Loading…
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
HomeNewsDeaths
Published: Thursday, 11/1/2012

Harry J. Moyer, 1918-2012: Longtime mayor served Lima

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

LIMA, Ohio — Harry J. Moyer, the city’s sec­ond-lon­gest-serv­ing mayor and its first to serve three terms, died Tues­day in Shawnee Manor Nurs­ing Home. He was 94.

He had sur­gery af­ter suf­fer­ing a bro­ken hip and was in fail­ing health the last month or so, his daugh­ter, Kaye Win­er­man, said.

Mr. Moyer was mayor of Lima from 1974 to 1985 and coun­cil pres­i­dent the pre­vi­ous four years.

“Harry was first and fore­most an ad­vo­cate for the city of Lima, whether it was for busi­nesses that were here or busi­nesses that were look­ing to come to Lima,” said John Nixon, the cur­rent pres­i­dent of coun­cil. “He was very pro­ac­tive and pos­i­tive about the Lima com­mu­nity.”

He was a fa­mil­iar fig­ure be­fore he ran for of­fice. For de­cades, he was pro­pri­etor on Mar­ket Street of Harry Moyer’s Lug­gage Shop, which also sold fine leather goods, jew­elry, and gift items. He served on a com­mit­tee of busi­ness and civic lead­ers that per­suaded Ohio State Univer­sity to build a cam­pus in Lima, his son-in-law, Dr. Mark Win­er­man, said.

The shop was his live­li­hood, and “he en­joyed be­ing with peo­ple,” his son-in-law said. “It was an op­por­tu­nity to meet them and hear their sto­ries. It was his life, re­ally, and I think that’s how he got into pol­i­tics. He be­came a leader in a lot of dif­fer­ent civic or­ga­ni­za­tions and from there into a po­lit­i­cal ca­reer.”

David Berger, the cur­rent mayor who was first elected in 1989 and is now Lima’s lon­gest-serv­ing leader, called Mr. Moyer “a very suc­cess­ful com­mu­nity pro­moter,” not­ing his in­volve­ment in a down­town streetscape plan and the de­vel­op­ment of the Veter­ans Me­mo­rial Civic and Con­ven­tion Center of Lima and Al­len County.

“He was a pos­i­tive, up­beat guy,” Mr. Berger said. “He had a real sense for peo­ple and the re­tail busi­ness and brought that to bear on his job as the mayor.”

Mr. Moyer closed his store to take the full-time job of mayor. He was cred­ited for his work to at­tract the de­fense di­vi­sion of Chrysler Corp. to the tank plant in Lima.

Mr. Moyer, de­feated by four votes in 1985, at­tempted a come­back against Mr. Berger in 1989, but he did not win re-elec­tion.

When Mei­jer opened in Feb­ru­ary, 1993, he be­gan greet­ing cus­tom­ers, who called him “Mayor Moyer,” his son-in-law said. “People from the en­tire re­gion were fa­mil­iar with him.”

He was born in 1918, in New York to Ger­trude and Max Moyer, and the fam­ily moved to De­ca­tur, Ind. He was a grad­u­ate of De­ca­tur High School. He was an Army Air Corps vet­eran of World War II, serv­ing in En­gland and North Africa.

After­ward, Mr. Moyer worked in the lug­gage de­part­ment of a Fort Wayne, Ind., de­part­ment store. He mar­ried the for­mer Val­ette Kaye on Jan. 13, 1946, and he opened a lug­gage busi­ness in Lima.

His wife died April 5, 2006. Their son, Steven, died pre­vi­ously.

Sur­viv­ing are his daugh­ter, Kaye Win­er­man; sis­ters, Dol­ores and Frances, and three grand­chil­dren.

Ser­vices will be pri­vate. Ar­range­ments are by Chiles-Laman Funeral & Cre­ma­tion Ser­vices, Lima.

The fam­ily sug­gests trib­utes to the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion; St. Rita’s Med­i­cal Center Hos­pice, Lima, or the Alz­hei­mer’s As­so­ci­a­tion.

Con­tact Mark Zabor­ney at: mzabor­ney@the­blade.com or 419-724-6182.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories