Retired educator continues to give back to community

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By Janet Robb

MAGNET - Since Bob Ramsbottom came to Perry County nearly 40 years ago, the community has benefited from the various programs he's contributed to.

Originally from Missouri, Ramsbottom started teaching at Perry Central Community School in 1968 as a physical- and health-education teacher and later became the school's athletic director. During his tenure at Perry Central, he coached football for the junior-high and high-school teams, coached track and even helped create a track event for elementary students.

"The elementary principal at the time wanted to get a track event started for elementary students," he said. "It's one of the things that carried on because it's popular for the little kids and they like to do stuff like that. They look forward to it every year."

After retiring in 1994, he didn't stop helping. He is a volunteer with the football and track teams and was the first co-coordinator with Rosemary Flamion for Perry County's Relay For Life event. Ramsbottom said he got involved because his wife, Willa, is a cancer survivor.

"One of the things about Relay For Life is that even though cancer is a serious thing, the Relay is fun and it makes a difference," he said.

A biking and hiking enthusiast, Ramsbottom also organized the first bike tour for the county. Now known as the Bridge-to-Bridge Bike Tour, he said the area is great for the sport because of little traffic along county roads.

These contributions and more were what caught the attention of Rome resident Mary Sommer, who decided to nominate Ramsbottom for The News' Hometown Hero Award. In her nomination letter she wrote, "I immediately knew who was the most deserving of recognition in Perry County ... I say, as many others have said, he asks for no recognition or pay for all the many things he has volunteered to do for our county and southern Indiana as well." As a coach she said he was "strict but friendly as well, and encouraging."

"The world would be a better place if there were more unselfish people like him," Sommer continued. "He doesn't require praise."

"I appreciate the nomination," Ramsbottom said. He said he loves Perry County and feels "you need to do things to pay back the community. I will probably never repay what all the community has done for me."

To nominate someone for the award send their name, phone number and a few words on why you're nominating them to Hometown Heroes, The Perry County News, P.O. Box 309, Tell City, IN 47586. Information may also be e-mailed to lifestyles@perrycountynews. com or call 547-3424.