There are hundreds of advisory boards filled with countless volunteers in the area, just trying to help the communities they called home. They pass in and out of those appointments fairly anonymously usually after a decade or so.
Then there’s Bruce Plumb. The retired surveyor and past chairman of the board of Kohli & Kaliher Associates Inc. recently resigned after 56 years on assorted committees through the Lima Allen County Regional Planning Commission, most recently on the board of directors.
That’s 56 years volunteering to look over roadway plans and long-term plans to help the region grow.
“I know there had to be some minuses over the years, but there certainly were a boatload of plusses,” the Lima man said Thursday. “The people, the situations, the decisions we made, I enjoyed being a part of all of that.”
He admits his “memory sucks” now. He’s 85. That’s too many memories to recall the details on everything that happened for someone who kept serving on the RPC board for 18 years after he retired in April 2002. In fact, he was on the board when the former Allen County Planning Commission became the RPC in 1964, when he was the board secretary.
He knows what matters to him, though. He brushes off focusing on those 56 years on a board.
“I do remember the woman lying or sitting next to me,” he said. “I’ve only been married 65 years, you know.”
He and Suzanne graduated together at Lima Central High School in the Class of 1953, two years before Lima’s two public schools merged. When he was drafted into the military, she followed him out to Fort Carson, Colorado.
When his military commitment ended, they returned home to Lima, where they raised two sons who still live here and a daughter who now lives in Tenneseee.
“It was just coming home for us,” he said.
He’s helped with other organizations and is a member of the Elks and the Eagles. He served as exalted ruler with the Elks back in the late 1970s.
Still, you couldn’t drive around town without seeing something he had a part in since getting involved in community planning.
“I remember when we switched all those one-way streets in Lima,” he said, laughing at how their work has since been undone. “Now they’re going back to two-way. There was some widening of streets, Market Street for one. And I would’ve been there for everything in the (Town) Square.”
Now he’s completely focused on relaxing with his beloved wife.
“My memory on names is not what it used to be,” he said. “If I always call my beautiful wife ‘sweetheart,’ then I don’t have to worry about forgetting her first name.”