed the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) Class II Wastewater Treatment Operator Certification in 1985.

Don is a 30 year member of the American Water Works Association.  He was feted by Rotary Foundation of Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow, and the Ohio Section American Water Works Association Wendell R. LaDue Citation.  He is a member of the Ohio Farm Bureau Association.

     In 2012 he received the Ohio Service Recognition award for 60 years of service by then Governor John R. Kasich; U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown Service and Contribution 60 Year Recognition; Congress of the United States, House of Representatives Congressman Bill Johnson, 60 Year Recognition; as well as the Ohio Senate, Ohio House of Representatives 129th General Assembly, State of Ohio Office of the Auditor   On June 1, 2012 Mayor John Berlin declared it Don Weingart Day by Proclamation to the City of Salem.  In 2013 Don received the Distinguished Alumni Award of Recognition of Outstanding Career and Service to his community by the Goshen High School Alumni Association.

     In recognition of the distinguished career and life of Donald Weingart, the Salem Historical Society proudly recognizes one of its own for 67 years of excellence in providing quality water to the City of Salem, Ohio and its citizens.

Richard Wooten Photo

Richard Lamar (Dick) Wootten

Dick was born in August 30,1934 in Atlanta, Georgia, son of John Franklin and Betty (Shadburn) Wootten. He earned a BA in Journalism with editorial concentration in 1956. Dick served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and served in Alaska. He was Captain of the Ohio State University Varsity Lacrosse team, and founding member of the Cleveland West Road Runners’ Club. He married Judith “Jay” Wootten and was the father of two daughters, Julie and Elizabeth.

Dick served as City Editor and Features Editor for the Salem News. He was the founder of Yesteryears, Editor Life and People magazine stringer, He worked freelance for the  Cleveland Press, Police Beat, Suburbs, Art and Entertainment, as well as for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Western Reserve Magazine.  

Dick will always be most well known for being the founder of the Burchfield Homestead Society, founded in 1993. He produced the play “Burchfield’s Homecoming”, which was performed before many clubs and organizations. A revised version was performed at Salem Community Theatre. The Burchfield Museum opened in 1999 with help from the Burchfield Foundation, the Pearce Foundation, and the Salem Community Foundation.  He served as president and executive director from 1993-2016. He served as president for the Salem Lions Club and Salem Historical Society, and as a board member for the Salem Community Theatre and Kent State Salem Campus. He also provided piano entertainment at the Salem Historical Society, First Presbyterian Church and Salem Jubilee.

He authored the book David Hostetler the Carver, Salem News Yesteryears, a weekly tabloid he developed and edited along with Dale Shaffer and Lois Firestone.  He was presented the Distinguished Citizen for Art Education Award, East Central Region of the Ohio Art Education Association; Man of the Year, Salem YWCA, Fine Arts; Pulitzer Prize Nomination for Cleveland Art Week; Excellence in Journalism for Arts Reporting, Cleveland Press Club; and Excellence in Journalism Special Commendation for Cleveland Art Week Cleveland Press Club.

Richard Wootten passed away April 20, 2016, but left behind a beautiful legacy through the Charles Burchfield Society, and will be long remembered for his many and diverse talents, so willingly given through the years. He exemplifies what a Citizen of Honor should be.