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Robert E. Netzley

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News Death Notice

NETZLEY, Robert E. age 87, of Laura, Ohio, died July 28, 2010 at his home in Laura. Bob was born in Laura on December 7, 1922, to Elmer and Mary Elizabeth (Ingle) Netzley. He attended school in Laura through the 8th grade and was a member of the last graduating class before the school was closed. He attended high school at Monroe, in Pitsburg, Ohio, playing trumpet in the band as well as being on the Monroe baseball and basketball teams. After high school graduation, he attended Miami University at Oxford, Ohio, where he met his future wife, Marjorie Lyons. Competing on the Miami baseball and cross country teams and becoming a Phi Tau, his life changed on his 19th birthday when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Bob enlisted in the Navy the next day and received training at Miami and at Cornell University midshipman school. Bob and Marjorie married in Ansonia, Ohio on July 28, 1944, before he shipped out to Hawaii. While waiting for his ship in Hawaii, he played baseball with the Navy team which included major and minor league players. His ship, The U.S.S. Chase embarked to the Pacific theater where it was badly damaged by a suicide plane at the Battle of Okinawa. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his injuries, but rejoined his ship when it was towed back to Hawaii at the end of World War II. He graduated from Miami and returned to Laura to help his parents with the petroleum distribution business, the Netzley Oil Company. Three children were born in the following years, and Robert was busy with work, family, and community activities with the Laura Lions, the Laura softball teams, the Miami County Republican Party, the American Legion, VFW, JayCees, and the Laura Congregational Christian Church, to name a few. Running for State Representative from Miami County, he served for 40 years in the Ohio House of Representatives, a record of longevity, representing at different times Miami, Shelby, Darke, Preble, and parts of Montgomery County. He retired in 2000, due to term limits, and returned to his home in Laura. In the intervening years he was inducted into the Boys State Hall of Fame, the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, and the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. Marjorie, his wife of almost 65 years, died July 14, 2009. He rejoined her on their 66th wedding anniversary, and his body was donated to The Cleveland Clinic Medical School. Bob was a dedicated public servant to the greater Miami Valley, and his family and friends honor his record of integrity and service. Mr. Netzleys parents, brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Hilda Netzley, brother-in-law, Dr. C. R. Lyons, and wife Marjorie predeceased him. He is survived by his 3 children and spouses, Kathy and David Bronson, Carol and Jim Coate, Robin and June Netzley, a sister-in-law, Nell Lyons, his nephews and nieces, Charles and Betty Lyons, Rick Netzley, and Jeff and Elaine Netzley, 14 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. Memorial services will be held Saturday, October 2 at 11:00AM at the Community Grace Brethren Church in West Milton, Ohio. His ashes will be interred at a later date with his wife at the Old Ludlow Cemetery in Laura. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Laura Christian Church, Laura, OH 45337; the Milton-Union Public Library, West Milton, OH 45383; or Joni and Friends International Disability Center Wounded Warriors Family Retreats, P.O. Box 3333, Agoura Hills CA 91376-3333.

Published in Dayton Daily News on Sept. 26, 2010
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