John W. Blatt, elevator consultant and former mayor of Put-in-Bay, Ohio, died Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008, in The Lutheran Memorial Home in Sandusky. He was 68.
John was born in New Martinsville, W.Va. to Carl and Evelyn (Ward) Blatt. He was valedictorian of the class of 1957 at Magnolia High School in New Martinsville.
John earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management in 1961 from The Ohio State University; he was active in the Navy ROTC, served as president of his fraternity, Phi Kappa Theta, and the Interfraternity Council, and received the President's Award of Excellence from 1959-1961. His ROTC experience led to his service in the U.S. Navy following graduation. John served as a lieutenant on the USS Skate, which was one of the first nuclear submarines.
His business career began at Haughton Elevator Co., where he was employed from 1967-77. He then joined Kerschner Elevator where he remained until 1984. That year he founded his own elevator consultant company, John W. Blatt Elevator Consulting, Inc. which he owned and operated until he retired in 2007.
Well-known and respected in the vertical transportation industry, John's consultancy was one of the leaders in the United States. He frequently taught and spoke at various conventions and seminars in the industry. Clients included major universities, hospitals, office buildings, apartments, housing authorities and factories throughout Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Florida, Michigan and other states. He also served on various committees and boards including the Board of Directors of Elevator U, and the Board of the National Association of Vertical Transportation Professionals where he also served as Ethics Chairman. John was also a member of the National Assn. of Elevator Safety Authorities, the National Assn. of Elevator Contractors, and a qualified Elevator Inspector certified by ASME.
A resident of Put-in-Bay from 1984-2002, John served the community as mayor from 1996-2002. During his tenure, he led efforts to improve quality of life through increased law enforcement and other initiatives in the island community that attracts thousands of visitors every summer. He took great pride in attracting events to the island and enjoyed officiating at weddings and other significant events. As mayor, John established a scholarship fund for deserving graduates of Ottawa County high schools. While living in Put-in-Bay, John served on Village Council from 1986-1987, owned the bakery, and was a real estate broker and owned and operated the Island Realty Company. He was also a member of the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club.
While serving as mayor, John's great appreciation for law enforcement personnel became even greater. He became, and remained throughout the rest of his life, a supporter of law enforcement agencies, sponsoring drug enforcement and interdiction training seminars. John purchased two police canines for area departments, including Ajax, Put-in-Bay's first police K-9, who was imported from Germany. Ajax died in the line of duty in Put-in-Bay. The second K-9 John purchased was an import from the Czech Republic, Alex, who has served a number of local departments and is currently serving in Marblehead. John has also donated funds to local police departments to help fight the drug war. John's commitment to law enforcement was further demonstrated by his serving as Advisor to the Board of the African American Law Enforcement Agents Assn.
Returning to the mainland in 2002, John made Port Clinton his home so he could be near good friends and his beloved Lake Erie. In typical John Blatt fashion, he immediately became involved in and supportive of the community. He was a member of Historic Port Clinton where he was involved in putting on the annual Walleye Festival. John initiated the Education Tent and the educational events at the festival. He was also a member of the Port Clinton Chamber of Commerce, the Catawba Island Club, and various other groups and activities.
In everything John did, he was committed. In addition to the above activities, John was a member of The Ottawa County Republican Central Committee, The Great Lakes Historical Society, life member of the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society, life member of The Ohio State University Alumni Assn., former member of the Northwest Ohio Mayors and Managers Assn., former board member of Toledo Economic Planning Council, former advisor to the U.S. Small Business Administration, former president of the Toledo Area Small Business Assn., and a delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business in 1980.
John's presence, wisdom, guidance, and enthusiasm will be truly missed by all who knew him.
Preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, John is survived by his brother, Paul Blatt (Jo Anne) of Tucson, Ariz.; and nieces and nephews, Dr. Stephen Blatt (Jeannine) of Cincinnati, Jeanine Robertson (John) of San Diego, Sheila Wrobel (Michael) of Omaha, and Shawn Blatt (Nancy) of Beaver Creek, Ohio.
A celebration of John's life will take place on Saturday, March 1, 2008, at the Camp Perry Club House in Port Clinton. Friends and family are invited to visit and share memories from 2 to 6 p.m. with spoken tributes offered beginning at 4:30 p.m. Arrangements have been handled by the Gerner-Wolf-Walker Funeral Home, Port Clinton.
Those wishing to offer a memorial donation in John's memory are asked to consider the Mayor John W. Blatt Scholarship Fund for Deserving Graduates of Ottawa County Schools via The Toledo Community Foundation, 608 Madison Ave., Ste. 1540, Toledo, OH 43604-1151. Condolences may be shared at walkerfuneralhomes.com.