A Not So Ordinary Life
Trella Hemmerly was born on November 3, 1915, to David Ray and Myrtle Ivaloo Sheneman Hemmerly in Marion, Ohio. She had one sister, Mary Louise Hemmerly Rockwell Hecker, 1919-2006.
She graduated from Harding High School in 1933 where she edited the school newspaper, the Harding Herald, and was a member of the National Honor Society. She was employed for four years in Columbus as secretary to the traffic manager of the H. C. Godman Shoe Manufacturing Company. In 1957, Trella purchased the flower shop her parents founded in 1934, Hemmerly’s Flowers. She was the president and manager of the business from 1957 until her retirement in 1982.
She was a founding, charter, and honorary life member of the Marion County Historical Society and the Edward Huber Memorial Association. Trella was president of the Ohio Association of State and Local History Museums, now known as Ohio Local History Alliance, and served on its board for many years. She was a recipient of the Edward J. Tiffin Award from the Ohio History Connection in 2008 and the Athena Award in 2012.
Trella initiated the formation of the Marion County Park District and gave 12 acres along the Olentangy River to it as the Terradise Nature Preserve. In 1990, Terradise was named an Ohio Natural Landmark ny the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Each spring, she hosted an Open Garden at Terradise. In the fall of 2018, the home and the six remaining acres of the original tract were donated to the non-profit Terradise Nature Center, Inc.
Her discovery and purchase of a remnant prairie in Green Camp Township led to its being named the Trella Romine Prairie Preserve. She encouraged the development of the Larry Yoder Prairie on the Marion Campus of Ohio State University and the shelter house there was dedicated to her. Because of her efforts in the community, she was given the Distinguished Service Award from The Ohio State University in 2012 at OSU’s Summer Commencement.
Her personal life was just as busy. On June 18, 1938, she married Walter C. Haldeman. They had two children, Kathi and David. On February 14, 1952, she married Ray Romine. They built their home, Terradise, on the banks of the Olentangy (Whetstone River) southwest of Caledonia. Ray died September 28, 1954.
Trella was a member of Trinity Baptist Church, where she was superintendent of Junior Department during the 1940’s. She was a life-long writer, keeping diaries all her life. She was the first woman editor of the school newspaper, the Harding Herald. Trella wrote her autobiography, My Not So Ordinary Life, published in 2012, along with four other books.
Trella passed away in 2013 at the age of 97. She was honored as a Distinguished Alumni of Harding High School posthumously in 2013. She gave generously to many organizations around Marion, and funded the Terradise Nature Preserve Fund of the Marion Community Foundation, as well as a scholarship fund at Ohio State Marion.
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