John, a six and a half year lung transplant survivor, passed away at home, surrounded by his family, Friday, February 1, 2013, of skin cancer. He was born in Lorain July 8, 1946, to Francis and Ann (Sislowski) Emerich. He was a lifetime resident of New Russia Township and lived at the family farm for 60 years. John met his wife, Judy (Cobb) at the Lorain County Fair and they were married in Columbus, February 11, 1967.
John has been a lifelong active member of his community. He grew up involved in Lorain County 4-H, Lorain County Farm Bureau Youth Activities and The Grange. He became President of the Ohio State Jr. Fair during his last year of 4-H. He was a Lorain County Jr. Fair King and was the first Steer Club Member to win both Grand and Reserve Champion in the same year at the Lorain County Fair. John was a member of Lorain County’s Farm Bureau Youth Team that won the National Safety Contest in Chicago. He finished his 4-H career as an Advisor for the Trail Blazers 4-H Club for 25 years. John was well known in college and for many years after for his Square Dance Calling.
John graduated from Oberlin High School in 1964 and then attended The Ohio State University and graduated with a BS from the College of Agriculture in 1969. Upon graduation, he became an insurance adjuster for State Farm Insurance for 10 years and then an Independent Insurance Agent for Hovey Kaiser Ins. Agency. John became the owner of Emerich-Hammond Ins. Agency in Lorain, which he owned until he became ill with pulmonary fibrosis in 2004. He sold his agency to Ryan St. Marie Insurance in 2005 and continued to work there through December 2012. He was a member and Past President of the Lorain County Independent Insurance Agents. In 2012, he received The Old Man on the Fence Award from Westfield Insurance for being a 25 Year Agent.
John was a lifelong member of Oberlin Sacred Heart Church. He was a member and Past President of the Oberlin Exchange Club and The Pinecrest Hunt Club in Wakeman, Ohio. He also belonged to The Northern Lights Snowmobile Club and The Oberlin Golf Club. John and his son, John Jr., won the Oberlin Golf Club Member/Guest Golf Event in July 2007-one year after his lung transplant. This truly was one of his proudest moments! He was also a member of the United Polish Club in Elyria, OH and the Elyria Elks Club.
John served as a Trustee of New Russia Township and was a key force in the secession of the NRT from the city of Oberlin to bring about self government in the Township. He was a member of many committees in the Township, including Zoning, Zoning Board of Appeals and lastly, on the Land Use Committee. He has been involved for over 40 years with his Township.
John was elected to the Lorain County Fair Board in 1969 and began serving with a passion in 1970. He has been a department head for many departments over the years including Pony Show, Demo Derby, Security and Emergency (Lorain County Deputy Sheriff on the Lorain County Fairgrounds) and his specialty the Harness Racing. He was Past President in 1986. He was the recipient of the C.L. Hill Memorial Award in 1986 for his dedication and service to the Lorain County Fair, one of the true loves of his life. His last meeting was this January.
John loved the outdoors, which included his favorite hobbies of golfing, hunting, fishing, walking in the woods, and enjoying the beauty of a good Ohio snow storm. And his life was always brighter when he was accompanied by his dogs. His other passion was cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes.
John and Judy spent three winters camping in Mission, Texas and two winters in Bartow, Florida. They traveled to many National Parks with friends. Trips to Hawaii, Alaska, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Mt. Ranier and British Columbia were special. John was a member and Past President of the Country Roads Camping Club.
John is preceded in death by parents, Francis and Ann Emerich; in-laws, Jim and Jean Cobb; and brother-in-law, Doug Ingram.
John is survived by his wife, Judy (Cobb); and his children; daughters, JoLayne (George) Gilmore and their children, Skylar and Skyanne of Baytown, Texas, Jennifer (Santino) Davis and twins, Peyton and Kendall of Gahanna, Ohio, Jayme (Eric) Green and son Nathan of Wickliffe, and son, John Jr, (Erin) and children, Day, Emily and Reed of Oberlin. His sister Ann Emerich Ingram recently moved back to Ohio from Arizona. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Dr. James Cobb and his wife, Joan of Oberlin, and sister-in-law, Darlene Cobb of Port Clinton. John was also a special uncle to many nephews, nieces, great nephews and great nieces.
Visitation will be at New Russia Township Hall on Butternut Ridge Road, in Oberlin, Monday, February 4, 2013, from 2 until 8 P.M. A Memorial Mass will be held Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at 10 A.M., at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Oberlin, with Father Robert Cole officiating. Burial will be in New Russia Township Cemetery, Oberlin.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to: Friends of Lorain County Junior Fair, In Memory of John Emerich, P.O. Box 732, LaGrange, OH 44050, or Lorain County Fair Building Fund, In Memory of John Emerich, 23000 Fairgrounds Road, Wellington, OH 44090.