Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Lowell M. Henry; 1920-2013: Farmer was commissioner, GOP stalwart




FREMONT — Lowell M. Henry, a former Sandusky County commissioner, member of the board of elections, and county Republican chairman who dispensed frank advice to the party faithful, died Monday, two days after his 93rd birthday, in Valley View Healthcare Center, Fremont.

He underwent medical care after a fall about a week before he died, his son, Gary, said. After leaving his Ballville Township farm in May, Mr. Henry moved to Rutherford House, an assisted-living community in Fremont.

“He was very well known around the community and highly respected and highly liked,” said state Rep. Rex Damschroder (R., Fremont).

Mr. Henry was a farmer before, during, and after his time in elective and party office. When he was unable to get on a tractor, about 10 years ago, he retired from farming, his son said.

Before that, “he’d go out and run the combine until 2 o’clock in the morning,” his son said. “That’s how he was born and raised. My grandparents were die-hard farmers. His brother was the same way.”

Mr. Henry served as a county commissioner from 1958 to 1972, appointed to the final two years of a retiring commissioner’s term and then won election to three four-year terms before his defeat in 1972.

“He was a service-minded person,” his son said. “He was serving the people. That was the main point.”

His dedication to the Republican Party continued, on the board of elections, but also as a chairman of the county party and a member of the party’s central committee.

“He was a real soldier for the Republican Party,” Mr. Damschroder said. Mr. Henry was a close friend of Mr. Damschroder’s late father, Gene, who had been a state representative, yet supported the aspirations of the next generation.

“I can remember going out to his house, and he would give advice and talk politics,” Mr. Damschroder said. “He was a straight shooter. He would give you solid advice, and you could trust it. He was a good honest guy. That’s why he got in a leadership position.”

Mr. Henry had no time for diversions and gave no thought to leaving behind farm work or party or volunteer activities for leisure.

“He wasn’t that way,” his son said.

And he advised against rest, whatever the affliction. His motto, his son recalled: “You gotta keep walking.”

Mr. Henry was a former president of the Fremont Lions Club and the Sandusky County Farm Bureau. His board memberships included School of Hope in Fremont.

He was born Aug. 24, 1920, to Luella and Albert Henry and grew up on the family’s Rice Township farm. He was a graduate of Oak Harbor High School.

He and the former Evelyn Ellis married Oct. 18, 1941. She died Sept. 30, 2003.

Surviving are his son Gary; sister Lucille Bartell; seven grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. today in the Robinson-Walker Funeral Home, Oak Harbor. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Oak Harbor, where he’d been a longtime council member.

The family suggests tributes to the church.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: or 419-724-6182.

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