His wife June, on the other hand, was relieved that the announcement was finally made.
"I've never kept a secret from him," she said as the couple sat surrounded by their family and friends at the annual dinner in the DePauw University Indoor Tennis and Track Center.
As Doc Brattain accepted congratulations from friends, he often told them, "I'm shocked."
Brattain joined a long list of Putnam County residents to receive the distinguished honor. And he was joined in the crowd by former winners Bob Evans, Jinsie Bingham, Ellen Sedlack, Joy Marley, Harold Spicer and last year's winner, retired Judge Sally Gray.
As always, the announcement of the winner came with the build-up of the recipient's biography, this year read by new Chamber president Eric Bernsee.
Brattain came to Greencastle in May 1948 after graduating from Michigan State University and serving in the U.S. Army. After the Army tried to recall him to service, a petitioned signed by 200 residents pleading for him to remain in the community was granted.
Brattain has served on the board of directors of Putnam County Comprehensive Services since 1975 and is the current president. He has also served as president or board member of several local organizations, including the county cemetery board, Forest Hill cemetery board, Greencastle Kiwanis, Putnam County Board of Health, Putnam County Historical Society and Putnam County Museum.
He has been a member of the American Legion for 48 years, Masonic Temple for 56 years, Shrine Club for 37 years, Humane Society of Putnam County for 17 years and Greencastle First Christian Church.
He has practiced veterinary medicine for 59 years, and at age 85, continues to work three days a week at the Groomingdale's Animal Clinic.
A nomination letter received on behalf of Brattain noted: "If more people were as devoted to helping others as "Doc" is, our world would be a better place to live."