Archive for the ‘Ohio’ Category

Matthew T. Karafa (’93)

Dr. Matthew T. Karafa 48 passed away May 23, 2020. Loving Son of Elaine and the late Richard. Brother of Kamala (Duke) Barr. Dear Uncle of Hunter and Jayden Barr. Matt relied heavily upon his education from University of Houston, Ohio State and Case Western working at the Cleveland Clinic as an epidemiologist. He loved gaming, science fiction, comics and spending time with best friends Doug, Dan and Lee . All Services will be Private.

Memorial contributions may be made in Matt’s name to the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo at

Condolences may be made to the family at .

John N. Allen, Jr. (O.D. ’65)

John Newton Allen Jr., O.D. passed away at his home, on April 26, 2020. Surrounded by family and loved ones, and serenaded with hymns and scripture, he passed peacefully into the arms of the Lord. John was preceded in death by his parents, John Newton Allen Sr. and Dorothy Mae Allen, of Wilmington OH, his father and mother-in-law Richard and Marjorie Goostrey of Ithaca, MI and brother-in-law Jeff GoostreyHe is survived by his wife of 46 years, Nancy, as well as his daughters and sons-in-law Brandi and Matthew Derby and Jenna and Josh Lienhardt, his much loved grandchildren Selah Grace, Ryah Jeanessa, Katarah Marie, Ezekial John, Judah John Philip, Isaiah James and Zemirah Mae. He was much loved by his brother and sister-in-law, Hal and Sue Allen, niece Krista (Dane) Ashbaugh and nephew Ken (Melanie) Allen. He was a beloved brother-in-law of Don Goostrey, Stephen (Arlene Baby) Goostrey, Susan (Tim) Greear and Lisa Goostrey. He was a loving uncle (and second dad), to many nieces and nephews from the extended Goostrey familyJohn was born in Flint, MI, September 18, 1941. At age five his family moved to Wilmington, OH, where his parents opened Allen Photography Studio. John attended Wilmington High School; he led the marching band as Drum Major and played saxophone for a “Big Band”, which toured the surrounding area. Graduating high school in 1959, he then attended The Ohio State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Optometry. He earned his Doctor of Optometry from University of Houston in 1965. In 1966, he began practicing Optometry in Hillsdale, MI. He moved to Ithaca, MI to practice with Dr. Norm Blizzard in 1968, later purchasing the practiceBefore settling in MI, he traveled around the country with classmate Palmer Cook, interviewing optometrists regarding best practices. Shortly after moving to Ithaca, John became friends with Don Goostrey and a part of the weekend wedding photography crew with Dick’s Studio. He was active in the Ithaca Jaycees, the MI Optometric Association and the Lansing Jug n’ Mug ski clubJohn and Nancy married on October 13, 1973. They were members of the Ithaca First Presbyterian Church, where John served as treasurer and clerk of session, hosted a unique “Sailboat Ministry” and served during monthly chicken dinners. John loved being a husband and father, experiencing many life adventures with his family. They enjoyed traveling around the US, skiing and sailing as many weekends as possible, attending MSU and OSU football games and camping in the “Big Brown Van”He was an excellent “girl dad”; being a staple in the dance carpool and french braiding the girls’ hair for class. He loved serving as “tech crew” for both Children’s Ballet Theater “Nutcracker Ballet”, and various Gratiot County Player productions, and also as the “sound man” for Academy of Performing Arts recitals. A congenial host for many friend and cousin overnights, he could be counted on for morning waffles and evening stovetop popcorn. He had a servant heart; he was patient, witty, smart (math whiz), unafraid to show his “dance moves” and cause a room full of giggles and fun for his girls and their friends. John loved Nascar and Indy cars, trains, the Kentucky Derby, “Big Bands”, Red Hot candies, licorice, ice cream and craft beer. Over the past 12 years, his grandchildren became the light of his lifeJohn would not want a few special people to go unmentioned Thank you Pat Simmet, Peggy and Larry Arbanas, Charles Claibourne, Edie Beck, Diane Mikalski and Amy Sebring for being faithful and caring friends. Thank you also to the Warwick Living Center and Heartland Hospice staff for your amazing care and attention over the past two yearsServices for John will be announced at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to The Ohio State University School of Optometry. Condolences may be left for the family online at

Barbara E. Roberts (M.Ed. ’84)

Barbara Ellen Bicking, beloved mother and grandma, passed away Thursday, April 16, 2020. Barbara was born on December 19, 1946 in Xenia, Ohio, to Ralph and Theresa (Davis) Bicking. She had one brother, Gerald Bicking. She grew up in Xenia, Ohio and graduated from Xenia High School in 1964. She attended Miami University of Ohio, where she met and married Charles Pohla. She graduated from Miami University of Ohio in 1968. After the birth of her two sons, Jon and Doug, the family moved to Houston, Texas, where she became a math teacher at Elsik High School in Alief Independent School District. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Education from the University of Houston in 1984. After serving Alief ISD for 17 years in various roles, she spent 10 years teaching math at Willis High School in Willis Independent School District before her retirement in 2002. After retirement, she continued to stay active for a number of years in the teaching community by substitute teaching and tutoring. In 2009, she married Charles Roberts.

Barbara is survived by her sons, Jon (Michelle) Pohla of Humble, Texas and Doug (Melody) Pohla of Katy, Texas; grandsons, Tyler and Connor Pohla of Humble, Texas and Nicholas, Nathan, and Daniel Pohla of Katy, Texas; sister in law, Betty Bicking of Jamestown, Ohio; niece Anne (Shawn) Connelly of Wonder Lake, Illinois; and nephew William Pillsbury of Villa Park, Illinois. She is preceded in death by her parents, Ralph and Theresa Bicking, and her brother, Gerald Bicking.

Barbara loved life, especially when it involved her 2 sons, Jon and Doug, and 5 grandsons, Tyler, Connor, Nicholas, Nathan, and Daniel. She loved baking and could often be found making cookies or birthday cakes for all her sons’ and grandsons’ birthdays. She also loved the outdoors and enjoyed riding in the boat or waverunner, walking, and fishing. She rarely stayed home as she traveled extensively around the U.S. and abroad. Barbara’s earthly life has ended, but her eternal heavenly life has just begun. She will be missed, but we know we will be reunited later in Heaven.

Internment will be at Woodland Cemetery in Xenia, Ohio. A memorial service will be scheduled for a future date.

Published on from Apr. 21 to May 4, 2020

Conor Bracken (M.F.A. ’15)

Conor Bracken’s “Say Forgiveness” will be published in Ploughshares’s Winter 2019-20 issue. More…