CANAL FULTON -- Eugene M. Fellmeth, 88, passed away Monday, March 18, 2013.|
Born December 14, 1924 in Massillon, he had been a Canal Fulton resident his entire life where he was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ and a graduate of Canal Fulton High School. Eugene served in the United States Air Force as a tail gunner on a B-17 based in England during World War II. He was shot down on the 13th mission over Hamburg, Germany on December 31, 1944. He became a Prisoner of War and was liberated by General George S. Patton and the 14th Armored Division on April 29, 1945. He was awarded an Air Medal, POW Medal, Purple Heart, Unit Presidential Citation and Good Conduct Medal for his time served in the military.
Upon being discharged from the Air Force, Eugene graduated from Wittenberg University in 1948. He was selected as an All-Ohio Basketball player in 1947 and 1948, All-Ohio Conference 1946-1948 and inducted into the Wittenberg University Athletic Hall of Honor in 1988. Eugene played professional baseball with the Portsmouth Athletics, a farm club of the then Philadelphia Athletics from 1949-1950.
After baseball, Gene graduated from Cleveland Marshall Law School (now Cleveland State University) in 1951. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1951 and was a practicing lawyer from 1951-1983. During his time practicing law he was a Prosecutor for Massillon Municipal Court in 1953, Law Director for the Village of Canal Fulton in 1954 and then again from 1960-1974, Mayor for the Village of Canal Fulton from 1955-1959 and 1975-1983, Law Director for the Village of Navarre in 1965 and Recorder of Stark County from 1980-1983. Gene was later elected Judge of Massillon Municipal Court where he served from 1983 until his retirement in 1996. After retirement he served as an Active Retired Visiting Judge.
Gene was a member of the Stark County, Ohio and American Bar Associations, the American Judicature Society, American Judges Association and Municipal Judges Associations of Ohio. He served on the Executive Committee of the first Regional Planning Commission of Stark County, Board of Directors for the Massillon YMCA and Salvation Army. Gene was an Attorney, Vice President and on the Board of Directors for Brewster Bldg. and Loan Co. as well as serving on the Board of Directors and Attorney for First Savings and Loan Co. of Massillon.
His activities continued on to civic organizations. He was a Master Mason Clinton Lodge #47, member of the Commandery #004 Knights Templar in Massillon, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Canton, Royal Arch Mason Hiram Chapter in Massillon, Royal and Select Mason Canton Council #35, Tadmor Temple AAONMS of Akron, Massillon Tadmor Shrine Club, Nazir Grotto in Canton and Boys and Girls Club of Massillon.
Gene was a life member of the BPOE Elks #441 and PER, the American Legion #221, DAV Chapter 38, The Forty and Eight #10 and American Vets #6, all of Massillon. He was also a life member of the VFW Post 9795 in Canal Fulton, the Eighth Air Force, 100 Bomb Group, Military Order of the Purple Heart, American Ex Prisoner of War and the Association of Professional Ball Players of Americas.
Preceded in death by his parents, William Sr. and Rowena and brother, William Jr., he is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Ruth (Sheriff); daughter, Sharon Fellmeth Sample of Moss Beach, Calif.; son, Scott Fellmeth of Canal Fulton; and grandchildren, Lauren and Scott Fellmeth.
Funeral service will be held Saturday, March 23, 2013, 11 a.m. at the Swigart-Easterling Funeral Home, 624 E. Cherry St. (Rt. 93), Canal Fulton, Rev. Glen Shedlock officiating. Interment at Canal Fulton Cemetery. Calling hours Friday 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 and one hour prior to service time on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to the Stark County Humane Society, 5100 Peach St. NE, Louisville, OH 44641 or Trinity United Church of Christ, 8101 Manchester Ave. NW, Canal Fulton, OH 44614.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Mar. 20, 2013