Living a life of service comes naturally to him
From as far away as Vietnam, to right here in the Ohio Valley, Donald Jochims life has been about service the entire way.
“It’s a part of my way of life,” Jochims said. “I enjoy helping people and do it to the best of my ability.”
Jochims served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and upon coming home was a 22-year veteran of the Hopedale Police Department before retiring in 1994.
“I really enjoyed helping people as a police officer and just continued that after I retired,” he said. “Being retired gives me more time to help people out.”
Today, you can usually find Jochims on his tractor, cutting grass for his neighbors around Hopedale during the summer or plowing their driveways in the winter.
“In the winter time I get my tractor out, and I will spend all day plowing snow,” he said. “I don’t ask for any cash for it or nothing like that, I just do it to help them out.
“It was one of those deals where I was out plowing mine and saw some of these people out trying to shovel. I didn’t think they needed to be shoveling, so I just started doing and have kept doing it. Some of them are retired, and some of them are older and just can’t get out and do it, so I just help as much as I can.”
Jochims also plants the village’s flowers and does maintenance at his church, the Sacred Heart Parish, where he has been a member for 50 years.
He has been the commander of the Hopedale VFW Post 747 for a long time and is a member of the Hopedale American Legion Post 682. Jochims is a staple at military funerals in the area.
“I’m a veteran and served in the Vietnam War,” he said. “When I came back, they nominated me because I’m a take-charge kind of guy.”
Jochims also has been the Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Council 4590 for the past 20 years.
“Through the Knights of Columbus, we do food drives and stuff like that throughout the year to help the Cadiz Food Pantry,” he said. “We’re doing a clothing drive right now.”
Before to long, another staple of Jochims’ service to his community will be evident as for the last 15 years he has been the leader of the American Red Cross’ Red Kettle Campaign in Hopedale.
He previously worked with a Red Cross program to get around 300 village residents new smoke alarms for free.
For approximately the last eight years, Jochims has served on Hopedale’s village council.
In the past, he’s coached youth sports, maintained ball fields and did film work for the old Cadiz High School’s athletic programs.
“I just enjoy helping people,” he said. “I’m very humbled by being recognized for this. I really didn’t need to be nominated, I just do what I do every day.
“Anybody that needs help, they can come to me.”