SIDNEY — Lawrence Rudolph "Slim" Barhorst, prominent Perry Township resident, succumbed to an illness of four months at 8:45 a.m. on Aug. 14, 2014, at the Dorothy Love Retirement Community. He was 92.
Lawrence Barhorst was born Dec. 21, 1921, in Sidney, Ohio, the oldest of five children born to Adolph Herman and Rosa Maria (Keuther) Barhorst. His parents and two infant brothers, Alfred and Raphael, preceded him in death.
Barhorst attended the parochial schools of Sidney, worked briefly at Wright Field before entering the United States Army on March 12, 1942. He fought in the Pacific Theatre and was awarded two bronze stars as well as a number of other citations and awards. Following the war, he returned to his father's home in Perry Township and became engaged in farming.
Lawrence married Mazie Rowene (Mills) Barhorst on Jan. 8, 1948, and established their farm home at 19900 Elton Road in Perry Township. Barhorst was actively involved in farming until he retired in 1990.
For 15 years, the Barhorsts spent winters at their home in Bowling Green, Florida, until Mazie succumbed to a near decade-long battle with cancer on Jan. 23, 2005. Lawrence continued making the trip each year after, returning home for the final time in the spring of 2014.
Active in local politics, Barhorst served on the Democratic Central Committee, twice ran unsuccessfully for the Shelby County Commission, and was named Shelby County Democrat of the Year in 1987.
Barhorst served as the Shelby County Jury Commissioner for several terms, served on the committee that designed the "new" Shelby County Jail, was an adviser for Perry Livestock 4-H Club, and was honored by the Shelby County Junior Fair Board in 1984 for weighing animals for the junior fair for more than 20 years.
Earlier, Barhorst was active in the Unity Grange, the Farm Bureau and the Sidney Jaycees. He worked tirelessly to establish zoning in Perry Township, the first township in Shelby County to have established zoning regulations.
Barhorst was named Shelby County's Outstanding Young Farmer in 1955. He understood the need for good conservation practices, and was one of the first farmers in the area to recognize the importance of grass waterways.
Barhorst was also active on the county board of Pioneer Rural Electric. His was the first rural farm home in Shelby County to have electric heat.
In later years, he was a member of the Shelby Antique Power Association and was an avid collector of Farm-All equipment, amassing a collection of more than a dozen tractors of various sizes. He was also an active member of the Sidney Lions Club until it disbanded and a member of the Wauchula, Florida Lions Club.
For many years, he helped organize reunions of his Army unit, and those reunions were often held at the farm. In later years, the surviving members of the unit met at the Sidney Holiday Inn, where Innkeeper Tom Shoemaker always provided for their need without charge. Barhorst was the last survivor of his unit.
He is mourned by a daughter, Mary Ellen, wife of Dr. Thomas Herdt, East Lansing, Michigan; two sons, Michael Barhorst, his wife Jenny, and, Matthew Barhorst, his wife Hazel, both of Sidney. Mark, a third son, preceded Mr. and Mrs. Barhorst in death.
Barhorst leaves six grandchildren, Christopher, Nathaniel, and Benjamin Herdt, Justin and Thomas Barhorst, and Sarah (Barhorst) Faber. There are five great-grandchildren including Mecca and Lennox Herdt, Joseph Barhorst, and Michael and Oliver Faber.
Barhorst is also survived by one sister, Martha M. Madigan, of Harrod ,and one brother, Leonard A. Barhorst, of Sidney.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at the Church of the Holy Angels with the Rev. Frank Amberger officiating. Burial, with full military honors provided by Sidney American Legion Post 217, will follow at Cedar Point Cemetery in Pasco.
The family will receive friends on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Cromes Funeral Home, 302 S. Main Ave, Sidney. A memorial service will be conducted by the Sidney American Legion Sunday afternoon at 3:45 p.m.
Memorial gifts may be made to Clear Creek Farm, Dorothy Love Life Care Fund, Holy Angels Church, Lehman Catholic High School, the Shelby County 4-H Foundation, or a
Condolences may be expressed to the Barhorst family at the funeral home's website, www.cromesfh.com.