Union native Joe Pautler was presented with the Golden Achievement Award at the Union Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Service Award banquet Saturday, Feb. 3.
The award was presented by Pautler’s daughter-in-law, Suzanne Pautler.
“(Joe) is a very generous man, who throughout his 91 years has given of his time, resources and spirit to assist others in Union and beyond,” Suzanne Pautler said.
As a young boy, he helped out at his father’s store, the Pautler Store. As a teenager, Pautler started volunteering with the Union Fire Department. He and other high school boys volunteered during World War II because so many men were away fighting.
“When there was a fire, they would ring a siren or call the high school and the boys would get on their bicycles and ride to the fires,” Suzanne Pautler said.
Pautler has been with the fire department for 75 years. He’s held several offices with the Union Fire Department including treasurer, rescue lieutenant, second assistant chief and training captain.
He also served as the first fire marshal after the Union Fire Protection District was established in 1973. He served as fire marshal for four years, until 1977.
Pautler continues to ride in parades and volunteers to display antique equipment at history fairs and other activities. He also helps judge the annual fire prevention poster contest.
After high school, Pautler served in the U.S. Navy, in the Mediterranean during WWII as a storekeeper for the supply warehouse.
He later worked for the Union School District as the maintenance supervisor for 23 years.
Over the years, Pautler served 10 years as an EMT with the Union Ambulance volunteer service.
For 40 years, he was active with the Knights of Columbus and the American Legion, where he participated in and helped with many service events and activities.
Pautler currently serves on the board of appeals for the Franklin County Building Department and on the County Seat Senior Center Support Committee.
“He has shown his giving nature to helping neighbors, friends and family in many, many ways,” Suzanne Pautler said. “Union has been his home since birth, and he is a true citizen who has risen to help others through his selfless giving of time and service.”
The nomination form outlined numerous acts of volunteerism and of kindness to friends, family and community members.
Pautler and his late wife, Dolores, raised five children. The couple were married for 64 years before Dolores passed away in 2012.
In 2016, Joe Pautler was honored with the Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder Veterans Service Award and by various organizations.