Over the past 70 years, there have been quite a few families that were integral to we were, and are, at the Occupational Development Center.
One of those families is the Mearig family, whose history is closely affiliated with ours.
Recently, some friends of the ODC, and of the Mearigs, came to us, looking for a way to honor this important family. They settled on a plaque that now hangs on one of our walls, as well as a financial donation. While the donors wish to remain anonymous, we think it’s important that everyone learn more about the Mearig family.
Herbert “Bud” Mearig, and his wife Doris, became involved with us back in the early 1950’s when we, as the Child Development Center, were just getting started. They only had one child, Herbert “Herbie” Mearig, Jr., who was born with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As a result, he was one of the many children who came to the CDC for schooling. In 1958, when we became more focused on providing occupational training, Herbie stayed on, and was here at the ODC for more than 50 years.
While Herbie was one of our participants, his parents were regularly involved in our day to day operations. From the 1950s, all the way into the 1980s, Bud served on our board, and for a time was board president. His wife, Doris Klopp Mearig, also served on the ODC board as secretary and was active in our Parents Group and the ODC Auxiliary for many years.
Both Bud and Doris were born and raised right here in Lancaster and attended Upper Leacock High School together. Bud served in the U.S. Navy in WWII, and owned an office equipment and business machines company, and was also a business consultant.
With Herbie working here at the ODC, Bud and Doris continued to be involved, and were generous with both their time and money.
Herbie passed away at the age of 63 in 2009, shortly after his retirement from the ODC. Doris passed away in 2011 at the age of 93, while Bud passed in 2016 at the age of 99.
We are so grateful for the Mearigs and how they made the ODC a central part of their lives for more than half a century. And we are grateful for their friends who have decided to honor them in this way.