Vernon V. “Farmer” Westbay, 91, of Wapakoneta, formerly of Bellefontaine, died at 5:50 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, at Wapakoneta Manor.
He was born on Oct. 21, 1922, in Bridgeport, Ill., the son of Cloyd L. and Bessie (Saddler) Westbay, who preceded him in death.
On June 6, 1942, he married LaVerta A. Hirschfeld, and she died on March 5, 2006.
Survivors include a son, the Rev. Michael (Nancy) Westbay of Wapakoneta; a grandson, Christopher M. (Melissa) Westbay of Hilliard; a grandson-in-law, Joseph Helberg of Helena, Ala.; three great-grandchildren, Christopher S. and Chloe Westbay and Rylie Helberg, close friend Norma Beach of Bellefontaine and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Jennifer Helberg, a great-graddaughter, Cara Westbay, seven siblings, Kermit, Kenneth and Berlin Westbay, Vondale Jacomet and triplets Edwin and Edgar Westbay and Edna Fisher.
Mr. Westbay was a 1940 graduate of Blume High School in Wapakoneta, lettering in football, basketball and baseball. After high school, he played on several different baseball and softball teams in the area, including Lima, Wapakoneta, St. Marys, New Bremen, Jackson Center and Moulton.
He was one of the people who helped organize the first Little League in Wapakoneta. He coached Little League teams, Pony League teams, and was the first coach of the Wapakoneta Acme League team.
He was an avid golfer throughout his life. He scored three holes-in-one, and before he had to retire from golf was able to shoot his age a few times.
Mr. Westbay was a businessman, first serving as the business manager at the Jackson Center Farm Bureau, then as a salesman for Friends Office Supplies and Equipment in Wapakoneta. Finally he opened his own office supply business in Bellefontaine, in September 1962, operating that business until he retired in 1981.
Mr. Westbay was involved in the communities in which he lived and worked. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Bellefontaine, the Lions Club, Wapakoneta and a member of the Kiwanis Club and Chamber of Commerce, Bellefontaine, serving in leadership positions in both of the latter two.
At the time of his death, Mr. Westbay was a member emeritus of the board of directors of the Citizens Federal Savings and Loan in Bellefontaine, having served on that board more than 35 years.
Funeral services will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Bayliff and Eley Funeral Home, State Route 501, Wapakoneta.
Burial is to follow in the Greenlawn Cemetery, Wapakoneta.
The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Bellefontaine First United Methodist Church or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Condolences may be expressed at BayliffAndEleyFh.com.