Ernest A. Sheetz '51 Passes Away Saturday

April 06, 2010

Ernest A. Sheetz, who left an indelible mark on Mount Union College during his 40 years in various administrative capacities, died Saturday, September 16 in Alliance after a short illness.

A 1951 graduate of the College, he returned in 1955 to work as the alumni secretary and retired in 1994 as a senior vice president. During his career he established friend-raising and fund-raising strategies that brought Mount Union to prominence among small colleges in the region. While he was a valuable resource at Mount Union, he also was an active community leader and 'cheerleader' for the Alliance area.

Between graduation and his return to Mount Union to begin his career in higher education, he served in the U.S. Army from 1952-55 as a sergeant in the Army Security Agency stationed in Frankfurt, Germany.

At Mount Union, his fund-raising strategies and abilities took Mount Union into the modern era allowing the campus to expand significantly.

'Much of Mount Union's current financial strength can be attributed to Ernie Sheetz,' Dr. Richard Giese, president of Mount Union College said. 'We continue to reap the benefits of the groundwork Ernie laid during his career. Alumni throughout the country continually inquire about Ernie because of the relationships he established on behalf of the College.'

He received the Alumni Service Award in 1991 and was a founding member of Independent College Advancement Associates (ICAA). He was honored with the naming of the ICAA's Ernest Sheetz Mentor Award in 2002. He was also an active member in the national higher education body of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and served on the District V Board of CASE. His work on behalf of the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges (OFIC) was also noteworthy as he served as the representative for the Youngstown area for 20 years.

Locally, he had been serving as the executive director of the Greater Alliance Community Foundation since 2003 and as a Board member of the East Ohio Area United Methodist Foundation.

He was a 50-year member of Christ United Methodist Church, chaired an Alliance School Levy Committee, chaired the Board and the Campaign for the Alliance Area United Way, and was the Wapakonachee District Volunteer of the Year in 1983. He also served on numerous boards and was a member of numerous Alliance and Canton area committees.

Born June 23, 1929, he married Betty Ann Hixenbaugh of Massillon in 1956. They are the parents of three sons: Craig, Ken and Brian and they have nine grandchildren.

Calling hours will be held at Cassaday-Turkle-Christian, 75 S. Union Ave., Alliance on Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. Services will be held at the funeral home Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

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