Friends and family gathered in Fountain Park on Saturday to honor former Mayor Stan Agler. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
Friends and family gathered in Fountain Park on Saturday to honor former Mayor Stan Agler. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

VAN WERT – Family members and friends gathered at Fountain Park on Saturday afternoon to plant a tree and pay tribute to former Van Wert Mayor Stan Agler. Those in attendance included family members, friends, and present Mayor Jerry Mazur.

Agler’s caregiver, Jan Agler, said on Saturday that her most outstanding impressions of the former mayor was that he felt “called” to serve, had a devoted love to Van Wert and its people, had a dream early on for the establishment of Fountain Park and was a very committed, responsible, honest individual with a deep commitment for Christ.

“People need to know that we didn’t ask for Stan Agler’s name to be placed in this park,” said Agler’s son, Daniel Agler. “We are doing this for him."

“He hated lying; he was a very truthful person, even when it cost him things,” continued the younger Agler.

Much of Agler’s political career was planning and pushing the development of Fountain Park.

“Stan was a great leader. He set the trend for how the city looks today,” said Mazur in the ceremony. “He was very instrumental in developing this park. He was a good man; he knew the ordinances of the city. He created the environment for families to enjoy this city.”

Agler served for three terms as the first full-time mayor of Van Wert. He spent 47 years in local government, beginning on the City Council in 1968. Agler was the first president of the park board and later created the first Parks and Recreational Department in Van Wert.

Agler was quoted as saying, “at the time I was mayor was the best time of all. We didn’t have so many state regulations. It was fun; I was very lucky.”

Agler was a 51-year member of Wesley Methodist, Van Wert, and directed the choir and Easter and Christmas cantatas for 14 years. He was known as a natural impromptu performer at any gathering.

Brooke Noble, who was connected to Agler through the marriage of her grandmother, said that she saw him as a member of her family all through life.

“I loved it when he came for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Noble. “When he passed, a part of me was missing.”

Two of his high school classmates, Pat “McCollum” Prichard and Dixie Kreischer, were classmates of Agler’s who attended Saturday’s ceremony. They recalled that Agler had served as president of their class for three out of four years in high school.

“He was always a born leader,” said Prichard.

“Stan was a great person with lots of vision. He loved people,” said Agler’s cousin, Greg Amstutz. “He loved the community. He was willing to talk to anybody about anything. He had a lot of character and was loyal to the city. He was a very encouraging person, always thinking of ways to improve the city.”