John W. Garnes Sr.
March 30, 1935 ‒ October 09, 2014
A man of dedication, love and commitment to the Marion Community, his church and his family, John W. Garnes Sr., was met in Heaven by his wife and son, early Thursday morning, October 9, 2014, at Heartland of Marion following a year long health struggle.
On March 30, 1935, John was born in Kenton, Ohio, one of four children of the late Omer and Marcella (Mitchell) Garnes. He was raised in Findlay, Ohio, where he graduated from Findlay High School in the class of 1955, and where he excelled in basketball and track.
Following graduation, John enlisted to serve his beloved country in the U.S. Army. He served during peacetime.
Upon his honorable discharge, John and a friend pursued their dream of moving to and living in Los Angeles, California. While there, he was introduced by mutual friends to a young lady from Washington D.C., Elaine DuBose, on the second night of her vacation there. They spent the rest of her vacation together, and on her second visit to LA, John knew she was “the one” and asked for her hand in marriage. Shortly thereafter, John and Elaine were married on September 19, 1964, in Findlay, Ohio, but they remained in LA until after the birth of their second son. In 1973, as a family, they moved to Marion, Ohio. Together John and Elaine shared 40 wonderful years of marriage. She preceded him in death on November 26, 2004.
In Marion, John began working as a foreman at the B.F. Goodrich tire factory in Green Camp. Next, he found his calling of job placement at the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services in 1979, where he worked for ten years. Then, he joined the Private Industry Council as their job placement director, where he first retired from in 1997. Wanting to continue to help the people of Marion, John came out of retirement in 2003 to work as a job coach for Marion Goodwill Industries for another 10 years. He retired again recently in 2014 due to his health.
Dedicated to his church, John was a faithful member of the Mt. Vernon Ave. Church of Christ for over 41 years. A pillar of the church, he served in many capacities, such as an elder, deacon, and he taught several levels of Sunday School.
Filled with love for the Marion Community, John served on the Marion Children’s Services Board, Boys and Girls Club of Marion County, Marion Palace Theatre Board, Marion General Hospital Board, and Black Heritage Council. He served two eight year terms on the Crawford-Marion Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, and served on the Ohio American Association for Retired Persons and for the Midwest Council for Social Research on Aging board of directors. He was also very proud of a program he founded at Grant Middle School, known as the “Achiever’s Club.” In the 1980’s, he served on the Marion City Council. For all of his efforts, he was honored to receive the Pearl R. Roberts in 2006 for his outstanding community service by a senior citizen.
An avid sports fan, John especially loved watching his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes, and was extremely proud when his son, John II, was their mascot Brutus, and when his adopted son, Nate Stead, played on the football team.
A genuine man of integrity, John had a way of earning your respect both as a mentor and a friend. He will forever be remembered for his legacy of faith, hope and love for the Marion community, his church, and for his family and friends.
Left to cherish his memory are his son, John W. Garnes II of Marion; his adopted son, Nate Stead of San Diego, CA; several nieces and nephews; and countless dear friends.
Including his wife and parents, John Sr. was preceded in death by his son, David Garnes; two brothers: William and David Garnes; and a sister, Janice West.
His family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 16th, at the Denzer-Farison-Hottinger & Snyder Funeral Home, 360 E. Center St., Marion. Services honoring his life and celebrating his homecoming will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, at the Mt. Vernon Ave. Church of Christ, 947 Mt. Vernon Ave., Marion, with Pastors Jeff Bush, Lyle Baker, and Phil Williams officiating. Burial will follow in Waldo Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Grant Middle School Achiever’s Club, c/o Willie King, 420 Presidential Dr., Marion, OH 43302, and to the Boys and Girls Club of Marion County, 370 E. Mark St., Marion, OH 43302.
John’s family would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone for their outpouring of love and emotional support.
Denzer-Farison-Hottinger & Snyder Funeral Home is honored to have been chosen to serve John’s family and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.