March 18, 1924 to July 5, 2018

Unquenchable faith in others 

Cletus E. Ballweg—a man who possessed a vigorous personality, joyful nature, and an unquenchable faith in others, especially family—died Thursday, July 5, 2018 at Otterbein Nursing Home in St. Marys, Ohio.

He was 94.

According to his grandson, a quote of writer Albert Pike’s perfectly fits his beloved grandfather: “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us: what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

One of six children, including two brothers and three sisters, Cletus was born March 18, 1924, in Shelby County, OH to Edward and Minnie (Townsend) Ballweg. He grew up on a dairy farm during the Great Depression and learned the value of hard work. Cletus would often recall how his father wouldn’t allow him to get a job until his younger brothers came of age and took over his work on the farm.

16 hour work days

Cletus with Pauline and sons

Although he worked eight hours a day as a production employee at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in St. Marys, Cletus demanded more of himself and got a second job helping a friend at Saint Mary’s Trucking. Soon enough, he began buying rental properties, eight in all. His wife, V. Pauline Hay, whom he married on May 4, 1948, finally objected to his 16-hour work days, saying it took up too much of his time.

The couple had two sons, Terry and Craig, and Cletus, who took meticulous care of all of the automobiles he purchased during his lifetime, instilled a love of cars in both boys that shines today.

He built his own home and paid it off after only a few years. His astute sense of real estate and shrewd rental investments made him financially secure, enabling him to help his children and grandchildren succeed in their own lives.

Quite the dancer in his youth, Cletus would go dance halls to jitterbug—until he met his future wife, his only dance partner thereafter.

Yearned to join the war after Pearl Harbor

After Pearl Harbor, he tried numerous times to join the war effort but—due to an arm injury from his days working on the dairy farm—he was declared 4F. It bothered him so deeply that he tried to make up for it by buying war bonds. Even as late as of the early ‘90s, he still hadn’t cashed them in.

Cletus at NASA

But it was Cletus’s ebullient personality, his rare ability to befriend random strangers and help anyone in need that made him who he was.

Above all, he was the friendliest, most outgoing person on the planet.

A member of Wayne Street United Methodist Church in St. Marys, Cletus is survived by his sons, Terry (Sue) Ballweg and Craig Ballweg of St. Marys, OH; five grandchildren, Christopher, Brook, Jill, Justin and Drew; eight great- grandchildren; brothers Eugene (Jane) Ballweg of Chickasaw, OH, and Robert (Esther) Ballweg of Knoxville, OH.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Minnie Ballweg; wife Pauline Ballweg; sister Lahoma (Leroy) Egbert; sister Treva (Tony) Pietrzak, and sister Melba (Al) Tangeman.

Rites are scheduled to begin 2:00 pm, Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at the Miller Funeral Home 1605 Celina Road (Ohio 703 West Chapel) in St. Marys.  Visitation 12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home.

Burial will follow at the Resthaven Memory Gardens, near Moulton, OH.

Condolences may be expressed to his family via:


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