Canal Winchester officials are remembering longtime central Ohio car dealer Bob McDorman as a generous man dedicated to his community.

Canal Winchester officials are remembering longtime central Ohio car dealer Bob McDorman as a generous man dedicated to his community.

A posting on the Facebook page for the Bob McDorman Automotive Museum in Canal Winchester announced his death this morning, May 27, and asks McDorman's "loyal customers and friends" to keep him, his wife, Alice, and their family in prayer.

McDorman operated a Chevrolet dealership in Canal Winchester for 46 years. He sold most of his interest in the business to the Cincinnati-based Jeff Wyler Automotive Family Inc. in 2011, but retained a 15-percent ownership; he planned to retire at his 50th anniversary of being a Chevy dealer.

"Bob was just a few months from being recognized as a 50-year Chevrolet dealer, something he wanted so much and something we all wanted for him," Canal Winchester Mayor Michael Ebert said. "I don't think there are enough words to describe what Bob has meant to Canal Winchester as he was by far one of the most generous and giving people I have ever had the opportunity to know. His dedication to our community and beyond and to organizations like Children's Hospital will not be forgotten."

Bruce Jarvis, executive director of Destination: Canal Winchester, said McDorman's support of the community "goes way back and took more forms than anybody truly knows.

"I respected the fact that he never made one feel like they were imposing on his time, even when you knew you probably were," Jarvis added. "He had the reputation as a tough negotiator … We were lucky to have him for as long as we did and there is no doubt that Bob McDorman's legacy will be seen and felt for generations to come."

In 2014, McDorman achieved his dream of opening a standalone automotive museum at 45 E. Waterloo St., Canal Winchester, based around his renowned Corvette collection, other rare makes and models and his significant collection of automotive memorabilia.

McDorman began collecting in 1968 and was inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame in 2012.

"My goal when I started was to be inducted into the Corvette Hall of Fame," he said when the museum opened.

Also included in the museum collection are an antique service station he displayed at his dealership on Gender Road and McDorman's vast collection of model cars, neon signs, vintage gas station items, dealership items and vintage bicycles, along with awards and press recognition he has received over the years.