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Published: Saturday, 11/17/2001

Former Oakwood mayor driven to help community

OAKWOOD, Ohio - Martin “Bill” Harmon, a former mayor of Oakwood, died of lung cancer Wednesday in his home here. He was 79.

Mr. Harmon was the village's mayor from 1972 to 1980 and from 1984 to 1996. He was elected after serving several years on the village council in the late 1960s.

As mayor, Mr. Harmon started the village park board and was a member for several years. He supervised the establishment of a $2 million sewer system in the village, his son, Stan, said.

“My father was always interested in doing what he could to make the community better,” his son said.

Mr. Harmon was a member of Oakwood's planning and zoning board, fire department, and alumni association. He belonged to the Paulding County board of elections, the county's emergency medical service's advisory board, and the county's Republican Party central committee.

Mr. Harmon was past president of Oakwood's homecoming board and the Oakwood Development Corp.

Mr. Harmon was a member of the Ohio Mayors' Association, the National Association of Republican Mayors, and the Ohio Municipal League.

Mr. Harmon was listed in Who's Who in the Midwest in 1976 and Who's Who in the United States in 1978.

Born in Jackson, Mich., Mr. Harmon spent his childhood in Oakwood, where he graduated from the local high school in 1939.

He worked at a factory in Dayton for two years before returning to Oakwood and operating a gas station for a few years.

He married Violet Shaffer in 1942.

Mr. Harmon worked as a construction electrician for more than 40 years in northwest Ohio and northeast Indiana. He retired in 1983.

Mr. Harmon was a 55-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and belonged to Cornerstone Church of God in Defiance and the F&AM Lodge. He was past president and a charter member of Auglaize Valley Kiwanis Club.

Surviving are his wife, Violet; sons, Martin and Stan; daughter, Carol Kohart; seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. today in Auglaize Chapel Church of God in Oakwood. The body will be in the Heitmeyer Funeral Home, Oakwood, from 9 a.m. to noon today and in the church one hour before the services.

The family requests tributes to Cornerstone Church of God.

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