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John Ward "Big John" Means, Sr., 84, of Westminster, died peacefully on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at his home surrounded by his family. Born on September 4, 1929 in Pittsburgh, PA, he was the son of the late E.R. Means and Annie Senft Means. He was the husband of Jean Cook Means, his wife of 65 years, whom he married on September 24, 1949. He lived his life in Pleasant Valley being raised by his grandparents John and Lydia Senft. He had lived on his small farm "Means Rest" since age 11. He graduated from New Windsor High School in 1946. He worked at 3M traveling the east coast constructing advertising signs and worked for more than 50 years delivering fuel oil with the companies American Oil, Sterling J. Robertson, S. Lease Warner, and retired from Carroll Independent. He was devoted to service to his community. He was a lifelong member of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, now St. Matthew's United Church of Christ, where he served on the Church Council numerous terms. He enjoyed assisting with mission projects such as Habitat to Humanity House Blitz and Waldorf Tornado Cleanup. He was also a member of Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company for more than 60 years serving as chief, president, and the Board of Directors. He was active with the Carroll County Fireman's Association and the Carroll County Chief's Association where he served as president of both organizations. He was active with the Maryland State Fireman's Association serving as Executive Chairman in 1979 , member of the Board of Review, Chairman of the $10,000 Raffle, and a Trustee. He was awarded the Marbury F. Gates award for more than 50 years of active service in 2002. He was selected for the Carroll County and Maryland State Fireman Association Hall of Fame. Surviving in addition to his wife are daughters and sons-in-laws Denise and David Dix of Waukasha, WI and Donna and Jeffrey Geiman of Westminster; sons John W. Means, Jr. and wife Doreen of Westminster and Jeffrey Means of New York, NY; grandchildren Justin, Lucas, and John Geiman, Erin and Leland Dix, and Zachary and Emily Means, and great grandchildren Elena, Noah, David, Jamell, Adam, Ryan, Jacob, Tegan, Aislinn, and Cora. He was predeceased by granddaughter Hannah Dix. The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Pritts Funeral Home and Chapel, 412 Washington Rd., Westminster. The Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company will conduct a service at 7:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Matthew's United Church of Christ, 1927 Pleasant Valley Rd., Westminster with his pastor, Rev. Debra Wilcox officiating. Interment will be in Pleasant Valley Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to St. Matthew's UCC, 1927 Pleasant Valley Rd., Westminster, MD 21158.
Pritts Funeral Home
412 Washington Road
Westminster, MD 21157
Published in Carroll County Times on Aug. 2, 2014