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2023 Grand Marshals

Meet Our Grand Marshals:

The Families of Centerville Police Officer John Kalaman and Firefighter Robert O’Toole




Duty. Honor. Sacrifice. We at Americana believe our 2023 theme fits what Independence Day is all about while also honoring local fallen heroes. Duty, at its core, calls upon us to recognize our responsibilities to one another and the world we inhabit. It transcends personal interests and emphasizes the collective well-being.  


Honor, often referred to as the moral compass of society, provides a guiding light in times of darkness. It is the embodiment of integrity, honesty, and respect for oneself and others.  

Sacrifice, the most profound expression of love and compassion, requires individuals to set aside personal comfort and aspirations for a greater purpose. Sacrifices can manifest in various forms; giving up time, resources, or even dreams - all in the pursuit of a better future for others.  


In times of crisis, whether natural disasters, wars, or pandemics, the true spirit of duty, honor, and sacrifice shines brightest. It is during these moments that individuals rise to the occasion, putting their lives on the line to safeguard the well-being of others. First responders, military personnel, medical professionals, and volunteers exemplify these values, displaying unwavering dedication and selflessness in the face of adversity. 


This is why this year, Centerville-Washington Township Americana Festival is honoring two amazing local heroes who greatly embodied this year's theme and what Independence Day truly represents. 


Officer John Kalaman attended Fairmont High School and was a 1991 graduate

of the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He became a police officer for the City of Centerville in January of 1993.


Firefighter Robert O’Toole was a graduate of Centerville High School and was attending Sinclair Community College to become a Paramedic. He became a part-time Firefighter/EMT with WTFD in 1994 and later Clearcreek Township.


On the morning of January 12, 1998, both men were killed in the line of duty while responding to an accident on I-675. Fellow firefighter, Chuck Arnold, survived the crash, but with considerable injury.

Later that same year, through the efforts of State Representative Terry Blair and the Noon Optimist Club of Centerville, the Respect for Law Award and the Robert J. O’Toole Award were established to honor those in our community who unselfishly give of themselves in service to others.

In honor of these two men, the Centerville-Washington Township Americana Festival has selected their families to be this year's Grand Marshals.  

Paula was born and raised in Dayton and graduated

from Kettering Fairmont High School. John grew up in

Campbell, Ohio, graduating from Campbell Memorial

High School. They met at the University of Cincinnati

where Paula earned a degree in secondary education

and John earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in

Electrical Engineering. They have been married for

almost 58 years. After John completed 8 years in the
United States Air Force as a commissioned officer,

they moved to Kettering and have lived in the same

house for 47 years. They are the proud parents of

two sons, John (deceased) and Robert, who along
with his wife Ronda, who resides in Atlanta, GA.

They are blessed to have 3 grandsons – Ryan,

Robert and Richard, and 4-month-old

great-granddaughter Rosemary.




Ruth was married to John O’Toole, who passed

away at age 85 in 2021. In addition to their son

Robert, the couple have two daughters and

sons-in-law; Patricia and Victor Berardi, Ruthie

and William DeVan; two sons and daughters-in-law;

John and Donna O’Toole III, Michael and Shellie

O’Toole; and seven grandchildren, Anna O’Toole,

Lauren Berardi, Claire Clark, John O’Toole, Robyn
Berardi, Patrick O’Toole and Molly DeVan.

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