Chamber of Commerce’s “Citizen(s) of the Year” (1965 – 1986)

In February 1965, during their annual dinner, the Dansville Chamber of Commerce initiated their yearly “Citizen of the Year” award, honoring a Dansville resident who, over the years, had shown and demonstrated ample community interest. Two such citizens were singled out in 1965: Dr. Robert J. Maichle, local physician for 39 years, and former hospital chief of staff; and Robert A. Gray, local NYSE&G official, who led the village’s first Community Chest fund drive back in 1942. The “Citizen of the Year” award would be given out every year from 1965 to 1986.

1966: Claire C. Bateman, Auto dealer who helped to organize the Community Chest and the Rotary Club

1966: Dr. Simon King, local physician from 1920 to 1959

1966: Jerry Rauber oversaw the formation of a Dansville branch of the Junior Chamber of Commerce–the Jaycees

1967: William D. Conklin, F.A. Owen retiree, active civic leader and local history writer

1968: Leon Schwendler, banker

1969: Margaret E. Hondelink, Dansville music teacher from 1935 to 1965

1970: James J. Blum, long-time president of the Blum Shoe Manufacturing Company and president of the Hospital Board

1971: Mrs. Albert “Bessie” Maloney, active in the Red Cross, the Hospital Board, and the Women’s Civic Club

1972: E. Stanley Copeland Jr., retired president of Instructor Publications

1973: William J. Huver, the first person so recognized posthumously

1973: Charles McLane, WWII veteran, Blum Shoe Mfg. Co. employee, and civic leader

1974: Ralph E. Fox. Plant manager of the local Coca-Cola distributorship, He was active in the United Fund, the Rotary Club, the Dogwood Festival, and the Cub Scouts

1975: Harold Shay, DAHS_Hall_of_Fame_inductee

1976: Francis R. Henty, local contractor who, as president of the Hospital Board, oversaw the planning and building of Noyes Memorial Hospital

1977: Leroy and Roxie Moyer,

1978: Robert F. Hart, during his 12th term as North Dansville Town Supervisor

1979: Jerry Richmond (son of K.G. Richmond), past president of the Chamber of Commerce and the United Fund, and current president of Bradner House Inc.

1979: Wilfred J. Rauber, the former post office employee who, in his 30 years as Village and Town Historian, did more than anyone since A.O. Bunnell to awaken Dansvillians to their eventful heritage

1980: Norman Seiple, former F.A. Owen sales manager

1981: Barry O. Haywood, High school music director, Dogwood Festival chairman and later Mayor

1982: Jon Shay, for his work with the hospital and the Dogwood Festival

1983: William C. Packard of Dansville Chrysler-Plymouth, an active member of the American Legion, the VFW, and the Hospital Board

1984: Jean DeLong, served as president of both the Women’s Civic Club and the Hospital Auxiliary

1985: Joseph G. “Jerry” Rauber, the son of Wilfred J. Rauber and the originator of the Dogwood Festival and the Oktoberfest

1986: Rev. Christopher Thomforde, departing St. Paul’s pastor who had been such since 1978

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