The youngest of eight children, John earned the nickname "Shorty" early in life and is still known by that name to many today. He graduated from Fresno High School in 1948 and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior during a communion service at church. He served in the U.S. Army from April 2, 1951 to Feb. 14, 1953. John married his high school sweetheart, Mary Margaret "Peg" (Olinger) McCrea, who survives, on July 27, 1951. John was a tool and die maker for 40 years at Jones Metal Products in West Lafayette before retiring in 1995.
John's greatest joys in life were holding hands with his wife, watching and working at horse shows with his daughters, going to his grandchildren's sporting events, and hearing the playful giggles of his great- grandchildren. With a special love for baseball and Ohio sports teams, John was also known as "Mr. Fix-It" to his family. There was not a problem from broken toys and furniture to electrical wiring and plumbing that John could not find a solution for. A long-time member of Chili Crossroads Bible Church, John served in various capacities over the years, including as a Church Board Member.
Along with his beloved wife of 61 years, Peg, John is survived by his daughters, Brenda (the late Michael) Ianniello, Diane (Mark) Gress, Karen (Jim) Priest, all of Chili, Ohio, grandchildren: Jonathan (Terri) Ianniello, Angela (Scott) Brillhart, Elizabeth (Ryan) Burr, Ryan Gress, Samantha Priest, Kyle Priest, three great grandchildren: Sydney Ianniello, Camryn Ianniello, and Jameson Brillhart, and three sisters-in-law, Emma McCrea, and Martha "Bobbie" MrCrea, both of Fresno, Ohio, and Betty McCrea of New Philadelphia.
John was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Michael Ianniello, sister: Mary Johnson, and six brothers, Robert, William, Joe, James, Thomas, and Paul "Charlie" McCrea.
"Absent from the body…present with the Lord" (2 Cor. 5:8). Family and friends may come to call on Friday, Feb. 8 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. at the Chili Crossroads Bible Church (29445 CR 10, Fresno, OH 43824), approximately eight miles north of Coshocton on CR 10. The funeral service will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, at 11 a.m. at the Chili Crossroads Bible Church, with Pastor Neal Dearyan officiating.
Burial will follow in Coshocton Co. Memory Gardens Cemetery, where the Coshocton Co. Veteran's Council will conduct military rites. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chili Crossroads Bible Church or to: Community Hospice of Tuscarawas, 201 W. 3rd, Dover, Ohio, 44622. Given-Dawson Funeral Home is serving the family.
Given Dawson, 740-622-1711