Westerville News & Public Opinion

Gone but not forgotten

Three prominent former leaders lost in 2012

Three former community leaders were remembered for their contributions after passing away in 2012.

* Former Otterbein University Dean Joanne Van Sant died May 21 at the age of 87.

"Dean Van" was remembered for her empathy, her focus on students and her love of Otterbein.

Van Sant began her career at then-Otterbein College in 1948 as an instructor in the women's physical education department. She was promoted to assistant professor, associate professor and then chairwoman of the department.

In 1952, Van Sant was named dean of women; in 1964, dean of students; and in 1968, vice president for student affairs and dean of students.

Van Sant officially retired from the university in 1992, but she continued to serve as a consultant, maintaining office hours and devoting as much time to the university as she was able to.

Van Sant also was involved in many professional, nonprofit and community organizations over the years, and served on the boards of many of them.

Those who worked with Van Sant said her legacy of putting students first remains, as does the culture of community she helped cultivate.

* Former Westerville City Councilman Damon "Chip" Wetterauer Jr. died Aug. 22 at age 68.

As he was remembered, city leaders said Wetterauer's mark on the city is undeniable: He played an active role in the building of the Westerville Community Center and in the development of North Cleveland Avenue and Polaris Parkway.

Wetterauer served four terms on Westerville City Council from 1989 to 1997 and from 1999 to 2007. He served on two different occasions as chairman and also as vice chairman and vice mayor. In 2010, Wetterauer served on the city's Charter Review Commission.

He was an active Rotarian and at one time served as chairman of Westerville's youth baseball program.

City leaders said in addition to helping shape the development of the city for two decades, Wetterauer had a way of bringing people together.

He helped enhance the relationship between the city and the Westerville City School District, city officials said, and had a way of putting people at ease during heated discussions.

* Former City Manager Maynard Dils died Sept. 21 at age 82.

Dils served as city manager from 1977 until his retirement in 1985.

Dils was remembered for his focus on economic development, bringing jobs and a sense of community back to a city that, at the time, had turned into a bedroom community of Columbus.

During his tenure as city manager, Dils helped establish the Eastwind and Brooksedge commercial developments, and helped lure St. Ann's hospital from Columbus.

Dils also helped to enhance the city's infrastructure.

While he served as manager, the state expanded South State Street and Franklin County widened Schrock Road.

Dils imagined the need for a Polaris-like road stemming from a state plan to create a new exit on Interstate 71, and he laid the groundwork for the widening of Sunbury Road, which then was a two-lane country road.

 

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