Hugh Carl Cherry, a Toledo firefighter for 28 years who served as a military policeman during World War II, died Sunday in his South Toledo home. He was 80.
Mr. Cherry's son, Michael, said his father died of lung cancer that had been diagnosed in July, 1999.
A native of Lansing, Mr. Cherry enlisted in the U.S. Army in October, 1941, and served numerous overseas tours of duty during the war. During a post-war posting in Michigan prior to his October, 1945, discharge, Mr. Cherry met his future wife, Jeanette, whom he married in 1946.
The couple moved to Jeanette's native Toledo and Mr. Cherry did factory work for several years, Michael Cherry said. But with several young mouths to feed and a need for steady work, Mr. Cherry acted on a suggestion from his father-in-law, a firefighter, to give the fire service a try.
Mr. Cherry worked for the fire department from 1950 until 1978, predominantly at three fire stations: the old No. 4 at Monroe and Bancroft streets, the old No. 16 at Detroit and Woodland avenues, and the No. 21 station at Detroit and Glendale avenues, his family said.
Michael Cherry, who followed his father into the fire service, is a battalion chief and plans to retire next week after 26 years with the Toledo department. The younger Mr. Cherry said that while his father stayed at the rank of private throughout his career, he was “very proud of my achievement.”
A skilled woodworker and carpenter, Mr. Cherry built his family's home on Copland Boulevard and built additions and garages for many homes in the neighborhood, Michael Cherry said.
From a workshop in the back of the garage, he built furniture and cabinets and turned out clocks for each of his three children.
During his off-hours, Mr. Cherry tilled gardens that once were judged third-best in Toledo by the Crockett's Victory Garden television program, Michael Cherry said. Mr. Cherry grew vegetables in the back yard and the front of the house was landscaped with perennials, the son said.
For the 15 winters prior to the current season, Mr. and Mrs. Cherry wintered in Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
He is survived by his wife, Jeanette; son, Michael; daughters, Diane Putnam and Lynne Hartzell, and five grandchildren.
The body will be in the Coyle Funeral Home, where visitation will be after 2 p.m. today. A firefighter's “Last Alarm” service will begin at 7 p.m. today in the mortuary, followed by a memorial service.
The family requests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township.