A former superintendent at several area school districts died Tuesday from E. coli infection complications.
Lowell Draffen, 73, became ill after eating food served at a July 3 customer appreciation picnic at Neff’s Lawn Care in German Twp. The outbreak has sickened at least 75 people, 14 of whom have been hospitalized. Eighteen cases have been lab-confirmed as E. coli 0157 infection.
Draffen, of German Twp., was the superintendent at Trotwood-Madison, Valley View and Mad River, according to reports. He retired from his post as Trotwood Madison superintendent two years ago.
Rexann Wagner, who took over for Draffen at Trotwood-Madison City Schools, said, “it’s just a sad day. It’s a sad day for us who worked for him. Lowell loved life. He was an avid golfer. He spread a lot of good will around this world.”
Wagner, who is now retired, said, “He was superintendent and I was director at that time. He promoted me to assistant superintendent. Salt of the earth guy. Just a very fine individual, Christian man, very dedicated to kids.”
Jim Gross, Montgomery County health commissioner, said, “Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones. This is a very difficult time for everyone. You may rest assured that Public Health will continue to examine all aspects of this food borne tragedy.”
Investigators from Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County are working to trace the source of the outbreak.
Two individuals remain in serious condition after developing hemolytic uremic syndrome — a 4-year-old girl and a 14-year-old male.