Obit: Oldham, LaFayette I. #2 (1908 – 2004)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Oldham, Burkett, Schwert, Clink

----Sources: The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) 26 Feb. 2004

Oldham, LaFayette I. (12 July 1908 – 22 Feb. 2004)

Contractor raised own food on farm

FREMONT, Ohio - LaFayette Oldham, a general contractor and World War II Army veteran, died of natural causes Sunday in Parkview Care Center, Fremont, where he lived two years.

Mr. Oldham, 95, was raised on a farm in Wisconsin and moved to Ohio during World War II, when he was stationed at Camp Perry. While at Camp Perry, he met his wife, Ruth "Betty" Burkett of Fremont, at a dance in Port Clinton. They were married in 1945.

Soon after, Mr. Oldham bought 20 acres near Helena, Ohio, 15 miles west of Fremont, where he built a house and a barn.

"The only help he had was with the masonry work and the electrical. Everything else he did himself," said his son, Larry Oldham.

The Oldhams lived a self-sufficient life, growing all their fruits and vegetables and raising cows for their dairy products and beef. Mr. Oldham made his living remodeling homes and selling and installing lightning rods, which he promoted at county fairs.

"He was the type that was always a hard worker. That’s what kept him living so long. He always had something to do," said his son.

When Mr. Oldham’s health prevented him from carrying on his business, he took a job in maintenance at Countryside Continuing Care Center, Fremont.

He retired in 1973, and he and his wife began spending their winters in Florida. They bought a mobile home, moved to Fremont, and sold their farm 10 years ago, said Mr. Oldham’s daughter, Julia Schwert.

"He was a giving type of person. He was always wanting to help others," she said.

Mr. Oldham served 13 years as treasurer of the Helena Volunteer Fire Department.

Surviving are his wife, Betty; son, Larry; daughters, Caroline Clink and Julia Schwert; brother, Ray; seven grandchildren; a great-grandchild; three step-grandchildren; seven step-great-grandchildren, and a step-great-great-grandchild.

Visitation is after 2 p.m. today at Herman-Kinn-Karlovetz Funeral Home, Fremont, where services will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow.

The family suggests tributes to the Helena Volunteer Fire Department or a charity of the donor’s choice.



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