Howard J. Bechtel

July 21, 1919 ‒ January 07, 2006

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD: Howard J. Bechtel, 86, of Wildwood Drive, Mansfield, died Saturday morning, January 7, 2006 in Lexington Court Care Center.

He was born July 21, 1919 in Knox County to Alva and Zella (Leedy) Bechtel, and was raised on their family farm on Hazlett Road.

A WWII Army veteran, Howard served with the Telecommunications Signal Corps, Stationed in Laee, New Guinea and throughout Australia, relaying and decoding messages, as well as teaching Morse Code.

He had worked more than 30 years with the Tappan Company in Mansfield, retiring on July 1, 1984 as an inspector.

Howard was a member of First United Methodist Church, Mansfield, Marquis Lodge F&AM, Baku Grotto, the Tappan Quarter Century Club, and served on the Tappan Picnic Committee.

A life member of Richland County Fish & Game, he was an outdoorsman at heart…as he loved to go hunting and fishing, and take his family camping. For years they camped with the Baku Grotto Campers and the Richland Roamers.

He meshed his interest in woodworking with the outdoors by making his own fishing rods, and building his own gun.

It wasn’t until his retirement, prompted by the gift of a set of clubs from his daughters, that Howard took of the game of golf. He played in both the Grotto and Tappan Leagues, and scored a Hole-in-One at Twin Lakes on Hole #5 on June 29, 1989.

His meticulous nature as an inspector spilled over at home; everything was neat and in its place. He was well read and journaled home repairs. He and his wife wintered 17 years in Ft.Meade, Florida.

Of quiet demeanor, he will be remembered as a good provider, with a joyful spirit, who was family oriented.

He is survived by his wife Leah C. (McClead) Bechtel, whom he married November 12, 1944; two daughters and a son-in-law Linda and Melvin Mishey of Mansfield and Gay Grafton of Ontario; two grandchildren Rachael Mishey of Mansfield and Shannon Mishey of Falls Church, Virginia; a brother and sister-in-law Harold and Genevieve Bechtel of Fredericktown; two sisters Erma Roberts of Fredericktown and Edith Alexander in North Carolina.

He was preceded in death by a son-in-law Neal Grafton, a sister Arlene Kunkle and a brother Eldon Bechtel.

The funeral service will be held Friday, January 13, 2006 at 1:30 pm in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home, with Pastor Tj Waters officiating. Military honors will immediately follow, provided by the Richland County Joint Veterans Burial Detail. Burial will follow in Forest Cemetery, Fredericktown. Friends may call at the funeral home from 12:30 pm until time for the funeral service.

Memorial contributions to Richland County Fish & Game may be made at the funeral home.