Louise Stephens
1937 – 2014

Louise Stephens was a long-time volunteer for the Patriot Freedom Festival. She helped with so many different things, but the last few years, she was involved with the “AVHC Shop.” Louise knew more about the history of the Dayton VA Medical Center than just about anyone. Her stories were fascinating, not only about the history of the campus, but about her many years working there. We will truly miss this amazing and wonderful lady. The following is her obituary.

STEPHENS, Louise Mary, of Kettering passed away November 16, 2014 at the hospice center at the Dayton VA Medical Center. A native of New York City, Stephens spent 50 years as a nurse, including two years in the U.S. Air Force. She spent the majority of her career at the Dayton VA and was an advocate for the VA, veterans and nurses. Stephens also was a loving mother, grandmother and friend. She had a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Columbia University in New York and a master’s degree in nursing from New York University. She loved baseball and the Cincinnati Reds, but her heart was always with her beloved Brooklyn Dodgers. She also enjoyed the music of Frank Sinatra (who she encountered at a New York restaurant in the early 1960’s) the Beatles and the movies of Bill Murray, especially “Stripes,” which the family watched each year over the holidays. Stephens is survived by her two sons; Caleb Stephens of Kettering, and his wife, Yvonne; Arlus Stephens of Washington, D.C. and his wife, Claire; granddaughter Olga Goodin of Fairfield; and grandson William Stephens of Washington, D.C. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Mary Cavanagh, her daughter Sally Stephens and her husband, Arlus Stephens. She shined a light on this world and will be missed forever.

Margaret – a Driving Force!

Margaret Kruckemeyer is a beacon of veterans’ care in a world where increasing numbers of veterans need attention. Although retired from nursing where she spent 40 years, she is still a “dynamo” in her concern for veterans and their families.

Margaret is the driving force behind the annual Patriot Freedom Festival. As a Trustee and Past President of American Veterans Heritage Center, Margaret has committed herself to seeing the Festival succeed year after year.

Margaret puts on her Civil War Nurses uniform during the Festival and gives Bus Tours of the campus. She is involved in all aspects of the event and has advocated for its continuation year after year. She explains, “Before this event over Memorial Day Weekend, there was nothing going on at the Dayton VA Campus. It is the first long weekend of the season, and our veterans on the campus and their visiting families had nothing to do. The Canteen is closed during the weekend and even the vending machines run out of food. With the Patriot Freedom Festival, families can come and walk the historic campus, grab a bite to eat, shop the vendors, enjoy free live music, learn about the history of U.S. Veterans from the Civil War to current conflicts and if able, bring their veteran loved ones out to enjoy it as a way of thanking those who have served in our military.”

Born in St. Louis, MO, Margaret attended the University of Missouri, and then went on to earn her Master’s, Community Health/Family Nurse Practitioner at the University of Washington and Master’s, Health Education at Ohio State. She has been honored and recognized for her work with many awards and affiliations.  We are so grateful to have Margaret Kruckemeyer as our #1 Volunteer and our champion!

Doug Bahun – a Dedicated Volunteer

Doug started volunteering with AVHC through the Patriot Freedom Festival in 2009. He saw volunteering at AVHC as a way to get involved with the history of the Dayton VA and our military veterans. Although he is not a veteran, Doug always wanted to help veterans and learn about their history. He feels that AVHC provides the educational opportunity to keep the history of the VA and the Veterans in focus for the community and foster patriotism.

Doug retired as an engineer from Delphi CVC in Moraine several years ago, and decided to spend his time volunteering in order to “give back” to his community. He has worked at the Patriot Freedom Festival Information/Welcome Booth for many years which included many duties during the Festival Weekend. Doug also works in the AVHC Headquarters office weekly and you can find him there every Wednesday without fail. He also has volunteered with at various events to promote the AVHC.

We at AVHC appreciate Doug’s time, volunteerism and dedication.

Volunteers Needed NOW!

Call 937-267-7628

Join Now!
We Need:

  • Writers
  • Historians
  • Artists
  • Retirees
  • High School/College Students
  • Others willing to help in restoring and preserving Dayton’s History

AVHC is a Non-profit 501c3 organization Staffed by Volunteers