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Doc Rhoads Honored As Citizen of The Year

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March 08, 2019
One of the first things he did was join the Orr Parks baseball team.  After making an error early in the game, a fan asked the man beside him, “Who’s the new shortstop?”  The man answered, “That’s the new dentist in town.”  “Well,” the man replied, “he should stick to pulling teeth.” 
 
Dr. Donald “Doc” Rhoads, the 2018 Paul L. Powell Citizen of the Year, went on to do much more than “pulling teeth” in Orrville.  A dentist by vocation, Rhoads has made a life by simply doing what needs done.
 
The Paul L. Powell Citizen of the Year Award (COY) honors those citizens who continue to make Orrville the “Promised Land.” 
 
“Putting other people’s needs over your own is harder and harder to find,” stated Kent Smith.  “That is not the case with Doc.  He is always looking for ways to make a situation better.”
 
Rhoads grew up in Circleville, Ohio.  He graduated from Circleville High School and The Ohio State University.  Upon graduating from The Ohio State University School of Dentistry in 1961, Rhoads was recruited by the late Dr. Robert Williams to join him in a family dental practice in Orrville. 
 
Rhoads practiced dentistry in Orrville for 35 years.  When he retired in 1996, his very last patient had also been his first patient when he started the practice in 1961!
 
“One trait that stands out for me has been his willingness to step up and participate when and where there has been a need,” stated Dave Yonto. 
 
Over the years, Rhoads coached Little League and Junior High basketball teams – long after his children were grown.  He even filled a vacant seat on Orrville City Council when a need arose.
 
“Doc always made time for those who needed a helping hand, and never expected anything in return,” commented Richard Smucker. “His reward was helping others succeed.  His commitment to the community has been steady and quietly profound.”
 
“It’s not the public acts that Dick has been admired the most for, but the acts of kindness unseen by many,” shared Mike Guster.  “He always believed in pro bono dental work for many that could not afford the procedures that were needed.”
 
Rhoads has volunteered for Orrville Area United Way’s Citizen Review Committee, the Orrville Salvation Army, Orrville Rotary Club and has travelled to Honduras with Central American Medical Outreach (CAMO).
 
Rhoads will be the 54th Citizen of the Year, an award that was first presented in 1969 to honor the legacy of Paul L. Powell, owner of The Orrville Courier-Crescent newspaper from 1930 – mid 1960’s.  The Dix Family established the Paul L Powell Citizen of the Year award to recognize him for his community leadership, his journalistic talents and his deep affection for Orrville, his promised land. 
 
“Doc is a blessing to our community and has helped so many,” stated Frances Marks.  “Being selected as Citizen of the Year is fitting way to honor his life in this community.”
 
Rhoads learned of his selection as COY surrounded by his wife, Marge, and church family at The First Presbyterian on March 3. 
 
The Paul L. Powell Citizen of the Year Award will be formally presented to Rhoads at the Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and Awards on March 28.  A limited number of tickets for the dinner are still available and may be purchased online at https://orrvilleareachamber.eventbank.com/event/103rd-annual-dinner-awards-12035/ or by contacting the Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce, 330-682-8881. 
 

Orrville Area Chamber Champions