DELPHOS — It didn’t take much to get help from this year’s Tri-County Man of the Year. All you had to do was ask.

Norbert “Nub” Grothause has volunteered for numerous fundraisers and community events, was a 4-H advisor, helped with canal cleanups and a downtown renovation project and has volunteered a both museums.

His favorite endeavor has been the eight years he spent as the chairman of St. John’s Benefit Auction.

“The Luersman girls started the benefit auction and then I was asked to chair it in 2000,” Grothause said. “It was hard at first asking people to donate things but I got used to it. I saw it as a ‘must’ to raise money for the boosters.”

By that time, Grothause had been caring for the landscaping around the church for five years and was on the garden committee.

“That started with a request from Father Gorman,” he recalled. “He had a pear tree and he wanted me to rig something up to make it grow the way he wanted. It was growing into a building.”

Grothause went to work and came up with a solution for the pear tree and was soon trimming the bushes and taking care of the landscaping.

Many of his other good works started out the same way. He was instrumental in the Delphos Stadium Club’s bleacher renovation in 2010 and in 2011, he became a volunteer at the Delphos Canal Commission. He also worked at both museums during the Rotary Club’s High School Senior History Tours.

“I was doing the tours when the Postal Museum was still in the basement of the post office. Somebody would ask me to do something and I would. That’s how it happened,” he joked when asked about his many “projects.”

Born in 1934, the second oldest of seven to Dick and Marie (Krieft) Grothause on the family farm north of Delphos, Grothause attended his first year of school at St. John’s Elementary and graduated from Fort Jennings High School; however, his love of and service to St. John’s earned him an honorary diploma in 2002.

There was never a question of what Grothause would do with his life.

“Around here, everybody farms,” he said. “I grew up knowing I was going to be a farmer.”

He was even named the “Outstanding Farmer” by the Jaycees.

Grothause was also plant manager at Armour, now Crop Production Services, for 34 years, sharing his passion for farming and being a good steward of the land.

“I did a lot of research with chemicals and their reactions and soil testing,” he said. “It started out as a two-man operation and grew from there. That was what I loved. I’d still be there if I didn’t have back problems.”

With his love of agriculture, it was natural for him to become a 4-H advisor, working with the members on how to show their steer. They would concentrate on training the animals to behave in the ring and work on grooming, trimming hooves and hair.

“4-H has really changed,” he added. “It was strictly small engines and now its more livestock. You have to make sure the steer obey every command and that takes a lot of work with the animal.”

Grothause also loves sports, playing baseball and basketball and spending countless hours fishing. He also enjoyed bowling and golfing and has amassed boxes of trophies and hats.

Grothause and his wife, Dorothy, have six children: Annette (Terry) Ralston, Chris (Jane) Rode, Jenean (Doug) Corwin, Peggy (Tom) Williams, Laurie (Steve) Casebolt and their son Duane is deceased. They also have 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

They have loved spending their lives in Delphos, “a close-knit and friendly community.”

“Everyone seems willing to lend a hand,” Grothause said. “Delphos has been very good to me.”