John W. Garnes Sr.

March 30, 1935 ‒ October 09, 2014

Marion, Ohio

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

  • John, we are so sorry for your loss. You will be in our thoughts and prayers as you deal with losing your dad. Our hearts break for you!
    Love you to pieces!
    Lisa and Bruce

  • John,

    We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. May you feel the love and prayers of your family and friends during this time.


    Susan, Doug and Kevin

  • John,
    So sad to hear about your fathers passing. Your mother and he always made Guy & I feel so welcome and never judged at church. So lucky to have 2 exceptional parents. Our sincere condolences to you.

  • John:

    Very fond memories of your dad- great hugs! Praying you through. So sorry for your loss, John.

    Rhonda (Brown)

  • John, I didn’t know your father for very long, but I know how good he was to the Marion community and yourself. Stay strong, let me help with anything you need.

    Hugs, Jeff

  • John, I am sending you a big hug and my deepest sympathy. May the love you have for y0ur father and the wonderful memories see you through.

  • John,
    I didn’t know dad for very long, but I will truly miss him. When he was able to be at church, it was so great to see his smile and experience what a true genuine man of integrity he was. I always looked forward to his hugs, and he always asked about my family.

    I describe dad as a “gentle giant”- both in the faith and his personal life.
    I will miss him greatly, and I pray for you during this time and in the future days, as you deal with the loss of such a special man.

    What a blessing to all who knew him!

    In love, Kim

  • Please except my deepest sympathy for your lose. I was honored to met John at Mt. Vernon Ave. Church of Christ. What a fine man. God Bless all his family and friends.
    Sincerely, Peggy

  • John and the Family stay strong during this time of bereavement, I wish I could be there but I know John is in heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are praying for your strength and know that God will bring you into brighter days.

    H. Glenn Sterling & Family you cousin.

  • I am so sorry for your loss.Something that helps me deal with the loss of a loved one is a scripture at Revelation21:4 where it says he will wipe out every tear from their eyes and death will be no more, neither will mourning, nor outcry be anymore the former things have passed away.Wont that be a wonderful time.I hope this scripture can help comfort you.

  • Dearest John,

    I am so very saddened to hear of the passing of this great good man. It was an honor to know him and witness the love and pride he had for you.

    I will never forget the kindness he showed to me. Marion must be a dimmer place now that this bright light has gone out.

    Tina Salamone

  • I wanted to send my condolences to John’s family and friends, especially Willie King. I worked with John at BFGoodrich. He was my foreman at one time and a fair man to work for. He will certainly be missed by many. Time moves on and we slowly lose daily contact with friends over the years, but we never forget the really good one we meet along the way. To us they are like family and that is what many were at BFG over the 31 years I worked there. Good memories.
    I have been sick with the flu for just over a week now and was not able to attend the services but my thoughts were with all of you.
    God will see you through your loss . Never lose sight of those wonderful memories.
    Sincerly. Pampa Greenawalt

  • Dear John – and other members of the family of John Garnes,

    I am saddened to hear of the loss of your father and family member. I have known John many years through community organization work, and always enjoyed conversing with him…he was so insightful and caring. So many wonderful things have been said about him, all of them true. He was a fine, fine man and a treasure for our community…he will truly be missed.

    I send you my thoughts for your healing during this time of bereavement.

    In deepest sympathy,
    Jo Ann R-Zimmerman

  • As a former coworker, it was truly an honor to get to know John. His desire to help people was genuine.

  • I had the privilege of getting to know John at reunions of his “adopted” family, the Bruces and Hulls. Though John was not a family member by blood, he was surely a family member by heart. I will treasure the fond memories of conversations and laughter with him over the last several years. My life is richer for knowing him.