Johnnie L. Salyers, Sr., 66 years, of Defiance, passed away Wednesday, April 8, 2015 in his home. He went peacefully into the arms of Jesus with his family by his side. John was born on March 16, 1949 in Scott County; Dungannon, Virginia, to the late Harold and Faye (Sullens) Salyers. He moved to Ohio on his 18th birthday and fell in love at first sight with Rheba Anne Elston. They married on October 28, 1967, in Emerald Mission, Paulding County, Ohio. She preceded him in death on November 26, 2012. John worked for General Motors Central Foundry, Defiance for over 31 years. He worked as a qubalo operator and hot metal crane operator, his nickname was “Pig Iron,” until his retirement in November of 1999. John and Rheba attended First Baptist Church, Bryan, Ohio. He was also a member of United Auto Workers. John enjoyed his farm and tending to his animals. He was a devoted caretaker of his wife, Rheba during her illness. John loved to spend time with his children and grandchildren. He was always tinkering around the farm and would help who ever needed it. He was a hard worker and a wonderful provider throughout his entire life.
Surviving are his children, Corinna Smith (Barton Schwarzbek) of Defiance, Ohio, John L. Salyers Jr. of Ney, Ohio, Nichole “Nicky” (Ray) Kelley of Defiance, Ohio, and Lucas Paul (Autumn) Salyers of Defiance, Ohio; 11 grandchildren, Loren R. (Jessica) Smith, Jr., Corinna M. Gebers, Christina A. Gebers, Sarah Salyers, Andrew Salyers, Courtney Kelley, Ryan Kelley, Nicholas Kelley, Samantha Kelley, Lorelei Mae Salyers, and Belle Marie Salyers; two great grandchildren, Faith Schaffer and Lexis Smith; two brothers, Macarther (Jackie) Salyers of Nickelsville, Virginia, and Chuck (Bonnie) Salyers of Deshler, Ohio; six sisters, Della Bevins of Defiance, Ohio, Wilma Lou (Guy) Brashear of Defiance, Ohio, Nell Dockery of Defiance, Ohio, Leona Salyers of Continental, Ohio, Jean (Dan) Schroeder of Ottawa, Ohio, and Judy Messer of Hicksville, Ohio; special friends, Charlie Dockery, Danny Canales, and Mahlon Tempel. John was preceded in death by his parents, wife, two brothers, Bill Salyers, and infant Harold Ken Salyers, two sisters, Naomi Porter and infant Carol Mable Salyers, and son-in-law Loren Smith, Sr. The family would like to extend a special thank-you to the Bryan Radiology Center for their kindness.
Visitation for Johnnie L. Salyers, Sr. will be held Monday, April 13, 2015, from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 pm in Oberlin-Turnbull Funeral Home, 206 North Lynn Street, Bryan, Ohio. Funeral services will be Tuesday, April 14, 2015, at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church, 925 East Fountain Grove Drive, Bryan, Ohio with Pastor John MacFarlane officiating. Interment will follow at Sherwood Cemetery, Sherwood, Ohio. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the service on Tuesday at the church.
Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider memorial contributions be made to First Baptist Church, 925 East Fountain Grove Drive, Bryan, Ohio 43506 or Community Health Professionals Hospice, 6825 State Route 66 north, Defiance, Ohio 43512.