John L. Schlegel, 83, of rural Cridersville, passed away at 6:34 p.m. Wednesday, surrounded by his family. He was born in Lima on January 25, 1930, to the late John Louis and Henrietta (Storck) Schlegel. On June 8, 1952, he married his childhood sweetheart, Shirley Roser, and she survives.
Other survivors include his daughter, Karen (Michael) Fry, and son, Karl (Janice Wehrman), of Wapakoneta; four grandchildren, Natalie (Scott) Sheipline, Brittany (Ryan) Baightel, Hans (Laura) Schlegel, and Heidi Schlegel; two great-grandchildren, Avery and Carson Sheipline, and another great-granddaughter expected in April. He is also survived by Louetta Vermillion, Charles Sidener, Roseanna Schlegel, Marian Kreger; and the family dog, Chloe.
He was preceded in death by four siblings, Alice Sidener, Donald Schlegel, Marjorie Perry, and Edward Schlegel.
John was valedictorian of Shawnee High School in 1948, and attended Bowling Green State University.
He farmed for 65 years, first with his father-in-law, Marion Roser, and then most recently with his son, Karl. He owned a trucking business many years ago hauling grain for local residents and businesses. He was also an auctioneer and had has his own auction service in the past.
He was highly involved in the Cridersville Go-Karting Association in the 1950s and 60s, and spent many hours building go-karts and helping fellow racers. He was an avid deer hunter, fisherman, and bowler. He excelled at athletics in his younger years, especially pole vaulting, and was always proud of winning the Lima Area Track and Field pole vaulting championship in 1948.
Johnâ€™s faith life began at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lima, and then continued as a long-time member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Cridersville. He had served on the church council and various committees throughout the years. One of Johnâ€™s passions was singing in the church choir, where he praised the Lord with his beautiful bass voice to the delight of all who heard him sing.
He spent many moments supporting his family in all their activities, playing cards with family and friends, and working countless, dedicated hours on the farm. He had a pleasant personality and touched many lives with his stories, songs, limericks, and smile. He thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors and seeing the countryside on leisurely drives with his wife, Shirley. John very much loved life and the joys he celebrated from the blessings of the Lord.
Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Cridersville with Pastor James Couser officiating. The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m., and 6-8 p.m., Sunday at Bayliff & Son Funeral Home, Cridersville, and one hour prior to services Monday at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Matthew Lutheran Church or to a charity of choice, in memory of John Schlegel. The family wishes to thank the staff of Lima Cancer and Blood Disease Center, all those who prayed for John, and for those who carry on Johnâ€™s legacy of serving the Lord with a kind and caring heart.