Mahoning County ag community loses friend

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NEW SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – Darrel A. Bacon, who spent a lifetime volunteering in youth, church and agricultural organizations, died at his New Springfield home Saturday, Sept. 29, following an extended illness. He was 82.

Bacon, a lifelong resident of New Springfield, farmed all his life and helped establish Green Meadows Soil Service with his son, Wayne. He also retired from Springfield Local School District, where he was clerk-treasurer, bus coordinator and cafeteria supervisor.

But it is Bacon’s community service commitment for which he is most remembered.

4-H Hall of Famer. Bacon helped build the junior fair program at the Canfield Fair, as a 4-H adviser of the Springfield Booster Boys, as 40-year treasurer of the Mahoning County Market Livestock Club, and as director and past president of the Canfield Fair board.

For his work with youth, which included 62 years as a 4-H adviser, Bacon was inducted into the Ohio 4-H Hall of Fame.

“Darrel has been a wonderful advocate for Mahoning County Extension and beyond,” said Keith L. Smith, director of Ohio State University Extension, which oversees the state 4-H program. “He served on numerous county and state extension committees and will be sorely missed.”

Bacon also served as treasurer of the support council to the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster.

In recognition of Bacon’s efforts, the Canfield Fair established the Darrel Bacon Junior Fair Scholarship Fund in 1999. The Ohio Fair Managers Association also recognized Bacon as the District 9 Outstanding Fair Director.

Wayne Bacon said his father felt strongly about his volunteer service. “That’s what he loved to do,” Bacon said. “We always called him a ‘social director,’ not a farmer. But that was his life’s work: volunteering.

“He got a great deal of rewards from working with those kids,” said Wayne Bacon. “It was his joy and pride to work with, in some cases, three generations of 4-H youth.”

Civic leader. A member of the Trinity United Methodist Church in New Springfield, Bacon served as past chairman of the administrative council and lay speaker, and was Sunday School superintendent for 60+ years.

He also served as Springfield Township trustee and on the Springfield Local School Board. He was also a charter member of the New Springfield Volunteer Fire Department and served as a volunteer firefighter.

An active member of the Mahoning County and Ohio Farm Bureaus, Bacon served as the county’s longtime public affairs chairman.

He was named a Master Farmer of Ohio in 1997 and received the Youngstown YWCA’s Man of the Year Award and the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award for civic leadership.

Family. Mr. Bacon was born Sept. 11, 1919, the won of the late Harry and Anna Bacon.

He is survived by his wife, the former Thelma Snyder, whom he married Oct. 27, 1940. Their family was honored by the Canfield Fair and OSU Extension as its Outstanding Rural Family.

He is also survived by three daughters, Ruthann Henry of Canfield, Carol Withers of Poland and Beverly Melching of Duluth, Ga.; two sons, Wayne of New Springfield, and Gordon of East Rochester; three brothers, Oris Bacon of Columbiana; Roy Bacon of Tiffin; and Edgar Bacon of New Waterford; 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Oct. 2 at Trinity United Methodist Church, the Rev. Chick Chaney officiating. Burial was held in New Springfield Cemetery.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to the Darrel Bacon Junior Fair Scholarship Fund, c/o Canfield Fair, P.O. Box 250, Canfield, OH 44406; or to Trinity United Methodist Church, 2427 Columbiana Road, New Springfield, OH 44443.

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