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Published: Thursday, 8/14/2003

Ordained minister was factory foreman

WAUSEON - Charles A. Leatherman, an ordained minister and a retired foreman of a furniture factory, died Sunday in Dilworth Center, Montpelier, Ohio. He was 76.

He had been in poor health since October, his son Marvin said. But for many years, Mr. Leatherman had a spinal condition that wasn't diagnosed until he was in his 60s. He had to use a cane, then two, and finally a walker, his son said.

Mr. Leatherman, of Fulton County's Dover Township, was a 54-year member of West Fulton Dunkard Brethren Church. He was an ordained minister of the Dunkard Brethren Church for more than 40 years and was an elder, his son said.

He shared preaching and other responsibilities with other ministers.

“He loved to study the Bible,” his son said. “He always enjoyed going to the church services,” including Sunday morning and night worship and Wednesday evening Bible study. His father and grandfathers were ministers, too.

Mr. Leatherman retired in the late 1980s from Lauber Manufacturing Co., Archbold, Ohio, where he was a foreman. He made sure finishes were applied properly to end tables, chests, and other pieces of furniture before they were packaged.

He formerly was self-employed and painted houses and barns until his spinal condition worsened and he no longer could pick up a ladder.

Mr. Leatherman grew up near Antioch, W.Va., and was a Marine Corps veteran.

He was skilled at woodworking and liked to make crafts, from wooden toys to clocks to weathervane airplanes: “The propellers would turn in the wind. Whichever way the airplane was flying was the direction the wind was blowing from,” his son said.

Mr. Leatherman had a large garden and, for years, grew 500 gladioli plus dahlias and cannas. He and his wife, Maxine, grew sweet corn, green beans, and had a large patch of asparagus, which she pickled and canned.

“He would garden even in his later years,” his son said. “When he couldn't walk, he would go on his hands and knees to pull the weeds or to water the plants.”

He and his wife collected antiques, especially Depression glass, and he collected bullet pencils and old pencils bearing advertising slogans.

“He was generally quiet and never talked a lot, but he had a good sense of humor and could always tell a good joke about somebody or something,” his son said.

Mr. Leatherman and his wife married March 20, 1948. She died March 25, 2003.

Surviving are his sons, Russell, Marvin, and Gary Leatherman; daughter, Elaine Leatherman; brother, Ralph Leatherman; sister, Myra Rotruck; six grandchildren; a great-grandson; two step-grandchildren, and six step-great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. today in West Fulton Dunkard Brethren Church. The Short Funeral Home, Archbold, is handling arrangements.

The family requests tributes to the Dilworth Center, Montpelier, or to a charity of the donor's choice.

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