Former Co-op General Manager Shares His True Commitment to Community
— Over $600,000 Distributed Through Legacy Fund in its First Year —
February 15, 2018, Falcon, CO – In life, John Rohr exemplified the electric cooperative values of integrity, innovation, accountability and commitment to community. After his recent passing, he left a legacy behind that truly speaks to the co-ops core beliefs and will have a big impact on the small town of Limon, CO, a place he called home for more than 30 years of his life.
John was introduced to electric co-ops in 1978 when he was hired to be the General Manager of Washington Electric Co-op (WEC) in East Montpelier, Vermont. He served WEC from 1978 to 1981. John then became the General Manager of Mountain View Electric Association, Inc. (MVEA) headquartered in Limon, CO from 1981 until his retirement in 1996.
“As MVEA’s General Manager, John felt very strongly about justifying every dollar spent, since it’s our member’s money, not ours. He also could recall every dollar we spent on anything, because he had an incredible memory for data and dates. He was the smartest person I’ve ever met,” David Waldner, MVEA Engineering Manager, said.
John also accounted for every dollar spent in his personal life, too.
“Some people commented that John probably had the first and last dollar he ever made, because he never spent anything,” Waldner said.
During his life, some may have regarded John Rohr as frugal, but upon his passing, John has had an extremely influential and charitable impact on Limon, CO. Showing his true commitment to community, prior to his death, he set up a legacy fund to support four non-profits and four public entities – Town of Limon Recreation Department, Limon Library, Limon Fire Protection District, and Limon Ambulance Service.
In its first year of donations, John Rohr’s Legacy Fund has distributed over $600,000 to the eight organizations that John named as recipients. The donations are expected to continue for 40 years, or more, based on stock market returns on the investments.
John’s long-time friend and current MVEA Board of Directors President, Joe Martin, was named John’s personal representative and has ensured that his final requests have been taken care of.
“I first met John in 1981 through the Limon Rotary Club. We also developed a business relationship which started when I was appointed to the MVEA Board of Directors in 1988,” Joe Martin, MVEA Board of Directors President, said. “Through our many years of friendship, I witnessed John serve the Limon community as a business leader at MVEA, as a friend to many, and as a loyal Limon citizen. In life, John couldn’t bear to part with his investments – he just couldn’t, but in death – his generosity shined bright. He truly is a pillar of the Limon community and a true philanthropist.”
It was John’s idea to set up a charitable trust fund to extend the amount of time that the organizations would receive funds, rather than just giving a one-time donation.
“John was a prudent investor,” Martin said. “He didn’t have any close family or children at the time of his death. His parents and only brother passed away before him. For John, the community of Limon was his family.”
The Town of Limon have acknowledged John’s donations in the form of a plaque, which is displayed at the Limon Town Hall. The legacy of John Rohr will live on for generations as Limon grows and improves, because of John’s contributions.
“I don’t think people saw these donations coming, but I’m not surprised by John’s altruism following his passing. It truly demonstrated the integrity that he had in life, an integrity that those of us who knew him saw best.” Waldner said.
John Rohr was born on July 12, 1941 and passed away on August 12, 2016 at the age of 75 from complications following heart surgery. He was surrounded by his closest friends at the time of his passing and is survived and remembered by many – especially employees of Mountain View Electric Association, Inc. and the people of Limon, whom he loved dearly.