Thank You, LHS Class Of 1972
I normally don’t text, but on July 3rd, I happened to look at my phone and I had received a text from my brother John (LHS ’77) with an attachment from, what turned out to be, “The Lakewood Observer.” He had received it from a friend in Lakewood. The attachment was a beautiful article or letter from Susan Schwartz Salontay titled “The July 4th 1969 Memorial Bench” from the July 3, 2019 issue.
The Memorial Bench referred to in her article was apparently installed in Lakewood Park as a remembrance to her sister, Greta Schwartz, who was one of the two teen girls killed in the July 4th 1969 storm. Her article included a picture of the plaque on the bench which read:
July 4th, 1969
Greta Schwartz/Dagmar Dolejs
Dedicated by LHS Class of 1972
I initially was stunned at this, but also grateful and very touched by the news that my sister, Dagmar Dolejs, was also being remembered on this bench. Ironically, no member of our family was aware of this touching gesture. Although I currently reside in Venice, Florida, my two brothers John and Dan (twin to Dagmar) and my sister, Marcella, all still live in the Rocky River/Avon area. Surely, I thought, one of them would have known about the bench, but inexplicably, they did not. Although there was an attempt by LHS, 1972 representatives, no contact was successfully made.
Although this is coming approximately 4 years late (the bench was installed 4 years ago) it is never too late to say “thank you.”
So on behalf of the Dolejs family, we want to offer our sincerest thanks to Susan Schwartz Salontay and to Anita Weber Rhea, who Susan credits with spearheading the “Memorial Bench” project along with the encouragement of Mike Summers, Lakewood’s mayor.
Additionally, and equally important, our thanks and gratitude for this effort are also extended to the Lakewood High School Class of 1972 for their support and funding of this project. This initiative is so special to us that we will always be eternally grateful. It is sometimes hard to choose just the right words to communicate just how much we appreciate what the class has done for us as a family and for that matter, for Susan’s family. Even after 50 years!
With this “Memorial Bench,” the events of that July 4th day will be appropriately remembered.
We want to also acknowledge the staff of the Lakewood Observer for printing Susan’s letter. We would not have known about this if it weren’t for the Lakewood Observer. There must be some strong powers circulating that would bring all of these connections together after exactly 50 years, with individuals we have never known until now, but will remain connected to us, probably forever.
Yes, Susan, it is all good… your sister and our sister will be remembered. Thank you all!
Brother of Dagmar Dolejs who died in Lakewood Park as a result of the 1969 storm on July 4.