|Haller Spencerville Chamber Citizen of the Year|
|Thursday, April 24, 2014 8:00 PM|
BY STEPHANIE GROVES
Chamber of Commerce members agreed Haller has given countless hours to the Spencerville Garden Club during his 16 year presidency and three years as treasurer.
Gary Metzger, a close friend, said Steve is a guy that wears many hats and described all the kind acts of friendship and volunteerism he has exhibited over the years.
Spencerville Garden Club President Sean Chapman said Steve has done so much for the Garden Club and the community and considers him a great friend.
Haller spoke and talked about the beginnings of the garden club.
“The garden club was an upstart of a Chamber of Commerce initiative called the Good Start Committee in 1998,” Haller said. “My wife, Marilyn, and I recruited 12 people and our first project was the village’s park.”
That beautification project led to developing a garden at Point Park, at Veteran’s Park, planting and maintaining huge planters located downtown and installing granite signage at the entranceways to the village. They also helped design and plant the landscape at the new library. Haller said they have had a lot of volunteers, including the school’s National Honor Society members, the Boy and Girl Scout clubs and the 4-H club.
According to one nomination letter, “Steve was very instrumental in reconstructing the log cabin for the Spencerville Historical Society.”
“We installed the split rail fence at the log cabin last year,” Haller said. “I want to plant Heirloom plants like Lily of the Valley, Iris, Poppy, Columbine and Yarrow and many of them originated from my grandmother’s house.”
He said he helped with the reconstruction of the cabin by performing chinking, which is a form of troweling mortar between the logs used in construction of the home.
In addition, he has given unselfishly to his friends, neighbors, village and community without hesitation.
Haller said he belonged to the Chicken Coup Carving Club and they initially met in a chicken coup where they used basswood and carved ducks, geese and other animals during the winter.
“Each year we worked with the Boy Scouts helping the 7-8-year-olds with their soap carvings,” Haller said. “They were so proud of their work.”
In 2007, Haller retired from the Dana Corporation where he served as an accountant. He said now that he’s retired, he has more time to pull weeds.
“Where else can a guy pull a few weeds and be nominated for the Citizen of the Year Award?” he asked jokingly.
Steve and Marilyn have two grandsons who enjoy spending time helping with garden maintenance.
“They love to fish and camp out in the backyard no matter the weather when they visit,” Steve said. “We keep busy running to their activities; band, sports, etc.”