Bridgeport, OHIO (WTRF) – Former Bridgeport Mayor John Callarik was laid to rest today.

Callarik, who served as the village’s mayor for 18 years, died late last week at age 97.

This morning, his funeral procession reflected his passion for hard work. Leading the procession, just after the Bridgeport Police, was Callarik’s bulldozer, carried on a flatbed trailer.

He was a military veteran, the owner/operator of at least five businesses, and a man who lived a life of public service.

“You know, a lot of politicians would come in, whether it would be a governor or a state senator, and they’d say well Mayor, you take care. Now what do you got to do? And he’d say well, I’ve got a backhoe, I’ve got to dig some ditches here for the village, I’ve got to remove some snow. What, you do it? Yes, I do asphalt, gravel, anything that needs done. And he loved doing the hard labor work.”

Gordie Longshaw

Callarik started in business as a cab driver, and later started JJC Excavating Company and built a laundromat. He proudly work a ball cap that read “Bridgeport Mayor.”

He served on the Bridgeport Board of Education for 16 years, and was president of the booster club.

Callarik was 97 years old.