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Leroy Gilbert Bartley

Leroy Gilbert BartleyLeroy Gilbert Bartley, 91, of Minerva, passed away Monday, May 6, 2013, at Minerva Eldercare, following a brief illness.

Born Sept. 22, 1921, in New Waterford, he was a son of the late Daniel Robert and Mae Marie (Marshall) Bartley.

He enlisted in the National Guard Dec. 15, 1940, for a one-year stint. When the guard was nationalized following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roy was assigned to the 151st Medical Battalion and was trained to serve with the tank corps heading to North Africa.  Instead, his unit was sent to the China Burma India Theater where they supported the engineering troops building the Ledo Road from Ledo Assam, India to Kunming China. He often told of being part of the first "all Chinese" convoy to travel the road in 1945.  It was his love of emergency medicine he developed in the service that brought him to Minerva to the funeral home and to the ambulance service which eventually bore his name.

He was a member of Minerva United Methodist Church where he was a Sunday school teacher, loved singing in the choir and became a lay minister.

He was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of Tubal Lodge 551 F & A M, the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Canton and Tadmor Temple Shrine.  He was a 50-year member of the Odd Fellows in Carrollton.

He was a life member of VFW Post 4120 and American Legion Post 357 in Minerva, the Alliance Elks and Minerva Eagles.

An avid golfer, he was a life member of Great Trail Golf Course and Alliance Country Club and was honored to represent the Rotary District in several International Golf Outings.

An enthusiastic sportsman, he loved to fish, hunt and bowl and was on many leagues over the years.  He was a member of Minerva Sportsman Club and Pine Hill Archery Club where he became an archery instructor.  He used the skills to instruct archery at the 1964 National Boy Scout Jamboree in Valley Forge, PA, and the 1967 World Scout Jamboree at Farragut State Park, ID.

He flew his own airplane out of the Minerva Airfield and was a member of Minerva Flying Association.

Leroy was a 60-year member of the Rotary Club of Minerva where he served in multiple roles over the years including president.  He is a Paul Harris Fellow.

In the community, he was Minerva's Civil Defense Director and helped bring a 200 bed emergency evacuation hospital to the village.  He served on the village's Board of Public Affairs for many years.  He became one of the first SCUBA instructors in the area, teaching out of the Alliance YMCA.  He helped start the Minerva Dive Team as well as Dive Teams for other police departments.  He was a founding member of the Disaster Response Team for the Ohio Funeral Director's Association becoming certified as a FEMA responder and working at such disasters as the Lucasville Prison Riots and the plane crash at the Pittsburgh Airport.

He came to Minerva in 1946 to work for John Rutledge and A. B. Jackson at the Rutledge Jackson Funeral Home. Four years later, he had received his funeral director's license and married Mr. Jackson's daughter, Marilyn.   Following Mr. Jackson's death, the couple took over the operation of the funeral home and in 1960 changed the name to Bartley Funeral Home.

Always a driving force, Leroy pushed to continuously improve the ambulance service provided by the funeral home.  When other funeral homes gave up their service, Leroy improved his by adding paramedic services.  He went so far as to custom build his first two ambulances to insure they met his specifications.

He served as treasurer of the Ohio Ambulance Association and was a member of the state EMS board as the funeral home representative until the board was restructured.  In 2002, he was awarded a lifetime paramedic certification, the only paramedic in the state to receive such an honor.

Leroy was the loving father of two children; a son, Roger A. (Sherry) Bartley, and a daughter, Catherine M. (David) Viola, both of Minerva and both of whom he instructed in the important values in life by taking them by boat and canoe on separate occasions from Minerva to Marietta.

He is also survived by five grandchildren, Todd (Michelle) Bartley of Williamsport, PA, Corey (Claudia) Bartley of Minerva, Daniel (Ashley) Bartley of East Rochester, Michael Viola of Hilton Head, SC and Jennifer Viola of Colorado Springs, CO; nine great-grandchildren Bradley Shott of Canton, Alex and Elaina Bartley of Williamsport, PA, Kyrsten, Christopher and Kaela Bartley of Minerva, Madylynn and Savannah Bartley of East Rochester and Erica Viola of Hilton Head.

He was preceded in death by his wife Marilyn Rose (Jackson) Bartley in 2005; sisters, Hazel Minier, Elaine Schultz; and brothers Robert, Earl, and Daniel Bartley, Jr.

Funeral Services will be held in Minerva United Methodist Church, 204 N. Main St., Minerva, May 9 at 1:30 p.m. with Rev. Harley Wheeler and Rev. Susan Lausch officiating.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday 2 - 4 & 6 - 8 p.m. in Bartley Funeral Home and Thursday, one hour before services at the church. Burial will be in East Lawn Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lee Jackson Scholarship Fund, PO Box 374, Minerva, OH 44657.

Friends unable to attend may register online at www.bartleyfuneralhome.com.