John E. Willoughby

August 11, 1937 ‒ February 25, 2019

Mount Gilead, Ohio

John E. Willoughby, age 81, of Mount Gilead, passed away unexpectedly Monday, February 25, 2019, at the OSU Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.

On August 11, 1937, John was born in Mount Sterling, KY, a son of the late Anderson Winfield Willoughby and the late Emma Thelma Willoughby Botts.  He received his GED and then took college classes in heating, cooling and refrigeration and also received a certificate in welding.

For many years, John was a welder for Ohio Crane in Bucyrus and then retired from Marion Power Shovel after 15 years.  He also worked many other welding jobs along the way.

John married the love of his life, Delilah Aldridge, on October 29, 1978.  Together they shared almost 38 years of marriage all while raising 10 children and numerous grandchildren.  She preceded him in death on September 9, 2016.

John loved being outdoors working in his vegetable garden.  He enjoyed going to car shows, auctions, and collecting guns, knives and coins.  He had a wild sense of humor and loved to tell dirty jokes.  He was one of those guys that if he liked you he liked you, but if he didn’t you knew it.  He truly loved his dogs because they loved him no matter what.

He will be dearly missed by his children: Ralph Willoughby of the Philippines, Jeffrey Willoughby of Nevada, Vickie (Tom) Durham of Nevada, Angela Robinson of Mansfield, Jennifer (Phillip) Bridenstine of Upper Sandusky, Mary (Noah) Reed of Mount Gilead, Lori (Don) King of Richwood, Misty (James) Hart of Edison, Carla (Ron) Campbell of Galion, and Marla Saunders of Chatfield; numerous grandchildren and great- grandchildren; siblings: Elsa Goldsberry of Bellevue, Jewell Fox of Bucyrus, Janice Wilson of Bucyrus, Thomas Willoughby of Cincinnati, and Jerry Willoughby of Bucyrus.

In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by siblings: J.C. Willoughby, Pauline Risner and an infant sister.

John’s family will greet friends from 11:00 a.m. – 12Noon on Friday, March 1, 2019, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead.  Services to honor and celebrate his life will follow at 12Noon with Celebrant Galen McLeod officiating.

Memorial contributions in John’s name may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 ( or to the Humane Society of Morrow County, PO Box 298, Mt. Gilead, OH  43338 (

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead are honored to have been chosen to serve John’s family, and your special memories or condolences may be shared with them by visiting

  • John has been in my family 2/3s if my life. He came into our family when he was needed most. He raised all his children as if they were his own blood. He made my aunt Delilah happy and made her feel safe. My condolences go to his children, his grand and great grand children and the rest of his family. He will be dearly missed by all.

  • Growing up with this family are moments I will always cherish. He was a great father, he will be missed.
    With Love, Stephanie Thompson

  • I have many memories of John from my childhood, he was always funny, even when he was mad at us kids for being loud he would be grumpy in a sarcastic funny way. I always felt at home when I stayed over. He will be greatly missed. My heart goes out to all of the family ❤️

  • Rest In Peace John. We had a lot of long talks over the years. Especially after dad passed away. You were a good man and will be missed. Much love to all my cousins.

  • Together, John and Delilah loved and raised their Children and Grandchildren
    With so much caring and devotion. The times I was privileged to visit them at their home, his sense of humor was so wonderful, and the banter between him and Delilah was great. When Delilah was fighting so hard to live, and stay with her Family, John’s devotion and love for her were like a line of faith and hope. If anything positive can be said about this tragedy, it would be that John is again with his loving Delilah. Peace be with the entire family, and please know that John is now resting with his beloved Delilah.

  • Daddy, to say I will miss you would be an understatement. We had a bond like no other. You had a way of explaining things to me in ways I could understand..especially about family. When I would be upset over how someone was treating me..or if someone was giving me a hard row to hoe just to hurt always said “Baby doll, people are ALWAYS going to throw rocks at the best apple on the tree tryin’ to knock it down. Don’t pay no mind to what they think or say..I know who you are and you know who you are..and THAT is what matters.” You wanted so bad for everyone to come together in your life time..with no fights, no bickering, just peace..I’m sorry you didn’t get that peace dad. I would tell you I love you more..but your response would be “I doubt that” so I will say until me meet again..kiss momma and Grayson for me..and tell Grayson I said HAPPY BIRTHDAY from his mommy who thinks about him every single day..Love you ALWAYS..Myarla

  • Daddy I am so heart broken you left but I know you missed mommy so very much. Last time I got to talk to you was that Wednesday before you left. I talked to you over a hour. When I asked how you was you said “you know what baby doll, im taking it a day at a time.” “I’m living but not”. I told you I knew what you meant and I loved you so much. You talked about being old and that when you went it wouldn’t be a bad thing Cause you could be with mom and that you lived a long life already. I told you I didn’t want to think it talk about it as I was in tears you said I know baby I know. I will always love you tho no matter what. You also told me you was proud of me and always was. Daddy you was many things to me other than a dad. You was my protector when I was little, my doll baby fixer, my rock, my advice giver, I always knew if something was wrong I could talk to you. At the time I may or may not have liked what you had to say, but you was always straight up honest with me. You are a good man daddy. You stepped up and took care of everyone. You raised children that wasn’t biologically yours like your own. And loved them like your own. You loved all your kids and grandkids and great grandkids. You helped many people when you didn’t have to. You always took care of every one else before your self. No matter where life took me you always accepted me when others didn’t. Thank you so much for everything you ever did for me and your “little brown eyed angel” Shaelynn. There is so much more I could say about you daddy. Tell mommy I love and miss her and I know you are dancing with your shuggs in heaven. I love you

  • Our very very Deepest Sympathies ,I just read it in the Compass 3/10 we had no clue so sorry for your loss ,God Bless the families through this difficult time ,In Heaven together now Mr and Mrs Willoughby .God Bless be with you both in Heaven .. Sincerely Steve and Rebecca Hummell