After attending Elyria High School, he became a deck hand on commercial freighters sailing the Great Lakes. When World War II broke out, he enlisted in the Merchant Marines and served as an engineer’s mate on Liberty ships crossing the Atlantic and plying the Mediterranean.
After the war, he returned to Elyria, and in 1946 married Janet (nee Snyder) Nagy. He worked at Harry Brown Automotive and then the Elyria City Schools before joining the engineering division in the Cleveland office of Travelers Insurance Company. In 1984, he retired as a fire safety engineer after 33 years with the company.
John was well known locally in his role as a Lorain County fruit grower, first as manager of Snyder’s Orchards and then as owner-operator of Nagy’s Orchards. He was very proud that a second and now third generation of Nagys continues to grow and sell peaches and other produce on the Lake Avenue farm. He loved his family, his orchards, travel with his wife and was an avid Ohio State sports fan.
A member of the First United Methodist Church in Elyria, he was also a member of the Elyria Masonic Lodge, the Elks Club, the American Legion, the Ohio Fruit Growers Association and the Society of Professional Engineers.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Janet; his sons, Greg (Jane) and Jonathan (Karen), both of Elyria; daughter, Laura (Jeanne) of Grantham, New Hampshire; grandchildren, Ben (Amanda) and Nathaniel of Elyria, and Amber (Cosby) of Los Alamos, New Mexico; step grandchildren, Cortney (John) Orlando of Sandown, New Hampshire and Matthew Nowak (Shelley) of Berea; and four great grandchildren.
John was preceded in death by his sisters, Anna Bash, Mary Johnson, Margaret Whetstone, Rosemary Kirsch, Emma Brasee and Elizabeth White; and brothers, Stephen and Frank.
A private family celebration of his life will be held at a later time.
The family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, OH 44691.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of The Laubenthal-Mercado Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elyria, (440) 322-4626.