John "Big John"'s Story

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John A. "Big John" Bechtel, 81, of Odon, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Sunday, August 20, 2017, at Odon. He was born October 19, 1935, in Daviess County, to Walter and Hazel (Bowers) Bechtel. John and his loving wife Darlene (Howard) Bechtel just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They were married on December 1, 1956.
John was a U.S. Army veteran and was a member of the Odon First Christian Church. He attended Elnora High School. John worked as a welder in Elnora for a few years and then started working as a painter at Westinghouse/ABB, retiring in 1993. He enjoyed taking care of his yard and working on his vehicles. You could always find him in the garage playing his 8-track tapes and tinkering with something. John was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Survivors include his wife, Darlene Bechtel of Odon; one son, Brian Lee (Janet) Bechtel of Crawfordsville; one daughter, Tina Michele (Rick) Burden of Odon; four grandchildren, Darrin Lee (Kylie) Bechtel, Dalton Bryant (Morgan) Bechtel, both of Crawfordsville, Trinity Darlene Crecelius and Gracie Mae Burden, both of Odon; one great-grandson, Camden Wade Bechtel of Crawfordsville; one great-granddaughter, Collins Nicole Bechtel of Crawfordsville; one brother, Robert Owen Bechtel of Odon; and several nieces and nephews.
John is preceded in death by his parents; stepmother Hazel (Huff) Bechtel; sister Marjorie Roberts; brothers Eugene, Bill, Charles and Don Bechtel; one niece, Tammy; and two nephews, Ron and David.
Funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, August 24, 2017, at Odon Christian Church, 208 S. Spring St., Odon, with Bro. Richard Crabtree and Rev. Micah Stephen officiating. John will be laid to rest in Walnut Hill Cemetery in Odon following military graveside rites by the VFW Post 9627, American Legion Post 293 and the Army Honor Guard.
Family and friends may call from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 23, and from 9 a.m. to time of service at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Odon Christian Church. Envelopes will be available at the church.
All arrangements have been entrusted to James W. Meng Jr. and Meng Family Funeral Home in Odon. Online condolences may be sent to www.mengfuneralhome.com.
Published on August 21, 2017
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