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2017 Leadership in Philanthropy Award Winners

Dr. Louise (Omie) Warner and Clyde W. Gosnell, Jr.

It was a mutual love and respect for nature, conservation, the arts, and more that brought Louise (Omie) Warner, M.D., and Clyde W. Gosnell, Jr. together. The couple, married in 2001, has since collectively forged a path and secured a legacy that will positively impact generations to come.

Passionate about sustainable farming and the environment, the couple initially met at Stratford Ecological Center, an educational organic farm and nature preserve on 236 acres in Delaware County, Ohio, founded by Omie and her late husband, Jack.

Clyde, a volunteer at the center, and Omie found they had lots in common. Both had been previously married more than 40 years and shared a passion for supporting organizations, programs, and ideas that help preserve nature and the earth.

Omie grew up in Clintonville and graduated from North High School before receiving her undergraduate and medical degrees from The Ohio State University. An anesthesiologist, she worked alongside Jack at Children’s Hospital, where he also practiced anesthesia. The couple had two children, David and Gale, and Gale was a driving force behind the development of Stratford. Omie and Jack visited her when she was an intern at a similar farm, Hidden Willa Ranch, in Los Altos Hills, California, and were so inspired they wanted to re-create something like it in Ohio. Sadly, Gale did not have a chance to experience Stratford. She passed away at the age of 31 after a valiant fight with lymphoma.

Clyde grew up on a family farm on State Route 605 in Delaware County, where he learned the importance of community, working together, and helping others. After serving in the Korean War, he received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from The Ohio State University and went on to have a very successful career, designing numerous buildings and hospitals in Ohio and around the country, and the legendary Christopher Inn, formerly located on East Broad Street. He founded the architectural firm Design Group, Inc. He and his late wife, Sue, had three children.

 “Our mission has been to engage young people, bring them on board, and inspire them to understand the value, and respect the privilege, of living on this earth.”

—Clyde Gosnell

In 2012, the Stratford board of trustees established the Stratford Ecological Center, Educational Farm, and Nature Preserve Fund, an Organization Endowment, at The Columbus Foundation to provide for the future of the center.

“I hope Stratford continues to thrive, stay on mission, and not be too complacent about fundraising—ensuring we always have adequate funds to do the children’s programs that we are best suited for,” Omie said.

Together the couple, who live on a farm in Ashville, Ohio, has given time and treasure to a long list of agricultural and other organizations, including Appalachia Ohio Alliance, Friends of the Hocking Hills State Park, Columbus Audubon, and the Teays Valley Educational Foundation. Both have received numerous awards for their commitment and dedication to their causes.

A current project will take Clyde and Omie’s giving from the earth to the stars. The John Glenn Astronomy Park in Hocking Hills State Park is “dedicated to sparking an interest in science, learning, and exploration by sharing with visitors the wonders of the sky, both day and night.” The observatory will provide a venue for visitors to experience the night sky through a large telescope and with their eyes, without the issue of light pollution. Construction is currently underway, and expected to be completed in 2018. They are both excited about this new opportunity to expand their giving and educational opportunities.

“The universe is definitely a part of our living environment,” Clyde said.

Omie agrees. “This stretches our scope from planet Earth to space.”

Award Recipient

Dr. Louise (Omie) Warner and Clyde W. Gosnell, Jr.

About the Award

Established in 2011, the Leadership in Philanthropy Award of Community Foundations, Inc. is awarded periodically to recognize outstanding philanthropic contributions to communities beyond central Ohio.