Six names which, as of Thursday, will be on permanent display at the veterans memorial at Canton High School commending their service and honoring their supreme gift thanks to the efforts of Jim Keller and Harry Steck.

CANTON—Larry Dean Ball, Class of 1961.
Bruce Gordon Howerter, Class of 1967.
Thomas William Scott, Class of 1968.
Dana Alan Harrison, Class of 1966.
Daryl Gene Scalf, Class of 1969.
Theodore “Ted” Fitz-Henry, Class of 1987.


Six names which, as of Thursday, will be on permanent display at the veterans memorial at Canton High School commending their service and honoring their supreme gift thanks to the efforts of Jim Keller and Harry Steck.


Keller remembered Fitz-Henry’s dedication to the service came through family connections. Both his father and brother, Jack, had been in the military and Jack himself had been a captain in the Green Berets, receiving a Purple Heart and a number of Bronze Stars. Fitz-Henry decided to go into the Navy and, inspired by his brother, became a Navy Seal.


Fitz-Henry and his wife, Michelle, had decided to leave the military and become firemen but the war in the Mideast flared up again and he decided to re-enlist. He later died June 15, 2004, and was buried in Chicago. His burial was held up for a few days in order to have a Rear Admiral from the Navy present.


“That doesn’t happen very often,” Keller remarked.


Keller thought it fitting to have memorial on the grounds of Canton High School because of Fitz-Henry’s devotion to the school.
“He loved Canton,” Keller said. “Every time he came back he visited old coaches, teachers.”


Having the memorial on the CHS ground is not only important for Fitz-Henry’s memory and the memory of the five Vietnam veterans, but also for the students currently in the building, Keller felt.


“It’s nice to know they all walked the same halls as they do,” Keller said. “They paid the ultimate sacrifice and maybe the students can draw some strength from that.”


Keller, who admits he still tears up whenever he hears the National Anthem, remarked at the beauty of the memorial at the school.
“It’s just beautiful, absolutely gorgeous.”


Steck was acquainted with all five of the Vietnam War veterans honored, four of whom were classmates and one who went to the same church.


Steck said he had been working for such a memorial since the late 80s and early 90s when the mayor at the time gave him his blessing. However, Steck said he was unable to get the monument done until now, adding he had hoped it could have been placed at the Lakeland monument. But both he and Keller added they felt as if it was God’s plan to have the two memorials at the school site.
“God’s way is always a better plan,” they said. “He will always work it out.”


District Superintendent Rolf Sivertsen said the school’s site had received over 9,000 hits about the monuments since they were installed Thursday. Sivertsen added he had seen many admirers visit the memorial since then.


Plans are to include more names at the site, Sivertsen said. Plaques honoring other deceased veterans will be placed at the site on the concrete surrounding the flag poles. Research has been done for the names of CHS veterans who died in combat, but so far it has only been done through World War I.


Plans to formally dedicate the memorials during this year’s Veterans Day program are being discussed.