The community reflects on Bob Rohrman's legacy
Rohrman died peacefully tuesday at the age of 87.
He was surrounded by his family.
News 18's samantha thieke spoke with people who he's left a lasting impression on.
She joins us live with the impact he's had on the area.
Meredith, most people will never forget those iconic commericials promoting his business.
But rohrman was much more than a businessman.
He was a giver.
For example, i'm standing in front of the bob rohrman field at ross ade stadium.
It was named after him when he gave 15- million dollars to purdue.
People i spoke with today say his giving spirit will live on.
Nat funny commercial alting "he was one of the funniest men i've ever known in my life."
With that humor, came a big heart.
Howe "he was larger than life here in tippecanoe county and lafayette in general."
Rohrman was born in lafayette and graduated from lafayette jeff.
He started selling cars in the late 1950s and opened his own used car lot in the 1960s.
The bob rohrman auto group now consists of 32 dealerships in indiana, illinois, and wisconsin.
He's used his success to make a difference.
Tom barker "it was really, i think, his desire to affect a lot of kids.
Which it really has over the years."
The bob rohrman performing arts center at lafayette jeff is just one example.
It was finished in 2009 thanks in part to a 3-and-a-half million dollar donation from rohrman.
Former jeff band director tom barker says it allowed the school to grow its music program more than he could have ever imagined.
Barker "it opened up so many doors for our kids.
The growth of the department.
Over 2,000 kids will enter this hallway during the full sequence of classes."
Rohrman has donated millions of dollars to various charities.
That includes meals on wheels, the make- a-wish foundation and multiple cancer charities.
State senator ron alting presented rohrman with the sagamore of the wabash in 2019.
He's known rohrman since childhood.
Alting says his giving heart will continue through his children.
Ron alting "bob rohrman instilled in his children the importance of being a giver, not a taker, and being a part of the community that has given you so much."
Alting says that giving attitude is something rohrman lived by.
Alting "something we all need to learn from him is if god's blessed you with more than the average person, give some back to someone that doesn't have it."
There are many more examples of rohrman's generosity, but we just don't have the time to list them all.
If there are any public vigils or memorials, we will have them posted on wlfi dot com.
Reporting live in west lafayette st news 18.
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