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Obituary for J. Roger Primm

Retired Funeral Director and Former Owner of the now Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory

J. Roger Primm, 80 of Troy, Ohio, formerly of Ashland passed away, Wednesday afternoon, February 6, 2019 in Kindred Hospital in Dayton.

He was born on October 23, 1938 in Dayton, the son of the late John F. And Althea M (nee Wieland) Primm. His family relocated to New Jersey during his youth and he attended a private military school in Florida.

Following his high school graduation in 1957, Roger attended Ashland College and earned an Associates Degree of applied science from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 1961.

Roger married the former Phyllis A. Klein in 1962; and the couple resided in Massillon for several years. During Ashland’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1965, the Primm’s would find themselves relocating to Ashland after longtime funeral director, Harry W. Denbow offered Roger a position with the company. In 1967, he was named partner changing the name of the funeral home to Denbow-Primm Funeral Home. The couple called Ashland home for the next 48 years.

Roger was very active within his community having served on numerous leadership boards and committees throughout his 50 year career as a funeral director including: Ashland Rotary Club, Masonic Lodge, Al Koran Shrine Club, United Way, Salvation Army, and the American Red Cross, to name a few.

He was a devoted member of Christ United Methodist Church where he served on church council for numerous years. Roger was a lifetime member of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association, Ohio Embalmer Association, and the National Funeral Directors Association. For more than 10 years he served as a board member on the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors taking his first appointment in 1991 by then governor, George Voinovich.

Roger sold the company to Seth and Lindsey Gasche and retired in 2013 to Troy, Ohio; his wife’s hometown. During his retirement, Roger enjoyed an active lifestyle having started an antique store called Primm N’ Proper; a past time hobby of his. Both Roger and Phyllis found themselves enjoying their retirement in their country home and stopping by Phyllis’ family restaurant K’s diner every day for lunch.

Roger is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 56 years of marriage, Mrs. Phyllis Primm of Troy; two sisters-in-law, Marcia (Timothy) Bodmer of Troy and Kathy (Robert) Mitchell of Gaithersburg, Maryland; and a cousin, the Reverend Bill (Lucy) Wieland of Greencastle, Indiana.

Roger was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be held, Monday, February 11, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in the Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home, 313 Center Street, Ashland, Ohio 44805 with Reverend Tom Snyder and Reverend John Bouquet officiating. A meal and time of fellowship will be served in the Legacy Room of the funeral home immediately following the service. Interment will be in Ashland Cemetery. Friends may call two hour prior to the service from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ashland County Community Foundation, 300 College Avenue, Ashland, Ohio 44805 or to Christ United Methodist Church, 1140 Claremont Avenue, Ashland, Ohio 44805.

Online condolences may be shared on the funeral home’s website at

Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory is handling the arrangements.


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