GREENVILLE — A memorial service was held Monday morning to eulogize the life of retired local attorney John C. Brumbaugh, who died June 16 at the age of 83.
An Independence Day baby born in 1930, Brumbaugh was active in military organizations, including the Veterans Honor Guard, the Greenville Masonic Lodge, the Greenville Board of Realtors, Darke County Parks and the legal profession and bar association.
Those who knew him already miss him.
“John Brumbaugh was a patriot,” State Rep. Jim Buchy (84th House District) said. “He loved his freedom, and he loved America. He came from a wonderful family … he and his brother Phillip. My parents were very good friends of his parents, Jesse K. and Edna. Edna was the bridesmaid in my parents’ wedding. Our friendship is very deep and very long. I have known them all a long time. He contributed an awful lot to the Darke County community and volunteered a lot of times for the betterment of Darke County. He was coupled with wife, Vanis, and it was a perfect partnership. She is a vivacious person, and they made a great team.”
Dale Marker said he is the one who got Brumbaugh involved with the Veterans Honor Guard.
“He liked it,” Marker said. “We became friends through the honor guard. I think he was a good guy.”
“John was a first-class fellow,” another local attorney, John Marchal, said. “He was a good athlete in school, a hard worker and good friends. He was also interested in community affairs and worked for that. He was a great veteran and spent a lot of time with the honor guard for which I have great respect. John was involved in Boy Scouts and went by the Boy Scout code. He exemplified all of them.”
“I worked for him with real estate and thought he did a good job,” Roberta Warner said. “He was also pleasant when I came to work and always helped me with a transaction. He was great to work with and for. We worked in Jim Steinle’s office and John and Jim talked and I would joke around with them. I told them I grew up with nine brothers.”
“His kids all swam for me,” Terry Barnett said. “I was their swim coach, and got involved with the family and so forth. We had moved to Florida and came back here. I went to Miami and so did Vanis (Brumbaugh’s wife), and we would go with John and Vanis to the games and probably still will. Oh man, he was probably the most honorable, pleasant and knowledgeable guy I’ve every met. I never heard him say anything bad about anybody. He was always positive … just a pleasure to be around. I’m going to miss him a lot, I know that.”
Barnett’s wife, Kornelia, added, “Terry thought so much of John. I met John through my husband, and my first impression of John was that he was very kind, thoughtful, soft-spoken, smart and an all-around great man. I had respected him as much as my husband did. We kept our friendship up all through the years. He was a good sport … a great man.”
“He was the best husband, after a 10-year whirlwind romance,” said the widow, the former Vanis Lephart.
The couple, she said, met their sophomore year in high school.
“Then I went to Miami [University] and he to the military,” she recalled. “He was in the Korean War and was there 14 months.”
Then finally, they were married June 23, 1956.
She said they would have celebrated their 58th wedding anniversary on Monday, the day of his memorial service.
“One thing John was proud of was having been awarded the Jeff Raudabaugh award, and he was valedictorian of our class,” she said. “We both were always active in the community because we liked young people. As a young man, John worked every summer at Cricket Holler. He had been an Eagle Scout.”
She said her husband always had a joke and could remember them.
She echoed a couple of sentiments that others said about her husband, “I never heard John say anything bad about anybody, and he loved his Boy Scout rules. That’s how he lived and believed.”