The internet can tell you about the demographics of a neighborhood, but it can’t show you the heart of the community.
For that, you need someone like Linda DeHoff.
DeHoff, president of DeHoff Realtors and the chief executive officer for its Center for Relocation Services, continues to play an active role in the community she always has called home. Beyond her role as a business leader, she has volunteered on countless community boards ranging from the arts and college foundations to substance abuse and domestic violence agencies. She also has spearheaded successful fundraising campaigns for countywide causes such as the United Way of Greater Stark County and ArtsInStark.
“My wish for us and the community is that we can all remind ourselves of the value we have here and take such great pride in who we are, so that when someone asks where are you from, you say, ‘Canton’ or ‘Stark County’ with a smile and great pride,” she said.
The Glenwood High School graduate left Stark County briefly to pursue a bachelor’s degree in education at Ohio University. She returned and worked as a third- and fourth-grade teacher for roughly two years at Woodland School (now Schreiber Elementary) in Canton before meeting her husband, Bob, at the Stadium Park tennis courts.
After taking time to raise their son and daughter—as well as a pet pig, donkey, two goats, lambs, rooster, hens, ferret, dove, coonhounds and roughly 100 tomato plants at their nearly 6-acre farm in Jackson Township, Linda DeHoff joined her husband in the family real estate business around 1990.
She first worked in DeHoff Realty’s relocation services division for many years helping small and large businesses move their employees in or out of the community.
“You really get to know people because they’re either exiting the area or entering the area and, in both cases, life is a mystery, so it was fun to try to assist them to put the pieces together,” she said. “Today even though there’s so much information online, it’s very hard to establish an understanding of a culture. You can look up statistics, but to get an actual feel for an area, it’s nice to have some guidance.”
When DeHoff Realty became an affiliate of Prudential, she became a member of Prudential’s national board. The six-year term led to her management role for the family’s real estate company that has been serving residents of Stark, Summit and Portage counties for 55 years. Among the aspects unique to DeHoff Realtors is that many of its real estate agents have remained with the company for 20 years or more.
“Every organization has a culture and I’m very proud of our culture,” DeHoff said. “They’re one big team. They’re always helping each other, and they’re laughing and having fun, and they’re working very hard.”
When she’s not at the office, DeHoff, who is part Sicilian, enjoys cooking anything with a tomato (specifically San Marzano tomatoes), garlic or basil, spoiling her six grandchildren (Bill, Joe, Jackie, Miles, Drew and Claire) and the family’s 4-year-old coonhound, Jack, taking in a Cleveland Indians baseball game and trying to beat Bob at golf, a hobby she picked up about five years ago.
“I’ve been given so much more than I gave,” she said. “… Some people may call it a blessing, which I do. Some people may call it luck, and I think it’s a combination of all that.”
Favorite local shop:
Laura of Pembroke in Jackson Township. “I have actually purchased a bed and a dress at the same time. What a unique combination. I particularly appreciate the advice I receive from Laura and Veronica, owners of Laura of Pembroke, on interior design and what dress to select.”
Mint&Lime Asian Bistro at Nobles Pond plaza in Jackson Township.
“Owners Chef Ken and his wife create each meal to order using the freshest and best ingredients. My favorite is Thai Basil Chicken, but because there are many great dishes, I order additional dishes to take home for lunch the following day. They make a Grouper Wrap that is outstanding!”
Favorite local opportunity:
“I thank the Canton Junior League for introducing me to the growing needs in our community and to the volunteer opportunities that focus on these needs. Both the United Way of Greater Stark County and ArtsInStark have assisted me to become aware of the health and human needs in our community as well as the wealth of artistic opportunities that exist. The Dyslexic Learning Center for Kids housed in the Masonic Temple is an example of how our community partners to assist our youth to achieve their potential using both professionals and volunteers.
Favorite thing to do:
“I love being with Bob and our dog, Jack, and taking a ride through our beautiful parks, landing at Woody’s Root Beer Stand on Fulton Road in our convertible. Enjoy a sloppy Joe while looking at the (Pro) Football Hall of Fame and our new Tom Benson stadium. Can it get any better?”
Favorite lunch spot:
BAM! Healthy Cuisine at Nobles Pond in Jackson Township and Washington Square in North Canton. “Although I often pack my lunch and eat in my office, it remains a treat to enjoy the salmon and rice. BAM is the best! It is impossible to avoid ordering a chocolate shake that is almost calorie free!”
Favorite local event:
“First Fridays! It is so enjoyable visiting the variety of galleries and seeing so many others appreciating our local talent. It is a thrill to celebrate our local creative talent being recognized. We recently became proud owners of ‘The Princess Frog’ created by artist Chris Seaman, and we are loving it.”
Favorite entertainment spot:
Lucca in Canton. “After a full day, enjoying the perfectly prepared food by Chef Josh and relaxing with pianist DiSimone is the best.”
Favorite memorable spot:
“The tennis courts at Stadium Park holds a special place in my heart because that is where I met Bob. My girlfriend and I were planning tennis on the court beside Bob and his friend. Bob said, ‘Would you like to play doubles?’ Since they looked like a duo that we might be able to beat, we said, ‘Sure.’ Well, we lost that match but I believe I really won. Forty-seven years later, I remain grateful to the game of tennis and to the courts at Stadium Park. It has been a 47-year match! The score remains at love-47!”