Congratulations to our 2020 class of Alumni Hall of Fame!
Robert Willits, Mark Dudley and David Holmes
These individuals have set themselves apart from their peers through their achievements, involvement, and impact on their personal, professional, and/or local communities over a number of years. Their stories are connected with the threads of educators, colleagues, friends, family, and neighbors who influenced their lives and spurred them to passions beyond themselves.
Class of 1942 | Maxwell High School
Robert D. Willits
Robert (Bob) Willits’ class at Maxwell High School was exceedingly small by today’s standard. As was the case for many schools, particularly rural schools prior to school consolidations, having ten or twelve classmates was fairly common. In 1942 Bob, along with his classmates, graduated amidst a world at war at the young age of 17. He was drafted following high school and valiantly served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a Staff Sergeant from 1943 to 1946. He served in Company B, 68th armored Infantry Battallion and earned a Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars.
Upon returning to Greenfield after the war, Bob began his career as a builder. He became a prominent and very well-respected custom home builder in Greenfield. He worked hard and over the course of 60 years, built his company, Willits Construction, LLC, into a reputable builder whose name, even to this day, is synonymous with quality and a selling point of realtors for homes being marketed. People greatly enjoyed working with Bob. It is a testament to his character, skill and finished product that many people wanted him to construct for them second and third homes. Willits Construction built well over 300 homes during Bob’s tenure before he retired at the age of 85. Other notable projects included the H.J. Ricks Center for the Arts (Weil Theater) as well as extensive work for Greenfield Banking Company.
Bob’s energy was also focused on his family and his community. Although Bob could not go to college himself due to being drafted, education was particularly important to him. He was a life-long learner and he helped instill the importance of education into his children and grandchildren. He and wife Norine’s children (all three of whom went to Greenfield-Central High School) and all nine of his grandchildren (six also went to Greenfield-Central High School) are college graduates. He valued the education he and his family received and, in turn, was very active in his support of the schools for many years.
Bob’s humble and soft-spoken nature would make him defer any accolades sent his way, but so many in the Greenfield community believe that his character, exemplary citizenship and positive role modeling should be honored. Personally and professionally Bob was an extremely hard working man (evidenced by his long career) who firmly believed that a little hard work was good for everyone!
Bob was proud to be a part of the Hancock County community. A charter member of Maxwell United Methodist Church where Bob served as a Trustee, he was later a member of Trinity Park United Methodist Church. He was also a member of the American Legion of Greenfield. Bob was a farmer, an avid Purdue fan, and he loved his family.
Congratulations, Mr. Willits!
Class of 1965 | Greenfield High School
A life-long resident of Hancock County, Mark Dudley is a 1965 graduate of Greenfield High School. Following high school he studied at Indiana University and graduated in 1971. Mark also obtained his Indiana Real Estate Broker’s license that same year. Mark served in the United States Air Force Reserve from 1971-1977. He became a graduate of Indiana University’s REALTOR Institute in 1984.
Mark returned to Hancock County following college and dove into a real estate career that has spanned decades and continues today. Mark began in 1973 as Broker Owner of Johnson and Dudley Real Estate. Eventually he established the RE/MAX Realty Group in 1996. He currently has two offices located in Greenfield and New Palestine. He has also owned Dudley Property Management since 1978.
Mark’s generous and giving spirit has been equally demonstrated through his passion for his community and business clients. He serves each with a tireless enthusiasm and has been recognized by a variety of organizations, family and friends for his success, his knowledge and his willingness to help those in need.
For his professional accomplishments as well as his willingness to give to others, Mark was honored as the RE/MAX Broker Owner of Year in Large Market in 2003 and the RE/MAX Integra, Midwest Broker Owner of the Year in 2015. His office has been recognized with the Riley Hospital Annual CMN Award (Children’s Miracle Network). Other RE/MAX honors include: RE/MAX Hall of Fame 2005; 100% Club; Platinum Club 2010-13; Chairman’s Club 2014-18; Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Riley Hospital 1996-present.
Mark has been active in several organizations to help further economic growth, boost housing options and train realtors. He is a member of the Hancock County Marketing Division (Board of Realtors, President in 1980, 2017), REALTOR’s Political Action Committee, REALTOR Foundation (President, 2007), and the Housing Committee Board of Directors of the Boner Housing Center. He holds Emeritus status with The National Association of REALTORS 40+ Years of Membership of Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors. Mark is also a Buffini Certified Instructor allowing him to provide this world-class real estate agent training.
Mark truly wants to make Greenfield and Hancock County a better place to live. His numerous involvements have included serving with Greenfield Parks and Recreation (President from 1976-96) where he oversaw the new Riley Pool and Brandywine Park, being a charter member of the Greenfield Art’s Council (President in 2017), the American Cancer Society (Board of Directors President in 1978-79), the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Hancock Economic Development Council, and Bradley United Methodist Church. He has supported several local charities including Riley Hospital for Children and St. Jude through RE/MAX Realty Group Annual Charity Auction. His brokerage company, RE/MAX Realty Group, has been a regular sponsor of Greenfield-Central sporting events and teams throughout the years including the new scoreboard in the G-CHS gymnasium. He has also chosen to give to students while participating as a Career Day speaker at G-CHS.
Mark’s wife Toni Dudley shares, “I have first-hand knowledge of how hard Mark works and how much he cares for the people of this community. He gives heart and soul for the people that work for him and the people he works for as they search and find their first home or their new dream home. I feel Mark is most deserving of this award as a successful graduate of Greenfield High School for his many years of involvement in the community, his generous and giving spirit and he even has a street named ‘Mark Dudley Drive’ for his many years of service to the City of Greenfield’s Park Department.”
Over the years, and in reflecting on his education right here in Greenfield, Mark knows that relationships are of vital importance. Slowing down and enjoying the experiences of today is worth it!
We are honored to have you join our Hall of Fame, Mr. Dudley!
Class of 1967 | Hancock-Central High School
David Holmes is a proud 1967 graduate of Hancock Central High School. David graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University and obtained his master’s degree and post graduate studies at Butler University. David has seen success in two very different careers.
David began as a social studies teacher at Greenfield-Central High School where he also taught driver’s education. He then became a Guidance Counselor and Assistant Dean of Boys. While working in the guidance department at the high school, he was involved in starting a Career Information Center as well as being involved with the school’s initial automated student scheduling program.
David transitioned to Hancock Regional Hospital (now Hancock Health) where he created the personnel department and later served as Vice President of Human Resources and Support Services. While there he created the “All” Hospital Staff Benefit program and oversaw the Hospital Guild and Volunteers. From 1979-2010 David was involved in every building project at the hospital. And, there were plenty! David helped develop the hospital’s wellness centers and was instrumental in the facility expansion of key healthcare areas.
At the hospital, David conducted leadership development meetings, safety meetings, team meetings, and diversity training to further develop individuals. His compassion beyond the workplace was evident in his personal care for employees, particularly when they were dealing with times of grief and loss. David’s impact on our community and specifically to healthcare at Hancock Regional Hospital and Hancock Wellness through his service is a testament to his leadership, vision and guidance.
Recognized by the hospital for his leadership, David was honored to be a part of important hospital and community groups. He service on various boards of directors included the Hancock Regional Hospital, Hancock Regional Hospital Guild, Radiology School Advisory Board, Hancock Wellness, Indiana Healthcare Human Resources Administration, Indiana Healthcare Management Institute Advisory Board, Indianapolis Area Hospital Human Resources Association (past President), and several others. He received certifications for FEMA Training and Crucial Conversations. Beyond the healthcare industry, David also helped organize New Palestine youth leagues, was a County Chairman for the United Way Campaign, served with the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce, helped with the Hospital Foundation golf benefit, organized the hospital Heart Walk Team, and was a member and past officer of Sertoma. He has served on several scholarship selection committees benefiting area students.
David’s sister, Jane Walker, says, “My brother has always been a leader. He was Student Manager in high school for four years, on the Annual Staff, Newspaper Staff, National Honor Society and was President of the Student Council and Student Body his senior year. I’ve always looked up to him. I think a lot of people do — not only at school, but in his private life and professional life. He’s been a leader in everything from an officer in his fraternity at BSU to tenderly caring for our mother before her death, which included taking her to the beauty shop. That’s who Dave is.”
David is married to Lin and they have two sons and 4 grandchildren. His family is proud of his accomplishments and are confident in David’s support, help and direction. Well done, Mr. Holmes!