John Leroy Treft

March 27, 2013


John Leroy Treft, 84, rejoined the love his life, Marilyn Faith Painter Treft, March 25, 2013. He “crossed over” peacefully in his home with family at his side after a brave six-month battle against stroke. His faith never wavered, courage never faltered and he inspired all those who cared for him.

John was born in Findlay, on Oct. 15, 1928, the eldest child of Millard and Ruth Riley Treft.

Survivors include a sister, Sue Treft Averill, of Findlay; three brothers, Jim (Joyce) Treft, Ed (Dorothy) Treft and Max Treft, all of Findlay; two brothers-in-law, Fred (Norma) Homan and Bill Craig, both of Findlay; and a sister-in-law, Orma (Robert) Treft, of Findlay. John and Marilyn chose to adopt four children, Christine Faith (David) Treft-Buxton, of Bluffton, Mark Treft, of Lima, Myra Faith (Randy) Warnecke, of Kalida, and Charles (Susan) Treft, of Upper Marlboro, Md., whom will forever cherish the nurture and love they were given. John adored and loved his nine grandchildren, Kristy, A.J., Tiffany, Tyler, Kelly, Ryan, Joshua, Rachel and James. John has six gorgeous great-grandchildren, Katie, Justin, Trinity, Trevel, Lily and Mia. John mentored and will be fondly remembered by seven precious foster children to whom he opened his heart and home. He maintained loving relationships with aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, in-laws, a lifetime of friends and will be greatly missed and always appreciated.

Among the many friends and family welcoming John into Heaven are his parents; brother, Robert (Orma) Treft; a brother-in-law, Gene (Sue) Averill; and two sisters, Marilyn (Bill) Craig and Norma (Fred) Hohman.

John retired from Lima Ford Motor Co. after 37 ½ years of faithful service. After helping to construct the plant, he was hired at the engine plant as a lineman. After John became born again, his co-workers recognized the change in his life prompting them to affectionately give him his Ford nickname “The Preacher”. He devoted much of his life to serving in church as a trustee, superintendent, youth leader, worship leader, sound engineer, usher, greeter, bus drive and facilitating nursing home and prison ministries. John most recently attended and worshipped with the congregation of Findlay Upper Room Church of God.

John proudly served in the Army during the Korean War, being stationed in WonJu, Korea from 1952 to 1953. In the midst of the conflict, John protected and fed many of the orphans, affectionately naming one of the youngest orphans “Susie” in honor of his baby sister. He kept their memories by displaying their photos and praying for them each day. John was actively involved in Orphanage Ministries, Right to Life, Adoption, Teen Challenge and other Faith Based Ministries. John’s life could be summarized by the following poem: “One hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of house you lived in, how much money you had, nor what your clothes were like, but the world may be a little better because you made a difference in the life of a child.”

John and Marilyn shared a devoted and loving relationship for nearly 60 years. The romantic gesture of their dad devotedly giving their mother a flower each spring is one of the children’s fondest memories. They recall John pulling their mother close and whispering to her “Here is your first Posey of the year…I love you.” Last year this “annual presentation” sadly ended with Marilyn’s unexpected and sudden death. Our family has a strong suspicion that since spring flowers are always plentiful in Heaven “Dad” has gone to pick a Posey for “Mom”. We children understand Dad must leave us for now, but would love to see Dad give Mom her first Spring Posey in Heaven. Though we are now temporarily separated from both our parents, we can only imagine the joy and tears of their marvelous reunion so we will rejoice with them in celebration of this momentous occasion.

The family of John L. Treft would like to express sincere appreciation to Dr. McCullough, Pandora Medical Center, Bridge Hospice, Findlay Hospital, OSU Stroke Center, Mennonite Memorial Home and to all other professionals, family and friends who gave kind and compassionate care.

John’s wish was that all of his family, friends and relatives would remember and cherish the lifetime of memories they shared with him in lieu of a funeral service; and when in Heaven, look him up!

Arrangements have been entrusted to Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cremation Services, Bluffton.

Condolences may be expressed to the family at

John Leroy Treft