Harold A. Pickett, 96, died June 24 at Hospice of Dayton. Since 2000, he lived at the Brethren's Retirement Community in Greenville. He was born Jan. 1, 1913, near the hamlet of Cosmos in Darke County, the second son of Benjamin H. and Edna (Study) Pickett. He was a 1930 graduate of Jackson Township High School (now Mississinawa Valley).
Following his graduation and a short venture with an advertising firm in New York City, he began his industrial career as a tool and pattern-maker at the Union City (Ind.) Body Co., where he became superintendent and plant manager during and after World War II. Later, he served for 15 years as supervisor of engineering at Avco-New Idea in Coldwater. Thereafter, he was named plant manager of Pax Corp., then plant manager of Ley Equipment Co. in Van Wert, from which he retired in 1974. He managed a nursery business near Union City, which he and his late wife, Genevieve, started in 1952.
In 1978, they sold the nursery to an employee and moved to New Paris. There, Harold started a different career as a college instructor. He earned college degrees through home study in industrial engineering and law and received an LL.B. degree in 1944. He taught in Richmond and Fort Wayne, Ind., for 12 years, retiring in 1989.
Through his industrial and teaching career, Harold gained recognition as a poet and public speaker, accumulating nearly 3,000 speaking engagements throughout Ohio, Indiana and adjoining states. His poems, most written under the pen name of "Slim Acres," and articles appeared regularly in 18 newspapers and magazines over a 40-year period. Harold also was active in political and civic affairs, serving as a charter member and president of Union City Kiwanis and, 40 years later, president of the New Paris Kiwanis. In 1988, he was awarded the Distinguished President citation by Kiwanis International. He was a past master of the Ansonia Masonic Lodge, which later merged with the Versailles Lodge. In addition, he was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers.
In 1936, he married the former Genevieve Jamison, who died in 2000. Subsequently, he married the former Mary Stover of Bradford, who died in 2004. He also was preceded in death by three brothers, Howard, who died in infancy; Paul and Forrest; and two infant daughters. He is survived by one daughter, Ramonda (Jack) Ryan of Niles, Ohio; four sisters, Irene Greenstein of Winterhaven, Fla., Florence Teegarden and Olive Alspach of Greenville, and Mary Newnam of Kettering; a brother, Robert, of Myrtle Beach, S.C.; a stepson, Max (Judy) Stover of Bradford; and 15 grand, great-grand and step-grandchildren.
Calling hours will be held Friday, June 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the chapel of The Brethren's Retirement Community in Greenville, and services will begin at 1 p.m. Burial will be in the Jericho Friends Cemetery near Winchester, Ind.
The family requests that any memorial tributes be made to The Brethren's Retirement Community and/or Hospice of Dayton.
Arrangements have been entrusted with the Oliver-Floyd Funeral Home in Greenville.