John F. Houpt

January 27, 1925 ‒ June 27, 2015

Mount Gilead, Ohio

Few people touch a community with their love and friendship, a caring heart, and hands that are always giving.  John F. Houpt was one of those people, a pillar of Mount Gilead and other Morrow County communities.  He passed away early Saturday morning, June 27, 2015, at the Morrow County Hospital.  He was 90 years old.

On January 27, 1925, John was born in Cleveland, OH, the son of the late James Floyd Houpt and Lathiel (Hahn) Siegfried.  He graduated from Marengo High School in the Class of 1943.

After being set up on a blind date, John met the love of his life, Dorothy M. Gavin.  They dated a short time, and three months later were married in Marengo on December 23, 1946.  They cherished more than 68 years together and raised five children along that wonderful journey.  They enjoyed attending Trinity United Methodist Church and spending winter’s together in South Carolina.

Over the years, John made a living at numerous places.  He worked for the Union Store in Mount Gilead and Geyer’s Market in Bucyrus and Mount Gilead, and was a night dispatcher for the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office.  He was then employed by the Morrow County Highway Department and later took a supervisor position for ODOT, from where he retired in 1991.

John was a good Democrat, and was passionately involved in his community.  He was a charter member of the Morrow County EMS.  He served as a Red Cross Instructor for 40 years, was Mayor of Marengo 1952-1959, Mount Gilead Fire Chief 1969-1976, and a volunteer fire fighter for Mount Gilead and Marengo, usually driving the brush truck.  He also served on the Mount Gilead Recreation Board, Human Services Board, Democratic Central Committee, Mid-Ohio Housing Authority, and various other community programs.

John enjoyed volunteering his time as an EMT for many different events.  His favorite was The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield.  He donated his time from the very first tournament and continued to do so for 30 years.  He also volunteered to work many Ohio State football games.  Dorothy, a registered nurse, began to join him on all of these adventures because of all the fun he had.

When John was working, he said he did not have time for hobbies.  Following his retirement, he took up golf and enjoyed being out on the links with his family and friends whenever he could.

John will be remembered as a wonderful, soft spoken man with a great sense of humor. He poured his heart and soul into his family, friends, and community.

John will be dearly missed by his wife, Dorothy, of Mount Gilead; five children: Margery Smith of Mount Gilead, Lynn Wear of Mount Gilead, John (Sara) Houpt of Upper Sandusky, Mark (Marie) Houpt of Georgetown, SC, Kevin (Sallie) Houpt of Marion; 18 grandchildren: John (Claire) Houpt, Derek (Jolene) Houpt, Kelsey (Frank) Vent, Erin (Joe) Williams, Brian Wear, Nancy Cressey, Robert Cressey, Jennifer (Scott) Batton, Janelle (Brian) Duress, Kelley Smith, Crosby (Christina) Houpt, Allyson Rodgers, Meredith (David) Gilpin, Olivia, Hayden, Sterling, and Suzannah Houpt, Ryan Swartz; and 17 great grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers: William F. Wahl and Nelson Maidlow; and a sister, Madeline McCombs.

John’s family will greet friends from 1 – 2:30 p.m. on Friday, July 3, 2015, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead.  Memorial services honoring his life will begin at 2:30 p.m. with his nephew, Pastor Jon Hall officiating.

Rather than flowers, John’s family asks you consider giving a memorial contribution in his honor to one of these organizations near and dear to his heart: the Mount Gilead Fire Department or Morrow County EMS.

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


  • To Dorothy and all of John’s family: Please accept our heartfelt sympathy. John was always so friendly and kind. We will miss him. Sending our love and prayers for your family at this time.

  • Dorothy and family. We are so sorry for your loss. John was a great community person. Prayers are with you.

  • Dorothy,
    I am so sorry to hear the news that John passed away this morning. I wish I could be there with all of you to celebrate John’s life. Please accept my deepest sympathies for you and the family.
    With love,

  • Im so sorry aunt dorothy. We will be coming up to see you and the family this week. He was one of a kind!

  • Aunt Dot and family.
    Lots of love and prayers going out to all of you. Uncle John was special and I will miss him greatly. He was always there with a big smile and hugs each and every time I saw him. He leaves a void in all our lives but the wonderful memories I have of him will keep him with me always and I am sure it is the same for you. Our sympathy and prayers are with you
    With love
    Nancy and Larry

  • John was a good friend of mine when he work at ODOT He always had a good story tell you. Glad he resting in Peace. My Prayers are with the whole family. George Ferguson.

  • So sorry for your loss. We always enjoy seeing John at the Cornerstone. He will be missed.

    Your in our prayers,
    Tom and Pat

  • Dorothy, Mark, Kevin, and entire family:
    Sorry to hear of the “Chiefs” Passing. Wonderful guy, great humor, and a good man.
    Bob Smith

    • Bob

      You know how much I appreciate your kind thoughts. When I made it to his hospital room last Thursday he looked up at me and said, with glint in his eye and that smile on his face, “You’re old.” And we spent time that day and the next talking about nothing important and not one thing I’ll ever forget.

  • Lynn so sorry to hear about your dad he was a very nice guy. You and I were in class together here at Marengo Grade School. At that time you knew me as Linda Lewis. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Also let your mom know I do remember when she was our Brownie leader. Bless all of you

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I think of you every time I drive over the freeway bridge by your childhood home. Moved back to Mt Gilead this last year so spent much good time with dad. Again many thanks for thinking of us all.

  • Our sympathies go to family members here on earth. We know John is being welcomed with open arms in heaven. He is not sitting down ~ that is for sure.

  • I wish to send condolences to the Houpt family. Mr. Houpt was always willing to offer a helping hand. Morrow County has lost a gem but God has gained an angel.

  • Aunt Dorothy and Family: Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Uncle John was one amazing person! He will definitely be missed.

  • I am very sorry to hear of John’s passing but he is now in the best hands there are. My husband, Chuck, and I both worked for ODOT and we also had the restaurant on the square for a little while and John would come in for a cup of coffee in the afternoon. He always had a story to tell and a smile on his face. I would tease him about going to Kroger’s on Friday night he would eat dinner there eating all the samples taste. He will be missed . Dorothy hang in there live life to the fullest and enjoy the good memories you both shared.

  • Sorry to hear of his passing. John was always a joy to work with at Odot and the fire department. He will be missed. Prayers for his family.

  • Dorothy and all the family,

    So sorry to hear about John. I have many fond memories of John while growing up and working at the swimming pool as a lifeguard. Jim also has memories of working with him at The Union Store. Heaven has a wonderful man and we will all miss hi smiling face and jokes! Our deepest sympathy to you and hugs to each of you!

    Much love,
    Sandee and Jim

  • My deepest sympathy to the Houpt family. Nothing but very fond memories of John. Glad I had a chance to talk to him alot lately. You will be sadly missed my friend.

  • God Be with you the family knowing that he is in a better place. We will miss him

  • I’m sure saddened to hear this news. Chief it was an honor to have known you, it was you whom gave me a ride in old Red E-10 when I was young. I loved the time I spent with you at the Fire Station listening to your stories of the MGFD when my grandpa Geyer was on the department.

    I take comfort in knowing that you are once again comfortable, and not struggling with your health. It was alwYs nice seeing you when you stopped by the station.

    GOD BLESS YOU and your family.

  • Chief,
    I will always remember the many visits you made to the firehouse when I was working. You always had a good story and I loved talking about the MGFD history with you. I know you will be missed by many and touched the life’s of us all. God speed and farewell.

  • Mr. Houpt was a great guy and a wonderful asset to our community through a lifetime of service! Our sincere condolences to the entire Houpt family.
    God Bless,
    John and Debbie Curtis


  • …well there goes a LOT of orneriness!! I always enjoyed bantering with John!! He gave as good as he got!! I can hardly believe he was 90!! God rest his soul. Heartfelt condolences to you, Dorothy, & the rest of the family as well.

    • Vicki, Thank you. Upon reading your note, I know now that I will be able to laugh again. Bless you for that.

  • Lynn and family- so sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Dear Lynn, we were so sorry to hear of your dad’s death. I am so glad you got to spend some quality time with your dad since you moved back to Gilead! Sorry we can’t be there-please accept our condolences. I always thought of your dad as a truly happy man because his smile was always sincere!

    Love, Lynn and Val

  • Dorothy and family, You have my sympathy at the passing of John. He always had a smile on his face, and greeted you with a warm hand shake our hug. When I was working the parking lot at Cravens or Snyders and John drove by, he would always wave. We played a few rounds of golf over the years and I will remember his easy approach to the game. John was truly a community minded man and will be missed. god be with you at this time.

  • Dorothy and family,

    Oh my! I just know how the stories are going on with Ernie and John together again. There time with ODOT was very interesting…..kind of new what they were up to, but now we can only imagine. Remember all the good times. That is the way John would have you remember him.
    Love to all,
    Pat Ebersole

  • Dorothy and family
    So saddened to hear of Johns passing, what a full life. You have much to cherish and the Mt. Gilead community bears his imprint on many aspects. A truly successful life in his significance to so many and in so many ways. One could always easily pick up where you left off with John …..a true gem. My his quiet wisdom always rest upon your your shoulders. Regretfully I will be unable to attend his services as we are on vacation in South Carolina this week. I was honored to call him a friend indeed.
    Courage and strength to each of you in the moments ahead as you remember all of the good.
    Clay Snyder and family

  • To the Houpt family, So sorry to hear of your loss. We were on vacation last week,so I did not see John at MCH. He will be greatly missed. I always enjoyed talking to him when he came in for tests. With deepest Sympathy, Bruce & Cheryl

  • I had the pleasure of working with both John and Dorothy at the Memorial Tournament for many years. I always looked forward to hearing what they had been up to during the off season. It was amazing what John would come up with as we were sitting on the golf cart working. He will be greatly missed and always in my thoughts when I work the Tournament. Dorothy and family my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Dor0thy,Margery,Lynn,John,and Mark.
    God be with you and your families at this difficult time..John,will definitely be missed by all how knew him..