GARGUS John J. Gargus, age 94, passed away peacefully at home on June 14, 2009, after a long battle with cancer, with his family by his side. He was born on June 1, 1915 to the late Andrew and Susanna Gargus in Daisytown, Pa. He moved to Lorain, Oh. when he was eight years old, and within hours, fell in love with the eight-year old Emma Gargus, whom he married in 1937 and to whom he remained happily married for 72 years. John graduated from Lorain High School in 1932. Before joining the Navy during World War II, where he served as a Sea Bee photographer in the Pacific Theater, he worked in the shipping department of the National Tube Company in Lorain, Oh. After the War, he established the Gargus Studio in Lorain, and worked there with his wife by his side for 28 years. As a photographer, he was one of the first adapters color photography in Ohio, and a frequent prizewinner at the Professional Photographers of Ohio annual convention. He was a member of Rotary International, the Cleveland Society of Professional Photographers, and on various occasions, he served as president of both. He was also a member of the Professional Photographers of Ohio and Professional Photographers of America, where he earned the distinction, Master of Photography. In 1977, Mr. Gargus retired and moved to Sun City, Ariz., where he and his wife lived for 29 years. During this time, they traveled extensively and enjoyed swimming, hiking, golfing, gardening, citrus trees, the sunshine, and spending time with their children and grandchildren. In the 1930s, John was a champion swimmer and the frequent winner of a Lorain three-mile race in Lake Erie; as an octogenarian, he swam three-quarters of a mile every day. In 2002 John and Emma moved to Upper Arlington, Oh. to live with their daughter, Jackie and granddaughter, Emma. John is survived by his wife of 72 years, Emma; his son, Dr. John Jay Gargus (wife, Ellen Dellis) of Irvine, Calif.; daughter, Prof. Jacqueline Gargus of Upper Arlington, Oh.; grandsons, Andrew Gargus, Chicago and New York City, and Matthew, Irvine, Calif.; and granddaughter Emma Gargus, Upper Arlington; and many relatives and friends. John was predeceased by sister Susan, who died in the influenza epidemic of 1918, and by sisters Ann Smith and Mary Gluhank of Lorain, Oh. and brother Andrew Gargus of Elyria, Oh. There will not be any calling hours and a private, immediate-family-only service will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made in John's name to Christ Lutheran Church, 3323 Pearl Ave, Lorain, Oh. 44055. The family wants to publicly acknowledge the loving care that was provided to John by the staff at Mount Carmel Hospice during his fight with cancer. Arrangements will be made by the RODMAN FUNERAL SERVICE and the Ohio Cremation and Memorial Society.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on Jun. 16, 2009.