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Ray W. Prowant, 84, a lifelong resident of Dupont, Ohio, died 6 a.m. on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at the Defiance-Area In-patient Hospice after a brief illness.
He was born on June 1, 1927, and raised in Continental, Ohio, the son of Homer and Addie (Anspach) Prowant.
He leaves his adoring wife of 63 years, JoAnne (Myers) Prowant; a daughter, Jill Byrd and her special friend, Dan Daly, of Lewiston, Michigan; a daughter, Lynn (Bill) Miller of Decatur; and a “Number One Son,” Bill (Anissa) Prowant of Dupont; three grandchildren, Lisa (Clark) Gable of Decatur and Jeffrey Prowant and Allison Prowant of Dupont; one great-granddaughter, Anna Jo Gable of Decatur; two very loyal dogs; two granddogs; a sister, Phylis Stemen of Savannah, Georgia; and a sister-in-law, Susan Prowant of Fort Wayne.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Charles Prowant.
After graduating from Continental High School in 1945. he attended “The School of Hard Knocks.” graduating at least 99 times and counting.
He was the vice president of Durant Enterprises Inc, as well as serving as the CEG, Chief Executive Go-Fer, a title he not only bestowed on himself, but one he wore with pride, dedication, a huge grin, and an even bigger laugh.
Mr. Prowant lived his life serving the public. As a young man he joined the Navy and was a veteran of World War II.
He was very active in the community. He served as a town councilman, Republican Party committeeman, Community Club member, and member of the Continental American Legion post and Van Wert Veterans of Foreign Wars post and was a 58-year member of the Continental Masonic Lodge.
He was also a member of Continental United Methodist Church, where he served as a Sunday School teacher, greeter, and trustee. He was a member of the Continental Community Club, the Continental Development Corporation, and a longtime director of The Dupont Service Company.
Professionally, Mr. Prowant began his career in 1948, working for the Myers Concession Company. He and his wife traveled with the Gooding Amusement Company, serving many Ohio fairs and festivals with their confection trailers.
In 1966, Mr. Prowant established Durant Enterprises Inc., a mobile amusement company, currently consisting of over 30 rides and 20 food concessions.
Mr. Prowant belonged to several professional organizations: Greater Ohio Showmen’s Association, of which he served as president for over four years as well as a trustee; Ohio Fair Manager’s Association; Ohio Festival and Events Association; Outdoor Amusement Business Association; and International Independent Showmen’s Association.
In addition, Mr. Prowant served on the Ohio Ride Safety Advisory Board and was instrumental in establishing the Ride Safety Program with the governor and the director of agriculture.
Mr. Prowant loved visiting with people and traveling to fairs and festivals in the area. He was a lover of Ford trucks and animals and loved to tell stories and jokes. He also loved to read newspapers and subscribed to approximately 12 per week.
The funeral service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, November 12, 2011, at Continental United Methodist Church, with Rev. Charles Schmunk officiating.
Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery at Dupont, with military rites by the Continental American Legion post.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. today and from 2-8 p.m. on Friday at Heitmeyer Funeral Home, Continental, and one hour prior to service on Saturday at the church.
There will be a Masonic Service at 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to Continental United Methodist Church, to the Continental Community Library, or to the Defiance-Area In-patient Hospice.