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William Lhota


1939 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
William Lhota Obituary
Lhota, William
1939 - 2017
William J. "Bill" Lhota, age 77, passed away at home on Thursday, August 10, 2017, with his beloved wife and best friend of 42 years, Sue, by his side. Born October 13, 1939 to Harold P. Lhota and Jean Gare Miller, Bill led an amazing life; and left the world a better place. He graduated from The Ohio State University (1964, B.S., Civil Engineering) and MIT (1971, MBA). He also was awarded a Doctorate of Community Leadership from Franklin University in 2011. Bill's career was remarkable; and characterized by his leadership, from corporate to community. He focused on mentoring future leaders; always stressing the importance of Ethics (as evidenced by his license plate "ETHICS"). After 37 years with American Electric Power CompanyAEP, he retired in 2001 as President of Energy Delivery, and Executive Vice President of AEP Service Corporation. He became President and CEO of COTA in 2004, and remained in that position until 2012. His leadership, business skill sets, intelligence, and unwavering commitment, led to a dramatic turn around of the once troubled agency. He determined almost immediately to ride each route of the public transportation provider, so that he could better understand the needs of its customers. Bill was involved in numerous community projects; and served on multiple Corporate and Civic Boards, including: past Chair of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority; the Ohio Chamber of Commerce; the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and The Ohio State University Alumni Association. He also served on the boards of Huntington Bancshares, Inc; State Auto Financial Corporation and Green Mountain Energy; and on the advisory boards of Interstate Gas Supply/IGS, Paul Werth Associates and Twenty First Century Communications. Bill and Sue always believed in paying it forward, which led them to lead and support many projects including: Alliance For The Future Of Israel/AFFI; The Ohio Statehouse Renovation; and, of course, their beloved The Ohio State University. Whether it was giving of his time, talent, treasure, or just watching football or basketball games with beloved Sue, OSU was never far from his mind. He received countless recognitions and awards throughout his life and careers. He was most proud of the Distinguished Service Award he received from OSU in 2011; and the John B. Gerlach Outstanding Volunteer Philanthropy Award which his wife Sue will receive in his honor in September. He also received the Outstanding Alumni award from the OSU College of Engineering in 1988; the Distinguished Service Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1995; the Regional Leadership Award from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission in 2011; and was inducted into the Junior Achievement Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame in 2010. While Bill worked tirelessly to better the organizations he was involved with, he found time to enjoy his Harley, riding to all 88 counties to capture a photo of each County Courthouse, as they played significant roles in the history of both our State and our Nation. Bill was preceded in death by his parents Harold P. Lhota and Jean Gare Miller, his brother Harold P. Lhota, Jr. and his son Robert Lhota. In addition to his beloved wife Sue, Bill is survived by a very special nephew, Dan and his wife, Tiffany, and their four children, Jack, William, Ellen, and George; brother-in-law, Randy (Nancy) Board; sister-in-law, Nancy (Rick) Haverstock; sister-in-law, Mary D. Fowler; dearly loved great niece, Megan (Ryan) Kumpf; great nephews, Micah (Tammie) Haverstock; and Jonathan Board; and grandson, Matthew Royer. He is also survived by a daughter, Ann Lhota; and sister, Jean Anne (Peter) Jensen. There will be a Celebration of Life on Monday, August 14, 2017 at 1 p.m. at SCHOEDINGER NORTHWEST CHAPEL, 1740 Zollinger Rd., where Sue and his family will also receive friends the day prior on Sunday, August 13, 2017 from 2-5 p.m. A private inurnment of Bill's cremated remains will occur at a later date. Because Bill and Sue love The Ohio State University dearly, in lieu of flowers, they request that Memorial contributions be made to one of three areas they are passionate about: The College Of Engineering to support the Bill and Susan Lhota Scholarship Fund; The Ross Heart Hospital & Davis Vascular Research Institute to support Heart and Vascular Research; and The Ohio State Alumni Association to support the Bill and Susan Lhota Office of Alumni Career Management. Checks may be made payable to the OSU Foundation and mailed to PO 183112, Columbus, Ohio 43218-3112. Please visit www.schoedinger.com to share a memory of Bill.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Aug. 12 to Aug. 13, 2017
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