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Silver Lake council chamber named in honor of late law director Bob Heydorn

Silver Lake’s council chamber has been named in memory of the village’s longtime law director, Bob Heydorn.

Heydorn died in April of this year at age 75, and his friends and colleagues at the council wanted a fitting tribute to his love for the village.

His widow, Louise Heydorn, was asked to unveil the dedication plaque in her husband’s honor at a ceremony in September, naming the room the Robert W. Heydorn Chambers.

“It was a nice honor, a wonderful tribute to Bob and the service he gave to Silver Lake, first as a councilman and later as the village solicitor,” she said. “He never sought praise for his work, but I know he would have been deeply honored by this, and the plaque is truly beautiful. He would have loved it. I was thrilled with the dedication, and Bob would have been, too. He spent over half his life in service to the village, so it was a perfect fit.

“Bob was a second-generation Silver Lake resident – his parents brought him here when he was quite young. Now we have grandchildren who are fourth-generation residents; we have a sort of dynasty going on. He loved history and believed that people should understand the story of where they live, and he believed that government should have one foot in the past and one foot in the future so you can understand the decisions of those who governed before us.”

Bob Heydorn was a member of Rotary International for 40 years, and he was instrumental in organizing youth exchange programs for Northeast Ohio and parts of Canada. He also served as a life member on the board at the Cuyahoga Falls library.

“We were at Cuyahoga Falls High School together, along with Louise, and knew each other to pass in the hallways,” Silver Lake Council President Bill Church said, “but became friends later when I moved to Silver Lake across the street from Bob and Louise. We formed a fishing group mainly with friends from high school, and for 38 years we stuck together and went fishing once or twice a year in Pennsylvania or Canada. We bonded very closely.

“Bob was pretty much liked by everybody. He had a genius mind, and his IQ was off the charts. He was a very smart guy. His love was history, and he often told me that if he had a do-over, he might have wanted to become a history professor.”

Heydorn served in the Vietnam era as a company commander and captain in the U.S. Army. He became licensed to practice law in 1975, working in his own firm in Cuyahoga Falls until his death, first with partner Orval Hoover and since 2000 with Chris Crull.

“Bob was a living encyclopedia of Silver Lake. He knew everything that happened inside out,” Silver Lake Mayor Bernie Hovey said. “He had a meager salary as village solicitor, but [the position allowed Heydorn] to charge us for work outside his contract. But he never once did in 24 years, as he did it for the love of the village.

“He did a great job, and we wanted to do something to make sure his name stayed known.”