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Published: Wednesday, 12/18/2002

Henry County farmer served on insurance board for years

McCLURE, Ohio - Martin C. Baden, a Henry County farmer in Bartlow and, later, Damascus townships who was board president of local insurance and phone companies and a vice president of his church, died Monday in the Lutheran Home at Napoleon, where he lived for four years. He was 95.

He died during a morning nap, niece Geraldine Haase said. The cause of death was not known, but he had no recent health concerns. He had macular degeneration and moved to the home after breaking a hip. He lived through cancer more than 30 years ago, she said.

Mr. Baden grew corn, wheat, and soybeans on his Damascus Township land. “He just loved to see things grow, and he enjoyed being outdoors working,” his niece said.

Cancer caused him to retire from farming in the early 1970s, his niece said.

Mr. Baden grew up in Hamler, Ohio, but his long career began when, while still a teen, he worked for area farmers. He and his wife, Hilda, married June 14, 1928, and he began his own farm on land he bought in Bartlow Township.

His wife died Sept. 18, 1988.

He served five years as board president of German Mutual Insurance Co., known originally as the German Mutual Insurance Association of Defiance and Henry Counties. He was a director 33 years, until the 1970s. He was president of McClure Elevator for seven years and a former director of McClure Telephone Co.

“He was a good Christian, and I think he liked to help people,” his niece said. “That was just a way of life for him.”

Mr. Baden had been a vice president and elder of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hamler, where he was a longtime member.

He and his wife took motor trips around the country in retirement. They liked to go visiting and play pepper - a version of bid euchre - with neighbors.

Surviving are his sister, Martha Gebers; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Snyder-Wesche Mortuary, Napoleon, after 2 p.m. today. Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Immanuel Lutheran Church, Hamler.

The family requests tributes to the church, Lutheran Home at Napoleon, or American Cancer Society.

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