WOOSTER – Rexford L. Fasig was born November 12, 1911 in Mansfield, Ohio to Reuel Reed and Beatrice Spencer Fasig. His father was a detective for the Erie Railroad. His mother fell sick and died when Rex was only six years old and his only sibling Roger was eight. Their parents were members of the Rowsburg Lutheran Church. Rex can remember the Pastor coming to their home and baptizing him.
His father sent Rex to live in Cleveland with a relative, John Keyhoe. He vividly remembers the celebration of the streetcars clanging and all the bells ringing and people dancing in the streets when World War I ended.
In 1918 Rev. Sherriff, Pastor of Rowsburg, New Pittsburg St. Peter, and Pleasant Valley Lutheran Churches gathered Rex and Roger (with their dad’s permission) and personally drove the boys to Oesterlen Children’s Home in Springfield, Ohio. Since their father was gone so much with his work, this gave the brothers time together. They were treated well and they respected Rev. and Mrs. Warnes who operated the orphanage for the Lutheran Church. Mrs. Warnes gave Rex piano lessons. On weekends, the boys would check all the beds to see if their dad had come to visit. (It was a long trip down and Reuel usually arrived after the boys were sleeping so the Warnes’ allowed him to sleep there overnight).
Rex and Roger stayed there until 1921 when their dad remarried and brought them home.
Roger got a job working on the Seichly Farm while Rex stayed with his Uncle George Fasig in Rowsburg in order to help him paint and hang wallpaper. Rex drove George to the jobs since his uncle couldn’t drive. He attended Rowsburg Grade School and never went to high school but for a few days.
His brother Roger went to Pontiac, Michigan to work for General Motors. Always thinking of his younger brother, Roger sent a telegram to the Rowsburg General Store to tell Rex to hop the next train to Michigan because General Motors was hiring. He did as he was told. They both stayed in a rooming house. He got up early every morning for 3 -4 days and went and stood in line with hundreds of other job seekers. It looked hopeless. Finally they called his name and he was hired. He was underage but they took his word. He worked up to superintendent of the glass department. He even had his own in plant taxi service to take him to check on all the other departments .
He and Roger came home on weekends. Roger was dating a pretty gal from New
Pittsburg who happened to have a younger sister, Gladys Arnold. They double dated and Rex eventually married Gladys in 1931 in Ashland, Kentucky. However, they kept it a secret for awhile.
Before their fIrst child Eloise was born, Rex moved in with the Arnolds and helped on the farm for about two years. At this time he was running the projector at the Jeromesville Movie House in the evenings .
Rex and Gladys and Eloise moved to their own home on the Wayne/Ashland county line
road. He was hired by Slats Johnson of Rowsburg to run the huckster truck for $10.00 a week. At this same time he was moonlighting for Parv Thrush and Bernard Smith in the Rowsburg Garage. After five years with Slats, Bob Hastings enticed Rex to come work for him at the New Pittsburg General Store in 1938. There he ran the huckster truck and clerked in the store. He came to know a tremendous amount of people. The people would sell their eggs to him and buy however many groceries the egg money would buy.
In 1943 Mr. Hastings was drafted into the army. He was going to sellout but Russell
Rice, D. H. Raudebaugh and Wm. Firestone asked Rex to stay on and run the store. They’d furnish the money. He took them up on it and ran the New Pittsburg General Store for seventeen years. The store had everything from a full line of groceries and meats, sheep dip, bolts, screws, nails, paint, rope, oilcloth, and other hardware items, clothing, yard goods, medicines, dry goods, glass, stove pipe, plumbing supplies, furnaces and supplies, gasoline, kerosene, and personal items. The hand-dipped ice cream was a big seller. He sold out in 1960 but kept his plumbing and heating business .
Rex was always civic minded, having helped start the New Pittsburg Volunteer Fire Department. When he moved to New Pittsburg in 1941 there was no fIre department. They had a sodium and acid extinguisher. Russell Rice and Wm. Firestone bought a used fIre truck from Lorain, which was kept in the D. H. Raudebaugh Garage. They had no hats, coats, or boots. They built a small wood building to house the fIre extinguisher. The siren ran when the door was opened. Rex was instrumental in making the fire department the class A rated department that it is today. He served 33 years as Fire Chief putting in many, many hours of service.
He also served as an officer of the Wayne Co. Firemen’s Association, Northwestern PTA president, President of Wayne Co. Heart Association, Co-Chr. of Chester Twp. Zoning Appeal, Chr. of Northwestern Consignment Sale to raise funds for the band uniforms, Wooster Community Hospital Board of Governors for 8 years, and Joint Vocational School Board Advisory Committee for plumbing and heating.
He is a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in New Pittsburg where he taught the adult Sunday school class for 42 years and has served numerous times on church council.. He was also a Bible study leader.
He loved his family, music, playing cards, and the Cleveland Indians. During his retirement he bought a motor home and he and Gladys traveled extensively in the United States and Canada.
Rex and Gladys were 10 days short of being married 78 years. They have seven children, Eloise (Walter) Rice of Wooster, Pat (Jack) Oberholtzer of Jeromesville, Donna Jean (John) Keenerof West Salem, Leatha (Richard) Franta of Lexington, Barbara Fasig of Urbanna, Virginia. Don Boze and Ron both of Wooster.
They also have 16 grandchildren and 48 great grandchildren and 9 great-great-grandchildren.
Friends may call Sunday, May 31, 2009 at the McIntire, Davis & Greene Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster from 2-5:00 P.M.
A Funeral Service will be held Monday, June 1, 2009 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Peter Lutheran Church in New Pittsburg with Pastor Mel Kirk officiating. Burial will be in the New Pittsburg Cemetery.
Although Rex had very little formal schooling, he was an avid reader and is very knowledgeable on almost any subject. He has read and taught from his favorite Bible untill it is practically in shreds. At 97 years Rex was always ready for a good debate.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to St. Peter Lutheran Church, 9451 Ashland Rd., Wooster, OH 44691 or New Pittsburg Fire Department, c/o Roger Kamp, Treasurer, 1466 Perry Twp. Rd. 35, Wooster, OH 44691 or Hospice and Palliative Care of Greater Wayne Co., 2525 Back Orrville Rd., Wooster, OH 44691.
St. Peter Lutheran Church, New Pittsburg Fire Dept. or Hospice & Palliative Care of Greater Wayne Co.
Monday, June 1, 2009 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Peter Lutheran Church in New Pittsburg
Sunday, May 31, 2009 from 2-5:00 P.M. at the funeral home