LIMA — John I. Gander, 89, died at 9:43 a.m. Aug. 13, 2012, at The Gardens of Celina in Celina.
He was born Feb. 28, 1923, in Columbus Grove to Jesse LeRoy and Viola Pauline Wilkerson Gander, who preceded him in death. On June 25, 1949, he married Eunice M. Koenig, who died Feb. 22, 2005.
Mr. Gander was a Navy veteran of World War II, serving in the south Pacific with the Utility Squadron 2 and was a also a Naval Reserve veteran. He was a machinist working at Lima Locomotive Works and Superior Coach Corp., and as a mechanic at El-Par Chrysler/Plymouth. He was a private pilot from 1972 to 1981 and was owner of Hobby 1700 Amateur Aerial Photography for a wide area of Ohio. He was a member of Perry United Methodist Church, where he served on the building committee and was a leader of its Methodist Youth Fellowship. He was a charter member of the Perry Township Firemen’s Association Fire Department, where he had served as assistant chief and vice president in the 1960s. He loved to roller-skate and was able to jump the barrels. He was a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6772 and American Legion Post 191, where he had served in the color guard, both in Spencerville. He was a member of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 8, the National Rifle Association and the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association.
Survivors include three children, Gene A. (Inell) Gander, of Durant, Okla., Margaret L. (Tom) Wohlgamuth, of Cridersville, and Bruce W. (Pamela) Gander, of Celina; six grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by a great-grandchild; two sisters, Donna Herfurth and Greta Wilcox; and an infant brother, Billy Gander.
Services will begin at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Thomas E. Bayliff Funeral Home, Spencerville. The Rev. Kimberly Miller will officiate. Burial will be in the Spencerville Cemetery, with military rites by the Spencerville Veterans.
Friends may call from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday and one hour prior to services Saturday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Perry United Methodist Church.