Johnson Belford, 89, passed peacefully March 8, 2023, surrounded by family at The Aultman Women's Board Compassionate Care Center in Canton, Ohio.
John was born March 25, 1933 in Wheeling, West Virginia to Elizabeth and Johnson Belford. He was a resident of Canal Fulton, Ohio for 30 years and has lived in Navarre, Ohio for the past 20 years with his wife Gladys Belford.
He was employed by Babcock and Wilcox in Barberton, Ohio retiring in 1993. After retirement, he was the Zoning Inspector for The City of Canal Fulton for more than 15 years.
John lived a life of service to his country and to his community starting with the United States Navy during the Korean Conflict (The Forgotten War).
The Fire Service was his passion and he served on four different fire departments spanning a 45-year volunteer career. Among those were the Pleasant View Volunteer Fire Department (Plain Township Station 1), Malvern Volunteer Fire Department, North Lawrence Volunteer Fire Company, and Canal Fulton Fire Department. John was a member of the Canal Fulton Fire Department for more than 30 years, retiring at the age of 62 in 2003. He served as The City of Canal Fulton's Assistant Chief in charge of Fire Prevention for 10 years. John was also an EMT, certified fire inspector, and a fire investigator. John led a team of dedicated volunteers producing the Canal Fulton Canal Days Festival for many years. John also was a Red Cross first aid instructor and in later years served on the Board of Directors for the Western Stark County chapter of the American Red Cross.
John was a Ham Radio Operator, WB8FUJ, and for a time served with the Military Affiliated Radio Service, MARS. In addition, John was a proud member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 8-2 and Division 9 serving for more than 30 years. He loved to boat, camp, and spent most summer weekends at Crazy 8 Campground with his wife Gladys. He enjoyed working with wood and making gifts for his family. He was a member of the Canal Fulton VFW 9795 and the Cambridge Eagles.
John was a member of The Canton Baptist Temple with his wife Gladys. John personally attended over a span of 60 years.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Gladys Belford as well as his daughters, Debbie (Tony) Rainieri, Becky (David) Harriman, and Beth (Matt) Cattarin. John had five grandchildren: Robert (Abby) Rainieri, Amanda Ake, Lauren (Billy) Yoel, Zak Harriman, and Kyle Cattarin. John had four great grandchildren: Addison Ake, Alexander Ake, Grayson Ake(Amanda), and Iver Rainieri(Robert). John is also survived by his brother, Dan (Jan) Belford.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, March 25th at Canton Baptist Temple, 515 Whipple Ave NW in Canton, Ohio with a private ceremony at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery for Internment.
Calling hours will be 10-11, Celebration of Life is 11-noon with a meal immediately following.
In leu of flowers, please send donations to Canton Baptist Temple for Camp Chof.
2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
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