Milton Eugene Ganger Junior
“Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think” – This snippet of philosophy was passed on to Milt by his uncle Monty Ganger, performing on his 90th birthday at his memorial tennis tournament at the Cleveland Skating Club.
Milt did enjoy himself, primarily by working hard to create the best achievement in anything and everything he did – from his time in the Merchant Marines on the Great Lakes during breaks at Cleveland Heights High and Ohio University to playing trumpet from Noble Road School up through high school marching band as the sergeant major, The Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, on to the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Non-Marching Band, back to Cleveland Heights and the All Generations Band. He lettered in track as a sprinter and in swimming. He was a member of the college fraternity that was the precursor to Sigma Chi at Ohio University.
He was most proud of his accomplishments bringing the Etched Metal Company now in Solon from bankruptcy to excellence in creating metal and plastic high quality industrial graphic parts. Right after college he was drafted into the US Army and sent to Japan during the Korean Conflict. He was sent on to Officers Candidate School and graduated first in his class. He started at John Marshall Law School, played handball at the downtown YMCA, interrupting that by joining the US State Department and taking his new wife, Joanne Boyd, to work as Vice Counsel in Colombia, sometimes chasing Che Guevara. He returned to Cleveland after two years and completed law school, passed the Bar and started in on straightening up Etched Metal while adopting two children, Thomas and Anne, and building a house in Chesterland. After a while his doctor recommended that he relax, so he moved out to Sausalito, California and started an apple orchard for juice in Sonoma County, continuing to monitor Etched Metal. Huey Lewis and his band members ran a related delivery service that handled the bottled juice and other organic products. The whole operation was ended when Huey became a popular singer with his backup band, The News. Milt returned to the Cleveland area and full time to Etched Metal after eleven years. He married Jean Henry Brown in 1991 and joined the family of her son, Ed, and new foster daughter, Elise. Ten years later he sold Etched Metal to a group of employees whom he shepherded to success over the next ten. Travel was a joy and he did it enthusiastically around the world, visiting throughout this country and even going back to Japan. He liked opera, working out of doors and playing with his dogs and cats.
His illnesses, primarily Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, were finally his biggest challenge. There is no known cure nor much respite for this, so his activities were cut off more and more because of his loss of capacity to get and use oxygen. He died peacefully at home, under the care of Great Lakes Hospice services, on Saturday, February 23.
He was preceded in death by his father, Milton Eugene Ganger, his mother, Margaret A Morgan Ganger, his first wife, Joanne and his son, Tom. Those surviving him include his daughter, Anne E. Sasselli (Donald), and his grandson, Don Sasselli, and his brother, William Morgan Ganger, his wife, Jean Henry Ganger, her son, Ed Brown, his cousins Dora Holvey (Richard), Viola Lynch (Joseph) and Delmar Morgan (Patricia) as well as cousins’ wives, Mary (Richard) and Darryl (Ted) Ganger. Nieces, nephews, not so distant cousins and in-laws round out the lively group of family members. Contributions can be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion or organization of your choice. There will be no formal services; he will be interred with his dog, Varnum.