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Published: Saturday, 6/7/2008

Teacher co-founded farm implement firm

BRYAN - Herbert R. Spangler, 95, who co-founded a farm implement business with his father, died Thursday in Parkview Nursing Center, Edgerton, Ohio.

The cause of death was not known. He lived in the nursing center five years and was in poor health, his son Jerry said.

Home for years was across the road from the business at State Rt. 2 and U.S. 6, a junction still called Spangler's Corners.

He'd been a teacher in the Farmer and West Unity school districts when, in 1946, he began to work weekends installing electric milking machines his father sold. The enterprise became R.R. Spangler & Son.

Electricity was still new in some rural areas, so some ventures were a calculated risk.

"He just liked to help people, and it was a challenge," said his son, who later was president of what became Spangler Implement. The company put up a showroom and began selling harvesters and balers. They added Ford tractors in 1956.

Mr. Spangler worked into his 70s. The firm was sold in 1986 and closed several years later.

He dug holes in the 1930s for some of the first poles of the North Western Electric Cooperative. In the 1960s and '70s, he was on the board, said his son, a board member from 1984-93.

Mr. Spangler grew up in Defiance County's Farmer Township and was a 1930 graduate of the former Farmer High School. The next year, he began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse. He attended Bowling Green State University.

The Spanglers of candy company fame were distant relations. Still, their renown helped, as did the good reputation of his own branch of Spanglers.

"Their saying was, 'You have to make a little, but you have to be fair,'•" his son said.

He and his wife, Lura, married May 10, 1936. She died Jan. 11, 2007.

Surviving are his sons, Jerrold and H. Duane Spangler; daughter, Lindell Campbell; sisters, Undine Donze and Zelda Higley; eight grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-granddaughter.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Oberlin-Ford Funeral Home, Bryan, where the body will be after 6 p.m. Monday.

The family suggests tributes to Williams Center Calvary United Methodist Church, of which he was a member, or the Bryan Area Foundation.



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