John "Ben" Gerhart

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John "Ben" Gerhart

MANSFIELD: Selfless in actions and thoughtful in his motives, Ben Gerhart lived by the Golden Rule; treat others as you would want to be treated. As a young man Ben volunteered as a patriot, serving our country in WWII, and throughout life his volunteer spirit remained constant. On Thursday evening, August 1, 2013 a man who gave so much to others, gave his spirit to the Lord. John "Ben" Gerhart, age 90, of Mansfield passed away in the manor house of Wedgewood Estates following a short illness.

Ben was born March 23, 1923 in Mansfield the son of Harry and Mary (Roop) Gerhart, and graduated from Mansfield Senior High School in 1941. From 1942-1946 Ben served in the Army during WWII and was honorably discharged.

As a young man, Ben enjoyed roller skating especially at the Coliseum in Mansfield. That is where he first met Ruth Stevens. Ruth always stated, "I chased Ben until he finally caught me." On September 20, 1947 the two were married in First English Lutheran Church.

A hard worker, Ben worked 37 years for Mansfield Tire. He then worked as clerk for Park Avenue Office Supply for 10 years and later as teller for Advantage Credit Union for 15 years. Ben never really retired. For five and a half years he volunteered at MedCentral Mansfield Hospital acquiring over 500 volunteer hours. For over 20 years, he volunteered as maintenance help for the Lexington Street Fair.

Ben enjoyed sports. He cheered for the Cleveland Browns and Indians and followed Ohio State men's basketball. Ben also coached Lexington little league baseball. His favorite sport however was golf. Ben was awarded a lifetime membership to the Woods at Possum Run. For years he volunteered during the Mid America Junior Golf Tournament often hosting children competing in the tournament, inviting them to stay at his house.

Ben was meticulous in building model airplanes and even had the opportunity to meet Frank Lahm.

Ben served as board president, secretary and committee member for Advantage Credit Union, was secretary of the Mansfield Tire Bowling League, and was a member of the 25 year club at Mansfield Tire.

He was a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Lexington.

Ben is survived by his sons and daughter-in-law Bruce Gerhart of Mansfield and Neil and Janet Gerhart of Mansfield, daughter and son-in-law Carol and Rick Fisher of Mansfield; grandchildren Adam and Jessie Fisher, Nathan and Codi Fisher, Decon and Cherie Gerhart, and Jordan Gerhart; five great grandchildren Aaron Gerhart, Austin and Alli Fisher, and Carson and Sophia Fisher; numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.

Along with his parents he was preceded in death by his loving wife Ruth Gerhart, siblings Albert, Jack, and Charles Gerhart, Corrinne Wentz, infant sister Elaine Gerhart.

The family will receive friends Monday, August 5, 2013 from 4-8pm in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home where funeral services will be Tuesday at 11am. The Rev. Marilou Brook will officiate. Burial with military honors performed by the Richland County Joint Veterans Burial Detail will follow in Mansfield Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions to MedCentral Hospice or may be made through the funeral home.

Online condolences to the family may be made by visiting:www.snyderfuneralhomes.com

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Published in the News Journal on Aug. 4, 2013
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