Jack W. Hottinger, age 81, of Marion, died peacefully on Saturday, September 28, 2019, at Marion General Hospital with his loving family by his side from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease.
On January 20, 1938, Jack was born in Bowling Green, Ohio, the oldest of three sons of Frances “Fran” (Gillian) Hottinger of Findlay and the late John J. Hottinger. He graduated from Portage High School, and furthered his education at Bowling Green State University, earning a Liberal Arts degree in 1961.
While attending BGSU, Jack started helping at Croll Funeral Homes as a non-licensed associate in Grand Rapids and Tontogany, Ohio in 1959. He worked there until he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army, in which he served as a Military Police officer, stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas.
Upon his honorable discharge, Jack returned to Croll Funeral Homes and became engaged to Marilyn Frankhouser, who he began dating before his military service. Married on June 21, 1964, Jack and Marilyn made a great team, sharing fifty five magical years of marriage and lovingly raising two sons: David and Craig Hottinger. They were by each other’s side, every step of the way.
After the military, Jack pursued his dream of becoming a licensed funeral director, graduating from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 1964. Shortly thereafter, he worked his way up to being the sole manager of Witzler-Shank Funeral Home in Bowling Green, Ohio.
In 1975, Jack moved to Marion, Ohio to pursue the opportunity to be the succession plan for Harold Denzer Sr. and Jr., to own and operate the Denzer Funeral Home, in partnership with Gene Farison. Jack and Gene proudly owned and operated the Denzer-Farison-Hottinger Funeral Home together for thirty one years, until 2006, when they passed their torch of loving care for families on to Chad Snyder and the Snyder Funeral Homes family. He continued helping at the funeral home for as long as he was able. In total, Jack was a funeral director and embalmer for fifty three gratifying years. Over the years he truly did it all: running ambulance, welcoming the community at the door morning, noon, and night, and responding to the needs of families on an urgent basis. “The profession was a perfect fit for Jack because of his ability to serve a family at a very traumatic time in their lives and doing so with love and care and respect.” Jack was always there for his community, ready to serve in a moment’s notice.
Very active in the Marion community, Jack was a forty year member of Kiwanis International, and he served on the Marion Area Counseling Center (MACC) Board for many years including two consecutive terms as President. He also was a member of the Ohio Funeral Director’s Association, Ohio Eastern Star Green Chapter #159, Marion Moose Lodge #889, and the Marion Masonic Lodge #70.
A man of deep faith, Jack was a member of the Marion First Church of the Nazarene, where he loved being a part of the “In His Name” luncheon on Sunday’s after church. Formerly, he was an active member of the Mt. Vernon Ave. Church of Christ.
Outside of work, Marilyn and her father, Albert “Dutch” Frankhouser, got Jack to step out of his comfort zone. First came flying, as Albert and Marilyn talked Jack into partnering with him in buying an airplane back in the 70’s. He quickly fell in love with flying and enjoyed trips all over the US with some of his favorites being to Florida, Pennsylvania, the New England States, and Greenbrier, West Virginia. He was a member of the Flying Funeral Directors Association.
First came flying, then came motorcycles. When Albert died in 1991, Jack and Marilyn took his Harley Davidson motorcycle, complete with a side car, for a spin, after which they became instantly hooked by their love of the open road. They rode from coast to coast, hitting every continental state except Texas. They rode with many special friends, including “King George” and “Queen Mary” Click who they rode with most often.
Most important of all to Jack were his four precious grandchildren. Their car traveled like it was on auto pilot to South Carolina and then Minnesota to get to them. Jack was a “big kid himself”, so he always had a ball playing and swimming with them and taking them on many adventures.
A man of the people, Jack could talk for hours with anyone about anything. His jovial, fun loving personality, and especially his warm and kind smile, always won everyone over.
Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Marilyn Hottinger of Marion; two sons: David Hottinger of Minneapolis, MN, and Craig Hottinger of Marion; four grandchildren: Mary Clare, John, Anna Grace, and Sarah Ruth Hottinger; his mother, Fran Hottinger of Findlay; two brothers: Steve Hottinger of Huron, and Dan (Norma) Hottinger of Findlay; four nieces and nephews; countless dear friends; and their special dog, Princess.
His family will greet friends from 4 – 7 pm on Sunday, September 29, 2019, at the Snyder Funeral Homes, Denzer-Farison-Hottinger Chapel, 360 E. Center St., Marion. A celebration of his life and service to the community will be held at 10 am on Monday, September 30, 2019, at the Marion First Church of the Nazarene, 233 W. Church St., Marion. Burial will be observed privately by his family in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Ohio.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Kingston of Marion, c/o Memory Care Unit, 464 James Way, Marion, OH 43302, Marion First Church of the Nazarene, 233 W. Church St., Marion, OH 43302, or Leapin’ Outreach Center, 150 Court St., Marion, OH 43302.
On behalf of his family, Marilyn would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to the loving staff of Kingston Memory Care Unit where he resided for the past two years. The staff at Kingston treated Jack like family and went above and beyond in their care for him. We would also like to thank the staff at Marion General Hospital/Ohio Health Hospice who offered Jack such compassionate care during his final days.
Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion are honored to serve Jack and his family and are proud to carry on his legacy of loving care and concern for every family he served. He will forever live on through us and our service at the funeral home. Your favorite memories and condolences may be shared with his family via www.SnyderFuneralHomes.com.