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John N. Bahnsen, 75, of Point Place, OH, passed away peacefully at Hospice of Northwest Ohio on Wednesday, October 2, 2013. Born and raised in Walbridge, he attended Lake High School before hiring on with CSX railroad, where he worked for 44 years. He was also a longtime member of Riverview Yacht Club.
Known for his sardonic humor and raw wit, he was often compared to actor Jack Nicholson in manner and style. He had a rich singing voice (think Robert Goulet or Jack Jones) that could be heard echoing out of the bathroom while he shaved. Though his wife encouraged him to do something with his talent he preferred crooning in private.
John loved straight-ahead jazz, enjoyed ocean fishing, and thought beer tasted better from a can. He had an adventurous side and once went down to Florida just to experience the wrath of a hurricane.
His greatest gift to his many friends was loyalty. To his wife and children, he leaves the gift of boundless love and generosity. In return, he takes with him the everlasting love of his family. John is survived by his wife, Rachel Bahnsen; sons, Chris and Ben Bahnsen; sister, Betsy Taylor (Pete); granddaughter, Nicole Poniedzialek (Derek), and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his loving in-laws, nieces, and nephews of the Contreras family.
Burial will be private. A memorial gathering will be held for John on Sunday, October 20, at VFW Post 9963 at 109 N. Main St, Walbridge, OH, from 2-4 p.m. Condolences may be expressed in the form of donations to Hospice of Northwest Ohio, or The Ann Grady Center. For online condolences, please go to
Published in Toledo Blade on Oct. 8, 2013