John lived with his family at Tridelphia and Martins Ferry, West Virginia, before settling on a farm in Angel Valley at Stone Creek in 1927. He attended Angel School and graduated from Stone Creek Jefferson High School in 1937. He served his country honorably during the Second World War in the U.S. Army's 152nd Station Hospital, one of the first mobile Army surgical hospitals (M.A.S.H.), and was at Normandy's Utah Beach. Upon his discharge in 1945, John obtained his pilot's license at Harry Clever Field under the G.I. Bill.
He married the former Anna E, Gibbs on November 7, 1947. John and Anna reared two sons, and shared nearly thirty-eight years together before Anna's passing on May 5, 1985. The couple purchased the family farm in Angel Valley in 1948, and raised beef there until 1965 when the family moved to Tuscarawas. John was also employed by the Warner & Swasey Co. (now Gradall), working in the milling, sheet metal assembly and heavy machinery departments. He served as one of the first union officers of Local 1285. John retired from Warner & Swasey in 1981.
He was a member of the Schoenbrunn Moravian Church at New Philadelphia when it was first organized, and served as a trustee and elder. John was also a member and past master of Jefferson Grange, and was instrumental in the building of the Grange Hall. In his retirement, John was a member of the Tuscarawas Antique Club – serving as its president; the Tuscarawas County Historical Society; the Genealogical Club; and the Gem and Mineral Society. He was also active for many years in tractor pulls held at Tuscarawas Park, serving as weigh master. Additionally,
John served on the board of Twin City Hospital at Dennison, was a member of the former Herbert Buss Post 333 of the American Legion at Stone Creek, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary for thirty years. In later years, John had a garden in which he grew a large variety of vegetables and shared the produce with family and friends. Popcorn was one of John's favorite must-have crops, and he devoured a large bowl of it every evening. He was also very nearly fanatical about heating his home with wood, even to the point of sawing and splitting logs from his power wheelchair.
Survivors include his sons, John (Patricia) Bihari of Stone Creek, and Joseph (Cheryl) Bihari of Barnhill; his grandchildren, Jennifer (Dave) Keller of North Canton, John H. (Melissa) Bihari and Janna (Joseph) Himes, both of Stone Creek, James Bihari of San Francisco, California, Anna Bihari of Los Angeles, Califiornia, Matthew Blakely, Sara Blakely of Dover, Kristen Blakely of Houston, Texas, and Gabe and Jasek Bonakoski; his great-grandchildren, Cassandra and Abigail Keller, Michael and Kyle Bihari, and Cole and Alexys Himes; his brother, William J. Bihari of New Philadelphia; and his several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by his first wife, Anna; his second wife, Ruth Halstead Bihari; his infant son, Paul Michael Bihari; his two sisters, Mary Gifford and Elizabeth Pertel.
A funeral service will be held Monday, February 3, at 2 p.m., in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory, 246 E. High Ave., New Philadelphia, with Rev. Darrell Johnson of the John Heckewelder Moravian Church, Gnadenhutten, officiating. Burial will be in Stone Creek Cemetery, where military rites will be conducted by the Tuscarawas Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Following the committal, there will be a meal in the Toland-Herzig Monarch Center on the Boulevard at Dover. Family and friends are invited to call at the funeral home on Sunday, February 2, 2 – 5 p.m. To sign an online guestbook and share a fond memory of John, please visit the Obituaries and Flowers link on the Toland-Herzig website.
Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory of Dover