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John Mattox to be inducted into Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame


Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Aging (ODA) will posthumously induct two eastern Ohio residents into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame during a special ceremony at the Statehouse Atrium in Columbus on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022. The two are among 15 outstanding older Ohioans being inducted this year for a lifetime of contributions and accomplishments. Dr. John S. Mattox, from Flushing, and Betty J. Wiechert, from Zanesville, will be recognized by their peers, Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and leaders from Ohio’s aging network. “I am pleased to be able to honor the newest members of the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame,” said Ursel J. McElroy, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Their legacies live on through their meaningful contributions to their communities. Like all of this year’s inductees, they shared a calling to go above and beyond to help others. Their impact across the state was profound, and they are well-deserving of this prestigious achievement.” Dr. John S. Mattox was an Air Force veteran who enjoyed a long career as an insurance salesman. He founded and established the Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing with his wife Rosalind and served for 25 years as its curator. The museum maintains a collection of over 30,000 items related to the Underground Railroad and slavery. As a leader in bringing about the inaugural Juneteenth Celebration in the region in 2016, Dr. Mattox raised awareness for a key day in the history of the abolition of slavery in America. Finally declared a federal holiday by Congress in 2021, Juneteenth achieved the nationwide recognition Dr. Mattox sought for the day in the Ohio Valley. The Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame was established in 1977 to honor Ohioans age 60 and older for their achievements, their contributions to others, and the roles they play in their communities. Their compelling stories represent lifetimes of dedication, ingenuity, perseverance, kindness, and compassion. This year’s inductees range in age from 66 to 101, and bring the total number of Hall of Fame members to 501. The Ohio Channel will stream the ceremony live starting at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2022. It can be viewed here: https://www.ohiochannel.org/live/special-events. Photos and full bios of all the 2022 inductees are available at https://www.aging.ohio.gov/halloffame. About ODA – The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers, and communities. Programs include home and community-based long-term support and services and initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov to learn more.

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