James Errol Rath, 80 years, of Hicksville, passed away surrounded by his family, Thursday, September 10, 2020 at Community Health Professionals Inpatient Hospice of Defiance, Ohio.
Jim was born May 7, 1940 in Bryan, Ohio, the son of the late Edgar and Fern (Wines) Rath. He was a 1958 graduate of Montpelier High School, Montpelier, Ohio.
James proudly served our country in the United States Air Force from 1958 to 1962. During his service, he was stationed in New Mexico and Newfoundland, Canada. On November 7, 1980, he was united in marriage to Christina Delagrange, and she survives.
After his service in the Air Force, James worked as a police officer and a fireman in Montpelier. He later became a Millwright at General Motors in Defiance, Ohio where he worked for over 32 years and was a committeeman in the UAW, but never worked a day in his life, because he loved his job.
After retiring from GM, he continued to work as a millwright at many other places. James was a member of the First Church of Christ in Hicksville. James was one of the original OPERA Boys at the Huber Opera House and was instrumental in its restoration. He was a volunteer at Auglaize Village in Defiance demonstrating the sawmill and the sorghum processing into molasses.
He also was integral in restoring many buildings at Auglaize Village. James also belonged to the Friends of Massey Harris tractor club, as well as the Antique Truck Club in Paulding, Ohio. James enjoyed car shows and Civil War reenactments. He and his wife wintered in Gulf Shores, Alabama and loved to spend their days traveling together.
James is survived by his wife, Christina; children, Virginia (Howie) Bender of Alvordton, Ohio, Gena Emerick of Hamilton, Indiana, Jahnine (Philip) Blosser of Toledo, Ohio, David (Tracy) Rath of Findlay, Ohio, Charissa (Curtis) Miller of Hicksville; grandchildren, Theresa, Natasha, Lacy, Travis, Janel, Zoe, Griffin, Maya, Derrik, Owen, Keaton, Ayden, Ian, Shalee, Jaxon, Levi; great grandchildren; Aviana, Madison, Ryder, Kyler, Drew, Paxin, Harlan, Kingston; brothers, Walter and Junior Rath, and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by a sister, Evelo and a brother, John.
A graveside service for James will be held on September 16, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. in Six Corners Cemetery with Pastor Jerold Tear officiating. Visitation for James will be on September 16, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home, Hicksville Chapel. Due to the ongoing pandemic, masks and social distancing are required.
Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider contributions to the Huber Opera House, 157 East High Street, Hicksville, Ohio 43526. To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James E. Rath, please visit our floral store.