John Pekar reflects on 50-year career as he retires from Fairfield DD

LANCASTER – Superintendent of the Fairfield County Developmental Disabilities Commission, John Peeker has enjoyed a 50-year career serving people with developmental disabilities. But that career will come to an end when he retires on Friday.

Pekar, 71, took office on July 12, 1999, and said that now seemed like the right time to retire because the figure of 50 is an approximation. Aide David Wool will replace him.

“I was one of those lucky people who worked for 50 years, but didn’t really have what you think of as a job,” Pekar said. “It’s really been a vocation and a journey. When you’ve been doing this for 50 years, it just doesn’t seem grounded in reality to stop doing it and never do it again.”

Originally from Akron, Pekar started his career in January 1973 as a part-time residential assistant in a group home. Until 1991, he was the CEO of several non-profit organizations in northeastern Ohio. That’s when former Gov. George Voinovich asked him to serve as deputy director of the state’s Department of Developmental Disabilities, where he spent about six years before he moved here in Franklin County where he served on the DD board. I moved.

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