Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Okolona builder served in WW II in Pacific Theater

OKOLONA, Ohio - Raymond H. Hogrefe, a local home builder for several decades who was active in the local Lutheran church and was a former director of Farmers Mutual Telephone Co. of Okolona, died yesterday in the Lutheran Home of Napoleon. He was 82.

The exact cause of Mr. Hogrefe's death was unknown, but he had undergone quadruple-bypass surgery a week ago after suffering a heart attack Jan. 5, said Kathy Behnfeldt, one of three daughters.

A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, Mr. Hogrefe served in New Guinea and the Philippines and was discharged in November, 1945. He then went to work in construction, working for others and in partnerships for more than a decade before going into business for himself.

In 1946, Mr. Hogrefe married Leona Meyer, who he met in Okolona, a Henry County hamlet between Napoleon and Defiance. Five years later, they moved into a house he built on County Road 17D, and in which they would live together until his death.

Hogrefe Builders' business was primarily residential, including new homes along with remodeling and roofing projects, Mrs. Behnfeldt said. While he did some work in Maumee and in Fulton County, most of Mr. Hogrefe's projects were in Defiance and Henry counties, she said, and he employed a crew of up to six men.

Mr. Hogrefe became president of the Northwest Ohio Builders' Association, Defiance, in 1971. Mrs. Behnfeldt said the family did not know how long he held that office.

It was at about that same time that he was on the local telephone company's board of directors, she said. He retired in 1982.

In his spare time, the daughter said, Mr. Hogrefe was an active member of the Ward L. Adams Post No. 454 of the American Legion, in nearby Ridgeville Corners, Ohio, doing electrical work and other handyman tasks for the post's annual fair.

Mr. Hogrefe also spent considerable time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Mrs. Behnfeldt said.

Surviving are his wife of nearly 57 years, Leona Hogrefe; daughters, Kathy Behnfeldt, Becky Hardy, and Susan Hurst; brother, Harvey Hogrefe; sisters, Helen Rosebrock and Bernita Norden; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren, and three step-great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Snyder Wesche Funeral Home, Napoleon, after 2 p.m. tomorrow. Services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday in Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Okolona.

The family requests tributes to the Filling Home of Mercy, Napoleon, or the church parking lot fund.

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