The Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame Association
Our 2023 Inductees
Dennis Thayer, 1964
Dennis enjoyed school and admired teachers
like Marie Williamson, Thelma White, and
Dave McMurray so much that he chose a career in education with Toledo Public Schools. His Woodward pals became his lifelong friends: George Gusses, Dick Hoffman, Rick Lovett, and Don Reinbolt. Dennis grew up across the street from Riverside Park. He has fond memories of
attending games, Student Council, The Tattler,
and Aquatatis parties. Dennis earned his
Bachelor’s, Master’s and Specialist’s Degrees in Education from The University of Toledo. He had a distinguished and respected career as a teacher, guidance counselor, assistant principal, principal, then assistant director of elementary education. He has been active in a variety of community organizations and has been chosen to lead many groups. Dennis enjoys reading, Tai Chi, walking,
hiking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. He is married to Jean and they have three children: Craig, Becky, and Stephanie, and nine grandchildren.
Bruce Birr, 1972, Posthumous
Bruce’s dedication to, and knowledge of, law enforcement led him to many positions within the Lucas County Sherriff’s office and a highly respected 42-year career Law Enforcement career until retirement in May of 2019. Bruce began career at the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office in May of 1977 in Booking. During that time, he attended the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy. After completing the Police Academy, Bruce was assigned to the Sheriff’s Road Patrol, where he worked as a Patrol Office in Western and Eastern Lucas County. He worked in these areas: Arson Investigator, Homicide, Burglary/Robbery, Investigator, Detective Bureau, Vice/Narcotics, and the Critical Incident Response Team. One of the highlights of Bruce’s career as a Detective was being assigned to the Dignitary Protection Detail with the U.S. Secret Service. Bruce provided protection for U.S. Senators Robert Dole, Elizabeth Dole, and George Voinovich as well as Vice President Dan Quayle and Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush, George Walker Bush, and Bill Clinton. He worked with the U. S. Marshals Task Force. Due to his diligent work, he has been acknowledged by being honored with numerous achievement awards for his outstanding service in multiple areas, most notably one of only two people to receive The U. S. Marshal Task Force Officer of the Year Award for Investigative Excellence. He loved becoming “Grandpa Chauffeur” for his grandchildren in his retirement! Bruce was
married to Kathy Hobbs, Woodward class of ‘73. They had three children: Angela, Andy, and Matt, and six grandchildren.
Dennis Bryd, 1972
Former WHS music educator, Gordon Simpson, was among the first to observe that Dennis was extremely gifted and multi-talented. Dennis’ abilities have grown into an extraordinary career. He is a noted singer, songwriter, playwright, pianist, organist, choral director, music publisher, music studio technician, and the pastor of his church in Atlanta! All this stems from his background at his family’s North End church, True Vine, M.B., and being mentored by Mr. Simpson, who chose Dennis to direct the annual school talent show. He was a part of many musical
activities at WHS. He was a radio announcer
for the campus radio station while in college at The University of Toledo. All the Byrd siblings, who grew up in the Stickney neighborhood, are Woodward grads, too! Dennis and his wife Rosalyn Rowlett, Woodward ’75, live in Atlanta. They have five children: Charline, Dennis, Jr., Daniel, Darnell (deceased), Rochelle, and eight grandchildren.
Thomas Toth, 1974
Tom grew up in Point Place and lives there to this day! While at Woodward, he was on The Tattler staff with Miss Markopoulos as his advisor. His career was with Ford at the Maumee Stamping Plant. There, he had a variety of positions: heavy duty equipment operator, machine operator, welder, metal finisher, instructor, and shipping/receiving clerk. He served on many committees there as well. Tom has volunteered in Scouting
and many other organizations over the years.
He earned a Bachelor of History from Lourdes
College (now University), a Master of Liberal
Studies from The University of Toledo, and a
Master of Science in Criminal Justice with High Honors and Distinction from The University of Tiffin. Tom is the Vice-Chair of the Hall of Fame Committee, serves on the Woodward Stadium Committee, and is the administrator the Woodward Hall of Fame Facebook page. Tom is married to Mary and they have four children: Thomas, Will, John, and Marisa, also on our Hall of Fame Committee, and four grandchildren.
Julie Wilcynski Fulton, 1984
At Woodward, Julie was awarded The Tattler
Achievement Cup, voted a class officer many
times, inducted into the Senior National Honor Society, and played a lead in the musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and graduated fifth in her class! Those experiences were a springboard to truly succeeding in business and in life with hard work and multiple talents. After much experience working for others, she is now the owner and freelance copywriter for her own business, Julie A. Fulton Creative LLC! She received her Bachelor’s degree from The University of Toledo and her Master’s from BGSU. She took the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard and classes at The Loft Literacy Center. Her life’s work is in writing advertising, blogging, and marketing. She volunteers and has hobbies in a variety of
meaningful areas. Julie and her husband, Doug, live in Minneapolis. They have two children: Edward and Jenna, and one grandson.
Wendi Brocus Sabo, 1995
This is the second time we have honored Wendi.She has what it takes to be honored this year with her distinguished career as a marketing executive. She is Director of Marketing Communications and Brand for ECI Software Solutions in Fort Worth, Texas. The first time we honored her was when she was selected for one of our scholarships her senior year. This enabled her to go on to earn
her degree at The University of Toledo! Wendi
grew up in Point Place, where her parents’ garage was the site of building many WHS Homecoming floats! Wendi especially remembers Gary Mayesky’s helpfulness in geometry class as well as Alice and the late Bob Murray for their extraordinary coaching and mentoring skills. Her mother, Becky Brocus, remained active at Woodward and is now the Chairperson of our Hall of Fame Committee. Wendi lives in Southlake, Texas, with her husband, Derron, and their two children, Kylee and Reese.