Richard Charles Baltzly
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ZANESVILLE: Richard Charles Baltzly died peacefully in his own home around daybreak on Saturday July 13, 2013 after a brief illness. He was 79 years old.
Richard was born on October 20, 1933, the only child of Merle (Welsh) Baltzly and Charles Baltzly. His father died when Richard was only five and he was raised by his mother and her parents. He graduated from old Lash High School in 1952. Richard served in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1959 and in the Reserves until 1963.
Discharged from active service, he caught the attention of Linda Jean Knight and the couple were married in June 1960. Linda was completing her teaching degree at Ohio University at the time and encouraged Richard to take some classes on the GI bill. He excelled in history and completed his degree from OU with honors in 1972. He took a position teaching eighth-grade US History in Maysville schools, eventually retiring in 1993.
Before the tyranny of standardized testing came to dominate our schools, Mr. Baltzly taught a class that brought the subject alive. His profound knowledge of the persons and events of American history, combined with his storytelling ability, wove a narrative of our country capable of engaging even the most bored of teenagers.
In addition to history, Richard loved gardening, the outdoors, Dixieland jazz, sports-even the poor approximation of baseball played by his beloved Chicago Cubs-and trips to Australia to see his son and daughter-in-law. He was a member of Rolling Plains United Methodist Church, where he served as head usher for many years. He was also a stalwart of the Methodist Men's group and frequently organized the Veterans Day observance for the men and women of the armed forces, whose service he always honored.
Richard's family was small and close-knit. He was preceded in death by his mother, Merle Baltzly, and his mother-in-law, Iva Knight.
He is survived by Linda, his wife of 53 years; and Linda's sister Karen Lambert; along with her son Jason (Courtney) Lambert, all of Zanesville. He is also survived by his only child Dirk Baltzly and his wife L. Elaine Miller, who reside in Hobart, Australia.
There will be no calling hours. Instead, a memorial service to celebrate Richard's life will be held at Rolling Plains United Methodist Church on Friday July 19, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. Pastor Geoff Geyer will officiate.
The family is grateful to Genesis Hospice Care, who made it possible for Richard to die just as he had lived-exactly on his own terms.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions made be made to Rolling Plains-Bethel Mission in Putnam.
William Thompson & Son Funeral Home in White Cottage is assisting the family with arrangements.
Published in the Times Recorder from July 16 to July 18, 2013