A great man of dignity and honor, John M. Bartlett, died peacefully, Sunday evening, June 9th, 2013, at the Riverside Methodist Hospital following a three week illness. He was 94 years old.
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On April 20, 1919, John was born in Lima, New York, one of three children of the late Leslie and Almeda (Deal) Bartlett. He graduated from Lima High School in the Class of 1940.
Following high school, John attended agricultural/business science classes at Cornell University for two years, when his mother died unexpectedly. Afterwards, he didn't return to classes, instead he enlisted to join the U.S. Marine Corp. to help in the fight of World War II. He served with his mates in the 7th Field Depot Battalion of the 23rd Marine Regiment, helping to establish communication for the United States by laying telephone cables, splicing cables and manning the switchboard if it was needed. He served near the battle lines in Saipan, Tinian Island, Okinawa and Tientsin, Japan, earning the rank of sergeant.
Two months after his honorable discharge from the USMC, John returned home to marry the young lady he met in Sunday School, Frances Boyd. They were married on May 18, 1946, at the Congregational Church of Honeoye, New York. She had his heart the entire time he was serving in the war, sending countless letters back and forth to each other and longing to be together. They lovingly raised four children: John, Margaret, Jim and Linda; and shared over 57 wonderful years of marriage. She preceded him in death on January 14, 2004.
A great conversationalist, John was a natural fit as a salesman for Na-Churs Plant Food in upstate New York and Pennsylvania. In 1972, he was promoted to assistant vice president of marketing and transferred to their Marion plant. For many years, he was in charge of locating and maintaining all of the liquid tank stations for their company at various farms throughout the Midwest. He retired from Na-Churs in 1984.
Upon his retirement, John returned to his farming roots, where as a young man growing up, he had been a dairy farmer for over twenty years. He helped his son, Jim, however he could on the farm, whether it was tending to their livestock or helping with their crops. Up until this year, he had been the farm's one-man raking committee, raking over 500 acres of hay each season. It was on the farm that he was given the nickname of ""Duke"" by Jim and some of his friends, for his phrasing of sentences and tone of his voice resembled the late John Wayne.
The saying, ""Once a Marine, always a Marine"" held true with Sgt. John M. Bartlett. He was proud to be a Marine every minute since his enlistment. Throughout his life, he participated in as many Marine activities as he could, such as steadfastly following his 7th Field Depot Battalion group and attending their annual military ball. He also went with great pride on the WWII Honor Flight and to the WWII Monument in Washington, D.C. He was a member of the American Legion Post #1278 and McHale's Navy, and relished every chance he got to go to the weekly breakfast he had with his military buddies.
John was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Mount Gilead, and enjoyed socializing at the community dinners at all of the other churches in town.
An extremely dedicated man, John devoted his life to his family, farming and being a Marine.
He will be forever missed by his three children: Margaret (John) Carstensen of Spring, Texas, Jim Bartlett (Gina) of Mount Gilead, and Linda (Chris) Kelley of Marion; nine grandchildren: Chris Josephson and Julie Eastman, Jenna and Sydney Bartlett, Jordan and Matthew Kelley, Tina Kroeger, Andy and John Jr. Bartlett; fourteen great-grandchildren; two nephews; and many dear friends.
Including his wife and parents, John was preceded in death by his son, John S. Bartlett; a son-in-law, Jay Josephson; a brother, James Bartlett; and a sister, Martha Bartlett.
The Bartlett family will greet friends from 4 – 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 13th, at the Snyder Funeral Home, Craven Chapel, 67 N. Main St., Mount Gilead. Services honoring his life will also be held there on Friday at 10:00 a.m. Burial with military honors provided by the V.F.W. Post 8054 and AmVets Post 87 will follow in Rivercliff Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Morrow County Veterans Services, 143 S. Main St., Mount Gilead, OH 43338.
His family would like to extend a heartfelt ""Thank You"" to all of the staff at the Morrow County Hospital and Riverside Methodist Hospital for their thoughtful care of their hero.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead is honored to have been chosen to serve John's family and your private condolences may be expressed to them by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.
Published in The Morrow County Sentinel on June 12, 2013
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