Torchbearers List

Jeff Beck

Home: Bargersville

Contributions to the county: Beck is a local historian who has written books on Bargersville and Center Grove schools. He is active in numerous organizations around Bargersville, including the park board and Bargersville Main Street, and is a hospice volunteer.

Tom Brogan

Home: Greenwood

Contributions to the county: Brogan taught U.S. history and government for Center Grove schools for 40 years. He was passionate about the “We the People” program, focused on teaching about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Even after his retirement, he continues as a volunteer judge in the program.

Ruth Callon

Home: Whiteland

Contributions to the county: A lifelong Johnson County resident, Callon was an educator dedicated to promoting athletic opportunities for girls and women both at Whiteland High School and Franklin College. Though she died in 2015, her son Dan and daughter Cathy Pieratt will carry the torch in her honor.

Kenneth Coons

Home: Nineveh

Contributions to the county: Coons is a 20-year veteran of the National Guard and has served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Following the Sept. 11 attacks, he worked with border patrol to help secure the country.

Tim Coy

Home: Trafalgar

Contributions to the county: Coy has been a K-9 officer for the Franklin Police Department for nearly 20 years. He has been active in helping and reaching the homeless, those struggling with addiction and others in the community.

Ron Davault

Home: Bargersville

Contributions to the county: Davault is a member of the disaster action team for the American Red Cross, serving 12-hour shifts to respond to people affected by local disasters such as house fires. Since the beginning of 2016, he has served on call for more than 200 hours.

Payton Dillon

Home: Greenwood

Contributions to the county: When Payton was 10, she raised nearly $7,000 to purchase a handicapped swing set at Greenwood’s City Center Park. She spoke to Rotary clubs, met with community organizations and volunteered everywhere in the city to raise the money.

John Gilliland

Home: Franklin

Contributions to the county: Gilliland became the first obstetrician and gynecologist in Johnson County in 1970, and cared for thousands of local women and babies over that time. He has served on multiple medical missionary trips and organized the Johnson County Jogging and Running Club.

Rich Gotshall

Home: Franklin

Contributions to the county: Gotshall has volunteered for several decades at schools and civic organizations in costume in the characters of Elihu Stout, Indiana’s first newspaper publisher, John Kerr, Johnson County’s first newspaper publisher, and A.A. Blizzard, father of the Franklin city park system.

Natalie Hinton- Jennings

Home: New Whiteland

Contributions to the county: Hinton-Jennings is a long-time volunteer with the Woof and Books program throughout Johnson County, taking her dog Dulce to promote literacy among young people while also helping cats and dogs in need of a home.

Kimberly Lee

Home: Whiteland

Contributions to the county: Lee has been involved with the Clark-Pleasant Educational Foundation for several years, partnered with friends to start Jack’s Walk to support families affected by autism and volunteers in local schools.

Dennis Patton

Home: Franklin

Contributions to the county: An ordained American Baptist pastor, Patton has served as a volunteer chaplain for police and fire departments in Franklin and Needham, as well as with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Since 1993, he has led dozens of stress management debriefings for area emergency responders following traumatic events.

Ryan Rueff

Home: White River Township

Contributions to the county: Ryan, a 12-year-old diagnosed with autism, has become an inspiration for his work running charity 5Ks and other races with his father, Rob. He has completed two half-marathons, and plans to run in his third on Saturday.

Jack Russell

Home: White River Township

Contributions to the county: Russell is lifelong Johnson County resident who has dedicated his adult life to community service. He has served on the Center Grove school board, Center Grove Education Foundation, Bargersville Main Street and numerous other groups.

Chase Smith

Home: Trafalgar

Contributions to the county: Chase, a 15-year-old freshman at Indian Creek High School, is an award-winning swimmer who holds numerous state swimming titles. He was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Ewing Sarcoma in 2014, and during treatment, worked to raise money for items such as video games for teenagers receiving treatment at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.

Brian Webb

Home: Whiteland

Contributions to the county: In addition to his job as a consultant for Eli Lilly, Webb is a volunteer reserve police officer. He offers between 12 and 20 hours per month on patrol for the town police department. He helped found the Clark-Pleasant Education Foundation, and is involved in numerous youth sports leagues.

Nancy West

Home: Edinburgh

Contributions to the county: West served for 31 years as the nurse for Edinburgh Schools, helps run the Edinburgh food pantry and is treasurer of the town’s emergency management agency, helping provide rent, utility and other basic need assistance.

Author photo
Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.