Yesterday, a lifelong Pike County farm couple was honored as Illinoisans of the Day by the Illinois State Fair Museum Foundation.
Jerry and Diane Rodhouse have spent their lives working land that's been in the family for well over 100 years and giving back to the community. After raising three children on their Pleasant Hill farm, it's fitting they were honored in conjunction with the Illinois State Fair's Family Day. In her nomination letter to the Museum Foundation, daughter Angie Estes outlines her parents' commitment to the land and the community.
Jerry and Diane have been volunteering their time for over 40 years. They have both donated many hours in those 40 years to the United Methodist Church in Pleasant Hill. They have spent many days helping with repairs and odd jobs at both the church and the parsonage.
Diane also served as Chair of the Pike County Farm Bureau Woman's Committee. She helped get this organization off the ground and was active in the program for the entire time it was in existence.
In addition, Diane was very active in the Pleasant Hill Lioness Club, another organization that she helped form. She served as Treasurer in the past and was serving as President when the organization dis-banned.
Diane also is very active as a volunteer for the Fairfield Library in Pleasant Hill. She started out working as a volunteer librarian many years ago. She joined the Board of the library several years ago and is currently serving as president.
Jerry's record of volunteering goes back to at least 1962. He, along with others, had a dream of a Community Park in Pleasant Hill. Many hours of organization went into this project, and in 1965, the Pleasant Hill Community Park District was formed. Jerry served on its board from inception until 1995.
Another organization Jerry is greatly involved in is the Pike County Farm Bureau. He served on the board of directors from 1969-1987, during which time he served four terms as President, from 1978-1982. He served on many committees throughout the years, including the Illinois Farm Bureau resolution committee, the Places to Hunt committee and was an Illinois Agricultural Association Delegate.
Jerry has also been involved with the Pike County Economic Development Corporation beginning with the group's formation in 1998. He was elected as President of the organization and served that role until November 2003.
Throughout the years, Jerry has been involved in many other community organizations including the Pike County Fair Association, the Pleasant Hill Jaycees in which he was elected Jaycee of the Year for the 1975-76 year, the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church, and any other organization or cause that he felt he could lend his service to.