Eugene “Gene” McNair 94, of Hudson Ohio, formerly of Barberton, Ohio passed away on Monday, March 8th, 2021 with his beloved grandchildren at his side. He was born September 1st, 1926, to the late Harry and Lova Michael McNair in Fairchance Pennsylvania. Raised in Arthurdale West Virginia, Gene grew up exploring the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. He was immensely proud of his roots, especially his favorite team, the West Virginia University Mountaineers. While growing up in West Virginia, Gene spent many days walking and hitch hiking to travel a few towns away to see the “most gorgeous girl” and love of his life, Barbara Garlitz. On many trips back to West Virginia, Gene would show his grandchildren where he would start walking and at various points of the ride, he would say, “Now just remember I’m still walking at this point to go see Barbara because no one stopped to offer me a ride yet!” He had a witty sense of humor that was contagious. Gene was a graduate of both Arthurdale High School and the Nashville Auto and Diesel College. He served his country in the Army during World War II, where he was stationed in Korea. He was a life member of VFW Post 1589 in Masontown, West Virginia. Gene and Barbara married and later gave birth to their only child, Stephen McNair. Shortly thereafter, they relocated to Akron, Ohio. After a brief illness, Barbara passed away and Gene continued to raise Stephen in Akron. He spent the majority of his career with the Ohio Brass Company, where he retired in 1985 after 34 years of service. His retirement plan was to move back to Arthurdale and build a new house, just behind his childhood home. That plan changed when his grandchildren Christy and David were born. He devoted his entire life to his grandchildren to ensure that they always had an abundance of unconditional love and support from him. Upon Stephen’s passing in 1998, he took on the role of a father figure, and for that they are eternally grateful. Gene spent his retirement years as an active member of the Barberton Kiwanis Organization, and traveling back “home” to Arthurdale. He completed the Metro Parks fall hiking spree every year, and was extremely proud of all the badges he had earned on his hiking stick. He also enjoyed boating, photography, and cars, most notably his old Mustang, which he always described as his “favorite car.”
The McNair family would like to thank the compassionate staff at the Gables of Green Assisted Living and The Hudson Grande Assisted Living for the wonderful love and care they have provided Gene over the past 3 years. Affectionately known as “Mr. Polo” Gene was an avid lover of Ralph Lauren, which he would proudly wear from head to toe every single day.
Gene is survived by his grandchildren Christy McNair, of Copley OH; David McNair, of Hudson OH; and Todd Scherer, of Barberton OH. One sister Carol McNair Hood, of Charlottesville VA; and very special niece Linda (Charles) Ault of Akron, OH; James (Marsha) Kelly; Tom (Fred) Kelly; Roger Wolfe of Washington D.C., and many other nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by the love of his life Barbara Garlitz McNair; son Stephen McNair; parents Harry and Lova McNair, brother Don (Ludella) McNair, sisters Eloise McNair; Betty Lee; June Kelly; Merle McNair; and Vivian Wolfe. Gene’s family will receive friends at the Campfield- Hickman-Collier Funeral Home, 566 W. Park Ave., Barberton, Ohio 44203 on Sunday, March 14th, 2021 at 1 p.m. until the funeral service at 3 p.m. with Jacob Young officiating. Gene will be laid to rest on Monday, March 15th in Arthurdale, West Virginia next to Barbara and Stephen.
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