The second class of the Swanton Local School District Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame will be inducted this Friday. This year’s class includes Richard B. McQuade Jr. and Jeffrey Johnson.
The inductees will be introduced during a ceremony at Swanton’s varsity football game against Archbold on Friday. Earlier in the day there will be a luncheon at Swanton High School, followed by the inductees speaking to students.
Richard B. McQuade
Richard B. McQuade, Jr. attended Swanton Elementary and High School graduating in 1958. In his senior season, McQuade was the leading basketball scorer in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League.
He received his B.A. from the University of Toledo in 1962 and his J.D. in 1965. In 1960, he married Mary Jane Gries of Metamora. They had met three years earlier at a Swanton High School dance.
During his high school and early college years, Richard, Jr. worked for the United States Post Office and in the yard-gang and the shipping department of the Pilliod Cabinet Company. He also was sports editor of The Swanton Enterprise, and authored a sports column called “Skullsession.”
Upon graduation from law school, Richard, Jr. practiced law with his father at their firm known as The McQuades, Lawyers which still exists today. Soon after, he was elected county prosecutor. As a member of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association he received their highest award in 1976, the “Leadership Award.”
In 1978, having been appointed by Governor James Rhodes, McQuade Jr. was sworn in by his father as a Common Pleas Judge of Fulton County. He presided over several important cases including a six-week long legal malpractice case and several notorious murder cases.
As a result of his work, he was often assigned to the Sixth District Court of Appeals where he authored many opinions. His successful experiences at these different levels had prepared him well for what was next. In 1986, after a grueling nomination process lasting over a year, President Ronald Reagan personally called McQuade from Camp David to tell him he had been nominated by the President and confirmed by Congress as a United States District Judge.
McQuade has said that talking to the President was like talking to your best friend. McQuade’s father, once again, swore him in before the entire family on Thanksgiving, 1986.
In “retirement,” the judge works in dispute resolution and sometimes as an expert witness. He enjoys the company of his wife, his four grown children, in-laws and, of course, his grandchildren.
Richard and Jane still reside in rural Swanton and have been involved in civic activities. They have sponsored a soccer field for the Catholic Youth Organization, a moot courtroom at the University of Toledo, and a theater at St. John’s Jesuit High School. Jane McQuade is an officer of the Women and Philanthropy committee of the University of Toledo.
Major (Ret.) Jeff Johnson was born and raised in Swanton. The son of Jim and Janice Johnson, Jeff is a 1986 graduate of Swanton High School. His fondest memories of growing up in Swanton include being a cheerleader for the powder puff football game, being involved in the band, meeting at Mr. G’s Pizza (now Tano’s) after all the games, home and away, as well as all the caring and supportive teachers and coaches he experienced and got to know while a student.
Shortly after graduation, Johnson’s 26 year career began as an Aircraft Armament Technician in the United Kingdom, and later deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. As he progressed in his military career, Johnson desired to make more of a difference and cross-trained from Aircraft Armament to being a Federal Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, where he spent his last eighteen years. During his career as a Special Agent, he was one of AFOSI’s first Certified Computer Forensics Specialist where he investigated over 90 child pornography cases in three years with a 100 percent conviction rate.
Serving as both Enlisted (12 yrs) and as an Officer (14 yrs) Johnson was a Detachment Superintendent, and his last assignment was as a Commander of a large Detachment in Oklahoma. He served in three wars, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and his service took him around the globe to the United Kingdom, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Kurdistan, Qatar, and Afghanistan.
He retired from military service December 2014. He has worked for the Director of National Intelligence in Bethesda Maryland, and is currently employed by the United State Department of Education as a Program Manager of the computer forensics/incident response team within their Cyber Operations Division.
Jeff is married to Connie Johnson. They reside in Locust Grove, Virginia and have five children.