Harold “Hal” Richard Naragon, age 90, of Barberton, Ohio passed away on August 31, 2019, surrounded by loved ones. Born on October 1, 1928 in Zanesville, Ohio, Hal was the son of the late Dwight and Dorothy Naragon. He was well-respected in the community and admired by everyone who knew him for his kind and gracious nature. Eager to pursue his dream of a career in professional baseball, Hal tried out for the Cleveland Indians while still attending Barberton High School. He performed well enough to earn a contract, and in the summer after graduation, he began his career by playing minor league ball where he sharpened his skills as a catcher. Besides having a passion for baseball, Hal was also a devoted family man. On October 10, 1948, in what he referred to as the most important decision he ever made, he married his high-school sweetheart and soul mate, Joanne Schake. His career as a catcher for the Indians lasted several years, starting with spring training in 1951. After that season, he was drafted into the Marine Corp and served until December 1953, returning to the Indians for the 1954 season. In the years that followed, Hal played for the Washington Senators, Minnesota Twins, and then became a bullpen coach for both the Twins and the Detroit Tigers. He retired from baseball in 1969, having been on three American League Championship teams, including the 1968 World Series Champion Detroit Tigers. Not one to remain idle, Hal seized a new career opportunity and spent the next 17 years serving the local sports community as the proprietor of Barberton Sporting Goods. Retiring in 1990 gave Hal more time to enjoy things he loved, which included spending time with family, golfing, and participating in charitable fundraising events. In heartfelt appreciation for all he’d given to the Barberton community, the high school varsity baseball field was named in his honor. Hal’s kindness, his sense of humor along with that engaging laugh, a willingness to help others, and his unwavering, positive outlook are qualities people will always remember about him. Hal leaves behind his wife of seventy-one years, Joanne; his daughter, Pamela (Jeff) Yeck of Canton; grandsons, Chad (Noel) Bradley of Massillon and Evan (Amber) Bradley of Massillon; great grandchildren, Whitney and Maverick Bradley; his brother, Thomas (Barbara) Naragon; as well as many nieces, nephews and many, many friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Barbara Cole and brother, Jim Naragon. A special thank you to the Crossroads staff for their kindness and continued support. Hal’s family will receive friends on Saturday, September 7th at Barberton High School, 555 Barber Road, Barberton 44203 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with his funeral service to follow at 1 p.m., both at the school. Burial at Greenlawn Memorial Park with military honors conducted by Firestone VFW #3383, along with the Ohio Patriot Guard. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Hal Naragon Scholarship Fund, payable to the Barberton Community Foundation at 460 W. Paige Avenue, Barberton, OH 44203 or https://secure.qgiv.com/for/bcf/restriction/HalNaragonScholarshipFund.
His guestbook and Video-Gift tribute may be viewed online at www.Campfield-Hickman-Collier.com.
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Hal Naragon Scholarship Fund, payable to the Barberton Community Foundation
460 W. Paige Avenue, Barberton OH 44203