NAPOLEON — Larry “Moe” Brubaker, 75, longtime sports editor of the Northwest Signal newspaper whose prep coverage became part of everyday life in Henry County, died Monday in his condominium.
The cause of death is believed to be smoke inhalation, his son Tad said. Firefighters found his body as they extinguished a fire of undetermined origin in his residence.
Mr. Brubaker left daily sports coverage behind in recent years and was the paper’s senior editor. He wrote regular columns for publication and stopped by the office daily.
He first covered sports for the former Northwest News as a Napoleon High School student. He went to Ohio State University for a while, but “college wasn’t for him,” his son said. He returned to the newspaper and was named sports editor after the News and the Henry County Signal merged in 1959.
He was a familiar presence at high school games, not least for his fashion flair — bright shirts; plaid or flower-patterned pants, especially with a maize-and-blue color scheme; a hat. By the 1980s, when others spoke of him, “he became ‘the Moe Man,’ a little bit of a play on Superman, on everybody’s man, a play on his iconic status,” his son said.
Mr. Brubaker was in the Napoleon High School Athletic Hall of Fame, was 1981 Napoleon Citizen of the Year, and parade marshal of the county fair’s 2001 Tomato Festival. He was a past president of the Henry County United Way.
“He didn’t care so much about being the president of the Optimist Club. He cared about making a difference with the Optimist Club,” his son said.
He was born July 9, 1938, to Dorothy and Richard Brubaker. He and his wife, Judy, married Oct. 21, 1962. She died June 24, 2002.
Surviving are his sons, Tad, Tyler, and Taggart; daughter Tandy Schwaiger; brothers, Richard and Kenneth Brubaker and James “Shark” Slee; eight grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.
Services will be at 10 a.m. today in St. Augustine Church, Napoleon, where he was a member. Arrangements are by Rodenberger Funeral Home, Napoleon.
The family suggests tributes to the Brubaker Scholarship Fund at Northwest State Community College, where his wife taught.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6182.