Jon R. Brabender, age 76, of Jefferson, began his heavenly life on April 20.
He is survived by his wife, Kay Ann; two daughters, Cathy Nitowski of Garden City, Mich., and Kirsten (Aaron) Millet of Avon; a brother, Arnold "Skip" (Marcey) Brabender of Huntington Beach, Calif.; and a sister, Lynda (Scotty) Scott of Ashtabula. He was most proud of his five grandchildren, Tiffany (Rick) Thaxton, Anthony Nitowski, and Jon, Brooke and Paige Millet.
He was born on Nov. 13, 1940, in Conneaut, Ohio, the son of William and Anne (Rankinen) Brabender and has resided in Conneaut and Jefferson all of his life. Jon was married to Kay Ann Mundi on Oct. 17, 1970, in Conneaut.
Jon was with Reliance Electric for 13 years then served as Quality Control Manager with Smurfit Stone Container for 28 years before taking retirement in 2003. Following retirement, Jon worked with Fleming & Billman Funeral Homes and the Family Care Group.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Brenda A. Brabender (2003), who has been patiently sketching under a shade tree waiting for her father; his parents, William Brabender and Anne Weber; his step-mother, Leanore Brabender, and step-father, Wilber Weber.
Jon fought over a decade long battle with Alzheimer's Disease, but it will never be what defined him. He volunteered in the JAGS program for 20 years, serving as president six years. He believed every girl should have an opportunity to play softball. As a coach, he taught hundreds of girls, including his three daughters, what it meant to be a part of something greater than themselves. He also served as a school board member for Jefferson Area Local Schools, and in those 16 years of service, he was able to hand each of his daughters their diplomas on graduation day.
At the young age of 16, he began collecting coins, leading him to become a member of Ashtabula and Madison Coin Clubs. He was relentless in searching for that one doubled minted coin.
Jon was a devoted member of Jefferson United Methodist Church where he often served as liturgist. He was also served on Jefferson Village Council.
Funeral Services will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at the Jefferson Home of FLEMING & BILLMAN FUNERAL DIRECTORS AND CREMATORY, 49 W. Jefferson St., Jefferson, with the Rev. Dan Bilkert, of the Jefferson United Methodist Church, officiating. Burial will be in Oakdale Cemetery.
Calling Hours are Sunday from 4-7 p.m. at the Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, you are welcome to give to the previously mentioned organizations, but after consideration of who Jon really was in his dedication and belief in education, the family is setting up the Jon Brabender Scholarship Fund at the Jefferson Area High School. Checks may be made to Kay Ann Brabender, envelopes will be at the Funeral Home or mailed to her.
The Fleming & Billman Funeral Homes and staff are honored to serve the Jon Brabender family. Visit fleming-billman.com to view obituary, express condolences or light a candle.
Published on  April 21, 2017