The fourth annual Cline Medal, presented March 28 at the Appanoose Economic Development Corporation banquet, honored Virginia Padovan.
The Cline Medal recognizes a citizen who has invested a great deal in the betterment of Appanoose County, which can mean financial contributions, volunteer work or both, according to AEDC Executive Director Tod Faris.
“She has been a tireless ambassador and advocate for Centerville,” said Ann Young, vice president of Mercy Medical Center. “Not only does she volunteer for so many organizations, she is a philanthropist herself, and she and her sisters gave to many, many causes and established many scholarships.”
Young said she knew Padovan through her work with the YMCA and the Republican Party but also knew that was only a small fraction of Padovan’s involvement.
“Every time I am around people they mention Virginia helping with this and Virginia helping with that,” she said.
Padovan said she had no idea she would be receiving an award. Her neighbor, Dianne Senior, invited her to the banquet, saying she thought her husband, Centerville Mayor Jim Senior, might be receiving an award and they wanted Padovan to be their guest.
She never expected to hear her own name called.
“I was never so shocked in my life,” she said. “I was absolutely floored — I had no idea what to say.”
Padovan grew up in this area and returned here after a long career. After graduating from Numa High School she headed off to college at the University of Iowa. She taught for 43 years, mostly in Burlington, before retiring to Centerville.
The main reason she came back was to take care of her mother, who was living in the house in Centerville that her father purchased in 1945 where Padovan still lives today. Two of her sisters also retired to Centerville, and for many years all three of them volunteered extensively. Padovan, 93, is the only one still living.