John C. Radabaugh, Sr.; 1922-2014: WWII vet led Ohio’s chiropractic association


John C. Radabaugh, Sr., a doctor of chiropractic with a large West Toledo practice who was a former president of the state association of chiropractic physicians, died Monday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue. He was 91.

He had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer, said his daughter-in-law, Patty Radabaugh.

Before a 30-year retirement came a 30-year practice, during which Mr. Radabaugh saw upwards of 50 people a day. Many patients were referred to him by medical doctors.

“He built a very big practice,” said his son John, Jr., also a chiropractic physician. “At one point, he was probably one of the biggest practices in town.”

Mr. Radabaugh was a state director for the Northwest Ohio Chiropractic Association. He’d been a district director and an officer when he was elected as president of the Ohio State Chiropractic Association for 1976-77.

“He was a good strategist,” his son Craig said. “He could understand things and expound on those and people would listen. Dad was very compelling, a compassionate person with his patients.”

For much of his practice, though, the state did not allow Mr. Radabaugh and others in his profession to be licensed as chiropractors. The state medical board regulated chiropractic physicians as limited medical practitioners.

In Columbus and elsewhere, he made the case that chiropractors ought to have their own examining board to confer licenses and oversee the profession. In 1975, state legislation established such a board.

“That’s what he pushed for, and that was probably his greatest achievement,” his son said. “He was a very determined, principled person. He had a large presence, because he was 6-5, but [he was] just very affable. I would tag along to state association things. It would seem he was very well-liked.”

He was a diplomate of the American College of Chiropractic Consultants in Chicago and had served as an independent medical examiner at the behest of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, his son John, Jr., said.

Mr. Radabaugh was born Oct. 17, 1922, to Stella and Orville Radabaugh and grew up on Islington Street. He attended Scott High School and was a defensive end on the football team.

He joined the Army before the United States entered World War II and became a Ranger. While in France, he was wounded by shrapnel from a German grenade and was awarded a Purple Heart.

Mr. Radabaugh was a graduate of Lincoln Chiropractic College in Indianapolis and Great Lakes College of Chiropractic in Cleveland. He pursued postgraduate studies at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic.

He and his wife had a waterfront home in Naples, Fla., where he had a boat and liked to fish, and a cottage in Michigan’s Irish Hills.

He and his wife, Lois, married in September, 1946. She died Oct. 15, 2005.

Surviving are his sons, John C., Jr., and Craig Radabaugh; daughter, Lynn Radabaugh; a granddaughter, and a great-granddaughter.

Services will be private. Arrangements are by the Newcomer Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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