Frontier Squares Ohio

In Memory

The square-dancing community is tight-knit. We feel the loss of any member just as we would someone in our family.  We honor those who have danced with us and still dance in our hearts.


The names listed below are in alphabetical order.  Clicking the person's name will take you to his or her memorialization.  If you scroll through all listings, they are chronological, with the most recent at the top.


Dale Bennett (2023)

Elmer Blasing (2020)

Angie & Dave Bollinger (2021 / 2017)

Jo Bond (2023)

Laura Caldwell (2020)

Charlotte Davis (2019)

Barb & Fred Dorsey (2022 / 2023)

Dot & Frank Iskra (2021)

John King (2022)

Frank Keenan (2023)

Darryl & Ann Kokx (2022 / 2023)

Jim Lessard (2024)

Nancy Miller (2021

Dave Mather (2018)

Nancy Miller (2021)

Roland & Betty Romito (2021 / 2022)

Fay Samborsky (2021)

Larry Sova (2016)

Mae "Beth" Young (2022)



Jim & Joan Lessard started dancing with us in 2016 and were on our roster until 2023.  They gave up dancing reluctantly due to health issues.  They missed dancing and the social aspect of Frontier Squares, as we have missed their smiles, gentleness and friendliness.  Heart issues that resulted from chemotherapy treatments took Jim from us February 10, 2024.  We will be forever grateful that Children's Hospital Medical Center brought them to Cincinnati where Jim rose to be a professor in the Pediatric Department; Director of the UC Graduate Program in Molecular and Development Biology; and both Assoc. Director and Director of the Division of Development Biology.  Needless to say, Jim will be missed.





Dale Bennett died unexpectedly on June 14, 2023.  Dale & Cindy took lessons at Venus & Mars in 2012 and were active members of Frontier Squares from 2012 - 2017.  Dale fell in love with square dancing and immediately began working on a program to help new dancers learn to dance, promote our activity, and reverse its decline.   Dale admitted to being compulsively analytical with a strong propensity for system design and efficiency, which allowed him to identify issues and then design and recommend strategies to address them.  Dale saw square dancing's biggest roadblock as only offering lessons for new dancers once a year.  He followed his passion and developed a program to accommodate new dancers' enrollment year-round and help people finish lessons at their own pace.  Cindy affectionately called the program "The Nest" since it intended to push dancers out of the nest when they were ready to "fly away" to a club of their choice.  Dale presented "The Nest" program through Education Seminars at several State and National Conventions.  Bear Miller, a caller in Colorado, reported the most success using "The Nest," with 80 people completing lessons.


Dale's other passion was Marketing.  In 2015, he challenged Frontier Squares to change our advertising campaign and use a Yard Sign Campaign to advertise classes.   In 2015, 102 new people showed up for class; in 2016, 82 people danced for the first time.  Thanks to the Bennetts marketing strategies, Frontier has introduced over 450 people to square dancing in 7 years, and our membership has continued to grow.  In 2016 and 2017, the Bennetts and Carneys presented "Operation Frontier," a program on "How to Grow a Club" at the State and National Conventions.  The program reinforced the importance of a fun and friendly club atmosphere.  In 2017, Dale & Cindy were Facility Chairs at the 2017 National Convention in Cincinnati, OH.


Dale will always be remembered for his passion and love for our activity.  We're so glad he touched our lives, and though we are sad that we have lost a friend, I can hear him saying, "Don't be sad....I'M HOME."



JO BOND (2023)


How do we say goodbye to Jo Bond, who has been a big part of the HEART of Frontier Squares for 20 years?  Jo always made it a point to be friendly and get to know everyone - she cared about you as a person and was interested in your story.  It was Jo's mission to make newcomers feel welcome - she was the epitome of the "friendly" club that Frontier Squares is today.  We will miss her, cherish her memory, and be forever grateful that a square dance sign advertising classes brought Jo & Harvey into our lives!

Harvey & Jo have served the club as Treasurers or Asst. Treasurers since 2004 and have always been behind the scenes doing whatever needs to be done to make the club successful.  Jo was creative and very talented.   She did community theater and shared her talents with the dance community when she helped write and produce entertaining promotional skits for both the 2009 and 2014 Ohio Dance Conventions.




FRED (2022) & BARB (2023) DORSEY


Barbara passed away on March 14, 2023.  Fred passed away in 2022.  Fred & Barb were active with Frontier in the early years up until 1992, when they served as Vice-Chairmen of Purchasing for the National Convention in Cincinnati, OH.  In 1994, they were chosen to represent the dance community as the Federation Honor Couple.  Then they moved to western OH and became active with Diamond Squares.  In 1995 & 1996, they served the Greater Cincinnati Dance Federation as presidents.  Then in 2009 and 2014, they co-chaired the Ohio Dance Conventions.  They mentored Barry & Peggy Carney in 2014 so they could carry the torch in 2020.  They moved back to Milford and returned to Frontier 2015 – 2018, when they had to quit dancing due to Fred’s memory issues.  Their influence will never be forgotten, and it was our privilege to call them "friends."




Frank Keenan passed away on January 17, 2023, after a valiant battle against metastatic lung cancer. Frank and Josephine Keenan have been members of Frontier Squares for eight (8) years and were always supportive of the club.  Frank had one of the sweetest souls you have ever been around.  He was a quiet man, never sought to be the center of attention, and always had a smile to share.  He, his spirit, and his sweet smile and twinkling eyes will truly be missed!  In addition to dancing, Frank practiced law.





It is with much sadness that we pass along the news that our dear friend, Mae "Beth" Young, died on Thursday, September 8th.  She had been dealing with kidney issues for several years and recently developed heart problems.  Beth and her husband, Jim, graduated from Frontier Squares with us in 1993, and they were members of the club for ten years.  They served the club and were on the board as Decorators, Recording Secretaries, and Class Chairman.  Even though they haven't danced in years, we stand on their shoulders, making Frontier Squares the fun and friendly club that it is still today.  Attached is a picture from a square dance weekend, and the other is Beth in the cockpit of their plane.  Beth got her pilot's license in 1987 and she and Jim loved flying and traveling the world together. 



JOHN KING (2022)


John King passed away April 11, 2022.  John & Carol were very active with Frontier Squares for many years (took lessons with Johnny Davis and danced with Dave Stuthard and Jack Pladdys).  John & Carol were part of square dancing back in the 80's during its hay-day when there were 280 members at Frontier Squares. They served Frontier as Host Couple in 1993, and class co-chairs in 1995.  In 1994 no one volunteered as club president or vice-president for Frontier, so the club decided to keep it running by forming committees that divided responsibilities and performed the necessary tasks.  John & Carol were part of that group and led the effort.  As we all know the club survived and has flourished.  John and Carol quit dancing several years ago due to injuries.  We thank people like John & Carol and members of the past that took on leadership roles that helped make Frontier Squares what it is today.  As you've heard us say many times - "We stand on their shoulders"!




DARRYL & ANN KOKX (2021 / 2022)


Darryl & Ann Kokx were faithful with their attendance and support of Frontier 2003 - 2018.  They never served on the board or committees but were a big part of the club's friendliness. In 2009 and 2014, they served as Round Dance Workshop Chairs for the Ohio Dance Convention. Not only did they enjoy square dancing, but they also had a beautiful presence as round dancers.  It was our honor that they graced our dance floor.  Darryl passed in 2022, and Ann passed in 2023.





Bill & Nancy Miller were members of Frontier Squares from 2005 - 2017 when their dancing came to a halt after Nancy fell and broke her arm while dancing.  They were never club officers, but they were faithful members and two of the kindest people to grace our hall.  They were also members of the Continental Round Dance Club and loved to round dance.  Nancy passed away November 24, 2021, and her beautiful smile will never be forgotten.



DOT (2021) and FRANK (2024) ISKRA


Dot and Frank were married in 1988 and started square dancing with Surrey Squares that same year.  Frank told us, "We fell in love with the activity and the wonderful people we met."  After that first year, they started dancing with other clubs, including Frontier Squares, which they joined in 1989 or 1990.  Next, they got into Round Dancing as well.  They served on the Reception Committee for the 1992 National Convention held in Cincinnati with a huge attendance of 21,000+.  Their last dance was the Frontier Christmas Dance in 2015.  Frank said, "As I look back at our years of square and round dancing, I appreciate the many friends we made.  Amazingly dancing is a super activity for a healthy memory."   We are sad to report that Dot died on November 12, 2021.  Frank joined his beloved wife on Friday, December 15, 2023 after celebrating his 100th birthday in January 2022.  They were a lovely couple, highly thought of and they will be missed.




ROLAND (2021) and BETTY ROMITO (2022)


With much sadness, we are passing on the news that Roland died on October 23, 2021, at home in Cleveland.  Betty followed Roland in death on April 15, 2022.  They were able to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary.  They had been visiting family in Cleveland when the COVID-19 quarantine started and have been there since.  Lucky for us that Betty and Roland moved to Cincinnati and started dancing at Frontier Squares in 2014.  We were also very thankful that Anita and Chris (their daughter and son-in-law) were willing to be their chauffeurs.  Even when Roland couldn't dance, he came with Betty to socialize, spread his humor and visit with friends.  They had been active dancers in the Cleveland area and always enjoyed going to conventions and special weekends to see old friends.  We will miss them both, especially Roland's smile and his saying "You're glad to see me."




DAVE (2017) & ANGIE (2021) BOLLINGER


Angie passed away on August 5, 2021, and Dave departed this life on July 5, 2017. Dave & Angie started dancing with Frontier Squares in 2001, having previously danced with Venus & Mars. They served Frontier Squares as your club president in 2003 and 2004, vice president in 2009, and the Round Dance Rep in 2014. They cared about Frontier very much and enjoyed the friends they made here. They were always willing to work behind the scenes. We will always be grateful for their presence in our lives and for being part of the success of Frontier Squares. We will miss their smiles and their laughter.





Fay Samborsky, the wife of Stuart Lewis, died unexpectedly on April 6, 2021, due to heart failure and other complications.  It was in 2006 that Frontier Squares was blessed to have Stuart and Fay join us as our round dance cuers and members of our square dance family.  They were beautiful round dancers, complimented each other, always participated in club activities and themes, and were your corners in square dances too!  Fay was always willing to help a dancer perfect their dance skills without making them feel uncomfortable.  She will be missed because of her friendliness, kindness, caring, and loving spirit.





Laura Caldwell graduated with Frontier in 2015 and was an active member until we lost her to cancer in 2020.  Every time Laura left a class or dance, she made sure to tell us she had fun and was enjoying herself.  When you watched Laura dance, she always had a smile on her face and in her steps.  Laura was always grateful that she found Frontier Squares, and we were happy we got to know her - even for this short time.







It's hard to imagine never being around Elmer's sweet spirit anymore.  Elmer hasn't been physically able to dance now for years, but he came with Joann, watched her dance, and we're sure he was dancing in his heart.  Elmer and Joann have been a big part of Frontier Squares since 1979 (under Johnny Davis).  They took square dance lessons in 1978 from Gus Weisman in the old Hayloft Barn when it was located in Springdale, and they took round dance lessons from Rocky & Betty Clawson in 1981.  Elmer and Joann served a term as President for Frontier Squares.  They were Federation Representatives for many years and held the office of Treasurer for six years.  They were also Treasurers for the Ohio State Convention, held in Cincinnati, in the 80's.  They were chosen as Honor Couple in 1985 by the Southwestern Ohio Square Dance Federation (now known as Greater Cincinnati Dance Federation) to represent "the best" in our community for all their hard work and dedication.  Elmer and Joann were truly part of the foundation and fun that Frontier Squares is built on.






Charlotte was the wife of Frontier Squares' first caller (Johnny).   You can read Charlotte's account of "How Did Frontier Squares Get Started" in our History Booklet.  From what we've been told, Johnny was a dynamic, talented teacher and caller that attracted many dancers to our activity.


Thanks to Johnny & Charlotte, and the five squares of people who were in the first class that started in 1971, they gave birth to our wonderful club that we love as Frontier Squares.  Johnny called for Frontier from August 1972 to January 1985 when he died suddenly.  At the time of his death the membership of Frontier was at its all-time highest, 276 members.


We regret we never had the pleasure of meeting Charlotte (we had invited her multiple times to attend honor dances or anniversary dances).  If you believe the phrase, "Behind every successful man is a woman," plus her welcoming smile (shown in the picture below), we say “THANK YOU” for her dedication and efforts that helped make Frontier Squares what it is today.






Dave Mather was our last Charter Member with Frontier Squares when it became a club in 1972. When we talk about "Standing on the Shoulders" of members in the past, it was never truer than it was for Dave & his wife, Pat. They were never club officers but were part of the "lifeblood" of the club. Dave substituted teaching lessons for Johnny Davis when needed from 1973 - 1985. He taught lessons after Johnny died in 1985, co-taught with Alan Johnstone in 1986, and led the class of 1992 from Sept. - Dec. when Pam Courts took over. Many dancers out there have him to thank for their many years of dancing. Our club history also noted that Dave taught line dancing at club dances in between tips in 1981.


Dave and Pat quit dancing after 1992. Twenty years later (2012), Frontier Squares recognized Dave as a Charter Member at the 40th Anniversary Dance. He started attending classes and dances after that until his peaceful death on September 1, 2018, at the age of 84. Pat's health kept her from dancing, and she passed away about a year before him. When you talked to Dave, you realized that his family, the Navy, teaching school, and dancing were significant parts of Dave's life...and we are better for it.




It was lucky for us that Proctor & Gamble brought Larry & Diane Sova to Cincinnati from Cheboygan, MI.  They graduated from Frontier in 2008 and in 2009 jumped in “feet first” serving the club on Hospitality.  They have been on the board ever since, serving as Treasurers in 2013, 14 & 16, serving on numerous committees and being part of the hub of the club.  All we had to say was that we needed help, and they were always the first in line to jump in.  Diane took over Fundraising in 2016 and Membership in 2017, which she is still doing, besides managing our g-mail account to keep members informed.  Larry was taken from us way too soon.  He was a BIG part of the heart of Frontier Squares, was loved by all, had a great sense of humor and his wonderful smile said it all.  He is TRULY missed!




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