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Remembering Emmy Myers

Written by Pat Hawkins

Many people, in their youth, want to change the world. Many people approach the twilight of their lives wondering “Have I made a difference? Will I leave the world a better place than I found it?”

We do not know if Emmy Myers was one of those people. One thing we do know, though, is that she entered eternity as someone who did change the world, someone who did make a difference, and someone who truly left the world a better place than she found it.

The Emmy we knew was physically fragile but that fragile body housed a potent cocktail of guts, grit, wisdom, generosity, and grace. Her life was one of service – to people, to animals, and to the community she loved.

She donated money and time to “Operation Thank You.” To her it was unacceptable for servicemen and women deployed overseas to be forgotten. Closer to home, she supported people and causes any way she could through gifts of money, of time, or simply by her presence. Hospice was close to her heart. Emmy knew the pain of loss and turned that pain into a positive force — by supporting people who were traveling life’s final journey.

PAWS of Dearborn County was one of her causes. The PAWS Humane Center, quite honestly, would not exist if not for Emmy. Her generous gift allowed PAWS to kick start the fundraising for a new shelter. Her moral support and sage advice kept PAWS volunteers focused and motivated. Emmy did not do this for glory or recognition. Emmy just knew that the shelter would give dogs and cats a new chance at life and that they, in turn, would add life to the families that adopted them. Her “fur children,” Cassie and Mitchell, gave her devotion and companionship. She wanted others to experience that.

Emmy made her home in Hidden Valley Lake – she loved this community and we, quite simply, loved her back. Emmy was such a large part of the fabric of life in Hidden Valley. She was a longstanding member of the Garden Club, a driving force behind the establishment of the Fitness Center, and for thirteen years the chair of the Judicial Panel. In addition to donating her time, she donated things to make the community more beautiful – the lake near the main entrance has a fountain as well as a bench that she donated in memory of her beloved husband, Jim.

Operation Thank You, Hospice, PAWS of Dearborn County, Hidden Valley Lake – all are better for one fact. Emmy did change the world. She did make a difference. We were fortunate to be part of Emmy’s story and will miss her so very much.

“Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Remembering Dave and Ann Kleinfeld

. . . written by Donna Hartman

Because of their heart-felt bequest, a Bright couple’s life-long love of animals and their generous spirit lives on in the care of hundreds of homeless cats and dogs at the PAWS Humane Center in Lawrenceburg.

About 25 family members and dear friends of Ann and David Kleinfeld gathered recently at the Humane Center to remember and honor the couple at a special reception. The guests then toured the animal shelter to see the animals and learn about the care that the Kleinfelds’ gift provides. And, a plaque honoring the Kleinfelds now hangs in the Humane Center lobby.

David grew up in the Cleveland, OH, area and loved the movie “Christmas Story” because it was so like his childhood. He worked as an engineer at General Electric. Ann — known as “Boots” to her three sisters and one brother — grew up in Cincinnati’s Elmwood Place neighborhood and then Harrison, OH. She rose through the ranks at The Cincinnati Insurance Cos. and eventually served as vice president of the company’s board.

Throughout their married life, the Kleinfelds shared their home with a “motley crew” of dogs and cats that they rescued. Whether it be a shaggy dog or a mother cat with kittens, stray animals just seemed to “find” the Kleinfelds, who would care for them and find good homes for them.

Sometimes, David and Ann kept an animal as their own pet. Such was the case with Benji. Recalled Ann’s sister, Rita Hackathorn of Midland, OH, “One day Ann came upon a very frightened little dog dodging traffic on a busy Cincinnati-area road. Of course, Ann pulled over. Dodging traffic herself, she managed to save the pitiful looking dog. Many attempts to find the dog’s owner were in vain. Ann took the little guy home, cleaned him up and named him Benji.

“Poor Benji was not blessed with good looks, but was blessed to have found a home with two very caring people.”

The Kleinfelds’ friend Wade Griffin Jr. of York, SC, added, “Dave and Ann had Benji for many years. Everywhere they went, the dog came along. Just as Ann was diagnosed with Alzheimer disease, Benji must have been aware that something was wrong and he was a constant companion, even in his old age.”

David Kleinfeld passed on in 2012, and Ann in 2013.

Family and friends came from as far north as Lake Erie and as far south as South Carolina to remember the Kleinfelds and to honor their legacy to the PAWS Humane Center. Griffin expressed his appreciation for the opportunity, describing David and Ann as “two wonderful, caring people, their kindness and generosity bottomless, and my dearest and closest friends.”

Said Hackathorn, “Dave and Ann loved many pets throughout the years. Now Dave and Ann are gone, but their love of animals continues through a gift to PAWS”


Remembering Trent Myers

There’s nothing that would make Trent Myers happier than knowing he helped raise money for an amazing place like PAWS. He was such an animal lover and had such a huge heart, if it were up to him we would have taken in every animal he ever came across and we would have had a small zoo. We still had many animals that he loved…guinea pigs (that were both “female” but still we ended up with babies!), hamsters, birds, lizards, dogs and even a cat that he brought home from a yard sale.

Trent begged for a dog of his own for years…we finally gave in last July and he saved a pit bull mix puppy from the shelter. We had no idea that four short months later Trent would pass in an accident. His dog “Lui” brought him so much joy and now his dog keeps us going every day. Lui brings us so much happiness, knowing how much Trent loved him. That’s why we decided there would be no better way to honor his memory than to make memorial donations in his name to PAWS and help cats and dogs that don’t have a happy home to go to. I know Trent Myers is smiling in Heaven knowing what a difference he has made!! . . . with love, Kristina Myers (Trent’s mom).

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