John T. “Tom” Wolfe, 91, of Racine, passed away at 12:50 A.M. Friday, November 26, 2021 at his residence. Tom was born and raised in the community of East Letart, Ohio son of the late John L. and Eula Roush Wolfe.
He was a member of the 1944-48 basketball teams at Racine and graduated in 1948. In 1951, he enlisted in the United States Air Force for four years and served at Travis Air Force base in finance.
Tom was member of Racine First Baptist Church, and was an avid golfer and enjoyed all sports. As a spectator, he was a very enthusiastic fan often helping the official’s makes calls.
He began his professional career at the Racine Home National Bank and was able to impact his community through his 52 year affiliation with the bank. During his time as president of the bank, he served as chairman of the Veteran’s Memorial Hospital Board, Ohio Bankers Association Group Seven Board, Rio Grande Community College Board, The Community Investment Corporation, Dave Diles Celebrity Charity Golf Finance Committee, Master of the Racine Masonic Lodge, Chairman of the Board of Home National Bank and was a Sunday school teacher for 35 years.
His vision of the bank actively supporting youth in the community led to the Racine Home National Bank being one of the top buyers at the Meigs County Junior Livestock sale. In addition to the fair, his vision of the development of Star Mill Park, to include playground equipment, lighted ball fields, and a future museum, benefited the entire community.
Through his work with the Dave Diles Golf Tournament, many non profit entities benefited from the proceeds that were allocated by the finance committee. His love of Southern basketball inspired the creation of “Home National Bank Night.” Home National Bank Night offers the community free admission to the game and the popular scramble for cash. This practice continues to this day and has expanded to neighboring districts.
He realized the growing community of Syracuse was in need of a banking facility and the Syracuse branch of the Racine Home National Bank was built. He was honored by the Ohio Senate, 123rd General Assembly of Ohio, for 50 years of dedicated service to the banking industry in Racine.
One of the greatest impacts that he has had on the community was his assistance in locating three doctors to the Racine community, Dr. Margie Lawson, Dr. Doug Hunter, and Dr. Melanie Weese — a dentist, medical doctor, and optometrist respectively.
The community of Racine has prospered because the leadership of the bank chose to keep the bank a locally-owned banking institution. That leader, for the 28 years he was president and later chairman of the board, was Wolfe.
As busy as Tom was he always put his family first. He was a positive influence on his grandchildren. There are many stories about trips to the “Cabin.” He loved wildlife and especially bird watching.
Tom is survived by his wife, Joan Rife Wolfe; daughters and sons-in-law, Mickey and Dave Kucsma, and Jeannie and Fred Wolfe, both of Racine; grandchildren, John and Jennifer Hoback, Aaron and Missy Hoback, Troy Hoback, Travis Grate, Crystal and Rob Erickson, along with great-grandchildren, Jacob Hoback ,Jonah Hoback, Cody Erickson, and Ella Erickson. A brother, Victor (Alice) Wolfe, of Racine and numerous nieces and nephews also survive.
In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by his first wife Joan Huddleston Wolfe in 1971, sisters, Nora (Jim) Lewis, Mary (Jack) Ord, Addie (Carroll) Norris, and Odessa Erbes, Brothers, Austin and David Aaron “Ace” Wolfe.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 in the Racine First Baptist Church with Rev. Duke Holbert officiating. Interment will be in the Letart Falls Cemetery with military honors provided by local American Legion Posts. John Hoback, Aaron Hoback, Troy Hoback, Travis Grate, Jacob Hoback, and Jonah Hoback, will serve as casketbearers. Friends may call from 6-8 p.m. at the Racine First Baptist Church on Monday with Masonic funeral services provided by the Pomeroy Racine Lodge #164, F&A.M. at 8:00 p.m. on Monday. The Cremeens-King Funeral Home is entrusted with Tom’s arrangements.
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