It is with great sadness that we share the news that the founder of the OTA, master trail builder, and our friend, John Roth, died in a tragic accident on July 3, 2009 on his farm in Crawford County. John was driving his tractor when a dead tree toppled over on him as he drove past it, pinning him against the steering wheel.
If you would like to leave a Memorial Tribute, go to the OTA Forum Page in the thread titled, John Roth Memorial Tribute.
The Roth family appreciates memorial contributions be made to:
Ozark Trail Association
483 South Kirkwood Rd. #40
Kirkwood, MO 63122
The Ozark Trail community was saddened to learn of the death of Dave Fuehring. Dave passed away on January 29, 2009 after a two-year bout with cancer. He is survived by his wife Gwen.
David was an active volunteer for the Ozark Trail Association and other outdoors groups. During the last four years, his real OT passion was sawing. He was a prolific sawyer who cleared deadfall on every section of the Ozark Trail in Missouri. Dave and Gwen were very active with the OTA since its inception in 2002. Through the American Hiking Society's "Week-long Vacation" program, they sponsored several projects on our trail, including the construction of the foot trail around Barton Fen, the rock wall on Henderson Creek, and the construction of the trail between Asher Cemetery and Strother Creek. In 2007, he and Gwen were named recipients of the American Hiking Society's National Volunteers of the year.
Frank died on May 25, 2010 after a brief illness. Here is a remembrance written by Gwen...
I met Frank in 2003 when the Ozark Trail Association was in its infancy. Back then, we were a small, close knit group of volunteers who came out 2 or 3 times a month to enjoy the camaraderie of working together in the woods on the Ozark Trail.
The next year, when my husband and I started weeklong volunteer vacations, Frank became our most avid supporter. He enthusiastically welcomed out-of-state volunteers, he liked the hard work, and he would perform any chore that needed doing. He was often the instigator of lively conversations around the campfire.
Frank became one of the earliest trail adopters when he volunteered to maintain a piece of trail along Barton Fen which was built during 2 volunteer vacations. Today I maintain that piece along with Robert Smith and Danny McMurphy. For me, walking that trail provides a connection with those who helped build it and are no longer with us: my husband Dave, OTA founder John Roth and now Frank.
Frank was so proud of his red jacket awarded after 20 trail building events. At that time, only 7 people had earned the prestigious red jacket. Frank didn't rest on his laurels after getting the award - he participated in at least 41 work events.
I feel very sad that I'll never have another conversation with Frank. We could talk about any topic and Frank would tell a funny story or provide a unique insight. I remember a discussion about why we worked on the trail. Frank said, that he got immediate enjoyment from being outdoors and seeing completed sections of the trail but what really kept him focused was that the trail would be there for his grandchildren and for generations to come.
The fruits of Frank's labor are there to be enjoyed by everyone who uses the Ozark Trail, now and into the future.
He was a wonderful friend and he is sorely missed.
Mike Fallon passed away unexpectedly on 11/22/08 during a road trip with his wife and young daughter to visit his parents.
In the 3 short years Mike was with the OTA he participated in 10 trail events. Before joining us he successfully 'thru hiked' the 2100+ mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine from March thru September 2003, under the trail name 'Vagabond'. Along the way, he forged new friendships that remain today! He was an active member of the A.T. Conference and often left 'trail magic'.
Jessica Renee Terrell, 30, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, formerly of Jefferson City, Missouri, died Wednesday, January 9, 2008, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She was born July 7, 1977, in Wilmington, Ohio, daughter of Judy Terrell of Wilmington, Ohio and Charles Terrell of Hollansburg, Ohio. She was a 1995 graduate of Wilmington High School and graduated from Hiram College with a B.S. in marine biology. She also studied in Australia as an exchange student in both high school and college.
Jessica had been the state trail coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources in New Mexico since 2006. Prior to working in New Mexico, she held the same position in Missouri, where she had worked on the Katy Trail and acted as the chair of the Ozark Trail Council.
If you have a suggestion of someone that should be remembered for their contribution to the Ozark Trail, Email your story and/or pictures to Steve Coates. The postal address is 406 W. High St., Potosi MO 63664. Be sure to let us know if you want to be published on this website.