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Vodenichar involved in church and its functions

From left, Den Weiland, Ron Vodenichar and Carolyn Van Cott Lah rehearse for a production of “The Pajama Game” in 2002. Butler Eagle File Photo

In addition to his dedication to family and the betterment of the Butler County community, Ron Vodenichar also places top importance on his faith.

Vodenichar spent several years teaching Sunday school at Trinity Lutheran Church in Center Township, where he and his family have attended services for many years.

“He was probably the best Sunday school teacher I ever had,” said Ashley Wright of Butler, who learned about Christianity under Vodenichar’s tutelage from grades two to six.

“He was very engaging,” she recalled. “He related the stories to us and what could be going on in our lives.”

Wright also encountered Vodenichar through local theater, which he participated in, and from her mother, Sherran, who worked at the Eagle.

“He is a really good storyteller,” Wright said.

Like many others, she hopes Vodenichar has the opportunity to play unlimited golf during his retirement.

“I hope he gets to live a long and stress-free life,” Wright said.

Grace Bickert, of Muddy Creek Township, attends Trinity Lutheran with Vodenichar and is on his trivia team, which plays weekly at the 11th Frame and occasionally at W. Rick’s Taproom and Grille.

Their team name, Channeling Solomon, is a Biblical reference, given that all eight players are members of Trinity Lutheran.

She said Vodenichar’s best categories are sports and geography, and he does not believe in playing conservatively when the chips are down.

“He always says ‘No, we’re not here to lay up. Let’s go for it,’” Bickert said.

As a joke, team members will call him when he can’t attend to report they’re laying up.

“I wish him the best of everything in his retirement,” Bickert said. “We’re going to keep a chair open for him at trivia.”

Bob Dandoy, Butler mayor, recalls Vodenichar participating in local theater with his daughter, KayLeigh.

“As happens in community theater, there are a lot of guys standing around and we needed guys for ‘Peter Pan,’” Dandoy said.

Vodenichar then accepted a part in “1776,” Dandoy said.

“So he became a part of the Musical Theatre Guild, doing a lot of shows,” he said.

Vodenichar also worked backstage and supported MTG in general.

“I’ve maintained a friendship with Ron and his family ever since,” Dandoy said.

The mayor is pleased Vodenichar will exit the daily grind of the working world.

“I wish him all the best,” Dandoy said. “I think I know him well enough to say his retirement will be similar to mine because he’s not exactly a sit-in-the-front-porch kind of guy.

“I hope he doesn’t drive the girls crazy.”

From left, Brad Griffiths as Noah Curry, Kelsey Kobil as Snookie Updegraff, Chris Horsman as Jimmy Curry and Ron Vodenichar as H.C. Curry rehearse for a production of “110 in the Shade” in 2006. Butler Eagle File Photo

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