RANTOUL — A man who helped Rantoul area residents improve their hearing for several decades is calling it a career later this year.
Ronald Minch, owner-operator of Auditory Care Center, said he will retire effective Dec. 31.
The local businessman said he and his wife, Ann, whom he married in August, plan to do more traveling.
Ironically, Minch, who has been in the business for 29 years, started out in a career that has traditionally been hard on the ears — the military. More specifically, he was a crew chief serving in B-52 bombers during the Vietnam War.
Growing up in the Hinsdale area, Minch joined the Air Force out of high school.
He served 23 years there, rising to the rank of master sergeant before retiring in 1976.
It was the Air Force that brought him to Rantoul and Chanute Air Force Base.
Minch did some “multi-line” work in the auditory care business and then began working with Beltone before starting his own business in 1999. Auditory Care Center also employs Tracie Hudson. Christina Minch has worked on a part-time basis.
Ron Minch said the work has been satisfying and fulfilling.
“A lot of people need a lot of help,” he said. “It’s not like putting on a pair of glass. Some people have ear wax issues or dexterity issues.”
Minch said any number of high-noise sources can lead to hearing problems, including the aforementioned military service or farming, among others.
“In some cases it’s a child getting many ear aches and ear infections,” Minch said.
In more than one instance, Minch has discovered the problem to be bugs in people’s ears. In one case, it was a family that had just been camping.
“They had no idea (the bugs) were there,” he said.
Minch has also managed the Rantoul Plaza — the east-side shopping center that has been home to his business. He said he will discontinue that as well.
Minch has two married children — Jeffrey and his wife, Christina, and Christine Brown and her husband Luke. He has four grandchildren.
Minch said he would be open to selling the business.