ARCHBOLD, Ohio - Theodore E. Lovejoy, a popular barber who also was a lay minister and superintendent of the Village of Archbold's wastewater treatment plant for 25 years, died of liver cancer yesterday in his home. He was 69.
Mr. Lovejoy's outgoing personality and friendly demeanor made him a perfect fit as a barber at one of the gathering places in downtown Archbold, family members said. A lifelong resident of the village, Mr. Lovejoy enjoyed talking to the people who came through the shop for haircuts or just to say hello.
"He loved being a barber because he was right in downtown Archbold, and it was kind of like the meeting place for everyone to go," said Beth Wanemacher, Mr. Lovejoy's niece. "He would get to visit with all sorts of people. Back then, people would have all time of day to sit back there and visit and talk."
Ms. Wanemacher said after working at the barbershop for 15 years, Mr. Lovejoy wanted a change in careers and was hired as the superintendent for the village's wastewater treatment plant.
There again, his friendly manner won people over, Ms. Wanemacher said.
"He decided he just wanted to change jobs," Ms. Wanemacher said. "He went out there and got the job. I've talked to a lot of young people who have worked with him, and they said it was just like family out there. They said he was the best boss they ever had. He was like another dad to them."
Mr. Lovejoy was a member of St. John's Christian Church, then the St. John's United Church of Christ, all of his life.
In 1976, he married the former Verlene Buehrer.
He also was a member of the Fulton County Horsehoe Club; the F&AM Superior Lodge No. 79, of West Unity, Ohio; the Defiance Program Group of United Church of Christ Ministers, and other organizations.
"Ted and Verlene never had any children, but their children were all of their nieces or nephews," Ms. Wanemacher said.
"He was very outgoing. He could talk to anyone. He was willing to talk with you at great lengths about any subject. He was a very well-versed person."
In 1989, Mr. Lovejoy became a licensed lay minister and preached in churches all around Ohio.
"He was raised in the church from a baby and it was something he always wanted to do," Ms. Wanemacher said. "He was still active in his own church, but this allowed him go to other churches and fill in for preachers who were on vacation or gone."
Later in life, he worked at Sauder Village in Archbold and learned broom and copper making.
Surviving are his wife, Verlene, and brother, Paul.
The body will be in the Grisier Funeral Home, Archbold, after 2 p.m. today. Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in St. John's Christian Church, Archbold.
The family suggests tributes to the charity of donor's choice.