Loving Papa, Dad, Husband, Devoted Friend, Trusted Counselor, Skilled Negotiator, Seeker of Knowledge, Established Scholar, Enlightening Philosopher, Failed Mathematician, Artful Needler, Willing Civic Servant, World Explorer, Creative Chef, Reluctant Hunter, Adequate Angler, Wanna Be Cowboy, Passionate Golfer.
To say Dick lived a full life in his 94 years is very very much an understatement. His youth was spent with his buddies switching from roaming the fields around his home ground of Walnut and 21st Street and covering the neighborhood around Wooster and 11th Street where he spent many hours at his grandmother and grandfather Dr. ST Marshalls home. His daily life was very typical of growing up in the 1920 and 1930s where hours were spent expanding the imagination, playing pick-up football and basketball games, building lifetime relationships, causing mischief, paying the price for that mischief and learning life’s lessons. He felt his favorite Christmas movie “A Christmas Story” was a perfect representation of his growing up with BB guns and frozen tongues. A good son he was but to his own admission he was no angel and no stranger to the switch. He could never resist an opportunity to torment his sister or give his mother a nice wrap on the bottom whenever he passed by. He learned much from watching his father who was a successful businessman and active in the world of politics serving as Democratic State Chairman from 1948-1954. It was also from his father that he began to develop his library of philosophical sayings and hone the fine art of needling (an art which continues to be passed down to younger generations).
In high school, with no athletic future ahead of him, Dick started to develop his leadership skills holding various class offices and attending Buckeye Boys State. In December 1943, prior to his 16th birthday, he and a group of buddies traveled to Detroit and took the test for the Navy’s volunteer V-5 Naval Aviation Cadet Program. Passing the exam they were immediately enlisted and received orders to return home and graduate from high school. Upon graduation in June 1944, he was assigned to start his V-5 training and reported to Bowling Green University in July. While at BG he spent time playing pick-up basketball games and his 6ft 150 lb. frame caught the eye of the varsity coach in need of sacrificial practice players for his varsity team to feast upon (his single claim to college athletics). With the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima August 6, 1945 and Japan’s subsequent surrender the need for pilots became limited and Dick was reassigned to Notre Dame to complete the V-12 Line Officer Training Program. The V-12 was in turn dissolved and Dick was shipped to boot camp at the Naval Station Great Lakes in northern Chicago. Upon arrival he contracted scarlet fever and was quarantined for 7 weeks absorbing himself in books sent from his mother. Completing boot camp his military adventure continued and he was sent to Treasure Island off the coast of San Francisco waiting for deployment to the South Pacific to relieve those who had been serving in battle. When orders were posted he was a little apprehensive to find he was going to Yerba Buena Island wondering out loud what remote part of the world he was headed to. A fellow sailor tapped him on the shoulder and said “Turn around, it’s right over there” pointing to “Goat Island” which anchors the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge. Except for the nightlife of San Francisco his stay there was uneventful, and he soon found himself on a train back to Great Lakes where he was honorably discharged in July 1946 after serving his 2-year commitment. Having missed active combat Dick was always appreciative and respectful of those who did engage especially those who sacrificed their lives during the D Day invasion knowing that if his enlistment had come 6 months earlier it could have been him on the beach.
Not wanting his son to find idle time his Dad informed him during a nice peaceful summer breakfast that he had been accepted at Denison and was enrolled for the fall of 1946. The balance of that summer was spent digging ditches at the new Dover Park and excelling at shoving coal at Greer where a fellow worker told him he was setting a little too high of standard for them to keep up after he left them for college and to tone his ambition down just a bit. The V-12 program provided for 3 paid years of college after discharge. Having already completing 2 years while serving in the V-5, V-12 programs Dick only needed 2 years at Denison to complete his BA. While attending Denison he was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, Judiciary Council, debate team and the secretive Wingless Angels (where, as a precursor to his future, he was nicknamed “Justice Joe”). More importantly it is where his eyes first set upon the enchanting Mary “Scottie” Scott while actually dating both of her roommates (yes, a real charmer). Though their contact was fleeting the spark was tendered.
It should be noted that though his intellect was never doubted, and he was a skilled debater his work as a mathematician was extremely suspect. If not for a compassionate Calculus teacher at Notre Dame, who made him promise he would never engineer a bridge, he would not have gotten the passing grade he needed. Receiving his BA at Denison and still having a free year of tuition available, Dick chose to continue to expand his mind and philosophical inclining and headed north to Case Western Reserve Law School in the fall of 1948. It was there he developed another lifelong relationship with Jack Gherlein. Playing matchmakers, Jack and his future wife Racheal Mills (Dee Dee was a childhood friend of Mary’s) helped to reignite the flame between Mary and Dick. They continued their long-distance relationship while Mary worked for the Red Cross in Columbus. In April of 1950 he brought Mary home to Dover to meet and dazzle his parents with her charm (which she did). There is some speculation here but there is a feeling that it was their excursion to the infamous OSU vs MU “Snow Bowl” in November 1952 and subsequent stranding at the Neil House for a number of days due to weather that sealed their eventual matrimony (a mink may have been involved). In the meantime, they both continued on with their career paths. Upon graduating from law school in Spring 1951, Dick went to work for the Wage Stabilization Board in Cleveland serving as Secretary to the board members and Mary began working for the Dayton Council of World Affairs. In July 1952 their union was officially recognized with marriage followed by a honeymoon driving up the Northeast Coastline. In August of that year Dick joined the law firm of Fisher, Smith, Renner.
Their married years found them to be quite the power couple as they were both fully engaged in community activities. Dick attended the 1964 Democratic Convention as an alternate delegate, served as chairman to the Dover School Board, Junior Chamber of Commerce, Dover-New Philia United Fund Campaign, YMCA Board of Trustees, Ohio State Bar Association, Tuscarawas County YMCA Building Fund, a member of the Masonic Temple and chair of multiple Union Country Club committees. His efforts at UCC were recognized with his induction to their Hall of Fame. He was also installed as the first President of the Jonathan’s Landing Community Association in Jupiter Fl. The two spent much time doing what they enjoyed doing most with each other, traveling. Always taking the children on memorable trips to the North, South, East and Western parts of the country with the Tetons always calling Mary’s name. They continued their journeys on their own or with their favorite traveling partners the Lonergan’s to the Great Wall of China, safaris in Africa, pyramids of Egypt, Alps of Switzerland, vineyards of France and pasta dishes of Italy.
Upon Mary’s passing in September 1990, Dick spent most of his time in the comfort of family and friends traveling between Jupiter and Dover/New Philadelphia. With his introduction to Charlotte Lloyd in the Fall of 1992 by his daughter in laws mother Dick was given a restart to his life with a second love. Charlotte had recently become widowed as well and shared his love of golf and adventure. She seamlessly fit in with his friends as well as in her role as a loving grandmother to the growing grandchildren. They continued to provide special lifetime memories for their grandchildren with special dinners out, shopping trips and sleepovers. Charlotte remained by his side to his last breath giving him love and comfort.
Though his love for his family was never in doubt, it was no secret many of his favorite moments were spent on the golf course. In 1933 when Dick was 6 years old, Cheese was given a membership at UCC for taking on the duties of Secretary. Dick started to learn the game from pro Davey Ross and developed a true understanding by watching his father and his “Filthy Foursome” spend hours bonding over golf often followed by a game of craps in the basement of the club. He appreciated all the game provided in sportsmanship, competition, honor, etiquette and most importantly the comradery. Some of his strongest bonds were created on the links at UCC, The Golf Club, Jonathan’s Landing and countless invitationals and invites to some of the top courses in the world. He always felt, “You can learn a great deal about a man’s character by the way he works himself around a golf course”. He modestly boasted 10 ½ Hole-In-Ones. The ½ you ask, it was due to a very stubborn ball that plugged into the inside of the cup which even he could not persuade to drop to the bottom to be officially counted. Golf was a game he respected, a game he appreciated, a game that help to shape his life. Oh, and another trait he picked up from his father, there never ever was a golf club he didn’t need to own. His pro at Jonathan’s actually refused to sell him at one point so he went around him to the assistant.
As a father he was fair, allowing you to plead your case (some more than successful than others) but not hesitating to discipline when it was called for (curse his frat big brother for that solid paddle) but he was always ready to provide encouragement and support when he sensed the need as well. Many lessons were learned over discussions at the dinner table including the importance of accepting and respecting all people, the importance of always talking nice about others because they always talk nice about you, the importance of helping others, the importance of eating your vegetables (all of them, no matter the consequences) and the potential danger of pointing your finger at someone. Other lessons included “Nothing Good Happens After Midnight”, “Can’t Burn The Candle at Both Ends”, and the ultimate guilt invoking “If I’m Going To Hear Something, I Want To Hear It From You First”! His wisdom and philosophies continued to be shared and so much more enjoyed and appreciated with his grandchildren to the very end. He was a very proud Papa.
In his own words he wanted his epitaph to be brief with someone stating, “He was a Good Man, He Loved his Family, He Loved Golf” while Frank Sinatra sang “My Way” in the background. For all of us who were fortunate to be a participant at some point during those 94 fabulous years we know that he was so much more than that…….so much much more! It’s time to join your ultimate foursome and play thru RMH our love and memories are forever! Enjoy your ride with Willie, Waylon and the boys!
Due to Covid-19, a private service will be held with interment in the Dover Burial Park. Those who may wish to express a fond memory of Dick can sign the online guestbook by visiting the funeral home website at www.tolandherzig.com
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you think a good thought and make a donation to your favorite charity.