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STAUNTON — Harold E. Maesch, 78, of Staunton, passed away April 20, 2009, at 2:50 p.m., at Terre Haute Regional Hospital, due to complications of congestive heart failure. He had been in failing health for the past year.

Born on the west-side of Staunton, on April 1, 1931, he was the son of Peachie Maesch and William E. Maesch. He resided in Staunton his entire life. He was a graduate of Staunton High School, Class of 1939. He was a veteran of the Korean War, serving in the U.S. Army. He worked as a millwright at Stran-Steel in Terre Haute, retiring in 1982. He attended Community Missionary Church in Brazil.

He developed a hobby as a young boy of raising show pigeons and had won many trophies over the years. He loved going to watch high school basketball, and the past six years he took great pride in watching his son, Ernie, coach the sport. He loved all animals and had several special dogs, including his dog “Blackie”. His favorite role in life was simply being “Dad”.

He was preceded in death by his parents; five siblings in infancy; one sister, Thelma Kratzer; dear friend and mother of his children, Lillie Maesch, in 2000.

Survivors include his 10 children, Kathy and Kenny Miller of Columbus, Debi and Benny Brown, Harold and Tonya Maesch, Danny and Lorraine Maesch, and Heather Pleake, all of Brazil, Ernie and Amy Maesch of Terre Haute, Jackie and Billy Andrews, and Lawrence Maesch of Staunton, Lori and Jeff Smithhart of San Martino, Italy, and Farrah and Jeff Darks of Avon; 22 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; a sister, Ruth Greene and husband Paul of Staunton; his good buddy, Rita O’Neal; and nieces, nephews and extended family.

Services will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at French Funeral Home, with Pastor Tom Hess officiating. Burial will follow at Clearview Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., and again Friday prior to services.

The family suggests that, to honor their Dad’s favorite pastime, memorial contributions be directed to the NHS Boys Basketball program, 1 Knight Drive, Brazil, IN. 47834; or to the American Heart Association. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

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