Russell R. Haldeman

December 11, 1920 ‒ October 16, 2010

Mount Gilead, Ohio

Russell R. Haldeman, age 89, of Mount Gilead, died Saturday evening, October 16, 2010, at his residence surrounded by his loving family following a month long illness stemming from a fall.

On December 11, 1920, Russell was born in Morrow County, Ohio, one of six children to the late Clyde and Grace (Garverick) Haldeman. For two years, he worked on the family farm, north of Johnsville, and he graduated from Johnsville High School in the Class of 1938.

Shortly thereafter, Russell began working on February 26, 1940, at the H.P.M. Corporation as a lathe operator. He did so until October of 1943, when he enlisted to join the U.S. Navy to help in the war efforts of World War II. He served as a motor machinist, helping to keep ships running, and he helped transporting Japanese prisoners. In his words, “Well…war was war. You had to go and fight for your country. You had to go onto the Japanese side to do it.” Also, in 1970, he organized the first reunion with his old Navy friends, and they continued to get together nearly every two years.

While on leave from the U.S. Navy, Russell returned home to marry, Areva Nikolaus, whom he had met at a church function at the Johnsville Evangelical United Brethren Church. On May 10, 1946, Russell and Areva were married in a double wedding with her sister, Arlene and Ray Brenneman. Together they have shared over sixty four wonderful years of marriage, and lovingly raised two children, Dan and Bonnie.

After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1946, Russell returned to Mount Gilead be with his wife and to resume working at H.P.M. Using the skills he learned in the military, he was promoted to working as a utility machinist. Known for his skill and dedication, Russell proudly worked for H.P.M. for over fifty one years, until he retired in 1991. He had been a member of the H.P.M. Credit Union Board of Directors, and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local IAM 1319.

A man of faith, Russell was an active member of the Johnsville Grace United Methodist Church, formerly the Johnsville E.U.B.

For over forty years, Russell was a member of the Williamsport Grange #1815, where he also served six years as grange master. He and Areva had countless enjoyable gatherings with this special group of dear friends, the “Birthday Gang”, as they tried to get together nearly once a month. Russell was also a member and past master of the Mount Gilead Masonic Lodge # 206, and a member of the V.F.W. Post 8054, and American Legion Post 97.

A favorite pastime for Russell was visiting covered bridges throughout Ohio, and even collecting various mementos from his journeys. Having an affinity for saws from his machinists work, he had many covered bridge scenes painted on saws of all types. His collecting did not end there though as he also enjoyed collecting bells and clocks.

A humble and caring man, Russell looked out for his many friends and family, including his neighbors on Cedar Street and even seven of his friends who became widows, for whom he would do anything for, such as mow their lawn, and do any odd jobs they needed.

In addition to being a proud father, Russell was an especially proud grandfather who would travel any distance to be there for his beloved grandchildren.

Known for being soft spoken, Russell often kept everyone on their toes with his ornery ways and “off the wall” comments. The gleam in his eye usually gave him away.

He will be dearly missed by his wife, Areva Haldeman, of Mount Gilead; two children: Dan (Julie) Haldeman of Wellington, and their three children: Aaron Haldeman of North Olmstead, Lindsay Haldeman of Wellington, and Garret Haldeman of Corvallis, Oregon; and Bonnie Burns of West Chester, Ohio, and her three children: Scott (Amy) Burns of Dayton, Emily (Brian) Gray of Chicago, Illinois, and Amanda (Bryan) Peters of Columbus; two sisters: June Kennard and Iris Wertz, both of Mansfield; two brothers-in-law: Don (Mary Lou) Yeager of Ontario, and Ray Brenneman of Johnsville; a sister-in-law, Doris Nikolaus of Nashville, Tennessee; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Including his parents, Russell was preceded in death by his three brothers: Gene, Kenneth and Dale Haldeman.

The Haldeman family will greet friends from 4 – 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 20, 2010, at the Snyder Funeral Home, 76 S. Main St., Mount Gilead, with Masonic services to follow at 7:00 p.m. Funeral and Grange services celebrating his life will also be there on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Rick Burkhardt officiating. Burial with military honors provided by the V.F.W. Post 8054 and AmVets Post 70 will follow in Shauck Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Johnsville Grace United Methodist Church, 7369 Co. Rd. 242, Shauck, Ohio 43349.

For those wishing to express your condolences online to Russell’s family, you may do so by visiting