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Published: Friday, 12/15/2006

Mortuary executive a community leader

LIMA, Ohio - Frank Keith Chamberlain, 68, co-founder and president of Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home here and a community leader, died Wednesday at Lima Memorial Health System from complications of cancer.

Mr. Chamberlain led the Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home on North Cable Road from its inception in 1992. It has since become one of northwest Ohio's largest mortuaries.

Before that, he worked at Siferd Funeral Home in Lima for 35 years, including 20 years as the general manager and 10 years as the president.

Mr. Chamberlain also was president of the Third District Ohio Funeral Directors Association. He served on the board of directors in the 1980s.

He volunteered in fund-raising and oversaw construction projects for Senior Citizens Services Inc., of Lima, since the 1990s.

In the 1990s, he helped organize the Westgate and Crestwood neighborhood associations in Lima, of which he was a board member. He also was president of the Westgate Neighborhood Association.

His other local board memberships included the Shawnee Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Lima City Schools PTA, and Senior Citizens Services Inc. of Lima, where he was a past board president.

In 2001, Mr. Chamberlain received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award from the Lima Host Lions Club.

"He was a loving and caring person who cared a lot about his community and the people whom he served in his business for many, many years," his son F. Stephen Chamberlain said.

A native of Bluffton, Ohio, Mr. Chamberlain graduated in 1956 from Bluffton High School. He later attended Bowling Green State University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

In 1961, he graduated from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.

In his free time, Mr. Chamberlain enjoyed being with his grandchildren and traveling.

He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Lima, where he served on the memorial committee, and was a former member of First Baptist Church, also in Lima.

His other memberships included Lima Host Lions Club, where he was a longtime social chairman; Lima Lodge, F&AM; Lima Eagles, and Lima Elks.

Surviving are his wife of 45 years, Jean; sons, F. Stephen and Timothy Allan; foster son, William Foster; sister, Elisa Valentine, and seven grandchildren.

Visitation will be after 2 p.m. today at the Chamberlain-Huckeriede Funeral Home, Lima. Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Trinity United Methodist Church, Lima.

The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.

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