Richard “Dick” Rano passed away on Saturday, June 10, 2023. He was 89 years old.
As the first Director of the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department, Dick was a leader and visionary in acquiring hundreds of acres to be utilized for public parkland. These acquisitions led to the high-quality park system in place today. A few of Mr. Rano’s accomplishments include the construction of “the Pool” at Highlands Park and the development of Metzger and Hoff Woods parks.
Dick “acquired” the vacated water plant and repurposed it as the Westerville Senior Center, establishing the Westerville Senior Association as a nonprofit organization. The Association assisted in fundraising and the purchasing of buses and other equipment for the seniors, as well as established the Senior Advisory Board to oversee these efforts. Dick was additionally involved in the initial planning and oversight of what is now known as the Westerville Bike and Walkway (B&W).
Dick understood the importance and need for a diverse set of recreational activities and programs to offer citizens. His vision and leadership contributed to the department receiving the National Gold Medal Award in 1974 and again in 1997.
Dick is a Westerville Champion, Class of 2016. His recognition is etched in stone and lives as part of a landscaped seating node located at the entrance of Highlands Park Aquatic Center (HPAC).