Edward Grier, Rodney G. Klein, Dennis Franklin and Jeff Timmons were announced Thursday.
MASSILLON A storied football player, a retired police officer, an economist and a member of a popular band make up the 2020 Washington High School Distinguished Citizens.
Officials announced the honorees Thursday. The class includes 1951 graduate Edward Grier, Rodney G. Klein (1953), Dennis Franklin (1971), and 1991 graduate Jeff Timmons.
They will join more than 100 other alumni who have been recognized since 1988 for their outstanding accomplishments in the community and their field of work. The foursome will be honored during annual Distinguished Citizens events April 1-3.
After graduating from WHS, Grier earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Kent State University and served four years in the U.S. Air Force.
He later joined the Massillon Police Department, becoming the third black officer on the force. Grier also served as the equal employment director, drug coordinator and civil service director for the city.
Grier has worked on numerous community boards and organizations and won a Community Service Award from the Massillon NAACP branch in 1975.
Franklin lead Massillon to its last state championship in 1970.
Recruited by University of Michigan head coach Bo Schembechler, Franklin started for the Wolverines for three seasons and made history as the team’s first black starting quarterback.
During his memorable years at Massillon and Michigan, he compiled a number of honors, including finishing sixth for the 1974 Heisman Trophy. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1975 NFL draft.
After football, Franklin worked in marketing and sales. Today, he lives in California and works in real estate.
Upon graduating from WHS, Klein studied business at Western Reserve University, Dartmouth College and earned his master’s degree in business at Columbia University and the University of California.
He worked on the nationally syndicated radio show “The World of Money,” was a financial adviser to Howard Hughes, founded investment groups and authored the book “Benjamin Graham on Investing.”
Klein’s passion for Wall Street led him to establish Wall Street Books, a corporation dedicated to buying and selling rare books on the financial market.
In 2006, Klein bought the former Massillon Post Office and turned it into a museum to house his stock market collection.
He died in 2009.
Timmons is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated band 98 Degrees.
The group’s albums have reached gold or platinum status in more than 60 countries.
After success with 98 Degrees, Timmons embarked on his solo career, touring with Jim Brickman.
He has performed at the White House twice and made appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “The American Music Awards,” “The Teen Choice Awards,” “MTV’s Total Request Live” and “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve.”
He recently produced the TV series “Droned” for Discovery Science.
He is developing projects for emerging acts such as solo artist Nicole Michelle and the boyband tribute act Overnight.
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