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Dr. Hofreuter Led A Life of Service

From the founding of Wheeling Health Right to charting a new future for The Linsly School, Dr. Donald Hofreuter’s contributions to making the Ohio Valley a better place to live are unparalleled.

Hofreuter, 89, died Sunday. His life exemplified a legacy of service and commitment to bettering the greater Wheeling area and those living here.

A Wheeling native and 1950 graduate of the Linsly Military Institute, Hofreuter had three distinct medical careers:

– He was a successful family physician for more than 20 years.

– He then became an administrator at Wheeling Hospital before beginning a 13-year career as the hospital’s CEO, a position he held until 2006.

– After all that, he immersed himself fully into his life’s passion, Wheeling Health Right. He helped found the organization in 1985, and it became his biggest and most important contribution to the Ohio Valley. Each year, thousands of uninsured and underinsured patients receive treatment at Health Right — care they otherwise would be inaccessible.

Hofreuter, then in his 70s, devoted himself fully to Wheeling Health Right after his retirement from Wheeling Hospital, serving both as a board member and a volunteer physician. He spent one to two days each week at the facility, offering his counsel and giving of his time for patient care.

Medicine wasn’t his only professional focus, however. Hofreuter served on The Linsly School’s board of trustees for 35 years, many as board chairman. He was instrumental with moving the school away from its military roots, as in 1987 the board, under his leadership, adopted its current coeducational structure. Linsly would not be what it is today without Hofreuter and his vision for how the institution needed to change.

Hofreuter also served in leadership roles in the community, spending more than two decades as a Wheeling Park Commissioner and serving as president of the Rotary Club of Wheeling.

Dr. Hofreuter was one of those unique individuals who made a true impact on all those he met. His legacy will last for generations, and his tireless work to improve life in this community will be long remembered.

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