Eulogy and Obituary for Marcene Buchs

Eulogy for Marcene Buchs

October 06, 2018

by Pastor John Partridge

My family and I moved to Alliance during the last week of June.  And so, on Thursday of this week, when Mike and Amy asked me if I had even had a chance to meet Marcene, I honestly wasn’t sure.  Until I stared working on my remarks for today and pulled up her obituary and saw her photograph.  But then I knew.  I knew that I had met Marcene but hadn’t yet had the chance to get to know her.  But many others did.  At church, Marcene was known to be a sweet lady who was always well put together.  She was always dressed fashionably, not to in any way act as if she was better than anyone else, but simply because being impeccably dressed was important to her.  She had flair.  People noticed when Marcene entered a room.  She was known, always, to be a classy lady as well as a person of deep and personal faith.

Marcene Buchs grew up taking care of her dad.  And when she had done that then it was time to take care of her mom, and then it was her Aunt Ellen.  She was a caregiver.  It wasn’t a life that she chose, but she accepted it as her responsibility.  She grew up in Beechwood in a family of farmers.  But she came to Christ United Methodist Church more than 60 years ago when her family moved to Alliance while she was in the fifth grade.  She was both faithful and dedicated to our church and was sure to attend every week for as long as she was able.

Over the years, she worked as a secretary and kept the bills paid.  She didn’t have a fairy tale life by any stretch of the imagination, but she was known for her strength of character, she always took the high road, did things the “right way,” and always did everything well and with excellence.  Although she never felt sorry for herself, sometimes the events and the circumstances of her life led her to feel insecure.  She lived in a small town, and she knew what people said about her, but that, and despite her insecurity, she refused to retreat, and forced herself to participate in the community.

Marcene was always “super-devoted” to her family and to her grandchildren.  She didn’t just care about what they did, she devoted herself to exploring, learning, and doing her very best to understand what they did whether it was sports, or music, or quilting, publishing, or rocket science. Marcene was a reader, and she had always read everything.   But whenever she knew what her family or friends were interested in, she read about that too.  Although she didn’t have a CD player in her home, she did have one in her car.  And so, in order to listen to her grandson Chase’s CD’s, she would get in her car and drive around town so that she could listen to them.  As Mike and Amy went through her things, they discovered that Marcene had kept detailed records of her life and of her family’s life.  Events and projects that they had long forgotten, were carefully recorded and kept in her albums and notebooks.

Marcene Buchs was a minimalist who loved order.  She owned a small number of outfits and when she bought a new one, an old one had to go.  Nothing in her home was out of place.  She appreciated order and she paid great attention to every detail.  But Marcene’s insistence on perfection only applied to herself.  She was forgiving of others and understood that they were different than she was.

Perhaps the most obvious example of who Marcene was, is found in her son Mike.  As the saying goes, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”  And Mike didn’t become the caring, considerate, intelligent, driven, and loving person that he is by accident.  He is a living example of Marcene’s influence on his life and a reflection of who she was.

Much of her life was devoted to caring for others and while was greatly loved by others, she loved them all right back.  But, as I noted earlier, Marcene’s faith was important to her.  She made sure that Mike grew up in the church and passed her faith on to him.  And when her grandchildren arrived, she invested herself in them so that they could learn it as well.  As I talked to Mike and Amy, we knew that Marcene would not want this moment to pass without sharing her faith with you as well.  Marcene Buchs put her full faith and trust in Jesus Christ as her savior.  She believed that Jesus died for her sins so that she could, at this very moment, stand before God, forgiven, redeemed, and perfect.  We know where Marcene will spend her eternity, and she wants every one of you to join her there when your day comes.  If you don’t know how to do that, Marcene’s family and I urge you to talk to one of us afterward.

But of all of us, Mike knew her best of all.  And so, although he knew that he wouldn’t be able to stand up here today and share his thoughts, these are his words:

A Son’s Reflections

by Michael Robert Johanson

We are gathered here together to honor and celebrate the life of my mother, Marcene Buchs. My mother was a throwback and maintained the sensibilities of another time always attempting to do the right thing optimistically even when it was not popular or easy. She was not deceived by the complexities in this world and was firmly rooted in the simplicities that are the foundation of our being.  That is her message to us.  She would have loved the flowers in the room today and would remind us all to enjoy the sight and scent.  She would not want any of us to mourn today rather to channel the spirit she has put in all of us to live up to our potential, do the right things, listen, encourage, pick each other up when we fall have hope, faith and leave a positive mark on this world.

I have spent much time this week thinking of what should be said, attempting to properly honor my mom’s memory or even partially convey the wonderful life my family and I were lucky enough to share with her.  Should I list all of her accomplishments which were many?  She was capable far beyond what we all saw – she had a mighty inner strength.  Should I tell stories from the farm in Beachwood?  Those would be funny particularly the “hammer story” (though probably still not funny to her brother my uncle Bob).  Her happiness, optimism and vision of the future during her youth – she always did her very best?  The energy and pride she always exemplified in the workforce?        But all of this can be read in the newspaper this week.  What isn’t there is her devotion and love for her family.  Her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brother and his family, taking care of her mother, father, and her son who were always steadfastly by her side and her by them.  I came along not under ideal circumstances, but you would have never known it. Her devotion and love made my life ideal.

If she were planning today’s service she would be playing videos in the hall of rockets launching things I’ve built into space.  A spread of magazines that Amy had created that highlighted her handiwork that she was so overjoyed to see on a newsstand.  She would play highlight reels of her grandson Noah throwing a football.  She often went on long drives to listen to songs on the CD player of her grandson Chase that always lift her up and “made the sunshine come out”. Those songs were played today prior to this service per her request and they meant the world to her.  She was very proud of all of Chase’s accomplishments. She would showcase her “superhero” grandson Ellis’s many activities, performances, beautiful voice and intellect and also remark how she was able to get a little piece of her own son back through him.  She would spent endless hours studying and learning about all our interests and made them her own.  And while none of this would be about her.  In her mind it was all about her, and it is.

I found a folder this week in her important papers titled Emotional Serenade.  In this folder of poems and writings I got a chance to get inside my mom’s spirit in ways I had not seen before.  In her writings I think she described who she was far better than I ever could in the following poem:


The Catalpas are blooming on Haines Avenue;

their snow-like blossoms are fresh and white and new.

They crown the branches of the stately trees

and cover the ground with a summer freeze.

In time, long green beans will appear,

hanging amidst the elephantine leaves part of the year.

This makes Haines different from Wright, Union or Summit,

indeed it is the very best part of it!

The red bricked street of a yesterday,

scene of a childhood summer of play.

I was fresh from the farm and an isolated life

thrust on a sidewalk of kids amidst workman and buses,

backyard cherry trees – neat houses and gardens,

flower bedecked porches, new shoes bought on an

afternoon trip downtown, birthday parties on the lawn,

bank tellers, clothiers, teachers, mailmen, executives

and retirees – a grocery store that smelled so right

with licorice cigars and other delights…

everything so lazy and forever.  Now all gone mainly


I had always known the infinite variety of trees;

all the magical appendages moving in the breeze;

their sudden brilliant hues burning even after the fade;

their wealth worth more than could ever be paid.

Yet I was amazed at the leaves on a hunt for my son

and ran around saying, in effect, “Here’s one, here’s one!”

Then it was the Ginkgo that mesmerized me,

but the Catalpas are a gift by the powers that be

and are for the moment what’s happening on Haines.

They come to me, and the thrill never wanes.


My mother was always my unexpected messenger encouraging me (and all of us) to accomplish the impossible and she led by example in ways that I didn’t always understand or comprehend.  But eventually, I would always understand completely.  While her life didn’t always meet the expectations she perhaps had for herself, she made the best of every moment and worked tirelessly to make sure those around her had the best opportunities, were the best prepared, and when we needed a boost, she was there to lift us up.  Though 620 Wright Ave was just a small dot on big planet she always encouraged me to be OPEN and ready to take on the world.  She taught me that if I opened up my mind I could be and do anything.  If I opened up my dreams the impossible became possible. If I opened up my heart I would always be surrounded by the very best people.  If I opened up my eyes the path forward would always be clear.  And if I opened my arms she would and will always be there.

In her notes this week she left me a final piece of advice in her Emotional Serenade folder.  I’m not sure she wrote it but she typed it and put in a place so I would see it first.  I think is a continuing message for all of us:

“People tend to look in each other’s wallets instead of each other’s eyes.  You can’t buy a look into someone’s heart.  Or a loving look.  Or a smile.  The retention of important memories is a gift beyond price.  Memory is where the proof of life is stored.  Unobstructed access to memories is both a sign of good health and a measure of true wealth.  Money can’t buy health and money can’t buy hope.”

I am thankful for the time that we have had on this Earth together, and her passing reminds me to value the time we all have with our loved ones. To allow our ‘time’ on this planet to walk with us rather than be our adversary and to cherish every moment, because they will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived, and I know how much my mother loved this life and those of you who shared it with her. So those of us who knew her will understand when I say that her passing to me is truly only that state in which she exists within all of us whose lives she has touched, which is why today is not about an end. I know she lives on within me and my children and that too shall pass to my children’s children. No good-byes mom, just wonderful memories.  You will walk with me always. I will see you again.

-Michael Robert Johanson

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Eulogy and Obituary for Arden E. Tuttle


Eulogy for Arden E. Tuttle

July 28, 2018

by Pastor John Partridge


I never had the chance to meet Arden Tuttle.

As I met with Arden’s family last week, I had never met any of them either.  And so, I asked them to tell me stories.  I asked a lot of questions because I wanted to know who she was beyond what we read in the obituary pages.  Not that her obituary is wrong, but only that, sort of by necessity, they tend to be a little dry two dimensional.  Instead, I wanted to know what it was like to know her, to be her friend, or her family, to live with her, or to live life alongside of her.

And what I found out was that anyone who wanted to be a part of Arden’s life had better be ready to run to keep up.  Sitting still, or at least sitting idle, didn’t suit her.  Arden was always busy doing something.

Arden Davis was born on the 4th of July in 1930, in Warren, Ohio and as far as I can tell, that’s about the only time that she wasn’t living life at a dead run, doing things for others, having adventures, trying new things, teaching others, and encouraging the rest of her friends and family to try to keep up.  In 1948, while attending Mount Union, she had 14 dates the first week, and Ward (Bud) was one of them.  But although she was the center of attention and had plenty of men competing for her attention, Bud was the one, and she took the bull by the horns and told him that she loved him.  Maybe it was because rather than trying to impress her, Bud had spent their time together teaching her how to play bridge.  Before long they were married, Bud was inducted into the Army during the Korean Conflict, and Arden was by his side as he went to training and then stationed in Indiana.  Throughout their adventures together, to Bud always referred to Arden as his “Little Rabbit” or just as “kiddo.”

As her family listed all the things that she had done, and all the clubs or organizations to which she had belonged, they started with the list in the obituary and just kept adding things to it as our conversation caused them to remember more.  Arden was active on lots of boards, she served in some capacity, wherever they lived, in every church to which they belonged.  Arden just couldn’t stay at home.  She didn’t much care for cooking or cleaning, or any kind of “domestic stuff,” but she did like gardening.  She also tried her hand at flower arranging and joined a group to learn how to do that, but her family doesn’t recall very many flowers ever making it home.

Arden was a life-long learner.  She loved education, travel, knowledge, and reading.  She never met a book she didn’t like, and books always seemed to find their way home with her.  They came home from the library book sale, and the book of the month club, and from her book club in town, and from anywhere else that she might meet one.  And she read them all.  She loved teaching.  And when she retired from teaching, she re-invented herself and learned how to be a financial planner and she was proud of that accomplishment, but she couldn’t really stop teaching.  She took the time, in her retirement, to go back to school and read to kindergarten kids.   But then she re-invented herself again some years later when she became the owner of her own travel agency.  And that’s just a start.  Did I mention that she also owned a pre-school?

Arden was always ready to try new things and go to new places.  Her passion for travelling took her to all 50 states and 103 countries (London was far and away her favorite. She visited there 15 times!) Bud was with her every step of the way and her children just grew up travelling.  When it was time for a vacation they were in the car by 6:00 am and on the road.  Later, she planned trips for senior citizens to Cleveland, and anywhere that she could find to learn and explore.

Arden was the tomboy, the redhead, she described herself as “short but feisty,” and she was fearless.  As a Girls Scout leader, she and her girls were out camping during the time when there were reports that Bigfoot had been seen in the area, possibly what is still referred to as the “Minerva Monster.  While they were in the woods, they cooked, camped, and hiked, and one night all the girls were in a panic because some of them thought they had seen Bigfoot near their camp.  And so, Arden, without hesitation, marches off into the woods to see Bigfoot for herself.  Arden had a reputation.  If you needed something done, she was the one who made things happen.

Arden always enjoyed playing games.  She loved bridge from the moment that Bud taught her to play, and she loved card games and board games of all sorts, but she did not like Monopoly and she was not a sports fan.

This was a woman who really liked people.  She could, and did, make friends while standing in line, and one reason was almost certainly because she was always genuinely interested in their lives.  But just the same, she was a woman who spoke her mind, and wasn’t afraid to be aggressive when she felt she needed to, or when someone was doing something that she didn’t like.  Her family and friends knew her to be a good listener, and a person with whom you could share your problems without being judged.  As a mother of four children, she had a relaxed parenting style that allowed her kids to explore their own interests but, at the same time, she advocated and pushed for them to develop intellectually.  As they became adults, Arden simply enjoyed being able to have adult conversations with her children.  As a grandparent, while she loved on her grandchildren, but she wasn’t afraid to be critical of how her children parented them.

So how should we remember Arden Tuttle?

I’m pretty sure that if she knew you were sitting around moping, or spending too much time mourning her, she would give you an earful.  Instead, I think the best way that you can remember her is to follow her example.  Remember that life is an adventure. Don’t just sit still.  Try new things.  Do what you love. Read, explore, see the world, expand your horizons, and have fun doing it.

Arden did all these things, and she would want you to get out of your chair, get out of the house, and do the same.


 Obituary for Arden E. Tuttle

Arden TuttleArden E. Tuttle, age 88, of Alliance, passed away at 8:56 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at Alliance Community Hospital.

She was born July 4, 1930, in Warren, Ohio, to Paul and Ruth (Gledhill) Davis.

Arden was formerly an elementary school teacher in Alliance, Canton and Newark Public Schools. She was also formerly employed as an insurance sales person with Metropolitan Insurance sales, certified financial planner with I.D.S. American Express, and former owner of the Lake Cable Travel Agency, and an Avon Sales lady.

She loved being a parent, grandparent, and travelling, visiting six continents, 103 countries and all 50 states. She also enjoyed being a teacher, Girl Scout leader and bridge player.

Arden was a member of the Christ United Methodist Church and a former member of the Board at the Church of the Lakes in Canton.

Her other memberships included the Tennysonians, president of the YWCA, board member of the Alliance Women’s Club, music study club, founder of the House and Garden Club, Senior Center Chorus, Alliance Country Club and the Retired Teachers Association.

Survivors include her husband, Ward Tuttle of Alliance, whom she married December 17, 1950; children, Jeff (Lucy) Tuttle of Santa Clara, California, Jim (Beth) Tuttle of Atlanta, Georgia, Randy (Edna) Tuttle of Columbus, Indiana and Joyce Tuttle of Atlanta, Georgia; sister, Sally Hitchcock of Denver, Colorado; brother, Paul (Joyce) Davis of Topanga Canyon, California; and grandchildren, Josh Tuttle of State College, Pennsylvania, Jamie (Martin) Gutfeldt of Chicago, Illinois, Ben Tuttle and Courtney Tuttle, both of Atlanta, Georgia, and Cristy, Megan and Bryan Tuttle, all of Columbus, Indiana.

Services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 28, 2018, at Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home with Rev. John Partridge officiating. Friends may call from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., prior to the service. Interment will be at Fairmount Memorial Park.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Greater Alliance Foundation 960 W. State St. Alliance, OH 44601.

Arrangements are by Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home, 75 S. Union Ave., Alliance, OH 44601. Alliance, Ohio.


Obituary for Ed Smith

Obituary for  Edmund H. Smith

April 21, 1925 – February 1, 2018
Born in Youngstown, Ohio
Resided in Massillon, Ohio


Ed SmithEdmund H. Smith, 92, passed away on Thursday, February 1, 2018. Born April 21, 1925 in Youngstown, Ohio on the kitchen table.

Preceded in death by wife, Ethel L. Deeley whom he married in 1950. Their two are children are Kenneth E (Lisa) Smith of Saco, ME., and Susan L. Neddy-Scopelite of Massillon, Ohio; grandchildren, are Shannon Neddy of Philadelphia, PA, Amanda McNeil of Saco, ME., and Hannah Scopelite of Louisville, Ohio. Also surviving are step-daughters, Maureen (Butch) Altman, Darlene (Buck) Singer and Joellen (Ronnie) Cucitrone all of New Castle, PA. Ed is also preceded in death by his 2nd wife the former Norma J. Kline whom he married February 14, 1998. Recently became a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Perry Heights, Ohio. He is also survived by several very loved nephews and their families.

No flowers are requested, but rather donations to dad’s passion of helping the homeless and needy. His current project was Homeless Outreach Project (H.O.T) @ 2023 Harrison Ave. SW Canton, Ohio 44706-2734.

Services will be held on Monday, February 5, 2018 at 11:00am at Forest Lawn Memorial Park 5400 Market St, Youngstown, Ohio 44512.
Reed Funeral Home Canton Chapel is entrusted with the arrangements.


Eulogy and Obituary for Loretta Doll

Eulogy for Loretta Doll

April 18, 2018

by Rev. John Partridge


Loretta DollIn 1915 the world was different than the one in which we now live.  In December of that year, Frank Sinatra was born, President Woodrow Wilson married Edith Galt in Washington D.C., WWI raged in Europe, heavier than air aircraft were still largely experimental, Ernest Shackleton’s team attempting to cross Antarctica overland was stranded as their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the ice and sank, and into that world, Loretta Wynn was born in Canton, Ohio on December 3rd, 1915.

Loretta lived with her parents, John and Loretta, and eventually attended, and graduated from McKinley High School in 1934, and then met and married Glen Doll on May 27th, 1939. Before too long, Glen and Loretta welcomed Sally and Ted to their family as well and, in 1950 they moved from Canton to what was then a very rural Perry Township.  By 1955 they had joined Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church which would, in 1968, become the Trinity United Methodist Church.

Although they did a little camping and traveling in the early years, Loretta and Glen both liked staying at home and working the land, planting a garden, growing things, and then canning their produce.  They liked to design the landscaping for the two homes that Glen had built, and then, periodically, or perhaps continually, redesigning and reworking it to suit their tastes and their sense of style.  Maybe it was this sense of style that led Loretta into other adventures as well.  She was a seamstress who made clothes for her children, made bracelets, handbags, and purses, she tried her hand at floral arranging for a while, and everyone knew that she never wanted to throw anything away.

Loretta loved to shop too.  She especially loved to get in on a good deal.  She would go to every sale at Kaufman’s and all the craft stores, and the mall, sometimes twice a day to take full advantage of them.  Glen didn’t get mad, and in fact, even though he didn’t really share her passion for shopping, he went along on all of these trips, and usually just found a chair somewhere so he could sit and watch Loretta shop.  For a while, Loretta even worked at J.C. Penny.  Maybe it was to earn a little extra money, but maybe it was because the employees got a discount.  Loretta even had more than one bank account.  Not because she needed more than one, and not because she was afraid that the bank might fail, but because, once upon a time, you could get really nice gifts for opening a new account, so she would open accounts at different banks just to get the gifts.

At church, Loretta was known for her many hats.  Everyone at church knew that she and her friend Lila Graham would always be, faithfully, wearing a nice hat every Sunday.  And, I suspect, it eventually became something of a good-natured competition.  When it came time to clean out Loretta’s house there were over 100 hats, and while I don’t have a specific number, Lila’s family had an experience that was very similar.  In fact, at Lila’s funeral, they were still giving away hats to anyone that wanted one.

At home, even though she was a bit of a worrier, Loretta was always known as a good cook who was kind, gracious, caring, and could be counted on for offering good advice.  She liked to keep busy even when she had to live in an assisted living facility and later a nursing home.  If there was an activity offered, she was there.  If there was a craft to be made, you can be sure that Loretta was making one.  She did everything.

But through it all, Loretta always loved her family and they loved her back.  For so many years everyone had come to her house for the holidays, and then when she didn’t have a house any longer, she could be counted on to show up at Ted and Nancy’s house.  It finally reached a point where even if Loretta thought that she might skip a Thanksgiving dinner and stay “home” at the Windsor Medical Center, her grandchildren wouldn’t hear of it and insisted that she come.  They would send their dad, or they would go themselves, and maneuver Loretta into someone’s car, and help her out again so that she could spend Thanksgiving Day with her family as she always had.

Our world is very different than the one that Loretta was born into 102 years ago.  Our world is too fast paced, has often seemed to lose its respect for God, and is always focused on making more money, or acquiring more stuff.  But people like Loretta Doll, and the lives that they lived, remind us that there are more important things in life.  They remind us that it’s good to slow down and watch things grow.  It’s good to take time for your family, your friends, your church, and your God.  When the day comes that people gather in a room like this one to remember each one of us, do you think that they will remember that we worked a lot, or that we had a lot of money, or accumulated a lot of stuff, or do we want to be remembered as people who were kind, faithful, loving, generous, caring, and compassionate?

Loretta had her priorities in the right places and her life reminds us that we should do the same.

Although everyone here has good reason to mourn for what they have lost today, I hope that you will remember just how richly blessed you are to have had such a loving, godly, caring woman to show you all how life should be done.   Through Loretta Doll, God has given us all a great gift that has, and should continue, to shape us and bless us throughout our lives.

I pray that we might do half as well.





Loretta Wynn Doll of North Canton, Ohio

December 3, 1915 – May 30, 2018


Loretta Wynn Doll, age 102, of North Canton passed away Wednesday, May 30, 2018, at Windsor Medical Center. She was born December 3, 1915, in Canton where she resided until 1950 when her family moved to Perry Heights. In 1955 Loretta and family became members of Trinity United Methodist Church of Perry Heights. There she served on the Board of Trustees as Secretary, several committees, and volunteered for many years as a teacher for children in Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. Following graduation from McKinley High School in 1934, Loretta and Glenn Doll were married in Canton on May 27, 1939. She was a dedicated homemaker; however, she did work for the J.C. Penney Company part time as a saleslady from 1969-1972. Known by family and friends as Sis and Aunt Sissy, Loretta was loved by all. She was proud of all members of the family and was eternally optimistic that each would have a successful future.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Loretta Wynn, her husband Glenn F. Doll, her daughter Sally A. Doll, two brothers Herbert J. Wynn and Dr. John D. Wynn and a sister Dorothy Wynn Ake. She is survived by her son T. Everett (Nancy) Doll, two granddaughters Audrea (Dr. Robert) Schweikert and Jennifer (Jeffrey) Reider, seven great-grandchildren, five nieces and three nephews.

Private services and interment have been arranged through Arnold Funeral Home officiated by Pastor John Partridge, Trinity United Methodist Church. Memorial contributions in Loretta’s name can be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, 3757 Lincoln Way East, Massillon, OH  44646. The family thanks Dr. Steven Weaver of North Canton Medical Clinic and the staff of Windsor Medical Center and Crossroads Hospice for their compassionate and skilled care graciously provided to Loretta and her family.


Everitt Dean Partridge

Everitt Dean Partridge

January 6, 1955 ~ March 3, 2018 (age 63)



Everitt Dean Partridge, 63, of Akron, Ohio, was released into the hands of Jesus on March 3, 2018. He was born in Warren, Ohio to Rev. Stanley and Ruth Partridge.


He was preceded in death by his father, Stan and is survived by his mother, Ruth; brothers, Stephen (Susan), Mark (Donna) and John (Patti) as well as his nieces and nephews, Matthew, T.J., Jonah, Noah, Lina and Hannah, Nicholas and Sarah.


Dean attended and graduated from West Holmes High School in Millersburg, Ohio (1973) and from there went on to attend college where he graduated from Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio (1977). For several years he was employed at the B.F. Goodrich company in Akron and upon their relocation, he then found a position working at Republic Steel in Canton for 21 years.


He has a fond appreciation for music which was evident in the years he spent singing in the Akron Symphony Chorus and for a few years sang with his dad who also was a part of the Chorus for many years. He was a long time member of Park United Methodist Church in Akron where he volunteered as a tutor for the GED program offering countless hours of instruction. He was also active as a part of the Wednesday morning Trustee fixit and repair program as well as serving as an usher in the morning worship services. In recent years, he was a partial caregiver to his mother and helped her with odd jobs and repairs around the house in light of dad not being there.


Visitation will be held Friday, March 9, 2018 at Park United Methodist Church, 2308 24th St in Akron from 5-6 p.m. with a service of celebration to follow with Rev. John Partridge officiating. Private Burial will be held at a later time.


Eulogy for Donald J. McCauley

Eulogy for Donald J. McCauley

May 14, 2018

by Rev. John Partridge


Donald J. “Doc” McCauley was born on December 9th, 1932.  He was the youngest of seven children, graduated from Kenmore High School, and then joined the Air Force, served as a hydraulics mechanic between the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, and then worked at Babcock and Wilcox for 33 years.

Along the way, he found the love of his life in Betty Ann Kozy, married her, and loved being with her.  Everyone knew how much he loved her.  It was obvious.  He couldn’t be within arm’s reach without touching her.  He would literally never walk by without reaching out to her.

When Brian was a baby, just a few weeks old, Don lost two fingers while helping a friend repair a lawn mower.  And so, from then on, he did all the childcare (including diapering, with cloth diapers and safety pins) one-handed.  As Brian got older, Don was his baseball coach and soon discovered that Brian pitched so hard that it would hurt Don’s hand.

For many people, it was never Donald, or even Don, but instead it was always “Doc.”

He loved to fish.  Whenever he took a day off, his coworkers knew where he would be and they hung a “Gone Fishing” sign on his locker.  He loved the Mogadore Reservoir and kept a boat there.

He loved fishing with his family too.  Many times his kids joined him at Mogadore and, when they got older, a few times they were invited to go on the annual fishing trip to Ross Lake in Quebec, Canada with Don and his brother Marion.

Don’s love of fishing, and his artistic talent, led him to becoming an excellent, self-taught, taxidermist.  Long before YouTube videos were available, he acquired a “teach yourself taxidermy” book and, within months, it was as if he’d been doing it his entire life.  He was also an incredible self-taught artist.  He did many murals and backdrops for programs at church.  Just like when he taught himself taxidermy, he acquired a Bob Ross book and taught himself how to paint with oils.  Many of his paintings were displayed at Park United Methodist Church, as well as with multiple family members who have cherished them.

He was a faithful and active member of Park United Methodist Church for many years, and served as an usher and a trustee for as long as many of us can remember.  Don was always faithful to his family, and to his God.

Don loved to garden and, as the years went by, his yard became smaller as his garden grew.  Every year he waited impatiently for the tomatoes to ripen!  But other than his tomatoes, Don was known to be extraordinarily patient and generous.  He often said, “I’m not going to bother you, but if you need anything, all you need to do is ask.”

I knew Don, and I’ve known Brian for a lot of years.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, ‘ya know?

Those of us who knew Don know that he left an impression on our lives.  We may not have his talent, but if we learned to be a little more patient, a little more kind, a little more generous, or a little more faithful from knowing him, then we know that God has given us an invaluable gift through the life of Don McCauley.

Don usually did what he wanted to do and never wanted anyone to worry about him, and today is no different.  He would not want you to mourn, but to celebrate.  He touched a lot of lives on many special ways and will not be forgotten.




Obituary – Donald J. McCauley

December 9, 1932 ~ May 9, 2018 (age 85)


Donald J. “Doc” McCauley, 85, passed away May 9, 2018 after a long battle with cancer. Doc was a long-time member of Park United Methodist Church.


Doc will be remembered for his passion for fishing, his talent with oil and canvas, and his joy of gardening.


He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty in 1987 and son, Mark in 1988; sisters, Kathleen, Pat and Eileen; brothers, John and Mare; he is survived by his son, Brian; daughter-in-law, Robin; granddaughters, Katie and Kara; great granddaughter, Alexis; brother, Jim.


There will be a small memorial Service at the Schlup-Pucak Funeral Home, 788 Kenmore Blvd, Akron Monday, May 14 at 9:00am with Pastor John Partridge officiating. Burial to follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

Eulogy and Obituary for Joy Reed

Eulogy for Joy Reed

October 31, 2016

by Rev. John Partridge


From the stories I heard in the past few days, I think that with the loss of Joy Reed our world got a little less fun.  But before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s review a little.

Joy Price was born 84 years ago, graduated from Lincoln High School in 1950, and by all accounts, met the love of her life in third grade.  She and David were married on October 12, 1952.  Also playing into this story are the Genoa girls, some of whom I have met because several of them have attended, or continue to attend Trinity Church.  The Genoa girls are women like Joy, Audrey Fish, Pearl McKnight, and several others who have been close friends since first grade.  These women grew up together, vacationed together, raised their kids together and, in recent years, formed the ‘card club’ that met once a month.  On top of that, some of them are still going out to eat together on a regular basis.  Joy really liked to go out to eat.

Along the way, of course, David and Becky became a part of Joy’s story.  Becky remembered the family taking vacations together to Virginia Beach and Chesapeake Bay and other places but no matter what they did, or where they went, Becky said that Joy always had a way of making life fun.

But unlike the kind of fun we sometimes see, Joy didn’t just do things so that she could have fun, Joy did things so that everyone around her had fun.

And again, before I go any farther, I have to introduce you to Nellie Phelps.  Nellie was Joy’s best friend and they did everything together.  They worked together as the “lunch ladies” at Reedurban School and Joy worked for a while at Peifer School as well.  But whether they were at school or at church, or almost anywhere else, the two of them were almost always up to something.  Together they collected food for the food bank, organized funeral dinners at church, helped out at Vacation Bible School, (where Joy would do anything except teach), visited shut-ins, and more often than not, were working on a joke of some kind.

In one way, it’s a bit odd really, but in another it’s not.  I can’t really tell you a lot about Joy Reed without telling stories about Nellie Phelps.  They really were that close, and they really did that much together.  They were inseparable.  They did everything together.  Nellie would have ideas, and Joy would make them bigger.  The folks at church tell me that the two of them were an important part of the church.  They were in the women’s society together, and as I already mentioned, they did VBS together and volunteered to help with dinners, but they also created their own job description as church greeters.  At first, that doesn’t sound all that unusual except that the way Joy and Nellie did it wasn’t to greet people coming into church the way that everyone else did, they appointed themselves as the greeters for people coming out of church.  And they did it in such a way that everyone who came felt that they were really welcome.  In fact, when someone new came to Trinity, one of them, either Joy or Nellie, was sure to call them and invite them to come back.  We still have a number of people who became members of our church because of the work that these two ladies did.

Joy loved Halloween.  And, once again, that isn’t all that unusual, except that when you combine Joy’s love of Halloween, the way that she and Nellie played off of one another, and the way that they loved to help others have fun, what you end up with is a pair of ladies that can cause a bit of a stir.  These were the two who once dressed as clowns in the Hall of Fame parade and cleaned up behind one of the horse units.  I can only imagine.  They went to all of the Perry home football games together… with their cowbell… and they used it.  And everyone knew that they were there.  They tried hard to make every holiday at school memorable for the kids, and that included one Halloween when they somehow managed to get a real, full sized, coffin into the lunchroom at school… and then one of them hid in it… and in the middle of lunch the coffin began to open.  I’m told that they scared some of the kids half to death and the principle came to tell them that they might have overdone thing a little.  It didn’t matter.  There really wasn’t anyone that could stop those two once they got started.

But a big part of their focus was on doing things for other people.  They loved to serve others in whatever way they could.  Joy was a Girl Scout leader and together she and Nellie would go to the Hospitality House nursing home every week, for years, to play bingo with the residents there.  Every week they bought candy to give away to everyone and helped the folks who had trouble playing because of their eyesight or anything else.

Oh, and you remember the card club of the Genoa Girls that met once a month?  Every Halloween, Joy would dress up and go to lunch with her club in costume.  No one else did… just Joy.  But that’s just who she was.  However God arranged it with her parents, “Joy” was exactly the right name all along.

Audrey Fish was another one of those friends that Joy had forever.  They baked Christmas cookies together when their children were small, they saw each other every month at card club, and they saw one another every week at church.  But when Joy couldn’t come to church anymore, Audrey came to see Joy…  every week… for the last five years or so.

Joy just wanted to help.  She was a person who you could call to do almost anything.  I say almost, because there might just have been one thing that she wouldn’t do.  In a conversation at church one day, undoubtedly involving Nellie Phelps, they were talking about the houses that God has prepared for us in heaven and what a wonderful view there would be.  And, somehow, at that point someone thought that if there was such a great view, then there must be a lot of windows and, if there were a lot of windows, there must be someone to clean them.  So of course, Nellie suggested that this might be Joy’s contribution to the heavenly community… washing windows.  Joy was indignant and replied, “No! I’m not going to wash windows.  Not even for God!”  Everyone laughed and Nellie gently assured Joy that, for God, she probably would.

Joy loved to watch basketball, and Ohio State, and anything Perry whether it was sports, or theater or music, or anything else.  Joy was the kind of a person that everywhere she went, always made the people around her smile.  And even now, even in this time of sadness, the people that knew her can’t seem to remember her without smiling.  That is truly a gift that she has given to all of us.

As Becky said, Joy Reed had a way of making life fun.  She always had a smile and will be remembered by everyone who knew her for her sense of humor, her orneriness, warmth, friendliness, and her strong faith in Jesus Christ.  None of us have any doubts as to where she went the moment that she left her mortal dwelling place.  I am certain of her destination.  I am certain that Jesus and Nellie have given her a warm welcome.  I am sure that she is enjoying the view.

But I somehow doubt that she is washing windows.




joy-reedJoy Reed (nee Price), 84, of Massillon, passed away October 27, 2016, at Meadow Winds Health Care Center. A lifelong resident of Perry Township, Joy made many waves throughout the community. She graduated from Lincoln High School in 1950, where she met David Reed, whom she was married to for 64 years on October 12, 2016.

Joy was employed with Perry Local Schools for 25 years as “the lunch lady.” Along with raising 2 children and her employment Joy still found plenty of time for her array of extracurricular events. She hosted parties for her card club friends, had lunches with her “Genoa Girls”, was active in both Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts and was president of the Richville School District PTA.

She was heavily involved in the Trinity United Methodist Women’s Club, where she selflessly worked to make sure ill members were provided with food and her ornery humor. After those long weeks with full schedules, you could be sure to find Joy and lifelong friend, Nellie Phelps at the Perry Panthers Football Games on Friday nights.

Joy is survived by her husband, David Reed; son David Reed; daughter Becky (Rick) Osborne; granddaughter Lindsey “sweetpea” Stephen; sister-in-law Gloria Deeser and special friend Audrey Fish.

Family and friends may call Sunday from 2 to 4:00PM at the Reed Funeral Home (CANTON CHAPEL) where services will be held Monday at 10:00AM with Pastor John Partridge officiating.

Interment will take place at West Lebanon Union Cemetery.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at Meadow Wind and Great Lakes for their love and support.

Eulogy for Lila J. Graham

Eulogy for Lila J. Graham

September 19, 2016

by Rev. John Partridge

Just a little more than a week ago, our friend Lila was doing fine.  But then she woke up in the hospital and everything started to unravel.  Every time we thought we had good news, more bad news seemed to follow.  Losing Lila was a surprise and even a shock to most of us but in addition, the events of the last week have been a startling reminder of our own mortality.  And so, as we gather together today let us not only mourn for what we have lost, but also find comfort in the knowledge that all of us who believe in him will one day be reunited in the loving arms of Jesus Christ.

Lila J. Graham was born on June 30th, 1933 in Cleveland, Ohio.  After she graduated from high school, she got work as a secretary adjutant for the United States Army ordinance office.  While at first this might have seemed to be a nice entry level job, it was also an appointment with her future.  Because, while this was happing in Cleveland, a young man named Marion Ray Graham (who always went by Ray and never by Marion) was growing up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.  After his high school graduation he studied Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech and joined the ROTC which granted him a commission in the Army after graduation and assigned him to a duty station… at the Army ordinance office in Cleveland, Ohio.  After Ray and Lila met, Ray was sent to Korea in the day following the Korean Conflict and while he was gone, they corresponded regularly.  Lila’s daughters said that she had shown them stacks of letters they had exchanged while Ray was overseas.

After his return home, Ray and Lila were married on July 17, 1954.  During college, Ray had an internship with Timken and so after his service in the Army, he got a job there.  For three years the city girl and the country boy lived in Canton, but then they moved out of town to Perry Township where they stayed and raised their family for the rest of their lives.

Well, they did live in the same house for the rest of their lives, but using the word “stayed” might be a bit of an exaggeration.  You see, although their house was their home base, every year they would do a fair amount of traveling and Lila travelled more than Ray did.  Ray thought it was fine to travel to see family and so they alternated between Virginia and Cleveland at Christmas time, and every summer the family spent a week camping at Clay’s Park, and that was about it for Ray.  Lila on the other hand, loved going on an adventure.  She loved to travel and so, whenever she could, she would find a sister, or a friend, or someone, and go somewhere.  She literally travelled the world and Ray was fine with that as long as he didn’t have to go along.  But Lila did convince him to go overseas with her one time.

Lila also had other adventures closer to home.  She went out and did things with her kids and her grandkids whenever she could.  They went canoeing, visited haunted houses, and were regulars at Cedar Point’s annual Halloweekends.  Every year they visited the Yankee Peddler festival, attended the Christmas Carol at the Players Guild, and every Christmas season everybody came to Lila’s house for “Cookie Day.”  At Easter everyone colored eggs, and then followed the clues for her special treasure hunt where you might find Easter eggs, a few coins, and eventually an Easter basket.  You were never sure what you were going to find but you knew there was going to be an adventure.  There were big cookouts to attend every year too, one for fish, and another for ribs, as well as making a big deal for Mother’s Day.  And even before they started going to Halloweekend, they always had an annual outing to Cedar Point.  And, Lila being Lila (and we’ve already said that she loved adventure), she rode every ride in the park.  At age 75 she was still riding the Millennium.

And at every event, and at every adventure, Lila had a disposable camera and documented everything.  But it’s important to note that she didn’t just take pictures.  She took those pictures and kept a notebook for each of her grandchildren and carefully documented everything.

Once Ray and Lila were settled in Perry Township, Lila found work at the elementary school as a playground monitor, and then later was invited to become the “study hall lady” at Perry High School.  It was at Perry High School that Lila met Helen Bowman and the two of them have been friends ever since.  At church Lila did a little of everything.  She was the children’s choir director for 25 years, taught Sunday school classes of all ages, led Bible studies, cooked food, served on the scholarship committee, made the fun calendars for the UMW every February, organized the talent show for 15 years, and probably more things than most of us can remember.  And while they were all here, all of Lila’s kids got married at Trinity Church too.  Every Sunday, after church, the whole extended family went to Ray and Lila’s house for a big family Sunday brunch.

Lila was a big sports fan and she loved her Cleveland Browns.  Every game she would call Jeff at halftime to talk about why they were so bad this year, or why they missed that play, or wonder when they were finally going to get a decent quarterback, or whatever.  At one time or another, Lila babysat all of her grandkids two days each week and, as we have already determined, because she had the heart for adventure, there were lots of field trips.  Whenever she could, Lila spoiled her grandchildren to do death.  She was the kind of a person that could talk to anybody.  She loved to sing, she had a big heart and did things for just about everyone, she did her crossword puzzles every day, and whenever Hannah came over she loved to draw pictures and watch Rugrats (which Hannah liked but wasn’t allowed to watch at home).  Every week she went out to eat with her lunch buddies and every Saturday she went out with a group of ladies from Trinity Church.

Lila was always sending cards and letters to family and friends and wanted to make sure that everyone got mail and felt loved.  She was a beautiful woman inside and out, and if you look at her pictures, it isn’t hard to see why Ray Graham was attracted to her.  Lila was known by many of us to give the best hugs.  Whenever she saw me she made sure that I got one, and made sure that I didn’t forget.  Even during this past week, whenever I would visit her in the hospital, even when she was hooked up to a host of IV’s and had machines beeping around her, whenever she would see me Lila would throw her arms out as best she could to make sure that I gave her a hug.  Lila loved colorful things and fun things.  She has a couple ornamental, concrete deer in her front yard and at this point many of you are probably thinking that lots of people have those, but Lila’s are as different as she was.  Lila’s deer are not just your ordinary brown deer; hers are white, and green, and blue and all sorts of fun things.  And then there is her collection of animated, dancing, stuffed animals.  You know the ones, you’ve all seen them, the fish, frogs, deer, teddy bears and whatnot that sing and dance when you press the button.  Lila loved them all and, from what I’m told, owns just about all of them.  In fact, she told her family that the rabbit that sings “Some bunny loves you” was supposed to sing at her funeral.  I’m not sure if it made it here today or not.  And of course, Lila wore hats.  I’m told that Loretta Doll was the first one at Trinity to be known for wearing hats, but Lila did it too and she owned it.  There are several of us who have seen Lila out in public and almost didn’t recognize her because she wasn’t wearing a hat.

There was always a dog in Lila’s house and lately that dog has been her friend Foxy.  Foxy was always at Lila’s side except when she went to Virginia to visit Joe.  It wasn’t that Foxy couldn’t ride in the car, or that Lila wasn’t willing to take her, but it’s just that the building where Joe lives doesn’t allow animals.  And so, it came to pass that Lila’s friend Janet Miller became sort of a part owner of Foxy because Foxy would go to Janet’s house whenever Lila went to see Joe.  Naturally, even though we can all be pretty sure that Foxy was regularly spoiled by Lila, she complained that Janet spoiled Foxy even worse than she did.

As Lila began to spend time with Joe, the florist started to visit her more often.  It was nice, and it was different, because Ray had never had much use for flowers and never really bought them, but Joe like flowers and sent them often.  I’m told that the family began to notice that there was quite collection of flower vases that were accumulating in the basement, but no one really knew just how often it happened until this past week.  As people came to the house to express their condolences, the delivery driver from Pat’s Flowers stopped in too.  You see, he had come to Lila’s house so often that he and Lila had not only become acquainted, they had become friends.

Each one of us will remember something different.  We’ll remember hugs, and hats, some will remember field trips and adventures, little dogs, singing songs, her love of Jesus and her passion for his kingdom, we’ll remember adventures, and lunches, and talent shows and all sorts of things.  But the two inescapable things that every one of us will always remember is that Lila always had fun wherever she went, and that she had the remarkable ability to make everyone around know that they were truly loved.

If any of us can be half the person Lila was, we will surely be a blessing to others, because Lila was definitely a blessing to each and every one of us.



Lila J. Graham

June 30, 1933 – September 15, 2016

Lila J. Graham, 83 of Perry Township, passed away Thursday, September 15, 2016. Lila was born on June 30, 1933 in Cleveland, the daughter of the late Nelson and Edna (Osterland) Gilbert.

She worked at Richville Elementary and Perry High School retiring in 1992 after 28 years of service. She was an active member at Trinity U.M.C. where she taught Sunday School and Bible Classes, directed the Children’s Choir, and participated in U.M.W. Lila loved traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, M. Ray Graham in 2007; sisters, Dorothy Ward and Edith Loescher; and brother, Clark Gilbert.

She is survived by her daughters Amanda (Jeff) Fletcher and Amy (Gary) Ciesielczyk; grandchildren, Hannah and Audrey Fletcher, and Benjamin, Victoria, and Kari Ciesielczyk; and her special friend Joe Williams.

A Celebration of Lila’s Life will be held on Monday, September 19, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity U.M.C. in Perry Heights. The family will receive friends at the Paquelet & Arnold-Lynch Funeral Home on Sunday from 2-5 p.m. and on Monday from 10-11 a.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers donations may be to Trinity U.M.C. in Lila’s name.


Lila carried this scripture in her wallet.  It isn’t one of the more common ones that people often carry.  It isn’t about love, or hope, but then, in a way it is.  And having read it, it’s exactly the sort of thing that Lila would’ve liked so we want to share it with all of you too.

Romans 8:35-39

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


This is one of Lila’s favorite poems.  It was on a plaque in her kitchen.  And again, for anyone that knew her, I think it’s exactly Lila.


It’s wondrous what a hug can do!

A hug can cheer you when you’re blue.

A hug can say “I love you so” or

“Gee, I hate to see you go.”

A hug delights and warms and charms,

It must be why God gave us arms!

REMEMBERING LILA – by Janet Miller


Lila and I became such very good friends from working together at Trinity.   We soon realized we had a great many things in common…We were both born in the same year and in the same month and also had the same middle name.   She always told me I was older than her tho as there was 28 days difference…Our history and life style seem to have run parallel in our growing up years.   We both lost our husband and after that she joined our group of Trinity friends for Saturday nights out.   It was good to have friends to enjoy a meal together.

When Lila found life lonely she got herself a little 4 legged friend called Foxy.  Naturally as soon as I saw her I knew she was a special little girl.   Lila was good enough to let me be a part of Foxy’s life as well as Lila’s.    Then a short time later Lila and Joe became the BEST of friends.   She often traveled to visit Joe in Va. so Fox would stay with me.   She always told me this pup is really spoiled when she comes back from your house.    So I always told her, Well, you get spoiled by Joe so I get to spoil Fox….Lila was a special Christian, always ready to tell you about God and ready to lead any Bible study groups or the Sunday School Class we recently started.   She was not afraid to tell you how much God loves us all and to always remember, “God is in charge”.  She was so right about that.  God could see Lila was struggling to live alone and needed help.   We will all miss our dear special friend but we know God’s love will be waiting for her in a special place.   I will forever miss my special friend and soul mate, but I will have her little Fox to remind me of her and know she will be checking to be sure I don’t spoil her pup too much.    May God bless you on your next journey Lila.

With love,

Janet Miller

Eulogy and Obituary for Marland Gerber

Eulogy for Marland D. Gerber

August 03, 2016

by Rev. John Partridge


None of us expected this.


Of course we all know that none of us will live forever, but this is not where any of us planned to be a week or so ago.  When I heard that Marland Gerber had passed from this life and into the next, I was stunned.  I had just seen him at church recently.  He was doing better than he had been in months.  And so, just when we thought he was getting better, we got a phone call, or a text, that we didn’t expect.  But after the shock wore off, those of us who knew Marland realized one thing:


We are poorer today than we were last week.


As my wife and I met with the extended Gerber family Monday evening, we listened as, one after another, they told us what they remembered, and what Marland had meant to them.  The praise was abundant.  If he had been there, he would have been embarrassed to hear it, but it was all true.  Someone said that “Nobody laughs like Santa.”  He was described as loving, caring, always ready to listen, the best ever, amazing, a very hard worker, a man who always took pride in what he did, a man who lit up the room wherever he went, and more.  Marland was a giving person who was always ready to give what he had.  He tried to provide for everyone and make sure that no one wanted for anything.  He was willing to give the shirt off of his back, and sometimes he gave more than he could really afford.


Marland was also a lover in the best possible sense of the word.  He loved Eileen with all his heart and would anything for her.  He did give her a hard time for cooking too much, but didn’t complain when it was his turn to eat.  That love wasn’t just reserved for Eileen.  For Marland, every family member was unique and special and he had his own way to make every single one of them feel loved and valued.  He teased the younger kids by showing them his false teeth, told bad jokes until everyone had them memorized (ask any of them why God’s name is Andy), had pet names for some, asked about their lives, bragged about all of them, gave words of encouragement whenever they were needed but could give you a hard time of you needed that, and Marland showed up for everything.  For Marland, “family” was an event.  He took his grandkids on trips and made sure that they did things together and he came to their games.  Not just a few, but all of them.  Football games, baseball games, wrestling tournaments, dance recitals, you name it, if one of his family or friends were in it, he would do his best to be there to watch.  That dedication extended beyond his family, because over the years as he attended all of those games, he made friends with the other kids, their families, the coaches, and everyone else, so that even when his kids graduated and moved on, Marland was still going to those games to cheer on his new friends.  Of course it’s always more fun to watch when your team wins, and Timmy said that Marland absolutely lit up when the Perry wrestling team won two state finals.


But watching his family and friends wasn’t all that Marland did.  He loved sports.  All sports.  All the time.  I think I heard a rumor that since they heard the news, Sports Center is already warning people that they expect their ratings to be down.  It is fairly well-known that Marland liked to yell at the TV while he watched his games.  Often he was yelling at the guy with long hair and telling him that if he got a haircut he could run faster.  For the really big games, the seats in his living room were reserved and by invitation only.  If you weren’t invited, there’s a good chance that you would be asked to leave when the game started.  Aside from yelling at the television, because he knew so much about sports and cared so much about people, everyone in his family thinks that Marland would have made a great coach.  And it wasn’t just about sports on TV.  As I said, Marland supported a great many of the teams in Perry, but he and Eileen also bought season tickets to the Canton Charge games.  The funny thing is, the two of them make friends so easily, that after going downtown week after week, before long they made friends with the guy that gave away free stuff.  And then, pretty soon, instead of getting one towel, they got a bunch of towels.  Instead of getting one bobble-head, they came home with a box of bobble heads.


Wherever Marland went, he had friends.  Our church is full of his friends.  The Sugarcreek Methodist Church is full of his friends.  The Elks and the Eagles are full of his friends. And the entire campground at Atwood Lake is full of his friends.   When they heard that Marland had died, and that Eileen was at their camper, over a hundred people stopped by to pay their respects and express their condolences.


DJ put it this way: “He never had a bad thing to say about anyone and I would venture to say that no one could say a bad thing about him.  He would always greet people as if they were old friends.  He had a generosity of spirit that is rarely found in today’s society.  All were welcome at his table.  He was always such a giving man.  I am proud to have called him grandpa (poppy).  I will continue to strive to follow the example that such a great person has laid out for me.”


Marland called Denise (who he called Neesie) every Friday.  And every week he was genuinely interested in her life.  He would ask, “How are you?” “Where are you?”  And when he asked her, just as when he asked everyone else these sorts of things, you could tell that he really cared about the answers.


Among those gathered with the family on Monday night, were several people who are not, nor have they ever been, genetically related.  But at different times, for different reasons, under different circumstances, Marland and Eileen did what they have always done.  They loved people.  And along the way, these folks were just adopted into the family and accepted and one of their own.  For them, Marland and Eileen became their parents.


I told you at the beginning that Marland was a lover in the best sense of the word.  He loved people.  He loved hugs. It was hard for us to watch the pain that he was enduring for the last few years, but he never made an issue of it.  He didn’t get grumpy or lash out at people because he cared about them more than he cared about himself.  The other night someone said that he would never talk back, even in his own defense, because he didn’t want to hurt someone else.  Instead of getting angry, he just got hurt that other people were so wounded that they had to lash out at others.  And so his way of making them feel better, was just to take it without fighting back.  As a result, someone at the campground told one of his kids, “Your dad taught me how to be a man.”


And so after the shock wears off, those of us who knew Marland realized something.


We are poorer today than we were last week.


But that isn’t all that there is.



Marland Gerber was a lover in the best sense of the word.  He loved his family, he loved his friends, and honestly, I think he loved almost everyone.  I’ve shared a lot of things this morning, but the thing that ties them all together is love.  The thing that we will all remember, the thing that made Marland so special, is that everywhere Marland went, he made the people around him better than they were before.


We are better than we were before… because we were loved by this special and unique man.


And because of that, although we are poorer than we were last week, we are all extraordinarily rich.





Marland D. Gerber

September 16, 1938 – July 30, 2016


Marland D. Gerber 77 of Massillon and formerly of Sugarcreek died Saturday, July 30, 2016 at Union Hospital unexpectedly. He was born September 16, 1938 in Walnut Creek to the late Ura and Mary (Weaver) Gerber.


He retired from Andreas Furniture in Sugarcreek in 1999 after 32 years. He was a member of the Sugarcreek United Methodist Church for over 40 years before becoming a member of Trinity United Methodist Church at Massillon. He was a member of Aerie of the Elks 510 in New Philadelphia and the Eagles 2370 in Canton.


He enjoyed spending most of his time at Atwood Lake-surrounded by his wife, family and friends; especially his close friends Joe and Denise Mutchler and Bobbi Ries. He cherished nothing more than the company of his 6 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren. He loved all sports, whether he was able to attend them in person or watching on TV.


He is survived by his wife, the former Eileen Doney whom he married on August 2, 1958; his two children Marla (Tim) Armstrong of Massillon and Rick (Trish) Gerber of Sugarcreek, 6 grandchildren Tara (Brandon) Lilly of Streetsboro, Dawn (Kenneth) Boudrie of Massillon, Jonathan Gerber of Sugarcreek, DJ (Stacy) Digianantonio of Alliance, Jeremy Gerber of Sugarcreek and Timmy Armstrong of Massillon, 5 great grandchildren Tyler, Austin, Lucas, Gianna and Conner and was looking forward to the arrival of his newest great grandson. In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by his sister Rhea Winkler.


Services will be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 11:00 AM at Smith-Varns Funeral Home 115 Andreas Drive in Sugarcreek with Pastor John Partridge officiating. Friends may call on Tuesday 2-4 and 6-8 PM at the funeral home. Memorial services will be conducted by the Elks Lodge from New Philadelphia on Tuesday at 8:00 PM at the conclusion of calling hours.


Remembering Gina P. Calvaruso

Eulogy for Gina P. Calvaruso

April 08, 2016

The eulogy for Gina Calvaruso was given by her friends and family.  Many came to the front or stood where they were and shared their memories of Gina.  In this space I can only share a few that were written and given to me.


From Gina’s brother, Joseph Calvaruso

Even at a young age, Gina was adventurous. Being 3 years younger than her brother Joey, she was obviously not allowed to go everywhere he could. For example, as a 4 year old she was not allowed to leave the block where Joey being 7 could go much further. Inevitably – even after being told to stay close to home – she would be seen following and would show up wherever Joey and his older friends were. Of course a parent would eventually come and retrieve her.

She was an expert at finding where her Christmas gifts were hidden – unwrapping and playing with them – and wrapping them again and acting surprised on Christmas morning. She finally figured out she could also play with Joey’s gifts also, thereby doubling her pre-Christmas enjoyment.

She was very active in the high school band and was selected to be one of the bandleaders. Her friends from band were always at our home. She took piano and guitar lessons at a young age and played a few different instruments.


From her friend Sharon Capporelli

Just recently, Gina received a small settlement for an injury to her leg.  She had a thoughtful debate about her need to give 10 percent to the church, or could she give it anywhere of her choice?  In the end, she chose to give it to the poor.  She thought that the poor don’t have help to feed their animals (pets). And so she spent her 10 percent on cat and dog food and made it available to those in need.

Gina always wanted to talk about you.  It was difficult to turn the tables and get her to talk about herself.

When she would give you a gift, it was like she listened to every word that you said.  She knew exactly what to give that would be the most meaningful.  It was an uncanny ability.

She was a very non-judgmental person.  She had strong opinions but you could have yours if they differed.  Until you talked about her Hillary Clinton.

Gina was engaged in her friendships.  She always went the extra mile to keep you on your feet.  She would leave an empty Coke container in your mailbox or in your bushes.  I would find knick-knacks turned upside down or pictures facing backwards, or her straw paper floating in my drink.

She would go to many movies then she would rate them.  Tell her friends which ones to see.  She referred to herself as the “activities coordinator.”

Gina was a unique character.  She was ever present.  Willing to participate, seeking to be a part of the world as she understood it.

She experienced a lot of hardships and I watcher her change to the tune of each one.

She so wanted to be loved.  Like us all.



Gina P. Calvaruso

March 12, 1957 – March 22, 2016

Gina P. Calvaruso, 59, passed away March 22, 2016. She was born Akron, Ohio to the late Irene T. and Joseph A. Calvaruso. She was a graduate of Garfield High School (1975) and the University of Akron.

Gina is survived by her brother, Joe (Gail) Calvaruso; nieces, Niki (Joey), Laura, Aly and dear friend, Sharon Caporali.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, April 8, 2016 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 3757 Lincoln Way E, Massillon, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of your choice.