The individuals featured in the photo are, from left, Mr. Charles Heck of Upper Sandusky, secretary of the board of trustees; Rev. Dr. Robert C. Diller, superintendent of Fairhaven from 1955 to 1962 and future executive director (now president and CEO) of United Church Homes from 1963 to 1976; Rev. Frederick Santschi, pastor of Trinity Evangelical and Reformed Church in Upper Sandusky; and Mr. Oscar J. Weiker, general chairman of the Expansion Fund Campaign.
Rev. Diller was associated with Fairhaven for a decade before he was appointed superintendent of Fairhaven in 1955, having served as a member of the board of trustees beginning while he was pastor of Immanuel Evangelical and Reformed Church in Alliance, Ohio. His position as a Fairhaven trustee was due to his service as president of the Southeast Ohio Synod.
Rev. Diller was described as a pioneer and visionary who saw the potential associated with a larger ministry, and helped make it a reality. He was a driving force behind the formation of United Church Homes in 1963, and oversaw the development and construction of four new healthcare communities: Chapel Hill in Canal Fulton, Ohio, (1964); Riverview in Cincinnati (1966); Trinity in Beavercreek, Ohio, (1974); and a new Altenheim in Indianapolis (1975). Rev. Diller was awarded the inaugural Rev. Dr. Ben M. Herbster Award, United Church Homes’ highest honor for philanthropic spirit, in 1986.
Mr. Weiker was the long-time treasurer of Fairhaven’s board of trustees, serving an uninterrupted term from 1937 to 1961. He was well-regarded as the owner of Hopeland Farms and also had a hand in multiple business enterprises stretching from Upper Sandusky to Van Wert. Mr. Weiker’s business acumen, keen attention to detail, and meticulous note-keeping are evident in many documents that have survived from that era.
Lucinda Gundecker Swartz, Rev. Diller’s secretary for two years in the late 1950’s, described Mr. Weiker as a prominent force in Fairhaven’s day-to-day business management. While Rev. Diller’s duties often took him on the road to secure donations and/or resident admissions, Mr. Weiker kept a watchful eye the operations. “He was always reminding people to be good stewards, that we all worked for a charitable organization,” said Lucinda.
Mr. Weiker later served as mayor of Upper Sandusky from 1967 to 1975, and was a posthumous recipient of the Herbster Award in 1988.
Volume 5 • Issue 1 • Winter 2016 Contents