Parade marshal picked for her community service

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By Sandi Latimer
Staff Writer

Here, WABA parade marshal Debbie Wilder (standing) is pictured at a community event with volunteers from OhioHealth Doctors Hospital.

When many people face retirement, they can hardly wait to get out the door. But not Deb Wilder.

Wilder, director of community and support services at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, would stay on if she could.

“I love my job,” she said. “I wish I was younger.”

Wilder has been with Doctors Hospital for 21 years. She admits she could have left earlier this year, but she wanted to work a boot camp for high-achieving local teens. She’ll also be working with the hospital’s foundation.

“I’ll keep my foot in the door, she said.

Wilder has been chosen to be grand marshal for the Westland Area Business Association (WABA) parade on West Broad Street in Lincoln Village on June 29.

She’ll ride at the head of the parade in a silver Mustang convertible driven by her sister, Kandy Reese. Her other sister, Cindy couldn’t be left out. She’ll also be riding in that beloved Mustang.

“It’s the one we packed and moved my sister cross country,” Wilder reminisced.
WABA president Cathy Johnson looks at the selection of Wilder as grand marshal as a no brainer.

“For many of us, Deb is Doctors Hospital,” she said.

In Wilder’s 21 years, she has had a strong presence in anything not clinical, as she described her work.

And physical therapist Shawn Thomas, who has worked with Wilder on many occasions, says he is glad she was named grand marshal.

“She deserves it,” he said.

Wilder is a 35-year resident of Lincoln Village North. She is the mother of two sons who graduated from Westland High School. She also has a 15-year-old grandson.

The parade carries the theme “Celebrating our CommUNITY.” Entry forms for groups and individuals can be found on the Facebook page of WABA. Entrants will gather at the Lincoln Village Plaza in preparation for the parade that starts at 10 a.m. and goes down one side of West Broad Street. Regular traffic will be rerouted onto the other lanes of the street. The parade will end at the Prairie Township Fire Department’s fish fry on Palmetto.

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