Editor's Note: Paul Miller is a social working student senior at The Ohio State University Mansfield. June is Elder Empowerment Month in Ashland County and today marks the third in a four-part series he has authored to salute senior citizens and their accomplishments in the community. This series is part of Richland Source's Gray Matters project.
Dwaine is an active member of his social group who likes bowling using a NintendoWii with his friends.
He was born in Ashland County and graduated from Sullivan. Dwaine was the mayor of the village of Rochester (in Lorain County, population 182 today) in 1957 and served for 12 years.
He has owned a number of his own businesses over the years. He began a business making wedding cakes in 1957 and was also a self-employed carpenter for 12 years, crafted furniture for five years. He ended his work career as a machinist in Wellington. He worked off-and-on at the last job,
That particular job made buckets for heavy machinery.
“You could fit two cars in there,” he said.
He explained the buckets were made so a New York company could transport trash onto the barges where it would then be taken away.
He was on the Lorain County Health Board for 18 years and also worked at Firelands Ambulance in New London for 14 years. Dwaine said the key to his life has been his willingness to adapt.
“Always moving forward and learning new things,” he said.
Dwaine said he enjoys cooking and manages the fish fry at the Eagles club.
His advice to the younger generation is simple:
“Learn to work.”
He explained that the younger generation relies too much on technology and shies away from physical labor.
Dwaine was married to his first wife for 56 years before she died, and has been married to his second wife for six years.
"You have to find the right one,” he said, noting it's best to stay away from individuals who abuse alcohol.
He also explained that sharing a spiritual connection is important, too. Being polite and willing to compromise are important factors in making a marriage last.
To find out more about elder empowerment month and activities, contact the Ashland County Council on Aging at 419-281-1477.
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