John Valentine Bara, 85, of Elyria, passed away Friday, November 23, 2012 at his home. He was born in the Western Heights section of Elyria, November 26, 1926. John was the son of Ethel Bara (Bathory) and Joseph Justin Bara, both Hungarian immigrants.
A graduate of Elyria High School, he played football and was team captain. On graduation day he enlisted in the U.S. Army for service in WWII. John was selected for the Army specialized training program and lived in the football stadium at Ohio State University during his combat engineering training. After his service in World War II, John graduated from Ohio University. He married Ruth Cvetic from Cleveland in 1949, and they had four children. John was a very proud grandfather to 15 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
John served as a teacher, principal and coach for over 30 years in the Elyria school system and was principal at Roosevelt Elementary and Franklin Junior High School. John also worked as one of the founding administrators for LCCC. He earned his doctorate in education from Case Western Reserve University. John held many interesting part time jobs in his life including caddy at Elyria Country Club, cement truck driver, and house painter. John also worked for the Cleveland Indians front office and as a realtor in Lorain County. Active in local politics, John served on the Elyria City Council for many years and was council president. He was also elected to multiple terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, serving as chairman of the education committee and on the Ohio Board of Regents. For many years he was an active member of Rotary International and the American Legion. In addition to his dedication to education and government, John greatly enjoyed travel, all history, gardening, watching the Cleveland Indians and spending time with his family.
John and Ruth retired to Vermilion where they lived happily near Lake Erie until failing health led them to move to The AbbeWood in Elyria.
John is survived by his wife of 63 years, Ruth Bara (Cvetic); brother, Richard T. Bara; children, Gail Hurt (Randy) of Portland, Oregon, Joan Brown (Brian), Jane Sito (Jack), and John Justin Bara (Rebecca) of Palo Alto, California; grandchildren, Terrance Hurt, David Hurt (Lori), Brandon Brown (Laura), Jill Brown, Beth Brown Boza (J.B.), Joanna Brown Reser (Jordan), Ashley Anderson Petit (Chris), Lindsay Anderson Brown (Carrington), Julie Sito Cole (J.T.), Jack Sito, Tess Sito, Eliza, Scott, Paige, and Ryan Bara; and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by parents, Ethel Bara (Bathory) and Joseph Justin Bara; sister, Ethel Jean Bara; and brothers, Joseph, Steve, and Aladar Bara.
A memorial service will be held at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 360 Princeton Avenue, Elyria, Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 12 Noon. The Reverend Paul Jaster, Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, will officiate.
Throughout his life John was always an active church member.
Memorial contributions may be made to Elyria churches: Magyar United Church of Christ, Emmanuel Lutheran Church and St. Mary's Catholic Church, or Trinity Lutheran Church of Vermilion.
The Reichlin Roberts Funeral Home, 327 Cleveland St., Elyria, is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences for the family may be left at www.reichlinroberts.com