J. Herbert Bazur

April 15, 1924August 20, 2012
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John Herbert “Herb” Bazur, 88, of Fort Wayne, IN, died peacefully at home on August 20, 2012. Herb was born April 15, 1924 in Cleveland, OH to John and Loretta (Grady) Bazur. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy followed by the Merchant Marines and served in the North Atlantic during WWII.

At Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, OH, Herb met the love of his life, Betty Jane (Wackerman). They married in 1947.

Herb was so smitten with Betty that he decided to forgo their class elections and instead take her on their first date. When they returned to campus that evening, he found out he had been voted class president as a write-in.

In 1955, Herb graduated from Akron University College of Law with 4 children in tow. They would add 3 more for a total of 7 children. In 1960, Herb joined O’Rourke, Andrews and Maroney in Fort Wayne, where he spent his career. Herb eased into retirement, spending time traveling with Betty, volunteering, and entertaining their many children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren at their lake home in southern Michigan. (“Ice cream store! Ice cream store!”) Although he enjoyed his easy chair, during the last 25 years of his life he increasingly worked on behalf of those who did not have it so easy.

Herb was many things: devoted husband, loving father, “Papa Herb” to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, attorney, prison minister, peace activist, amateur radio operator, conservationist, and golfer (he shot his age at 84.) Herb lived large and loved large. The ripples of his goodness will touch many for a long time to come.

On July 30, 2012 Herb and Betty celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. For most of those years, they wrote daily letters to each other sharing their reflections, faith, dreams, struggles and love for one another.

Herb is survived by his wife Betty, his sister Rhea, daughter Michelle Jones, son Jack (Barb), son Kevin (Jane), daughter Lori Bazur-Persing (Tim), daughter Betsy Bazur-Leidy (Peter), daughter Angie Luck (John), and daughter-in-law Karen Bazur, along with 17 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, and numerous other devoted relatives.

He was preceded in death by a son, Brian Bazur, and 2 great grandchildren, Noah and Stella Bazur.

We will work to keep alive the memory of our charismatic and colorful Herb in many ways. He would encourage us to stop and smell the flowers, love our neighbors, walk with the marginalized, vote with poor people in mind, and spread joy.

Special thanks to the staff at Townhouse Retirement Community who welcomed Herb and Betty the moment they first stepped through their doors and who supported the entire family in these past few weeks.

A Mass will be held October 6, 2012 at 10:30 am at St. Clare’s Catholic Church, 229 North Dean Street, Centreville, MI, 49032 celebrated by Monsignor Michael Hazard. There will also be a “Herb Bazur Memorial 4-Person Scramble Golf Outing” on Sunday, October 7, 2012 at St. Joe Valley Golf Course in Centreville, MI, with proceeds going to the St. Clare Building Fund in his memory. All are invited. Please Contact St. Joe Valley Golf Course (269-467-6267) or Jerry Pinney (269-467-7502) for more information and/or to participate.

In lieu of flowers, Herb requested that contributions be made to St. Clare’s Catholic Church for their Building Fund Project (Centreville, MI), or to the Gainesville Catholic Worker House in Gainesville, FL, which is dedicated to social and economic justice -- or to a cause of your choice. The words whispered in his ear as he took his last breath were: We will carry you with us We will carry you in our hearts We will carry you always

Elzey-Patterson-Rodak Home for Funerals, Fort Wayne have handled all arrangements. Friends and family are invited to visit to leave condolences and to view a slide show of Herb's life.


  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, October 6, 2012


J. Herbert Bazur

have a memory or condolence to add?

Fran Keller

December 22, 2012

My thoughts are with you at this time in your lives. Fran Keller

Lonnie Bloom

October 9, 2012

I had the wonderful fortune of knowing Herb as a result of my friendship with his sons Kevin and Jack. During high school and my early college years, I often spent more time at the Bazur home than I did at my own. At times, I think Herb felt that he had inherited another son. Through it all, he welcomed me with open arms and that unmistakeable smile. After many years of not seeing Herb or Betty, I paid a visit during the summer of 2011 in Fort Wayne and found that they were still the lovely (and in love) couple that I remembered from 40 years earlier. Herb was so proud of his family and he and Betty relished showing me the collection of photos that were close at hand. Reading his obituary reminds me of the good that one individual can do in this world. Herb, you lead by example and you inspire me to help those who are less fortunate than myself.

Sending my warmest regards to Betty and the family.

Peace and Love,

George Helmke

October 4, 2012

If you know someone who doubts the power of a positive point of view, they obviously didn't spend enough time with Herb Bazur. The impossible became possible, the possible lead to a plan, and this whole path was delivered in a smile, a laugh, a wink, or a positive word.

All my best to the dear Bazur family - you are a special group of people who are always in my heart. You helped me to get my life on track, and I've never forgotten that. Hope to see some - all - a few whenever the opportunity presents itself.

George Helmke
P.S. And love from the Norway bunch!!!

September 19, 2012

Bautiful family. May the "God of all comfort" be with you at this time of your loss.


September 18, 2012

Dear Betty,
You and Herb will always stand out in our memories. We are grateful that we spent a little time with you on the wonderful journey you shared together. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Kay (Rey) & Ed (Vernon) Stark

Mary Ellen Kress

September 18, 2012

With special wonderful memories of all the Bazur family, I send my best to Betty and all the rest. Am sure Jim and Herb must be enjoying past memories. Let's try to get together.

Diane Bates-Barth

September 6, 2012

My deepest condolances to the Bazur family. May our Lord give you comfort in knowing that Herb is the loving arms of his Father. I attended St. Judes,and Bishop Dwenger with a couple of the Bazur children. I also attended nursing school with Michelle and worked at the old Lutheran Hospital with her. Please feel free to contact me @:
God Blees you all!

Linda Kallenback (Smith)

September 4, 2012

Mr. Bazur will always be remembered by his smile, laugh and love of life. I will always remember the good times I had n DeSoto Drive and always felt welcomed in the Bazur household. God bless to the entire Bazur family and remember that Herb touched so many lives.

September 3, 2012

Betty my condolences go out to you and your entire family. Each and every one of you remains in my daily thoughts and prayers. I too was very sad to learn of Herb's death. He was always a very dear friend.

Everyone who has had the pleasure of knowing him knew why he was so special. Herb engaged each of us with his charming smile, the sparkle in his eye, and his unending enthusiasm for life. He made us feel like the most important person in the room. He showed us that he sincerely cared about us and our families. There are only a few very special people in the world who leave footprints on your heart and Herb is certainly one of them.

I had the wonderful pleasure to share some extraordinary time with you and Herb during the 90's. Herb and I enjoyed playing golf on some of the finest golf courses all around the country. We thoroughly enjoyed these opportunities to play together. I was constantly telling him his game was absolutely boring – a tee shot 150 yards right down the middle, his second shot right down the middle, a chip shot onto the green, with 1 or 2 putts for a par or a bogey!!!

This occurred hole after hole, after hole no matter where we played. You never get to experience the full nature of the course this way, I told him!! I always had the chance to see every corner of the course. In my case it was military golf in its' finest – right, left, right, left!! Herb would always humor me as we were constantly in search of my ball. We always knew where his ball would be – right down the middle.

In the process we would collect bag tags from all these great courses throughout the land – courses like Kiawah Island, Torrey Pines, Sawgrass, Harbor Town, and numerous TPC courses from Florida, to Arizona, to California. Because of these tags, when people would see our bags at the course it gave the impression we were “big time”!! It would bring a big smile to our faces – because we knew this was just a wonderful walk through God's gift of nature and a chance to catch up with a dear friend.

Betty, at the conclusion of the day we would catch up with you and enjoy dinner talking about family. It was so wonderful to witness the deep love the two of you shared. For me, I looked forward to hearing about your children and their families and your travel excursions and the fun you enjoyed together. In particular, I enjoyed hearing about Herb's upcoming NCAA Finals trip and his most recent trip with his boys. He would light up when he talked about the great time they spent together.

Today Herb is charming God and teaching Him about “boring golf”. You know, there are very few people who walk into your life who have a significant impact on you – for me Herb is one of those people. I admired him in every way – his love of family and friends, his personality, his friendliness, his caring, his zest for life, his integrity, his honesty, his professionalism, and his huge heart!! Thank you Herb for sharing a piece of your life with me – I treasured our time together and will always carry these memories with me until we meet again on the fairways of heaven.

Betty may God ease your sorrow and help you to recall all the precious moments you and Herb shared together throughout your life. Let them bring a smile to your heart. May your entire family be comforted in this time of sorrow and be consoled by knowing that our world is a far better place because Herb walked among us.

Love, Steve Bird

Lee Hatfield Jr

September 2, 2012

My Condolences, God Comfort all who knew Mr Bazur.

Herb had an Extra Class Amateur Radio License, the Highest Class available to Hams, his Call Sign was KC9DJ

KC9DJ Silent Key

73 K2HAT