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Melvin John Arft
FINDLAY: Melvin John Arft, 93, of Findlay, OH passed away after a brief illness on February 11, 2013 at Birchaven Rehab Center.
Mel was born on December 14, 1919 to Martin John and Emma Marie Arft in Toledo, OH. He met the love of his life, Shirley Heinz when the two were set up on a blind date arranged by a mutual friend. The two were married on October 24, 1941 and shared 71 wonderful years of marriage together.
In the spring of 1942, Mel was drafted into active military duty and assigned to the Army Air Base at Brookley Field, in Mobile, Alabama and later to Jackson Air Base in Jackson, Mississippi. He was then transferred to San Antonio, Texas and discharged from military service on his birthday in 1945 with the rank of Sergeant.
Mel took a job at Biro Manufacturing Company in Marblehead, OH, which prompted a move to Port Clinton. He later took jobs with the Federal Government at the Erie Army Depot, the IRS in Cincinnati, and the Federal Energy Department in Toledo and then Findlay, where he retired in May 1979.
Mel was involved in many activities including bowling, golfing, and playing cards. His greatest passion was trapshooting which he became involved with in 1936. He was a life member of the American Trapshooting Association, Michigan Trapshooting Association and the trapshooting organization called the Okoboji Indians for over 75 years. He also became involved in cashiering at trapshoots allover the country and worked 50 years at the Grand American Trapshoot in Vandalia, OH.
Mel is survived by his wife, Shirley; his children, Jan (Doug) Claucherty of Indian Springs, OH, Marty (Laureen) Arft of Gulfport, FL, Lori (Chuck) Bailey of London, OH; his granddaughters, Kelly (Matt) Korpusik, Heidi (Mark) Blair, Kylene (Ben) Spalding, Greta (Doug) Krieg, and Lindsay ( TJ) Ulam; his step-grandson Greg Bailey; and his great-grandchildren, Joel, Sydney, Hadley, Bo, Lucy, Kayden , and Jacob.
Mel deeply loved his family and friends and always offered guidance and support.
Nothing gave him greater joy than spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren; he is greatly loved and will be deeply missed.
The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, February 23rd, at HUFFORD FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 1500 Manor Hill Rd, Findlay (419-422-1500). A memorial service will be held immediately following visitation, with Rev. William P. Schultz officiating. Following the service, a buffet will be served for family and friends at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions in Mel's name may be made to St. John's Lutheran Church (new piano fund), 1701 Tiffin Ave., Findlay, OH 45840.
Online condolences may be sent to: www.huffordfh.com.
Published in the News Herald on Feb. 20, 2013