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Alumnus' Love of Airplanes Keeps Him Grounded

By Tabatha Piper '15

The minute fifth-grader Chuck Deyo sat in an airplane for the very first time during a class field trip, a sense of comfort and belonging came over him. He immediately felt a fascination and sense of “this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

Airplanes are in Deyo’s blood, and even at his current age of 75, more than six decades after that fifth-grade field trip, he works part time at The Ohio State University Airport as an airport marshaller, helping to direct planes into and out of the airport’s hangars.

“I like my job real well,” said Deyo. “It keeps me around airplanes, and I deal with so many types of people. It’s a challenging job and a people job, which is what I like.”

Deyo graduated from Columbus Central High School in 1957 and continued on to Ohio State University. There he played defensive end under head coach Woody Hayes and joined the campus Army ROTC unit. After two years, he left Ohio State and tried to pursue becoming a fighter pilot, but he could not pass the required eye exam.

Three years later, Deyo returned to his studies, this time at Otterbein. At the time, Deyo juggled working full time, raising a son with his wife and attending classes.

Deyo graduated from Otterbein in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree, majoring in physical education and science. He was also part of the Otterbein football team as a player and a coach.

Otterbein proved to be a great experience for Deyo and he couldn’t help but notice the
educational differences from Ohio State.

“The big difference for me was the class size and amount of interaction with your professors,” Deyo said. “Otterbein had much smaller classes, and you got to know your professors very well. I just had the highest regard for all of the instructors. I had a lot of the coaches as instructors, who aren’t there anymore but they sure meant a lot to me.”

Deyo taught science and coached football, wrestling and softball at Northland High School for 33 years. He believes the education he received from Otterbein was wonderful.

Deyo has advice for current students: “When you start out into the world, your education starts all over again,” he says. “You have a lot to learn so you have to be patient, and you have to work hard just like you did in college.”