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Retired dentist honored for lifetime of service
February 07, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Gering resident George Schlothauer was presented with the Trailblazer Award from the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce for his years of service to the community in numerous areas.

It took a series of omitted information and false leads to convince George Schlothauer to attend the Chamber’s annual banquet – but a surprise awaited him.

The Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce presented Schlothauer with its Trailblazer Award last week.

“My wife, Barb, convinced me to go because she told me our son John was being honored,” he said. “I was confused to say the least when his name wasn’t mentioned. I knew what was up once they flashed my baby picture on the screen. It was a real surprise to me.”

“I’ve done a lot over the years, but I never thought of myself in the same category as leaders like John Harms and Irv Rushall and Hod Kosman,” he continued. “That’s not who I am. I’m just an ordinary guy who’s plugged away all these years and done a number of things.”

It’s a long list of credentials. Schlothauer served 12 years on the Gering School Board, including two terms as president. He also was chairman of the Scotts Bluff County Republican Party, served on the board of Leadership Scotts Bluff, on the Chamber of Commerce board and on his church’s Board of Elders.

During his career as a dentist, he’s served as president of the Nebraska State Dental Association. And in conjunction with Rotary International, he took two trips to Guatemala to provide dental services. He also helped establish the University of Nebraska dental hygienist program.

“We’ve been so blessed to live here,” said the Gering Valley native. “Coming from a country school helped me with the confidence I have to do more and more in the community.”

He also said his three sons have returned to the valley, even though they had opportunities elsewhere. George is the principal at Lincoln Elementary School. John is a local insurance agent and owner of Docu-Shred. And Mark has taken over his father’s practice at Gering Dental Clinic.

Even in retirement, Schlothauer keeps busy. He supervises four farms in Gering Valley and does the irrigation himself. He’s also a board member at Legacy of the Plains, where he’s helping with the capital campaign to build a new building for the combined Farm And Ranch Museum and North Platte Valley Museum.

In addition, Schlothauer is on the board of Northfield Retirement Communities.
“With seven grandkids, there’s always something to do,” he said.

Other awards presented during the Scottsbluff/Gering Chamber of Commerce annual banquet included the Visionary Super Star Award, which went to Gering chiropractor Dr. Sam Mark and the Rising Star Award winner Katie Comacho.
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