FOREST, Ohio - Norman O. Thacker, a World War II veteran and a retired truck driver and lumberman, died of complications from Parkinson's disease on Tuesday at Winebrenner Village in Findlay. He was 77.
Family members described Mr. Thacker as a family man who believed in supporting U.S. businesses and the nation's way of life, son Dennis said.
Mr. Thacker was a U.S. Navy veteran, stationed on the U.S.S. San Jacinto in the Pacific Theater.
“He was very patriotic,” Dennis Thacker said. “He didn't talk about his time in the service, I think, because he lost so many friends. There's a picture we have of him standing with four other people, and he was the only person in that picture who came back alive.''
Mr. Thacker moved to Forest after the war. He drove trucks for Transport America, Inc., until 1990 and also worked at the Forest Lumber and Craycraft Trucking Co. Dennis Thacker said his father was a giving person and shared his handyman talent with the people in this small rural community.
“He knew everyone,” Dennis Thacker said. “It seems like there hasn't been a house he worked on or wired in this town. He had many, many friends.”
Dennis Thacker said his father treated the step-children from his second marriage to his current wife, Dorothy, like his own and stressed the value of family.
“We were all the same age, and he treated everyone like family,” Dennis Thacker said. “There was none of this step stuff because he didn't believe in that. We were just one big family.”
Dennis Thacker said he has even passed along advice his father has given him to his children about never taking anyone for granted and the rewards that await the person who treats someone else as special.
Mr. Thacker was survived by his wife, Dorothy; sons, Dennis, Rodney, and Shaun Thacker; a daughter, Beverly Huffman; stepson, Larry Lawrence; stepdaughters, Carol Shope and Lynn Brauneller, and 19 grandchildren.
Services will be held at the Price Funeral Home, in Kenton at 1 p.m. today. Burial will be at Grove Cemetery, with military rites.
The family requests tributes to the Bridge Home Health and Hospice in Findlay.