Quiet leader leaves major local impact

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Editorial: Jan. 15, 2014

TOPIC: Death of Bob Wade Sr.
A leader who led by his example

Hardin County lost one of its finest leaders last week when Bob Wade Sr. died at age 79.

He wasn’t an elected official, but the impact he made on Hardin County over the last several decades is immeasurable. For decades to come, the imprint Wade leaves on Hardin County and others will continue to live on.

Our world is full of followers and not enough leaders. Many of those followers were attracted by Wade’s quiet and efficient leadership on community projects and while serving on numerous boards.

Said outgoing Central Kentucky Community Foundation President/CEO Al Rider of the impact Wade made on his life and on others, “You followed his leadership because he had qualities in life that you wanted. You did your very best because you didn't want to disappoint Bob.”

Wade was humble, honest and hard working. He was giving of his time, expertise and his money to help as many people as possible. Whether they were long-time friends or someone new to the farming industry, he was known to offer a guiding hand or direction.

Bob Wade Sr. had that amazing and rare character trait of putting people around him first with his giving and gracious nature.

He started as a farmer in Hardin County who built a life that branched into so many directions. His obituary last week told of a life well served in many walks of life, whether by serving on community committees or leading them or being recognized for his fine work in and out of the farming industry.

He was in demand because those who sought his services and advice knew results would be close behind. He had a simple philosophy, friends have said: Bob Wade Sr. didn’t want to hear why something couldn't happen; he wanted to find ways to make it happen. He sought solutions not excuses and expected that out of those around him.

Among Wade’s accomplishments included he was part of a group to get Elizabethtown Community College off the ground and was recognized as a Distinguished Citizen winner by Boys Scouts in 2005.

Wade and his wife, Ella Mae, also were among the first to endow money to CKCF to benefit the community for years to come.

Recipients of the Wades’ giving would be well served to know the type of person who is responsible for the gesture and possibly follow his lead in living a life of service.

That would be an ideal way of honoring Bob Wade Sr.’s legacy in Hardin County.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.