James R. Harshbarger

First Posted: 9/10/2010


James R. Harshbarger, 83, died at 2:45 p.m. Sept. 9, 2010, at The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus.

He was born Jan. 9, 1927, in Wapakoneta to Joseph and Ada Seifert Harshbarger, who preceded him in death. On Sept. 27, 2003, he married Esther J. Hahn Hooker, and she survives in Lima.

Mr. Harshbarger retired as plant superintendant from Ex-Cell-O-Airfoil Textron, Lima, where he had worked 37 years. A 1945 graduate of St. Joseph High School, Wapakoneta, he was a member of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Lima. At the age of 18, he joined the U.S. Navy and served during World War II in the South Pacific on the USS Naifeh destroyer escort and the USS Stockham destroyer. He was a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8445 and a member of Fraternal Order of the Eagles Aerie 691, both of Wapakoneta. His hobbies included spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, fishing, hunting, gardening, woodworking, playing poker, taking trips to Alaska, watching sports, especially football, and his dogs, Hammer and Pete.

Survivors also include three children, Deborah (Jack) Madden, Christine (Dave) Hibner and Nicholas Harshbarger, all of Wapakoneta; two stepchildren, Linda (Richard) Offenbacher, of Bonita Springs, Fla., and Deborah (Daniel) Miller, of New Bern, N.C.; six grandchildren, Jamie (Shane) Allemeier and Danielle Harshbarger, both of Wapakoneta, Jessica (Nate) Groh, of Elida, Kelly (Donnie) Kalb and Todd Hibner, both of Cincinnati, and Emily (Jon) Sharp, of Hawaii; six stepgrandchildren, Amanda (Sean) Bieber, of Winterville, N.C., Andrew (Kerry) Miller, of Center Valley, Pa., Shawn (Renne) Offenbacher, of Tempe, Ariz., Kelley Offenbacher, of Alpharetta, Ga., Joseph (Ashley) Miller, of Hutto, Texas, and Anthony Miller, of Washington, D.C.; seven great-grandchildren, Cate, Olivia and Jack Allemeier, Emma and Jake Groh, Sophia Kalb and Owen Sharp; six stepgreat-grandchildren, Sydney and Caden Bieber, Adam Miller, Sam Miller, Mackenzie Miller and Tucker Offenbacher; and a sister, Helen Presar, of Wapakoneta.

He was preceded in death by a former wife, Kathryn (Sibert) Harshbarger; two sisters, Janell Sealschott and Betty Grigsby; and two brothers, Donald and Richard Harshbarger.

A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Wapakoneta. The Rev. Steve Blum will officiate. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Wapakoneta, where military rites will be conducted by the Wapakoneta VFW.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday at Bayliff & Eley Funeral Home, state Route 501, Wapakoneta.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the James Cancer Hospital, Columbus.

Condolences may be expressed at www.bayliffandeleyfh.com.

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