CONNEAUT — Harry Edward Church, age 86, of Conneaut, Ohio, passed away Tuesday evening, August 21, 2012, at his home surrounded by his family after a courageous fight with cancer.
Born June 28, 1926, in Conneaut, he was the son of Glen and Vivian (Bullfinch) Church. A 1944 graduate of Conneaut High School, Harry was a Veteran and proudly served with the U.S. Navy during World War II from 1944 to 1946. He was a member of the American Legion Cowle Post #151.
For 35 years, he was employed at R.M.I. Metals Plant where he was a Planner/Coordinator of Maintenance.
A devout Christian, Harry was a member of New Leaf United Methodist Church and formerly of Lakeview United Methodist Church for over 70 years, where he was a Sunday School teacher from a young age. Harry was very excited to go to be with Jesus and told his family “What a wonderful miracle.” Along with his wife of 63 years, Leonore (Speaks) Church, they blazed a trail of laughter, love and charity. Love and kindness, and caring for others carried Harry throughout his 86 years.
He was an active member of the Conneaut Local Youth Organization where he would spend countless hours readying fields, raising monies or coaching thousands of youths over the last 59 years. He was also a member of the Conneaut Rec Board, and the Conneaut High School Alumni Hall of Fame Board.
He was an active member of the International Order of Odd Fellows since 1946, where friendship, love and truth were everyday components of his life. Harry had countless friends because of his “can do” attitude and ever-present smile. He was also a Master Mason and member of Evergreen Lodge #222 F & AM for 58 years.
Harry could be found involved daily with sports, either coaching, participating or watching. He was an avid bowler up through this past year. Harry had never missed an Odd Fellows’ bowling tournament in 56 years.
Many honors were bestowed upon Harry over his lifetime, including in 1983 a field at the C.L.Y.O. complex was named after him; named “Citizen of the Year” in 1989 by the Conneaut Chamber of Commerce; and the C.L.Y.O. driveway named after him in 2006. He always commented “I do what I do because I enjoy it.”
Harry’s survivors include his wife, Leonore Church; his children, Tom (Judy) Church, Tim (Beckie) Church, Terri Church and Tammy (John) Hagstrom, who have all done their best to make their father as proud of them as they are of him; and his sister, Juanita (Gil) Eaton who are not just family, but friends as well. As proud of his own abilities and accomplishments, Harry was always doting over his grandchildren, Sarah Wade, Tom (Jen) Church, Tim Church, Christie Church, Alexandria Hall, Christopher Kelly, Matthew Church and Annalee, Robert and Steven Hagstrom; and great-grandchildren, Adele and Lincoln Wade. Each one was a special twinkle in Grandpa’s eyes. Innumerable nieces and nephews also survive that could never be told how much they meant to “Uncle Harry”; along with close family friends, Carl and Judy Westerberg.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Richard “Dicky” Church; and a sister, Marjorie Church.
The Funeral Service will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, August 25th, at New Leaf United Methodist Church, 283 Buffalo St., Conneaut, with Pastors Scott and Jan Walsh officiating. Burial will be in Greenlawn Memory Gardens, North Kingsville, Ohio, with Military Honors provided by American Legion Cowle Post #151.
Calling Hours will be at the MARCY FUNERAL HOME, 208 Liberty St., Conneaut, Ohio, on Thursday, August 23rd, from 6 to 9 p.m., with a Masonic Memorial Service taking place at 5:45 p.m. Calling Hours on Friday, August 24th, will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. with the Odd Fellows conducting their Service at 5:45 p.m.
An additional hour of visitation will take place at the Church on Saturday, August 25th, from 1 until the time of the Service at 2 p.m.
For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to C.L.Y.O. or to New Leaf United Methodist Church. Envelopes will be available at the Funeral Home and at the Church.
Sign the guestbook at www.marcyfuneralhome.com and starbeacon.com.