John Robert Wistner, 78, of Haviland, passed gently into the arms of Jesus Thursday, April 12, 2012, at Richland Manor in Bluffton.
He was born Sept. 21, 1933, in Grover Hill, the son of Marcile and John Wistner. On Sept. 3, 1960, he married Cora Moore, who survives.
He is survived by three daughters, Laura (Kevin) DeLong, of Grover Hill, Nannette (Shawn) Stiger, of Wapakoneta, and Rhonda (Kerry) Samples, of Defiance; seven grandchildren, Aaron (Carly) Stiger, Lindsay DeLong, Katelyn Samples, Alyssa (Zac) Lauck, Brock DeLong, Allison Stiger and Beau Samples; a great-grandson, Roman DeLong; two sisters, Naomi Bidlack and Ona (Ray) Volk; a brother Maurice (Cheryl) Wistner; and a sister-in-law, Judy Wistner.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Gerald Rodney Wistner; and a brother-in-law, Paul H. Bidlack.
He graduated from Grover Hill High School in 1951 and served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He retired from General Dynamics in Lima in 1993 and previously worked at Grizzly Manufacturing, SK Wayne and Chrysler. He was the owner of 5-Star Auction and worked as a real estate agent and auctioneer. He was a member of Zion United Methodist Church in Grover Hill, Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica, Grover Hill Lions Club and VFW. He had a heart for the Lord and pioneered the establishment of Youth For Christ in Paulding County. He loved to share his musical gift of playing the harmonica and was widely known as “Harmonica John,” performing in many local parades. He also enjoyed playing men’s fast pitch softball for many years.
Services are at 2 p.m. Monday at Zion United Methodist Church in Grover Hill, with the Revs. Dr. Paul Bennell and Mike Waldron officiating. Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the church.
Contributions can be made to the church, the John Wistner Memorial Fast Pitch Softball Scholarship or the Wayne Trace Performing Arts Association.
Condolences may be expressed at cowanfuneralhome.com.
Cowan & Son Funeral Home in Van Wert is handling arrangements.