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Can you imagine an Ada without a Don Traxler?

Ada chamber gives former mayor and community activist a lifetime membership

Want to hear a good Don Traxler story?

When Don went to see Ronald Reagan campaign in Lima in 1984, he set off the beepers as he walked through a metal detector.

The Secret Service didn’t ask him to empty his pockets. They should have. His pockets were filled with Mondale for President pins. The pins set off the beepers.

That’s not the first time Don’s antics have set off beepers, and it probably won’t be the last.

Ada resident since 1968
Don, a resident of Ada since 1968, received a lifetime membership in the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce during its Feb. 19 annual banquet. His involvement in Ada spans nearly all aspects of the community.

Also at the luncheon, Century 21 Sunway Realty was named 2020 Ada business of the year. Click here for that story and photos of the luncheon.

The retired university professor spent a lifetime in education. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education from Bowling Green State University and a doctorate in curriculum and education foundation from Ohio State University.

From 1968 until 1992 he was on the education faculty at Ohio Northern University. During that time, for seven years he was director of the teacher education department and chairperson of the education department.

He’s a life member of the Ohio Education Association and the National Education Association (NEA). He has served on the resolutions committee of both organizations.        

Involvement in the community
And, there’s more to Don than politics and being a college professor.

For many seasons he was the public address announcer for Ada High School girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball and varsity football games. 

When the Ada girls’ team won the state basketball tournament in the late 1970s Traxler even led a couple cheers from the OSU arena floor to get the hometown fans going.             

He’s a past president of the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce, past Ada mayor, past Ada council member and past Ada clerk-treasurer.

“I ran for village council in 1989. I went door-to-door seeking support,” he recalls. He won and served one two-year term. “Then I ran for mayor. The incumbent mayor was defeated in the primary. I ran against another former village council members and won,” he said.

While in his mayoral term, the village passed a .17 percent increase in its income tax. The tax paid for renovation to the Ada swimming pool. 

 “While mayor, I represented the village at a meeting in Ft. Wayne involving Conrail. I became acquainted with the Conrail person involved in taking care of its line’s railroad tracks,” said the former mayor.

Later, he recalls the village tried to get Conrail to install a new rubberized crossing at its Main Street. 

Ada was one of the first communities to succeed in obtaining the new crossings. “That happened because I took the time to go to Ft. Wayne and met the person involved. That contact enabled Ada to get its new crossing,” he said.

Today Don is a resident of Vancrest of Ada and his participation in Ada is never ending.

He is one of only six persons to received life memberships in the Ada chamber. At Wednesday’s dinner, he sat next to another lifer, JoNell Hanratty.