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Posted: January 21, 2014 10:00 p.m.

A man of service

 Everywhere Bill Loeble turns these days, he’s being honored, and we’re happy to join the chorus.

Loeble received the R.O. Arnold Award Thursday at the annual meeting of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce. The award is one of the community’s most prestigious and is given to a person who has made a difference through service.

Loeble has a laundry list of service, from supporting the arts and the Miracle League Field, to serving at the chamber and at his church and being endlessly devoted to the Boy Scouts of America. For the Scouts, he has served in multiple leadership capacities throughout the years, donated money and time, and received some of the organization’s highest honors.

Thursday’s award followed on the heels of Loeble’s retirement after 20 years at Beaver Manufacturing, a yarn processing industry in Mansfield that has grown into a global powerhouse under Loeble’s leadership.

Loeble thanked his wife of 47 years, Diane, for never leaving his side, and his family and Beaver Manufacturing family.

While former defense secretary Robert Gates is currently in the media with his recent book criticizing presidents, Loeble referred to another book Gates wrote in 1996, "From the Shadows." Loeble referred to a passage from that book that has always stuck with him: the symbol of planting a tree that you may never get to sit under. You may never get to enjoy its shade, but others will.

‘"That’s what it’s all about; that’s what we’re here for," Loeble told the audience.

And he said he’s not finished planting trees, as he’s always believed an award is for something you continue to do. Thanks for your service, Bill, and for being an example to many others.

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