Golf 04

John H. Firestone

June 30, 1931 ~ May 29, 2021 (age 89)


If there is a softball team in heaven Senior Olympian John Henry Firestone would be the MVP. John, 89, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Canton, Ohio. John joins his beloved wife Nancy (married for 67 years) who died a month ago. John will be remembered as a wonderful father and husband, a loving grandfather, a gifted athlete and an excellent milkshake connoisseur. If there was one constant in a description of John it was his legendary sense of fun. He always knew how to inject humor into every situation to lighten the mood. John was born in Canton, Ohio on June 30, 1931 to Walter and Thelma Firestone and grew up at the Stark County Home (a facility for indigent people) with his sister Lee, where their Dad was the Superintendent. From an early age John experienced what it was like to create an environment where the residents felt “at home” and fulfilled, but he also learned the intricate work required to manage over 300 acres of a working farm, on which the county home stood. He would later use this knowledge to follow in his father’s footsteps. In 1949 he graduated from Canton Lehman Highschool and was a basketball stand-out. He went on to attend Mount Union College. There he was a multi-sport athlete playing basketball and competing in Track and Field. In 1952 he became a Buckeye (for life) and transferred to The Ohio State University. While there he played JV Basketball and joined the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. John was always known for his tinkering talents. He put those skills to use when he joined the United States Naval Air Force Reserve as a first-class petty officer and Machinist Mate—serving his country for four years. Following his active-duty John began a life-long career as an advocate for the elderly first as the Superintendent of the Summit County Home in Munroe Falls and then as a public guardian. For 31 years, John was a guardian for over 200 elderly people. He developed the Adult Protective Services (APS) Program for the Ohio Department of Human Services while also managing 4 county area offices on aging. He was selected to the Summit County Older Adults Coordinating Council and was inducted into the AAOA Senior Citizens Hall of Fame for his outstanding service in Summit County. From 1974-1975 John was elected as the President of the OCSEA (Ohio Civil Service Employees Association) and was on the Board for 6 years. In addition to his other occupations, John was a licensed multiple line casualty insurance agent for 60 years and was known to send out a highly anticipated Wayne Mutual Insurance calendar or two… In 1970, John was honored to become a 32-degree Mason of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. The Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons is the oldest, largest and most widely known fraternal organization in the world. For over 50 years John was an active member. John never turned down an opportunity to “take a chance on his body” and do “young things” as he described. This was very evident in the multiple softball leagues he played in from the ages 50-85, along with numerous golf tournaments titles. A life-long member of Oakwood Country Club in Canton and Myerlee Country Club in Fort Myers, Florida, John played golf until age 88 and could shoot his age. He was a 4-time Oakwood Country Club Champion. He also enjoyed motocross (TT Scramble) racing and competed for 3 years introducing his sons to the sport. Later, he would travel with them to races all over Ohio and adjoining states to watch them compete. Over the course of his adult athletic career his softball teams earned national recognition including winning the USA Senior Olympics twice and the Senior Softball USA World Series. John was individually awarded the Grand Slam of Senior Softball, MVP for both defense and as a pitcher while also being named to the 70+ division North America All American Team. Throughout his life and career John impacted the lives of many people honoring his belief that service to humanity is the best work of life. He was dedicated to not only his four children, eight grandchildren and wife, but even made time to volunteer and drive the St Paul’s Episcopal Church van on Sundays. His life was one of service to the community and the elderly. John is survived by his four children, Karen Firestone, Tom (Rachelle) Firestone, Steve Firestone and Kay (Greg) Matherly; 8 adored grandchildren, sister Lee Dunne, brother and sister-in[1]law Marilyn and Dick King, brother-in-law Bill (Cindy) Bethel and many loved nieces, nephews, cousins and life-long friends. The family would like to thank Aultman Hospice and his Aultman homecare nurse. A private Memorial and graveside service will be held in June. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in his honor to: The Masonic Home Foundation, (WRMC) (SNF) 2655 West National Road, Springfield, Ohio 45504- - Please sign the tribute page.

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