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Published: Wednesday, 1/13/2010

Maintenance chief answered all calls


John Lorenzen, 55, always on call as Holland's snow-plowing, street-repairing, garbage-collecting maintenance supervisor who was a firefighter and EMT besides, died Saturday in his village home. He had diabetes and other health problems, his wife, Brenda, said.

He was 19 when the village hired him as a maintenance employee. He became supervisor in 1990 and retired in 2005, Mayor Mike Yunker said.

"He was well known in the community," Mr. Yunker said. "John was kind of a jolly guy, always had a laugh to get you going, and had a good working relationship with everybody."

Even as supervisor, he was on the street, patching potholes and collecting recyclables. So known was he for handling problems, a resident with a squirrel in his basement was apt to say, "•'Call John. He'll take care of it,'•" his wife said. "He loved to help."

The mayor said, "I appreciated his work ethic."

Mr. Lorenzen was a longtime volunteer firefighter and EMT. He was acting fire chief from December, 1989, to April, 1994. He continued to go on medical runs until his 2005 retirement. He also was an EMT instructor.

To the neighborhood children, he was "Uncle." He and his wife have raised their great-nephew, Dale Lorenzen, since he was 5 months old. "Uncle" is what the boy, now 10, has always called Mr. Lorenzen.

Mr. Lorenzen went to Springfield High School and what is now Penta Career Center. He was formerly married to Debra Sasse.

Surviving are his wife, Brenda, whom he married Dec. 6, 1986; daughters,

Dixie Kosmin and Terry

Brugnone; stepsons, Anthony and Dominic Armenio; brothers, James, Paul, and Dale Lorenzen; sister, Linda Geiser, and a grandson.

Services will be 11 a.m. Thursday at the Neville Funeral Home, Springfield Township, where the body will be after 4 p.m. today.

The family suggests tributes to the American Diabetes Association.

Contact Mark Zaborney at:


or 419-724-6182.

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