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Maurice Fett always had Bluffton in mind

Iconoclast view

It's hard to image a Bluffton without Maurice Fett. In the prime of his life, he was part of everything that moved in Bluffton's business community. His involvement included the Bluffton Stone Company, the first streetscape program, Citizens National Bank, American Legion and Main Street businesses (He owned Fett's Hardware).

Many viewers don't realize that the large community parking lot on the east side of Main Street exists because Maurice realized the retail district needed adequate parking. Technically, he may have been a part-owner in part of that parking lot, even when he died. In a way, it was one of his gifts to the business district.

In his own way, he was a person of many opinions. Most people get into trouble because of their opinions. Maurice believed so strongly in his opinions that when they conflicted with the majority rule, it didn't matter to him. That's one of the features that made him so interesting and so much a force in the community.

There was never any question. You always knew where he stood on an issue. And, he never - repeat - never stopped promoting Bluffton.

There's a story about a potential Lutheran minister who was considering moving here. Maurice, in good Lutheran style, took the time to show him around town. He listed all the positive things that the community had starting with the golf course, bowling alley and moving north up the Dixie Highway, listing the hospital, college (it wasn't a university yet), library, swimming pool, Buckeye...the list goes on. He believed Bluffton was the best small town in Ohio.

Maurice preached Bluffton like few people we ever met. Although retired, he never stopped preaching this theme. This past summer, in a coffee shop conversation, he reminded us that the 25-year-old film about Bluffton that was recently aired again on WBGU ought to be refilmed and updated. He dropped several other ideas about promoting Bluffton into that same conversation.

Maurice collected Bluffton business and industrial items. Once at a garage sale he noted that a Bluffton fireless cooker was for sale. The cooker is a WWI-era product. Upon examination of the cooker, he asked if the "stones" still existed. The stones kept the food warm. And while Bluffton fireless cookers are rare, those with stones are nearly unheard of.

Maurice remarked that he had several cookers with stones. (Translation: his Bluffton collection was pretty unique.) There are many other Maurice may have heard some.

He was driving force that molded this community into what it is today. His strong view point on whatever subject being discussed will be missed.

Thanks for all your contributions to our community M 655 F.