Sad news to share from the council meeting on Tuesday. Councilwoman Debra Dorst-Porada announced that Ontario resident Lawrence Bartholomy, 52, had passed away on Sunday.
Redeemer Lutheran Church and School will hold a memorial service for Bartholomy on Friday at 1 p.m.
Known to everyone as “Joe,” Bartholomy was heavily involved the church for more than 20 year’s but was also vital to efforts to rehabilitate the Nativity Scenes on Euclid Avenue median.
“He was one of our champions for the Nativity Scenes,” Dorst-Porada said. “It’s a huge, huge loss for all of us.”
And even though Bartholomy had his own construction company he could often be found maintaining the grounds of the church, said Pastor Dan Grabowski.
Two years ago a new garden area and orchard were planted, and Bartholomy was there doing all the work, Grabowski recalled.
When Redeemer announced its school would be replacing the new play ground, Bartholomy was also there pulling out the old playground and helping install the new one, he said.
“If you needed something Joe would get it done. His fingerprint is not just everywhere but in the hearts of the people,” Grabowski said.
Aside from his work with Redeemer, the longtime Ontario resident was dedicated to the rehabilitation of the Nativity Scenes on Euclid Avenue. It was special project he and his wife, Nancy have overseen the past couple of years.
Under the direction of the couple, Redeemer houses the storage space for the scenes. Grabowski said Bartholomy was the one who coordinated efforts to install and remove the Nativity Scenes. Grabowski hopes the community will step up and help out in Bartholmy’s honor.
Bartholomy is survived by his wife, Nancy, and sons Ryan and Travis.
A reception will be held following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Redeemer Lutheran Church and School, 920 W. 6th St., Ontario. Donations can also be made to Ontario Chamber of Commerce to help rehabilitate the Nativity Scenes