John “Jack” Franklin Neidhart
John “Jack” Franklin Neidhart, age 90, of Springfield, OH passed away Wednesday, August 26, 2020 in his home. He was born January 9, 1930 in Columbus, OH, son of Robert and Emma (Miller) Neidhart. Jack learned to fly a plane before he got his driver’s license and graduated from Bellefontaine High School in 1947. He started as a meat cutter for a local butcher while also employed as an auto mechanic and apprentice tool & die maker at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. He met Marilyn Eckstein on a blind date and shortly thereafter was drafted into the Army. On Valentine’s Day 1951 he left for training in Ft Knox, KY and in June married Marilyn, on a 3 day leave from basic training. They were married for 61 years. He served in the Korean War in the 19th Infantry Regiment of the Army’s 24th Division as a Rifleman and then later as First Cook, where he cooked for 200 soldiers and supervised ten cooks. He was honorably discharged in January 1953 as a Sergeant. His Army service was later rewarded as a participant in a 2013 Dayton Honor Flight. Moving to Springfield in 1953 he began his employment with International Harvester (Navistar) and retired after over 30 years as Chief Tool and Die Maker and mechanical engineer. He continued doing consulting work for Tool Tech and Benteler Automotive in Grand Rapids, MI. As a Charter Member of Faith in Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, he served in many capacities over the years, and especially loved his men’s coffee group and singing in the choir. He was also a proud 68-year member of the Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio, as a distinguished member of St. Andrew’s Lodge No. 619. He is survived by his six children Jane (Jerry) Piechocki, Linda Steiner, Christy Smith, John (Marshell) Neidhart, Jim Neidhart (Nel Villegas), Jackie Bultman. Also survived by his brother Fred (Barb) Neidhart, sisters-in-law Pat Shealy and Donna (Dr. Jim) Barth, dear girlfriend Carol Dunnigan, ten grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Marilyn, parents, sister Roberta (& John) Jordan, Brother Bill (& Jeanne) Neidhart, brother-in-law Don Shealy, sister-in-law Sherry Eckstein, sons-in-law Ed Steiner and Chris Bultman. Jack loved woodworking, construction, any detailed project, cooking, and traveling to Hawaii and his cabin on Manitoulin Island in Canada. He was an avid Buckeye fan and was a faithful, kind, hardworking, loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, neighbor, and friend. Visitation 6-8 pm Monday, August 31, 2020 at Jones Kenney Zechman Funeral Home, 1002 E. High St Springfield, OH 45505. Masonic services will be held at 7:45PM. Funeral Service 10 am Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at Faith in Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1603 Moorefield Rd Springfield, OH 45503. Graveside services with Military Honors, at 3 pm Tuesday at the Lutheran Cemetery in New Washington, OH. Masks required. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Faith in Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church. Condolences may be shared at www.jkzfh.com.
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