- Published on Saturday, 21 January 2017 17:45
Longtime Norwalk, Ohio resident Don Hohler was presented with the first-ever Summit Motorsports Park Lifetime Achievement Award during an especially engaging moment at the park’s 43rd Accel Banquet of Champions, Jan. 14, 2017 at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio.
Hohler, who discovered a passion for writing as a junior at St. Paul High School in Norwalk in 1955, went on to work at two service stations before accepting a full-time position as a sports department writer at the Norwalk Reflector in 1959.
He then began working as a police officer in Norwalk in 1965 before moving to the Norwalk Fire Department’s fire prevention bureau in 1969 and retired from there in 1990. A year later, he accepted a position as a private investigator for an attorney and stayed the course through 2007.
All the while, he was writing on a freelance basis for the Toledo Blade, Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Norwalk Reflector, and continues to write on a freelance basis for the Norwalk Reflector.
It was while on assignment for the Cleveland Plain Dealer in the early 1970s that he met Summit Motorsports Park co-owner Bill Bader, Sr.
“The Cleveland Plain Dealer had asked me to do a story on Bill (Bader, Sr.) leasing Sandusky International Speedway,” said Hohler. “I could tell immediately that he was a ‘go get ‘em’ type of guy, and an impressive business man. Two years later, he bought Norwalk Dragway, now Summit Motorsports Park, and I began working for him on a part-time basis doing public relations work. I worked for him for about twenty years, and even though I no longer work for him, we’ve remained close through the years.”
The presentation of the award came as a complete surprise to Hohler, whom Bader, Sr. refers to as a hardworking, honest and humble man.
With his wife, Marjean, he has two sons, Jeff and Steve, a daughter, Kim, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
- Mary Lendzion