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‘Doc’ Landlord, Belmont County Business and Tourism Leader Dies at 94 | News, Sports, Jobs

“Doc” Head of household

BARNESVILLE — positivity and possibility — these are the factors that made “Doc” Householder a key figure in the development and success of his community.

Ira Eugene “Doc” householder, former executive director of the Belmont County Tourism Authority and founder of the event that became the Burnsville Pumpkin Festival, died Tuesday.

For over 90 years, he’s spent all of it locally, owning and operating multiple businesses in downtown Burnsville, and promoting his beloved county as a tourist destination for 28 years. For more than half a century, he has been a member of the Burnsville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club of the Village.

Burnsville Village Manager Roger Deal worked closely with the Householders on many projects over the years. He recalled warm memories of the man, saying that “Doc” was “always positive” and believed that “everything is possible.”

“He’s had a huge impact on the community. We’re talking not only about Burnsville, but Belmont County,” Deal said, noting that Householder stores are a key component of the village’s business community. said. “He was always positive. You just felt good when he ran into Doc.

Deal also noted the growth of the Pumpkin Festival and said Householder was largely responsible for how it turned out. and soon became the president of the organization. The event, which began in the basement of Burnsville’s Assumption Catholic Church, has grown into one of Ohio’s largest festivals, drawing more than 100,000 people to the community each year.

“I don’t think he ever said a negative word…” Deal continued. “That’s what made him successful, and I think it spread to all of us. It certainly had a big impact on me.”

“He wanted us all to root. What an influence…and what a good man he was. He will be sadly missed.”

Ginny Favede, president of Wheeling University, served as commissioner for Belmont County during Householder’s time on the tourism council. She remembered him fondly on Friday, recalling an image of him wearing the ever-present suspenders and how he and his late Ruth loved each other.

“He was a wonderful human being,” said Favede. “I think he made you a better person just by knowing him.

“He was always so excited to share good news about Belmont County,” she continued, recalling the regular updates he provided to the commission. He was always bragging about what was going on, and he loved the people of Burnsville.”

Mr. Favede said the Householder knew Belmont County and its history better than anyone, and he taught that history to everyone close to him.

“They don’t make men like Doc Householder anymore,” she added.

Barb Balint worked with Householder, first as a member of the Tourism Council’s board of directors, then as his assistant director, becoming executive director when Householder retired at the age of 88.

In total, they worked closely together for about a year and a half, Balint says.

“He taught me a lot about the county that I didn’t know,” Balint said. “Everyone on the Riverfront thinks the county line ends at the (Ohio Valley) Mall (St. Clairsville). Everyone in the Burnsville, Belmont, Flushing area thinks the county line ends at the Mall. We’re so geographically spread out, and it’s been a blessing for me to learn all about Belmont County.”

She noted that communities along the Ohio River tend to be more industrialized, while communities in the western half of the county are more rural and agricultural.

“We’re in the same county, same state, but different lives,” she added. “The doctor told me. He showed me the history of our county and everything else he could offer, which he was able to share and educate me with.”

Now Balint, who has also resigned his position on the Tourism Council, reflected on Householder and his children and became emotional.

“When you knew Doc, you knew his family too,” she began to choke. As his retirement neared, we shared a relationship to make sure Doc was safe at all times.

“He’s had a great life. At 94, he’s outlived many, but it’s still hard to lose someone you love.”

The Householders have two sons, Tony (Debbie) Householder and Tom (Valerie) Householder of Burnsville, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The visitation will be held Monday from 4:00 to 8:00 pm at the Wilson Funeral Home in Burnsville Chapel, 702 E. Main Street, Burnsville. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday and a burial will be held at Burnsville’s Crestview Cemetery.

The family is asking for a memento to be donated to the Walton Home at 1254 E. Main Street, Burnsville, Ohio 43713, where the Householder lived for several years after retirement.

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