In Memoriam

Past International President Rohit C. Mehta, known as the Father of Indian Lionism, died on the morning of September 17, 2020. He was 91 years old.

The late Past International President Mehta became a Lion in 1956 and after years of dedication and service to the association, became International President in 1992-93. He was the first Lion from India to serve as International President of Lions.

PIP Mehta was the charter secretary of the first Lions Club in his state of Gujarat. He served in numerous capacities and was appointed district governor in 1959-60, elected district governor in 1960-61, and served as a member of the association's board of directors from 1970 to 1972. In 1987, Mehta was elected as the association’s third International Vice President. He served as LCIF Trustee, LCIF Steering Committee Member, Lions Quest Advisory Committee, Chairman of the Lions Quest India Foundation and CSFII PIP Campaign Ambassador.

The late Past President Mehta was also the editor of the LION Magazine in India for many years and was an acting member of Ahmedabad Host Club and Honorary Member of Lions Club of Ahmedabad Karnavati.  He was instrumental in the initiative of Sight First and Lions Quest Program. He was also one of the key members to start China Action Program for Sight Conversation, and was the pioneer of several service projects including Lions Karnavati Shantaben Vishnubhai Patel Eye Hospital, Lalji Mehrotra Lions School, Lions Blood Bank, and Lions Kidney Dialysis Center. Until recently, he served as a chairman of the School for Deaf-Mutes Society, founded by Mahatma Gandhi and visited by Helen Keller. He also served as chairman of an educational institute Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan; imparting education to more than 4,000 students.

For his dedication and service, the late Past President Mehta was recognized with the Master Key, six Extension Awards, a 50, 55 and 60-Year Charter Monarch Chevrons, Humanitarian Partner Bronze, Life Membership Award, over 20 International President Medals, and the Ambassador of Good Will, the highest honor granted to a member by the association. He was a generous donor to LCIF, including being a Major Donor to both Campaign SightFirst I and II, and he was a multi-level Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow.

After losing his parents in an air crash in 1950, 20-year-old Mehta quickly accepted the responsibilities of his family’s textile and pharmaceutical business, and continued to acquire many international businesses and collaborations. Retiring from business activities in 2001, he continued to serve society through various institutions, including serving as the president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Indian Cotton Mill Federation, president of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and chairman of Bet Dwarka Temple Trust. He was also the chairman of more than 20 state public sector undertakings and notable amongst them was GNFC, Ahmedabad Electricity Company, and GRUH Finance Bank.

On August 26, Lions around the world celebrated PIP Mehta’s 91st birthday by doing individual Acts of Kindness, and he was delighted to receive a scrapbook that described 100 of these selected acts.

The late Past President was devoted to his family; wife Asha, two sons Rajesh and Anuj, four grandchildren, and one great grandchild, and was proud of the worldwide Lions family. He recognized the needs of others and through determination and kindness improved countless lives.




Past International Director Dr. Earl Dotson died on September 3, 2020, at the age of 95.  A member of the Buckingham County Lions Club since 1961, he served as International Director from 1984 to 1986.  He held many offices and served as a Vice President of the Lions of Virginia Foundation (LOVF).  LOVF was founded after Hurricane Camille devastated many Gulf States and flooded Nelson County in Virginia with rainfall that challenged existing world records for a 24-hour period. Rain in excess of 25 inches—and possibly as high as 37 inches in one area—were recorded. The devastation led the Lions of Virginia to develop a plan for a statewide foundation which continues to serve those in need today. For his dedication and service to the association, PID Dotson was honored with many awards including the Ambassador of Good Will Award, the highest honor the association gives to its members. He also received a special citation from the Commission for Visually Handicapped in recognition of his service to the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind. In 1980, he was commissioned by the governor of Virginia to serve the Commonwealth of Virginia for a term of seven years. He enjoyed a successful career in his dental practice, and was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather.

Past International Director Nobuharu Kikuchi (1991-1993), of the Sendai Aoba Lions Club, District 332-C, Japan, died on August 15, 2020, at the age of 92.  A member of the Sendai Aoba Lions Club since 1967, the late Past Director Kikuchi held many positions in the association and served as Lion Magazine Editorial Committee chairman. He will be remembered for his generosity to LCIF as a major donor as his support of the Foundation enabled Lions to improve the lives of many in need. For his contributions to the association, the late Kikuchi received numerous awards, Donor Pins - Immediate Recognition, and two Lion of Commitment Pins as well as the Ambassador of Good Will, the highest honor granted to a member of the association. He was also a multi-level Progressive Melvin Jones Fellow. Active in his community, the late Past Director Kikuchi served as chairman of the Miyagi Prefecture Juvenile Guidance Association, the Sendai City Juvenile Guidance Association, and the Sendai City Counseling Research Center. He was also board chairman of the Aigo Welfare Association.  Additionally, he was a successful businessman, devoted husband and father.

Past International Director Trevor P. Baron died on May 8, 2019. He was 99 years old -- 85 days short of his 100th birthday. The late past director became a member of the Hamilton Host Lions Club in 1958. He held 33 years of perfect attendance, has received eight International President’s Awards, and the Ambassador of Good Will Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a member by the association. Baron chartered the first Lions Club in the Fiji Islands and chaired the committee for the formation of the Nadi Lions Club that is still serving the community today. He dedicated his time to helping children, was a life member of the Society for Intellectually Handicapped Children’s Association, now called the IHC New Zealand. Now more than 60 years old, IHC New Zealand is the largest provider of services to people with intellectual disabilities and their families, supporting more than 6,000 people.

Past International Director Scott Rennels (1999-2001) died on January 9, 2020 at the age of 71. A Lion since 1987 and member of the Jonesboro Nettleton Lions Club, Rennels held many offices within the association. He served as a presenter, moderator, and discussion leader at the USA/Canada Forums and was chairman of the leadership committee. Rennels was past president of the Lions World Services for the Blind. His numerous Lions awards include the Ambassador of Good Will award, the highest honor the association bestows upon its members. In addition to his Lion activities, the late international director was state president of the Arkansas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and served as a North Vietnamese interpreter and translator. He and his wife, Deborah, cofounded the southern Illinois chapter of The Dream Factory, an organization that grant dreams to seriously ill and terminally ill children. Rennels served in the United States Air Force and studied North Vietnamese at Pacific Western Defense Language Institute.


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